New Graduate Assistant for the Office of Community Service

Samantha Higgins

Maxine Swick from Long Island, NY, has been hired as the new graduate assistant for the Office of Community Service at the University of New Haven. Swick earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Albany, and is now working on her masters in Industrial Organizational at UNH.

Through her new position, she is available for any student, club, or organization that is looking for an opportunity to volunteer in the community. She abides by the Office of Community Service’s mission statement for being responsible for the well-being of the surrounding community and raising awareness about the community’s need.

“Volunteering provides people with an important experience and opportunity for personal growth that you can’t get in other areas of life. As a volunteer, you can always give as little, or as much, as you want; making the experience unique for yourself. With all the opportunities around campus, it can change not only the volunteer’s life, but it can make someone smile and change their life as well,” said Swick.

As the graduate assistant, Swick is in charge of coordinating programs and works to promote civic engagement by offering various community service opportunities throughout the year. She sends out monthly emails to the student body about the volunteer opportunities that are coming up and gives the students a chance to email her and get involved. Some events coming up for the month of October include a Community Walk at Savin Rock Conference Center, Tommy Fund Family Day at C.T. Tennis Center at Yale, a Shubert Community Event at Shubert Theater, Fiesta Latina at the Yale Peabody Museum and the Wicked Good 5k at Lighthouse Point Park.

Along with the monthly community service events, she is also in charge of two main community service events; Alternate Spring Break and the President Public Service Fellowship.

Alternate Spring Break gives students the opportunity to stay on campus over spring break and work in teams giving back to the community at various locations. This program helps students build teamwork and leadership skills, and benefits greater causes by making a huge impact on the community. Any student interested, can apply at the end of the fall semester through the Office of Community Service.

The President Public Service Fellowship is for highly qualified UNH students. For eleven weeks during the months of summer break, students are provided on campus housing and given a stipend of approximately 35 hours of work per week. This programs gives students work experience, builds teamwork and leadership skills, and provides awareness of the needs of the community. These programs build relationships with the New Haven community and show what UNH has to offer through the amazing students that volunteer. Some examples of previous works sites are Life Haven, West Haven Community House, Hew Haven Chamber of Commerce, New Haven Police Department, West Haven Mayor’s Office, IRIS, the Children’s Museum, and the Christian Community Action.

As a fellow, Swick has weekly meetings for discussions, presentations and activities. Qualifications are based on scholastic achievements, experience, campus and community involvement and commitment to the university.

Anyone with questions about the various community service programs offered can contact Swick at [email protected], call 203-478-45856, or meet with her during her office hours; Monday 12 – 5 p.m., Tuesday 9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m., Wednesday 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., or Friday by appointment.