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Mount CARiTAS to Help Local Organizations Meet Challenges

June MugoEMMITSBURG, Md. (July 26, 2018) – Drawing on the mission of Mount St. Mary’s University to graduate ethical leaders, Layton Field, Ph.D., an assistant professor of sociology, initiated the Mount Community Advancement Resources in Training, Assessment, and Service (CARiTAS) program with a grant from Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic. The Latin word caritas, defined as “love for humankind,” is based on the Christian virtue of charity—of wanting all good things for others. 

The Mount CARiTAS program will put the resources of the Mount, including the Office of Social Justice, Office of the Provost and Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, at the disposal of local organizations to help meet challenges found in rural areas around campus.  Mount CARiTAS will focus on training, assessment and service in support of the work being done by the Thurmont Ministerium and Emmitsburg’s Seton Center, Inc. 

Professor Field has proposed three objectives for the first year of the grant.  Working with the Seton Center and the Thurmont Ministerium, CARiTAS hopes to increase the number of student volunteers for both organizations, to develop and offer workshops to serve the needs of Seton Center clients and to lay the foundation for a community needs assessment.  Dr. Field would like to empower the Seton Center and the Thurmont Ministerium “to enhance and prolong the incredible work they already do.”

Many of the student volunteers will come from the Mount’s Office of Social Justice. Director Ian Van Anden is excited to match students with positions and projects to meet the community’s needs and help bring meaningful change. “Students will have the opportunity to explore systematic flaws and help implement systematic change,” Van Anden said.

Field will also be aided in his work by June Mugo, C’18, who has been hired as an AmeriCorps VISTA national representative to coordinate the Mount CARiTAS program. Mugo, who majored in sociology with a minor in psychology, said that the Mount prepared her both academically and personally for VISTA. “While being at the Mount,” she reflected, “you learn a lot academically but also about yourself. I want to take time out and do something that is bigger than myself, which is helping others, especially those in need.”

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