Inspired by our Catholic, Franciscan tradition, the Center for Service & Learning (CS&L) is a catalyst for impactful community engagement experiences.
About CS&L: We collaborate with students, faculty, staff and community partners to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and resources of the University for the common good.
The CS&L supports faculty who teach community-engaged courses, collaborates with community partners to address societal needs, is home to SFUServes Ambassadors program, and sponsors a domestic and international service mission trips.
2016/2017 Annual Update
SFU Serves: Community Engagement Videos
Lisa Georgiana, Director
Denise Farabaugh, Administrative Assistant
Marcus Mihelcic, Graduate Assistant
Jared Heitzenrater, Graduate Assistant
Community-Engaged Courses provide opportunities for students to work together to affect change in the community as well as gain an enriched learning experience through hands-on activities. Students apply what they are learning in class to meet a community need.
The event was part of Enactus’ Uwork project, a student-led initiative designed to provide training and skills to high-risk job seekers in Central PA.
Mr. Cotter ('74 Economics) is a retired FBI agent of 26 years with an extensive background investigating white collar crimes.
The Biology department at Saint Francis University is excited to welcome back the 1966 alum to kick-off the Biology Spring Seminar Series beginning in February.
Pennsylvania ranks 5th in the nation in the estimated number of new cancer diagnosis. Learn how SFU is helping those battling this disease.
Students presented their findings to business owners at the Shields School of Business on December 11th.
Chemistry students in community-engaged courses are working with the community to bring more awareness to the under-reported issue of lead exposure in Central Pennsylvania.
Environmental Engineering students get hands-on experience working on real projects from local organizations. Read about a recent project installing weirs.
Hundreds of SFU students, faculty, and staff members volunteered in the local community to celebrate the annual R.E.D. (Reaching Every Door) Day.
Through a partnership with The Indiana NAACP, and WIN Committee, along with American Association of University Women of Indiana County, the Project GetSTEAM initiative intends to introduce and excite girls ages 8-15 years old about opportunities within the STEAM field.
From a young age, Jack Weidner always thought that he wanted to be a doctor, but he also had a passion for writing and the arts.
Read how Jack combined his passions
After Megan Williams finished her freshman year as a Biology major with a Marine Biology Concentration, she started a summer internship with the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
A student's first-hand experience participating in the new Environmental Engineering Adopt a Site Internship program.
Read about Andrew's Experience
Learn how this Health Care Studies student is helping the most innocent victims of the opioid epidemic.
This month’s Science Cafe: Cosmic Cocktails focus was a kids’ night slime event at the Allegheny Creamery and Crepes.
Ten Saint Francis University students, faculty and staff dedicated their time and talents volunteering to help nearly 2,000 patients in need of dental treatments at a weekend-long domestic mission trip in Reading, PA.
In high school, Ryan Alu maintained a 4.2 grade point average and took thirteen Advanced Placement tests earning him enough credits to triple major in Computer Science, CyberSecurity, and Mathematics and still graduate within four years. But that's only the beginning...
Read Ryan's Story
Occupational Therapy Sophomore Allie Cummings, tells us about her experience as a Toy Ambassador at Saint Francis University's Toy Lending Library.
Dr. John Trimble travels to Oglala Lakota College on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota for Sabbatical.
Read about the historic ride
Nine students under the direction of Master SCUBA Diver Trainers, Nick Weakland and Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald donned wet and dry suits to dive into a portion of Lake Gallitzin practicing their search and rescue skills to remove any trash or unnatural debris polluting the beautiful park.
The following story was published in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Saint Francis Magazine, but its message still resonates with the students, faculty and staff. To "Become That Someone" is a theme that remains relevant today, and every day.
The Story Behind the Motto
Brother Shamus McGrenra T.O.R., a stage 4 colon cancer survivor, will tackle his toughest route in the history of the annual #GoBroShamus Charity Bike Ride.
More about the #GoBroShamus Charity Ride
70-Year-Old Stage 4 Cancer Survivor to Cycle 10 States for Charity
Seven students majoring in Biology, Chemistry and Health Sciences volunteered at the June MOM-n-PA Dental clinic in Erie, PA.
The Saint Francis community held our 4th annual March for Life on Friday, January 27. See photos and news coverage.
4th annual March on Mountain held
On a corner of land on campus, corn stalks tower over a small meadow of basil, and banana trees shadow rows of tomatoes. With sidewalks interweaving between areas of growing fruits, vegetables, herbs and more, the path to Torvian Dining Hall has never been more scenic.
Find out how the garden is providing produce and promise
The Dorothy Day Outreach Center (DDOC) at Saint Francis University has announced new hours, effective immediately, to better serve its clients.
English major Tara Fritz describes herself as a strong feminist, standing up for women and all other marginalized people. Her dedication to social justice is reflected in her academics, extra-curriculars and creative writing, and she got an award to prove it.
Read her story
From mission trips to cardiothoracic surgery, Heather McDanials has words of wisdom to offer the Class of 2016 as the speaker for the Graduate Commencement Ceremony.
Read Heather's story
During her time at Saint Francis University, alumna Leah Kessler was heavily involved in clubs and activities. Now, she is spending time on mission trips, serving as a representative for Bausch + Lomb, where she currently works.
Alumni Profile Leah Kessler
Students with a heart for service seem to gravitate to Saint Francis University. Community service is deeply embedded in the culture of the institution, and is one of the six transformational experiences identified in the University’s strategic plan…Francis 2020.
Our heart for service comes from the lessons that our patron St. Francis of Assisi himself imparted on us. St. Francis taught us that those have been given much are expected to give back.
In 2017-18, our students recorded 19,033 hours of community service, valued at more than $459,000 dollars, according to the Independent Source. Service is a way of life for our athletes, Greek communities, and every student organization on campus. Many faculty embed service opportunities in course work and in research projects so students can learn academic content by helping others.
Student who record more than 100 hours of service during their undergraduate years, can "check" community service off their L.I.S.T., and are recognized at the Become that Someone Community Engagement Awards event.
Community-engaged (CE) courses reflect the Carnegie Foundation's tenants of community engagement...the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their large communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. In CE courses, students apply what they are learning in class to meet a community need, guided by their professor and collaborating with a community partner. All students are also required to take Franciscan Values for Today which has a 10 hour service-learning requirement.
SFUServes Ambassador Program pairs students with faculty who are teaching a community-engaged course or who are responsible for large community service projects. The Ambassadors earn wages, as well as gain valuable organizational and leadership skills by assisting faculty. Current Ambassadors are helping faculty with R.O.C.K., American Sign Language, and Center for Watershed Research & Service, Science Outreach Center, WWII Museum, and Institute for Energy, and the Toy Lending Library. Interested in becoming a SFUServes Ambassador? Contact Denise Farabaugh.
Many students choose to spend their spring break serving others, both internationally and domestically. The
HUGS (Helping the Underprivileged by Giving our Service) program welcomes volunteers from all academic disciplines. Health science majors provide medical care and rehabilitation therapy in rural clinics. Spanish minors provide medical translations services. Business majors conduct a micro-lending program.
Science majors restore wetlands and assist at a camp for Bahamian children. Education majors assist at a special needs school. Since 2006, HUGS volunteers have traveled to the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and St. Lucia.
Students also participate in the Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge. In recent years, students have traveled to South Carolina and Florida over spring break.
During the academic year, the CS&L sponsors weekend trips to Altoona, Johnstown and Pittsburgh. Students help at food pantries, the Humane Society and thrift shops.
The University welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with community partners, including non-profits, schools and government agencies who have volunteer and internship needs.
Learn more about becoming an official community partner with Saint Francis University. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find Volunteer Opportunities!
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