About the Center for Civic Engagement

What is the CCE?

The Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) works with communities within and beyond Binghamton University's campus to provide various rewarding and meaningful opportunities to students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. The CCE supports the attainment of academic, personal, and professional growth through civic engagement to develop active and engaged citizens.

CCE Advisory Council

The CCE is supported by an advisory council, an active body of faculty, staff, students and community members that meet regularly to provide program guidance, networking opportunities, and services such as course designation application review. Send inquiries about the council to cce@binghamton.edu.

University Union 137
Phone: (607) 777-4287
Fax: (607) 777-3099

Professional Staff

allison alden, director

Allison Alden, EdD


Allison Alden, EdD, is the founding director of the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at Binghamton University. Alden has been actively engaged in community-based teaching, research, and solution-oriented initiatives for over thirty years and has also directed/facilitated five major externally funded projects focused on organizational change in school districts and human service organizations. As Professor of Practice in the master of public administration program, she worked closely with regional leaders in public and nonprofit organizations on community projects and research initiatives. Alden was the founding director of the Center for Applied Community Research and Development, which focuses on the development and application of community-based research in community and economic development, education, health and other fields within the Southern Tier.
Over the last ten years, Alden has made over seventy professional presentations and produced nearly twenty publications on topics ranging from intervention strategies for diverse populations placed at risk within educational environments to research on the use of service-learning on college campuses. She has been recognized with awards such as the Innovator Award from the Community and Rural Development Institute of Cornell University, the University and Chancellor's Awards for Excellence in Professional Service and the 2010 Sigma Award for a Career of Distinguished Public Service. Under Alden's direction, the CCE was awarded the 2011 SUNY Outstanding Student Affairs Program Award for Innovative Use of Social Media and the 2012 SUNY Outstanding Student Affairs Program Award for Community Relations for the Center's outstanding response to the local flooding in September 2011. Alden received her doctorate in Education — Theory to Practice from Binghamton University.

christie zwahlen, assistant director

Christie Zwahlen, Assistant Director


Christie Zwahlen is the Assistant Director at Binghamton University's Center for Civic Engagement, where she has worked for four years to develop, expand and promote community engagement opportunities for students, faculty and staff. Previously, she worked for two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA, designing Service-Learning courses in conjunction with faculty at Thiel College and as the Coordinator of the Bridging the Digital Divide Program at Binghamton University. She earned her master's degree in English and a Graduate Certificate in Asian & Asian American Studies from Binghamton University in 2009. She is currently enrolled in the English PhD program at Binghamton University.

jessica arends, faculty engagement associate

Jessica Arends, PhD
Faculty Engagement Associate


As the Faculty Engagement Associate, Jessica Arends supports instructors in developing service-learning courses and publishing community-based research. With over ten years of teaching experience and a master's degree in education from George Washington University, she offers expertise in connecting community engagement with course content and assessing student learning. While earning her doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Penn State, she conducted mixed-methods research to measure the impact of service-learning on students and communities in Africa and Pennsylvania which resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and awards. Contact her to talk about community engagement ideas for your course, service-learning course designation or publishing on community-based teaching or research.

tom lamphere, senior staff assistant

Tom Lamphere, Senior Staff Assistant


Tom Lamphere has been employed at Binghamton University since January of 2008. Since May of 2012 he has been the Senior Staff Assistant at the Center for Civic Engagement, and has also worked in Campus Recreation and the Office of the Division of Student Affairs. Lamphere has an associate degree from SUNY - Broome and a bachelor's degree from Binghamton University. He is on the Board of Directors of the Broome County Council of Churches, the Binghamton Police Athletic League and the Schools to Careers Partnership. He is also actively involved in golf, tennis and softball leagues. He serves as Treasurer for the Volunteer Administrators of the Southern Tier and Sarah Jane Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church. In his "free" time, he is a member of 3 choirs and has a love of music.

laura reindl, communications specialist

Laura Reindl, Communications Specialist


Laura Reindl supports the work of the Center for Civic Engagement at in her role as communications specialist. With a background in private sector marketing and communications, she works to promote the CCE's goals of developing active and engaged citizens through the use of social media, electronic newsletters, web development and print materials targeting students, faculty, staff and community members. She is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a bachelor's degree in English.

Alison Handy Twang, Research & Development Specialist

Alison Handy Twang is the research & development specialist at the Center for Civic Engagement. In this role, she analyzes data on faculty and student engagement in the community, and works collaboratively with CCE staff, faculty and other offices to promote and recognize community-engaged work, and secure resources to support community engagement initiatives. Before joining CCE, she worked in the nonprofit sector, focusing on performance measurement/evaluation, grant making, fund development and student and young adult engagement. She received her bachelor's degree in political science and master's degree in public administration from Binghamton University. She serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Binghamton/Broome County, and in her free time enjoys hiking in the Adirondack Mountains. She currently resides in Binghamton with her husband, Dylan, and their chocolate lab, Keene.

Student Staff

Indy LiIndy Li, Community Emergency Response Team GA

Indy Li is the 2015-16 graduate assistant heading the Community Emergence Response Team program and is also the office's "data-cruncher." A second-year graduate student studying Biomedical Anthropology, she enjoys honing her skills in canning delicious jams and lifting weights at Fitspace when she is not in the CCE office or working in the lab.

Dai NewmanDai Newman, Bridging the Digital Divide GA

Dai Newman is the 2015-2016 graduate assistant coordinating the Bridging the Digital Divide Program. After receiving a bachelor's degree in history at Binghamton University, she is pursuing a master's degree in public administration. Her professional experience includes journalism, marketing and working with local non-profits in the field of public education, such as libraries and museums. Focused on sustainable development, community building and economic equity, she hopes to work serving the public. She serves on the boards of the League of Women Voters of Broome and Tioga Counties and the Czechoslovak-Moravia Club and is the Salvation Army Coordinator for the Apalachin-Campville area. She is also the Healthy Campus Agent for the CCE office, working to promote health and wellness among staff and students. In her free time she enjoys gardening, cooking and bike riding.

Mei Juan LiangMei Juan Liang, Community Service Recruiter/Office Assistant

Mei Juan Liang is a Community Service Recruiter/Office Assistant at the CCE. She works at the front desk and greets visitors as they arrive, helping students find different opportunities to volunteer by signing them up for the student newsletter and helping them to navigate the service listings. She also assists with many other tasks around the CCE office. She is a junior majoring in electrical engineering.

Nick DoranNick Doran, Vote Everywhere Ambassador

Nick Doran is a Vote Everywhere Ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation. He is working in conjunction with the Political Engagement Coordination Team to increase political engagement and voter participation on campus, while making voting fun! He is a junior majoring in economics and is also the secretary of Peace Action BU and academic vice president of Newing College Council. In his free time, he likes to read and play tennis.


Last Updated: 9/1/15