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Maxwell School
Maxwell / Citizenship

Student Profiles


Andrea Lopez, Class of 2016

Andrea came to Syracuse University from San Juan, Puerto Rico to pursue a degree in International [EPH1]  Relations. When she got to campus, Andrea learned about the new Maxwell major in Citizenship and Civic Engagement and knew it would enhance her IR major and help her pursue her personal interests. Being from Puerto Rico, she is drawn to study Latin America, language, and culture. Along with these interests, Andrea finds herself more and more interested in the rising role of NGO’s in this country.

Andrea was to drawn Syracuse from Puerto Rico by the energy she found generated by the University’s student body as well as the prestige of Syracuse academics. She chose to double major with Citizenship and Civic Engagement because, “I am passionate being involved in the community; that is what being a citizen is all about. But much more than that, the CCE major promotes personal growth and prepares you to engage in the community.” Putting CCE in a global context, Andrea spent the fall semester of her junior year studying abroad in Santiago, Chile as part of one of our SU abroad programs. During the past three years, Andrea has had an internship with the Office of Cultural Engagement for the Hispanic Community and is interning with the Institute of Culture in Puerto Rico during summer, 2015. For the latter, she is helping the organization get in contact with different cultural centers in the United States.

Andrea became involved with La Casita Cultural Center during the fall semester of her sophomore year, and decided to continue to work there as part of her MAX 301 community placement requirement. As an intern, she researched the demographics of the community who lives on the west-side of Syracuse. Once the research was complete, she compiled a report and presented the data to the staff at Center and was able to show how her research could serve the community more effectively. Andrea’s experience with this organization was incredibly rewarding, so she decided to continue working with the staff into her junior on various projects that support the Spanish speaking communities in Syracuse.

For Andrea’s MAX 302 research project, she studied the role cultural centers play in the community. She used her connection with La Casita Cultural Center as a case study. More information coming. She is looking to continue using La Casita for her MAX 401 action plan by helping the organization to develop a transition or adjustment program for Hispanic immigrants who have just arrived to Syracuse. Her goal is to help with the cultural adjustment immigrants experience coming to the US as well as the economic, labor, and language adjustment.

Would you like to know more about Andrea’s opportunities and experiences at Syracuse University? Feel free to email her with any questions at 

Elizabeth Hayes, Class of 2016

Elizabeth is a double major with Geography and Citizenship & Civic Engagement. On campus, she is active in University 100. As a part of this organization, she provides campus tours to prospective students and their families and assists the office of admissions with various tasks. Elizabeth has been a part of the Syracuse University/ESF chapter of Habitat for Humanity and acted as the volunteer coordinator for two years. She participates as a Global Ambassador for the Syracuse University Abroad office and is involved with the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Team for which she mentors first year students.

Fall semester sophomore year, Elizabeth completed her community placement at Syracuse Community Geography (SCG) with Professor Jonnell Robinson. SCG’s mission is to aid other non-profit organizations in Syracuse that are in need of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) analysis. For example, if an organization needs to determine the most advantageous location to place a food bank so it can best aid the Syracuse population, SCG can provide geographical analysis. The organization is also heavily involved with the Onondaga Citizens League and is responsible for many of the community garden in Syracuse. During her internship with SCG, Elizabeth was able to do research for the Onondaga Citizens League on their annual project to determine the benefits or downsides of a universal pre-k system in Syracuse.

The summer after her sophomore year, Elizabeth interned with Representative Dan Maffei in Washington DC. This opportunity allowed her to better understand the inner workings of congress and gain professional experience working in an office setting. Her responsibilities included answering phone calls from constituents, writing letters, and attending congressional hearings and taking notes to brief the office on the interesting topic. “Through this experience”, Elizabeth says, “I learned about the issues my district, which includes Syracuse, is concerned with and how a congressional office goes about addressing those concerns. It really opened my eyes to the importance of citizenship and being civically involved!”

Fall semester of her junior year, Elizabeth spent her time in South Africa through one of SU’s World Partner Programs. The organization is call SIT, or School for International Training, and the program was entitled Multiculturalism and Human Rights. SIT believes in experiential learning so Elizabeth was able to live with four different host families of different racial and socio-economic backgrounds to experience all aspects of South African life. Also as a apart of the program, she performed an independent research project. The research studied the effects of gentrification on the social, economic, and cultural landscapes of Bo Kaap, a neighborhood in Cape Town. Elizabeth continued this research for her MAX 302 research project, but applied her knowledge to studying gentrification as it is happening in Brooklyn, New York. She is hoping to work toward publishing this research in the future.

Want to know more about Syracuse Community Geography? You can find the link here:

Have any questions for Elizabeth? You may email her at

Jason Ashley, Class of 2016

We expect a lot from our schools.  I learned this through my community placement with Say Yes to Education.  Schools must provide an education (whatever that means), be safe, be part of a community, lift people out of poverty, prepare people for a future job market, and provide ample opportunity for distinction.. the list goes on and on.  I wondered, however, going into my CCE research course, if our teachers felt prepared to meet these varied demands.  So I asked them.  Through an online survey encompassing five schools in five districts across all grade levels and subject areas, I was able to glean some insight into teachers’ perceptions on their own preparedness.  Turns out they think that teacher education is an inadequate experience for fully preparing one for a classroom.  I presented these findings at the Equity and Social Justice conference in Buffalo, NY and they will be published in The Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education

MAX 302 reinforced my love of research and data, which helped guide me to one of the most influential data-driven child advocacy organizations in the nation: The Education Trust.  I was graciously awarded a CCE Summer Engagement Grant, which afforded me the financial stability to be able to pursue an internship in the Government Affairs and Communications division of Ed Trust in Washington.  While helping their advocacy efforts during the reauthorization of ESEA, I learned the true meaning of holding schools responsible for closing the achievement gap between low-income students and students of color.  One of the beliefs people have in the American Education system is that it equalizes opportunity.  Not only does it not do that, but our current system reinforces privilege, funneling “dangerous” students from school to prison, being complacent with inequity, and providing curricula that whitewashes history.  This is the system I will be taking aim at in my Action Plan, a topic I could not have hoped to have broached without CCE.  Indeed, the opportunities provided to me through CCE have shaped my entire life trajectory.  


Carolee Lantigua, Class of 2017

Carolee is a triple major in Political Science, Policy Studies, and Citizenship & Civic Engagement. She is a part of the Renee Crown Honors Program. Carolee participates in Young Scholars, a weekly mentoring program at the local Boy & Girls club that focuses on the Somali-Bantu community. She has been involved with this organization since her freshman year and hope to continue through her senior year. She is a part of Dean’s Team, a mentorship program through the College of Arts and Sciences to help first year students with academics, and also assists the College of Arts and Sciences with admission, recruitment, and opening weekend activities. Carolee also holds two job with Hendricks Chapel. She acts as a proctor in the Deans Suite and as a Building Coordinator, helping to set up events and university lectures.

Carolee has recently been selected to be a McNair Scholar. For the scholarship, she will be conducting some independent research which she hopes can translate into her MAX 302 research project and Honors Capstone. 

Through the guidance of the CCE staff, she discovered her MAX 301 community placement with Girls Inc. which she completed the spring semester of her sophomore year. Girls Inc. is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower girls to become strong, smart, and bold through various workshops and programs. Carolee was in charge of various outreach tactics including poster designs, application reviews, and event coordination. Towards the end, she was able to co-lead in the coordination and planning of Girl Inc. Career Summit and also facilitated some workshops and meetings with her supervisor.

If you have any questions for Carolee, you may contact her at

Seth Quam, Class of 2017

Seth is a triple major in Broadcast and Digital Journalism, Geography, and Citizenship and Civic Engagement. He hopes to be able to fit a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies into his schedule in the future. On campus, Seth is involved with the Club Volleyball Team, Orange Appeal a cappella, Hendricks Chapel Choir, Citrus TV Analyst/Beat Reporter, and is an Orientation Leader.

For Seth’s MAX 301 community placement, he worked at the Atlantic States Legal Foundation. ASLF is a Syracuse not-for-profit which deals with environmental issues. Seth helped to write a proposal for land on the Onondaga Lake Cleanup Site to be restored to natural prairie grasses and eventually used for biofuel.

This summer he is interning at another environmental not-for-profit nearly his home town in Glen Ellyn, Illinois called SCARCE, or School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting. SCARCE receives donations of books and schools supplies from school districts, residents, and all over and then puts out these items for other teachers and non-profits to utilize for free. Most of these books would have gone into the garbage. Now, the organization has returned more than 5 million books to schools and communities that need them. SCARCE provides education to the community, is active in presenting at schools, organizes events and tables all over the area to get information to the public, organizes recycling extravaganzas, and facilitates graduate level courses, just to name a few. As an intern, Seth has had the opportunity to be involved in all the organization offers.

For his MAX 302 project, Seth is considering researching how to implement curbside composting in Syracuse. 40% of the food produced in America is thrown away. The industrial agricultural system causes extreme environmental and social problems and the result is more food than can be consumed. After the food is thrown away, it goes into a landfill where it produces methane gas that is harmful to our atmosphere and contributes to global warming. If the food is composted before it is thrown away, it can be turned back into rich, natural fertilizer for our soil. Seth is very passionate about this issue and CCE is allowing a platform for which he can dive further into his interest.

Do you want to know more about Seth’s internships or his MAX 302 project? Feel free to email him with any questions at 


Meredith Coccoluto, Class of 2018

Meredith is an International Relations and Citizenship & Civic Engagement double major. She lived in the International Relations learning community her freshman year and is a member of the model UN club at SU. She hopes to be studying abroad in London her sophomore year.

She will be working to secure a community placement for MAX 301 and is excited to see what CCE has to offer!

If you have any questions for Meredith, you may contact her at