The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement reinforces Niagara’s commitment to the region by strengthening and forming new relationships with all sectors of the community.
Niagara's commitment to service, in particular, serving the poor began in 1856 with our Vincentian heritage. In keeping with this mission, a strategic focus was implemented to extend our reach further by establishing the Institute for Civic Engagement. Since its inception, the Institute has aligned programs and formed new partnerships while strengthening existing relationships. In order to achieve our goals and further our reach into the community several positive changes have emerged.
The Institute is the primary resource for anyone in the community who is looking to partner with Niagara University's students, faculty and staff, in turn building more partnerships within the community. These relationships will facilitate community service opportunities for Niagara University students and faculty, and create conversations that develop collaborative projects for systemic change using a collective impact model.
At the university, the Institute promotes project based learning opportunities that advance students along their person career paths, as well as engaging faculty in collaborative community service.
The Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. Institute for Civic Engagement has accomplished many things in its brief existence. However, the institute has only scratched the surface in terms of the impact that Niagara University’s students, faculty and partners can make in the community.
Since the opening of the Levesque Institute in 2011, many milestones have been achieved by hiring its first director of the Institute and later, Institute coordinator in 2013. Recently marking 20 years for its service learning initiative, the Institute is poised to have even greater IMPACT, all programs have uniquely defined new milestones they will strive to achieve. Goals that include:
- Additional vehicles for Impact/ReNU to increase territory where students can serve
- Strengthen existing relationships
- Increase partnerships to expand geographic reach
- Establish additional funding
- Build upon success stories
- Organizing under four "pillars," to explore new initiatives
- Improve quality and range of service
Community Partner Focus
From preparing meals, serving the homeless, conducting needs assessments or organizing a race to raise money, our Niagara University students help to build meaningful bridges with valuable partners. Heart, Love and Soul is one of many that student's invest their mind, heart and time.