Assumption, Catholic Relief Services Sign Agreement to Serve Those in Need Though Education, Prayer and Action
Carolyn Woo, Ph.D., CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., have signed an agreement that makes Assumption the first institution of higher learning in New England – and ninth in the nation – to become an official CRS Global Campus. The partnership was signed following a number of on-campus efforts to educate the Assumption community about pressing humanitarian crises throughout the world.
As outlined in the agreement signed between CRS and Assumption on May 6, the goals of the partnership are to promote global solidarity through an institutional partnership between the institution and CRS that engages the three core constituencies of the College: institutional, faculty and students. Assumption students can participate as CRS Student Ambassadors on campus and the CRS Faculty Learning Commons program provides numerous educational resources for faculty and student engagement. Finally, an interdisciplinary CRS advisory group is tasked with sustaining the partnership and supporting broad engagement with CRS on campus, including during major global emergencies.
“As a Catholic Relief Services Global Campus, Assumption joins a worldwide effort to call attention to, and serve, those in the greatest of need,” said President Cesareo. “Through this new opportunity, students and faculty will have access to significant resources such as experts who are addressing pressing humanitarian matters throughout the developed and underdeveloped world. Assumption students are challenged to discover their gifts and talents and use what they have learned in the classroom to improve the world in which they live. I am hopeful that many students will be inspired by the work of CRS and use their knowledge in service to the least among us.”
“We are so pleased that Assumption is becoming a CRS Global Campus,” said Dr. Woo. “Just as we hope that your community will gain from this interaction with the work that CRS does with the poor around the world, we know that we will benefit from the energy, the expertise and the idealism that your students, faculty and administrators bring to this partnership.”
Prior to signing the agreement, the institution collaborated with CRS on a number of initiatives. Following an earthquake in 2015 that devastated Nepal, the Assumption community united to raise funds to support CRS relief efforts on the ground in Nepal. On campus, the CRS Advisory Board – comprised of students, faculty and staff — hosted information sessions on climate change, fair trade and sponsored a Hounds4CRS event that raised awareness as well as $6,700 for CRS. Faculty have already begun to engage with CRS in a professional capacity, participating in CRS trainings in Boston and Baltimore. This June, Cary LeBlanc, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing and management, will travel to Ghana to participate in an academically rigorous program addressing the need for sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene practices.
According to CRS, the Global Campus designation provides faculty, students, and administrators the opportunity to integrate the practice of global solidarity into the life of the institution. CRS also shares that the designation provides an opportunity to enrich academic programs through information from, and interaction with, CRS experts working on the front lines of global issues. At least three faculty members per year from each CRS Global Campus participate in the CRS Faculty Learning Commons (FLC) and promote the program among their colleagues. The FLC is an online learning community and curricular resource that highlights the latest strategies for global relief and development with special emphasis on the application of CRS’ justice lens and opportunities for building global solidarity.