About the Center for Civic Engagement

What is the CCE?

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) works with communities within and beyond Binghamton University's campus to provide various rewarding and meaningful opportunities to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. The CCE supports the attainment of academic, personal, and professional growth through civic engagement to develop active and engaged citizens.

University Union 137
Phone: (607) 777-4287
Fax: (607) 777-3099

Professional Staff

allison alden, director

Dr. Allison Alden, Director


Dr. Allison Alden is the Founding Director of the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at Binghamton University. Dr. Alden has been actively engaged in community-based teaching, research, and solution-oriented initiatives for over thirty years and has also directed/facilitated five major externally funded projects focused on organizational change in school districts and human service organizations. As Professor of Practice in the Masters of Public Administration Program, she worked closely with regional leaders in public and nonprofit organizations on community projects and research initiatives. Dr. Alden was the Founding Director of the Center for Applied Community Research and Development, which focuses on the development and application of community-based research in community and economic development, education, health, and other fields within the Southern Tier.
Over the last ten years, Dr. Alden has made over seventy professional presentations and produced nearly twenty publications on topics ranging from intervention strategies for diverse populations placed at risk within educational environments to research on the use of service-learning on college campuses. She has been recognized with awards such as the Innovator Award from the Community and Rural Development Institute of Cornell University, the University and Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Professional Service, and the 2010 Sigma Award for a Career of Distinguished Public Service. Under Dr. Alden's direction, the CCE was awarded the 2011 SUNY Outstanding Student Affairs Program Award for Innovative Use of Social Media and the 2012 SUNY Outstanding Student Affairs Program Award for Community Relations for the Center's outstanding response to the local flooding in September 2011. Dr. Alden received her doctorate in Education—Theory to Practice from Binghamton University.

christie zwahlen, assistant director

Christie Zwahlen, Assistant Director


Christie Zwahlen is the Assistant Director at Binghamton University's Center for Civic Engagement, where she has worked for four years to develop, expand and promote community engagement opportunities for students, faculty and staff. Previously, Christie worked for two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA, designing Service-Learning courses in conjunction with faculty at Thiel College and as the Coordinator of the Bridging the Digital Divide Program at Binghamton University. Christie earned her Master's Degree in English and a Graduate Certificate in Asian & Asian American Studies from Binghamton University in 2009. She is currently enrolled in the English PhD program at Binghamton University.

jessica arends, faculty engagement associate

Dr. Jessica Arends, Faculty Engagement Associate


As the Faculty Engagement Associate, Dr. Jessica Arends supports instructors in developing service-learning courses and publishing community-based research. With over ten years of teaching experience and a Master's in Education from George Washington University, Jessica offers expertise in connecting community engagement with course content and assessing student learning. While earning her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State, Jessica conducted mixed-methods research to measure the impact of service-learning on students and communities in Africa and Pennsylvania which resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and awards. Contact Jessica to talk about community engagement ideas for your course, service-learning course designation, or publishing on community-based teaching or research.

tom lamphere, senior staff assistant

Tom Lamphere, Senior Staff Assistant


Tom Lamphere has been employed at Binghamton University since January of 2008. Since May of 2012 he has been the Senior Staff Assistant at the Center for Civic Engagement, and has also worked in Campus Recreation and the Office of the Division of Student Affairs. Tom has an A.A.S. degree from SUNY - Broome and a B.A. Degree from Binghamton University.

laura reindl, communications specialist

Laura Reindl, Communications Specialist


Laura Reindl joined the Center for Civic Engagement at Binghamton University in the summer of 2014 as Communications Specialist. With a background in Small Business Marketing and Communications, she works to promote the CCE's goals of developing active and engaged citizens through the use of social media, electronic newsletters, web development and print materials targeting students, faculty, staff and community members. Laura is a 2009 graduate of Gettysburg College with a BA in English.

Student Staff

natalie_bockNatalie Bock, Youth Engagement GA

Natalie Bock is the 2014-15 Graduate Assistant for Youth Engagement at the Center for Civic Engagement. After receiving a BA in History at Binghamton University in May 2014, she is now pursuing a MAT in Adolescent Social Studies Education. Her future goals include being a high school social studies teacher, perhaps near her home town of Niagara Falls, NY. Natalie loves learning about the world through travelling and archaeology, as well as meeting new people, so feel free to drop by to say hello and chat about the Youth Engagement program.

Indy LiIndy Li, Community Emergency Response Team GA

Indy Li is the 2014-15 Graduate Assistant heading the CCE's Community Emergence Response Team program and is also the office's "data-cruncher." A first year graduate student studying Biomedical Anthropology, Indy enjoys honing her skills in canning delicious jams and lifting weights at Fitspace when she is not in the CCE office or working in the Lab.

Mei Juan LiangMei Juan Liang, Community Service Recruiter/Office Assistant

Mei Juan Liang is a Community Service Recruiter/Office Assistant at the CCE. Mei works at the front desk and greets visitors as they arrive, helping students find different opportunities to volunteer by signing them up for the student newsletter and helping them to navigate the service listings. She also assists with many other tasks around the CCE office. Mei is a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering.

Nick DoranNick Doran, Vote Everywhere Ambassador

Nick Doran is the Vote Everywhere Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation. Nick is working in conjunction with the Political Engagement Coordination Team to increase political engagement and voter participation on campus, while making voting fun! Nick is a sophomore majoring in Economics, and is also the Secretary of Peace Action BU and Academic Vice President of Newing College Council. In his free time, Nick likes to read and play tennis.

Austin BlumenfeldAustin Blumenfeld, Special Projects Assistant & CCE Radio Show Host

Austin is the host and producer of the CCE Radio Show and also a Special Projects Assistant working with the Political Engagement Coordination Team on campus. A senior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Urban Planning, He is also the president of the Student United Way and involved in local politics. Austin studied abroad in the Czech Republic last semester, and this year he hopes to increase student engagement in service opportunities and engage students in politics at a local level.

Dali LuDali Lu, Bridging the Digital Divide Student Associate

Dali Lu is the Bridging the Digital Divide Student Associate at the CCE. A senior in the School of Management studying Management Information Systems and Entrepreneurship, Dali has been involved with BDDP since 2013, when she headed a team that won the Ernst and Young "Your World, Your Vision" national competition. Her team proposed community computer literacy classes throughout Binghamton coupled with e-waste initiatives on campus. Her work at the CCE now focuses on continuing those initiatives with the Bridging the Digital Divide Program and organizing e-waste drives each semester. Last semester her team collected 3,373 pounds of e-waste.

Erin SmallErin Small, Bridging the Digital Divide Literacy Intern

Erin Small is the Fall 2014 Literacy Intern for the Bridging the Digital Divide Program (BDDP) and a junior Electrical Engineering major. Erin started with the Center for Civic Engagement in Fall of 2013 as the BDDP Refurbishing Intern. Erin used her connection to the Student Volunteer Center (SVC) to help support and provide volunteers for BDDP. Now the secretary of SVC, Erin will continue that organization's relationship with BDDP and the CCE and looks forward helping grow a program with so much potential.

Peter LiuPeter Liu, Web Development and Graphic Design Intern

Peter Liu is the web development and graphic design intern for the Center for Civic Engagement. Peter creates marketing materials that reflect the joint brand of the CCE and Binghamton University and also builds and maintains websites for the CCE and its collaborative efforts such as the Bridging the Digital Divide Project. Peter also serves as an executive board member for both HackBU and Enactus Binghamton. In his free time, Peter loves to sing and play guitar, read, write, and cook delicious vegan meals.


Last Updated: 1/30/15