Center for Ethics & Civic Engagement

Mission Statement

The Center for Ethics & Civic Engagement develops pathways for students to become socially responsible leaders and citizens who are prepared to create positive change in the world. 

About the Center

Students involved with the Center are encouraged to become active citizens by learning about and building the capacities of their local communities. As they find creative, effective ways to serve their campus, local and global communities, they also make valuable connections and develop professional skills and competencies. 

The Center also has a federal work-study program for students interested in positively impacting their communities while receiving financial support for their college endeavors. 

For more information about work-study through the Center for Ethics and Civic Engagement, email the Director of the Center for Ethics and Civic Engagement Vippy Yee.

Center Initiatives

The Center was launched in the fall of 2018 with a commitment to equitable education and access, sustainability, and voter education and engagement. The Center engages students in non-profit internships, community-based learning assignments, volunteer opportunities with community partners, and campus civic engagement events. 

In the fall of 2019, the Center launched a community-based federal work study program (CBFWS) for students to earn their federal work study awards while working off-campus. Program participants can typically earn up to $3500 per academic year through placements with Penn State Brandywine’s community partners. Students have the opportunity to develop professional skills and experience while helping to build the capacity of local schools, non-profit organizations, and public service agencies.   

The Center regularly runs campus-wide voter registration and education campaigns that include voter registration drives, non-partisan candidate guides, and Get out the Vote public service announcements featuring Penn State community members.  

In Spring 2020, the Center launched the Presidential Mock Nominating Convention — a campus-wide, non-partisan, simulated presidential nominating convention and research project that involved hundreds of students, staff and faculty. This new tradition will occur every four years and is designed to provide students with leadership and social opportunities, create a fun new campus tradition, develop the civic capacity of students, and increase our campus visibility in our local communities.  

The Center’s annual MLK Day of Service Celebrations bring together Penn State students and community members to focus on acts of kindness, inclusion and artistic expressions of Dr. King’s legacy. This community-wide effort involves student clubs and benefits local and national non-profit organizations. 

In Fall 2020, the Center partnered with Student Affairs to launch the Campus Food Pantry, managed and operated by students, for students. Located on the 2nd floor of the Commons Building, students in need can place orders online or opt for self-service. 

Faculty, staff and students also use the Center to connect with Penn State Brandywine’s community partners. By working with these entities, students involved with the Center learn the importance of community and public service while gaining valuable educational experiences outside of the classroom.  

Civic and Community Engagement

Many of the Brandywine students who volunteer with the center opt to pursue a minor in Civic and Community Engagement (CIVCM). The CIVCM minor uses a balanced program of fieldwork and classroom experience to help Brandywine students integrate community engagement into their academic and professional careers. 

For more information about the CIVCM minor, contact program coordinator Lynn Hartle or visit the program’s official webpage

Brandywine students can also engage with the Center through partnership with the CIVCM Club, a student-run organization that plans volunteer opportunities throughout the year and encourages students to develop leadership and character through community service. 

For more information about the CIVCM club, contact the organization’s student leaders

Learn More and Connect 

To learn more about the Center for Ethics & Civic Engagement, contact Center director Vippy Yee at [email protected], 610-892-1335 or visit