What We Do

The Community Engagement & Volunteer Center (CEVC) connects students and faculty with meaningful, community-based experiences to co-create just and sustainable communities. 

Students can get involved through local volunteer opportunities, Alternative Breaks, peer leadership, and paid positions within Harrisonburg schools and nonprofit organizations.  

By connecting with CEVC, you will find your people, shift your perspective, ignite your passion, and discover your purpose. 

Our Mission, Vision, and Values


We cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships between students, faculty, and community organizations that address community-identified priorities and contribute to student learning.  


Students are co-creators of just and sustainable communities.  


Accountability: We accept responsibility for our actions, admit mistakes, and lead by example. 

Equity: We actively pursue fairness to combat injustice. 

Humility: We respect the members of the communities in which we work and recognize their expertise. We acknowledge and honor the differences that inform our interactions.  

Intentionality: We collaborate with campus and community partners to co-create positive outcomes and promote learning.  

Learning: We believe the pursuit of knowledge and skills is critical to life-long engagement and growth. 

Relationships: We foster interactions that build trust and understanding while considering the assets of others. 

Service: We prioritize community-identified needs and strive to exceed expectations. 

Our History

Founded in 1986 by JMU faculty members, Dr. Cecil Bradfield (Sociology) and Ann Myers (Social Work), the Community Engagement & Volunteer Center has created partnerships committed to thoughtful and meaningful community engagement across campus. 

1986: CEVC was founded as the Center for Service-Learning by Dr. Cecil Bradfield, professor of Sociology and R. Ann Myers, professor of Social Work.

1988-89: 350 students were placed in semester- or year-long engagement opportunities with 20 community agencies or programs. Another 300 students participated in episodic or short-term projects.

1993: The center initiated a “relief trip” to Homestead, Florida to assist in rebuilding from the disastrous effects of Hurricane Andrew. This first trip consisted of 50 students and staff leaders and became the JMU Alternative Break Program (ABP).

1994: The center began coordinating Federal Work Study opportunities in the community, eventually developing a cohort model.

1996: The center changed its name to Community Service-Learning (CS-L).

1999: “Break Away” named JMU Alternative Break Program national program of the year program of the year, recognizing JMU’s commitment to active citizenship.

2000: Alumni Alternative Breaks began and CS-L continued to offer them until 2007.

2003: CS-L became a "stand-alone” department within Student Affairs.

2010: “Break Away” named JMU Alternative Break Program national program of the year for the second time.

2014: CS-L moved into the newly renovated Student Success Center, joining over a dozen JMU departments to create a shared structure committed to supporting students in developing the knowledge, skills, attitudes to become educated and enlightened citizens who lead productive and meaningful lives.

2014The Madison Community Scholars program originated by the David (’93) and Becky (’93) Thomas and Daisy (’80) and Thomas Byrd families to enhance the capacity of local community organizations to address goals while strengthening leadership, organizational and interpersonal skills of JMU students.

2021: CS-L began establishing partnerships to become an Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR) chapter. This included housing refugee families for the first time. By the following year, JMU became the fourteenth Every Campus a Refuge (ECAR) chapter.

2023: CS-L received the Compass Award from the JMU Office of Inclusive Excellence & Engagement for outstanding contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

2023CS-L became the Community Engagement & Volunteer Center (CEVC).


The Community Engagement & Volunteer Center (CEVC) works with over 100 community partners locally, nationally, and globally to reach community-identified goals with the support of students and faculty. 

To discuss becoming a community or faculty partner, contact us at: 
cevc@jmu.edu or (540) 568-6366. 

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