A Message Regarding Community Partnerships with UMass Amherst Civic Engagement & Service-Learning (CESL)

Dear UMass Amherst Civic Engagement & Service-Learning (CESL) Community Partners,

We are sending wishes for well-being to you, your loved ones, and your communities given the spread of COVID-19.

Due to increased public health concerns, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has announced that our campus will be moving to remote instruction from March 23 (after our Spring Break) through April 3.  We will know by April 1 whether distance learning will need to be extended beyond April 3 until the end of the semester, and we will continue to keep you updated on this and other CESL related engagement. Please note that UMass Amherst updates related to COVID-19 can be found here

In most, if not all, circumstances students partnering with your organization through CESL courses and programs will not continue their in-person work with you during the period of remote learning---as most students will no longer be on campus. In addition, we are also well aware that you may not wish to have students coming to your organization during this time as well. Please be in contact with us if you have specific requests and/or questions (see contact info below for who on the CESL staff you should be in contact with).

We are, of course, very concerned about the effects of reduced student volunteers/interns on our community partners during this time and want to be as supportive and responsive as possible.  Please reach out to Chris Felton, CESL Community Partnership Coordinator (cfelton@cesl.umass.edu), or your CESL faculty partner (contact info below), if time allows, to explore ways that CESL can assist in responding under the current circumstances. Also (and there is no expectation for this in any way), if you have work for your CESL volunteers/interns to do remotely (on-line), please contact the professor of those students to discuss possibilities.

Lastly, in the interest of well-being and safety, we are cancelling our community partner breakfast scheduled for March 24th in Holyoke. We look forward to gathering in the future and will be back in touch when we are able to reschedule our time together.

We recognize that this is a unique time for all of us, and we are committed to the flexibility and open communication that are necessary during this time to maintain and enhance our partnerships. We send our warmest regards and our best wishes of support and solidarity during this challenging time.

Best regards,


Joseph Krupczynski

Director, Civic Engagement & Service-Learning / UMass Amherst


CONTACT INFO: Spring 2020 CESL Faculty/Staff Contact Information:


Chris Felton, cfelton@cesl.umass.edu

Community Partnership Coordinator

ph. 413-577-4255

Deborah Keisch, dkeisch@umass.edu

Lecturer / Community Scholars Program Director

ph. 413-577-4253

Ellen Correa, ecorrea@umass.edu

Lecturer / The Boltwood Project Program Director

ph. 413-545-5725

Katja Hahn D’Errico, katjahahn@educ.umass.edu

Lecturer / Impact Program Director

ph. 413-577-4253

Nicole Nemec, nnemec@honors.umass.edu

Senior Lecturer, Commonwealth Honors College (CHC)

ph. 413-545-2483

Joseph Krupczynski, jkrup@umass.edu

Director, Civic Engagement & Service-Learning / UMass Amherst