Meet the CPGC: Emily Johnson
This semester we’re profiling the staff and faculty who are part of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship. This week, meet Emily Johnson, Program Coordinator for the Marilou Allen Office of Service and Community Collaboration
In her two years as program coordinator of the Marilou Allen Office of Service and Community Collaboration (OSCC), Emily Johnson has already shown a deep commitment to supporting students and the Ardmore community that Haverford College’s campus is situated in. And with the OSCC’s recent restructuring under the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship and the Dean’s Office’s Diversity Access & Community Engagement team, a decades-long collaboration towards that commitment has been bolstered even more.
“For long before my time,” Emily says, “the CPGC and the Office of Service worked closely together - the work of both are centered around ethical civic engagement, getting students and the Haverford community off campus and connected to their neighbors, and welcoming these same neighbors to campus, though typically the OSCC focuses on co-curricular programming. In my role, this goes a step further, with really intentional bridging of the Dean's and the Provost's Offices.”
Founded by students in 1978 and previously known as 8th Dimension, Haverford’s volunteer office was rededicated to Marilou Allen, the office’s director for 34 years, shortly after Emily’s arrival in 2018. Emily and a core of student staff have carried on this cornerstone of a Haverford education in the same spirit of community respect and student experience that Marilou instilled.
“I think the most challenging and one of the most important things about the work is overcoming the potential [of students] to overthink and end up doing nothing. Of course one of the special and amazing things about Haverford is how thoughtful everyone is, and this deepness of thought can sometimes stall a good intention. We offer opportunities for real tangible and direct action, resulting in benefits to the community we serve and valuable connections and experiences for the students.”
Prior to joining the Haverford staff, Emily spent over a decade managing co-curricular service events at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, a school smaller than Haverford but with similar commitments to academic rigor and student engagement. Building on that experience, Emily has quickly gotten involved with a number of campus initiatives that look at student accessibility support and institutional questions, including LIFTFAR and the Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility Council.
“I manage the LIFTFAR fund, which helps students deal with costs that arise from unexpected and emergency situations. Because of this, I am very involved in all of the First Generation/Low Income (FGLI) initiatives of the college.”
Though in-person volunteering is on pause, Emily and the OSCC are as committed as ever to building connections between campus and nearby organizations that benefit the College’s neighbors.
“I have felt momentum growing over my two years here, and I think students are seeing that we really listen and want to make service and activism accessible and rewarding. I'm looking forward to seeing how we get creative in this bizarre time in which volunteering is not going to look the same for a little while, and what it will be like on the other side of this.”