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Public Service Symposium

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Suffolk University - Sargent Hall - 120 Tremont St. Boston, MA 02108

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The purpose of this symposium is to bring together a cross-sector of participants and their organizations to discuss the role of individuals, universities, nonprofits, and the private sector in best practices around engaging our respective populaces in civic life. The Symposium will be a forum for peers to collaborate and share practical strategies, scholarly research, and create applicable best practices both on and off-campus. Each session aims to ensure all participants depart with actionable takeaways, a motivation to continue working toward inclusive civic engagement, and a groundwork for collaborative future actions.


8:30 – 9:00 Registration & Breakfast

9:00 – 9:45 Richard Blanco Reading & Book Signing

10:00 – 11:15 Panel 1: The Role of Universities in Cultivating Spheres of Engagement

11:15 – 12:30 Panel 2: Best Practices: Cases in Activating Will and Capacity to Serve

12:30 – 2:00 Lunch & Student Poster Session

1:00-1:45 Theda Skocpol Address

2:00 – 3:15 Panel 3: Inclusive Civic Engagement

3:15 – 4:00 Closing Reflections & A Call to Action

We look forward to welcoming an esteemed lineup of panelists to this year's symposium!


  • Richard Blanco, President Obama's 2013 Inaugural Poet; Education Ambassador, The Academy of American Poets
  • Theda Skocpol, Founder & Director, Scholars Strategy Network; Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University

Esteemed Panelists:

  • Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, Executive Director, MassVOTE
  • Rachael Cobb, Associate Professor & Chair, Government Department, Suffolk University
  • Gregg Croteau, CEO, UTEC, Inc.
  • Lew Finfer, Co-Director, Massachusetts Communities Action Network
  • Adam Gismondi, Director of Impact, Institute for Democracy and Higher Ed, Tisch School, Tufts University
  • Emily Haber, Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts Service Alliance
  • Kimberly D. Lucas, Open Data Manager, Department of Innovation and Technology, City of Boston
  • Rebecca Michelson, Design Researcher, Make the Breast Pump Not Suck
  • Caryn Musil, Senior Scholar and Director of Civic Learning and Democracy Initiatives, Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • Alexandra Valdez, Director of Engagement for Economic Mobility Lab, Mayor’s Office of Policy, City of Boston
  • ...and more, coming soon!



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