Civic Engagement at UMA

UMA Civic Engagement connects and coordinates the many different classes, events, programs, and opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to get involved in their communities. Our goals are to strengthen the personal and academic development of our students, build our UMA community, and connect our students to the greater society through service, civic activities, and community leadership.

Civic Engagement and Service Learning have broad and sometimes fluid definitions and usages, and are often used interchangeably. For the purposes of clarity, UMA Civic Engagement uses the following working definitions:

Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.

— Thomas Ehrlich, Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, 2000

Service-learning incorporates community work into the curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community.

— Campus Compact

UMA Civic Engagement is co-coordinated by Janet Smith, Executive Director of New Ventures Maine, and Zachary Roth, Assistant Professor of Psychology. Our leadership team also includes Jean Dempster and Thomas Grogan of New Ventures Maine.

In addition, UMA Civic Engagement is led by a large Steering Committee comprised of Faculty, Staff, and Students who are committed to civic engagement, service learning, volunteering, and other community work at UMA and in the greater state of Maine. Membership to the Civic Engagement Steering Committee is open and flexible.

Want to join our Steering Committee? Contact or

Are you involved in civic engagement at UMA? We want to hear from students, staff, and faculty and highlight the many ways to be involved. Tell us about your experiences!

Are you looking for ways to get involved in your community? Contact to hear about available opportunities.