What We Do

In fall 2018, the Office of Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships was established in concert with the Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons opening in downtown Waterville. Building on Colby’s legacy of civic engagement and community service, the new program provides a distinct pathway for Colby students to become thoughtful leaders, critical thinkers, and socially responsible citizens. The program coordinates a wide array of student and institutional initiatives and supports robust and sustainable partnerships. Using an integrative learning approach including course work, academic research, community partnership projects and co-curricular education, students develop the civic capacities, intellectual grounding and confidence to address complex public problems and impact change.

Elizabeth Jabar​

Elizabeth Jabar

Lawry Family Director of Civic Engagement and Community Partnerships

As Director Elizabeth has general oversight of the program, guides strategic vision and design of the program model, along with the development of a rich set of initiatives to advance civic learning and democratic engagement at Colby.  Elizabeth works with faculty, staff, students and community partners to foster collaboration and seed reciprocal relationships that enhance student learning and benefit the public good. In addition, Elizabeth designed, coordinates and leads two of Colby’s innovative civic engagement programs, the Ohanian Szostak Fellows for Civic Leadership and Colby Votes. 

Elizabeth brings twenty years of higher education experience and leadership as both a faculty member and administrator to the position. Prior to her appointment at Colby, she was the Associate Dean and Director of Public Engagement  at Maine College of Art where she designed and launched MECA’s distinctive social practice undergraduate curriculum, the Public Engagement Minor. Elizabeth is also a practicing artist and her work explores the intersection of art and civic engagement. She serves on several advisory committees and boards including the Portland Museum of Art, Maine Campus Compact and Indigo Arts Alliance. Elizabeth has received recognition for her work in civic engagement and art including grants from the Warhol Foundation Kindling Fund, Maine Arts Commission, and the Arts and Equity Initiative. She has presented at state and national conferences and convenings including Frontiers of Democracy at Tufts University, Alliance of Artist Communities,and the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD) Symposium, Artists/Designers/Citizens.   

Paige Begley

Assistant Director of Civic Engagement

Within the role of Assistant Director, Paige oversees and supervises student civic engagement clubs including Colby’s mentoring program, Colby Cares About Kids. Additionally, Paige works across the Dean of the College division to support initiatives that serve all students and integrate civic engagement throughout the student experience through involvement in orientation programming and the Healthy Colby Initiative. She also coordinates campus-wide days of service such as Colby Cares Day and Johnson Day and the alternative weekend and spring break programs.

As a Central Maine native, Paige returned to Waterville to share her lived experience with the Colby students she supports. After years of experience working with K-12 students, Paige discovered a passion for inspiring students to become leaders outside of the classroom and in their communities. Paige received her Master’s in Education concentrating in Community Engagement from the Winston School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College in 2017. With experience in academic advising and programmatic development, Paige works to integrate co-curricular and academic experiences into all students’ civic engagement development at Colby. Paige is passionate about student success, community development, and strengthening school and community partnerships.

Kristin Bishop

Program and Outreach Coordinator

In this role, Kristin works closely with local nonprofit and community organizations throughout the Greater Waterville area to establish and strengthen collaborative partnership opportunities with the College and support volunteer management. Kristin provides direct support to the 200 residents living in the Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons in Downtown Waterville, an innovative living-learning community focused on sustained service with local community organizations. Additionally, Kristin manages the day-to-day operations of the Chace Community Forum, a multipurpose community and program space in the Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons that serves as the home for civic and community programming sponsored by the College, public meetings for the City of Waterville, and a range of events and activities hosted by community organizations.

Kristin grew up just outside the Greater Waterville area and holds a deep appreciation for and dedication to the Central Maine community. A 2018 graduate of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME, Kristin studied Education and Government & Legal Studies and brings with her a lifelong commitment to community engagement, public service, and student leadership. Experiencing first-hand the power of student leadership opportunities and the importance of community engagement programs in her own life, Kristin is grateful for the opportunity to bring her enthusiasm and knowledge from those experiences with her as she works to facilitate the development of collaborative relationships and innovate community projects in the Greater Waterville community. Following her passion for lifelong learning, Kristin is currently pursuing her MBA at Thomas College in Waterville.

The Dean of Studies Office

Colby College, Student Life
5300 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8853