Message from the Executive Director, Mission and Vision

Awilda Colon, Executive Director Photo

Message from the Executive Director


Dear Colleagues:

This year we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the work that my predecessor, Dr. Reva Curry, began, and the combined efforts of the administration, faculty, students, staff, and alumni of Stockton University, and our community partners to develop and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. I thank all our community partners for their collaboration and leadership in bringing the needs of the community to Stockton’s attention and for holding our Stockton Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning accountable all these years.  

Since its inception, the Center has worked toward promoting the ideals of public service and social responsibility and serving the public good.

Among the many initiatives of the Center have been the Campus Kitchen at the Atlantic City High School, Homework Completion Programs, Naturalization Classes, English for Learners Program, Afternoon Tea Sessions with Older Adults, Diversity and Inclusion Training, and Computer and Internet classes. In all these activities and programs Stockton students have collaborated and learned from our community.

The State of New Jersey designated Stockton as an Anchor institution in April of 2016 and these programs exemplify ways in which the Stockton Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning has played an important role in helping Stockton live up to its Anchor Institution designation. 

The Center spearheaded the documentation of the institution’s community engagement, resulting in the renewal of the Elective Carnegie Community Engagement Endorsement, an honor that has enhanced the University’s national reputation.

The Center managed the expansion, culminating with the merger of the Center for Community Engagement and the Office of Service-Learning into the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning effective July 1, 2020.

The Center faced the impact of the challenges and opportunities that the COVID-19 mitigation measures brought us. Through it, the strengths of the staff, faculty, Student Fellows, Bonner Leaders, and the SCCESL’s credibility with our community partners led us to adapt and continue our work.

In sum, in our first ten years, the Center has developed and maintained reciprocal and mutually beneficial relationships with hundreds of community partners and has created many opportunities for students to engage in high-impact practices and for faculty and staff to connect with community partners. We are proud of our work and look forward to creating even more connections that benefit students, faculty, staff, and partners in the years to come.  


Merydawilda Colón, LSW, PhD

Executive Director, Stockton Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning and Tenured Professor of Social Work


  • Community Engagement co-sponsors programs in the community, opens doors and creates connections for new and improved collaborations, maximizes resources to maintain and establish mutually beneficial relationships with the community, and assists our internal and external partners with research activities to deepen the scholarship of engagement.
  • Service-Learning is a pathway for social change through community-based learning, via curricular/co-curricular opportunities, sustaining civic engagement, enhancing reciprocal community partnerships, fostering civic and social agency, and exploring experiences through critical reflection.


  • The Stockton Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning promotes the ideals of public service and social responsibility, and serves the public good.


Stockton University is a Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Designated Campus


Community engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.

The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.”


Link to Carnegie Foundation