New Office of Community-Based Learning

September 5, 2017
I am pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Meghan Ashlin Rich, Associate Professor of Sociology/Criminal Justice and Women’s Studies, as the Faculty Coordinator of a new Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL), which is supported through the strategic plan priority initiatives fund.

Dr. Rich will bring to this work extensive experience teaching community-based learning courses, such as Urban Sociology, and engaging in community-based research, including projects related to Scranton’s South Side neighborhood. On the national level in her academic discipline of sociology, Dr. Rich was recently elected Chair of the Division of Community Development and Research of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. She is well-versed in integrating CBL into curriculum and coursework and is eager to continue these efforts through this new leadership position.

The appointment of Dr. Rich and this new Office of CBL is the culmination of a 2016 study process that included research, benchmarking, review, and discussion related to existing and potential CBL activities. The study was conducted by a committee of faculty identified by the Faculty Senate and staff and administrators from relevant departments. The Office will move forward now to strengthen and expand CBL activities across the University, reflecting our commitment to a reciprocal relationship that addresses both student learning and societal issues.

As Dr. Rich begins her work this fall, she will be working from within my office, and supported by a broadly representative CBL Board (listed below) that will help facilitate connections across campus and with the external Scranton community.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Rich in her new role. I look forward to working with her and the CBL Board as we seek to further engage with the hopes, concerns, challenges, and opportunities facing the city and region we are proud to call home.


Joseph Dreisbach
Interim Provost/Senior VP Academic Affairs