Events and Programs

Best Attended Match Up Yet!

The USF Office of Community Engagement University-Community Match Up on October 21, 2015 at MOSI was our best-attended Match Up yet. Current and potential community partners from a wide range of local non-profit organizations as well as USF faculty, staff, and students came together seeking to partner to strengthen our local community and global projects.

All attendees had the opportunity to introduce themselves before breaking into three groups: 1) an introductory session led by OCEP Associate Director Lance Arney, during which OCEP, the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, and Career Services shared the avenues to partnership; 2) a service-learning roundtable led by OCEP Strategic Communications Director Bonnie Silvestri, in which faculty and community partners shared best practices for effective service-learning opportunities; and 3) a discussion on effective partnering led by OCEP Director of Community Partnerships Jennifer Webb.

Participants in the October Match Up learned about the myriad of ways they can create university-community partnerships
Participants in the October Match Up learned about the myriad of ways they can create university-community partnerships.

The energy in the room was palpable as the gathered attendees shared their passions for helping others and improving community-based programs to enhance our collective quality of life. One of the panelists, Dr. Jennifer Friedman, who together with Dr. Laurel Graham, is teaching a service-learning class said: "What was overwhelming to me was how eager community partners are to engage with students. Community partners clearly want to attract students for meaningful projects with their organizations. They can benefit from the academic skills of students, as well as the perspective of the younger generation, which, in many cases, is more closely aligned with the ages of the people served by many of these organizations."

She continued, "Furthermore, in teaching the service-learning class this semester, it is clear to me that the students are hungry for the opportunity to engage, so events like this one are very important for the vitality of the university."

If you made a partnership or a connection through this event, we would love to hear about it! E-mail us at with your feedback about the connections you made or hope to make with others at the event.

If you missed it, join us for the next one. We hold these events every semester! If you need help finding a university or community partner, you can contact Jennifer Webb at