As the executive director of the Pace Center, I am committed to our values – student leadership, community focus, engaged discovery and impactful programs – and I try to make sure that we are thoughtful about how we are supporting students to become socially responsible citizens. I enjoy talking with students about their service experiences, discussing with faculty the connections between service and learning, and hearing from alumni about the role of service in their lives. I get to work with thoughtful staff across the University and am so lucky to meet community partners who co-educate students with their knowledge and experience. At Princeton, we are “in the nation’s service and the service of humanity;” and our formal motto translates as “Under God She Flourishes.” The Pace Center for Civic Engagement brings together these guiding beliefs to provide meaningful service experiences for Princeton students.
Princeton has been a community that has taught me to value the power of questions, and I was honored to chair the University’s Service and Civic Engagement Self-Study Task Force with Melissa Lane, the Class of 1943 Professor of Politics, in 2014. The question posed to our group was motivating: “What must we do to make service central to the mission of Princeton University?” I’m interested in how communities – their knowledge and their structures – inform the decisions we make. I’m fortunate to work in this space now, and it was really two disasters in 1986, that fueled my interest: the Challenger and Chernobyl. In an attempt to explore the relationship between science and decision-making, I studied molecular and cellular biology in college (Bear Down!) and U.S. science and technology policy in graduate school. In between, I advocated for science-driven policy in Washington, DC, and afterwards, I lectured (with Michael Crow, the president of ASU) on US science and technology policy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and at ASU. While at Columbia, I supported technology transfer, research partnerships and new online efforts. At ASU, I had an amazing job focused on institutional innovation and started a fellowship program to attract early career professionals to higher education. My time at ASU also enabled me to be a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation, where I focused on innovation.
There are awesome pretzels at Pennsylvania Dutch Market in Kingston (only Thursday, Friday and Saturday); bacon cinnamon rolls at Gingered Peach in Lawrenceville (only Saturday and Sunday); and coconut buns and sponge cake at Asian Food Market in Plainsboro (everyday, but get there before noon!). What are your favorite places to snack at around Princeton?