About Us

Suffolk's Center for Community Engagement (previously S.O.U.L.S.) was founded in 1997 to engage the Suffolk University community in meaningful service work.


Through transformational experiential learning opportunities and mutually beneficial partnerships, the Center for Community Engagement aims to cultivate and inspire the Suffolk community with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be active and globally responsible citizens prepared to address social issues locally and beyond.


The Center for Community Engagement develops programs that:

  • integrate practical experience in the community with classroom learning
  • help students gain a deeper, hands-on understanding of social justice issues
  • help students establish an ethic of service, achieve personal growth, and develop their leadership skills
  • express and promote the value and acceptance of diversity in our communities
  • are based in mutually beneficial partnerships and reciprocity

Community Engagement

The Center for Community Engagement at Suffolk University has adopted the following definition of community engagement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching: 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.

Meet Our Staff 

Headshot of Yvette Velez.

Yvette Velez, Associate Director, Community Partnerships

Mena Vollano

Mena Vollano, Administrative Coordinator 

Honors and Awards

Suffolk University is recognized as a leader among institutions of higher education for engaging its students, faculty and staff in meaningful community service opportunities.

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