Waltham Group Newsletter

2019 Summer Edition

Message from the Waltham Group President

Group of students wearing blue Waltham Group shirts

Hello Waltham Group Alumni,

What a year it has been! Continuing the theme from last semester, we’ve continued to experience changes this semester. In January we welcomed a few new faces and positions to Waltham Group, welcoming Colby Sim as our new adviser, Elif Karatas as our second Graduate Assistant, and introducing a new Community Building position to our Executive Board. Lucas and I have been focusing heavily on long-term change this semester as we served on the Community Engagement Working Group as part of President Liebowitz’s Framework for Our Future (a huge thank you to those of you who filled out the Alumni survey the Task Force sent out in February). In more minor notes, we also invested in a few office improvements, including updating some office equipment, continuing to upgrade our van fleet including new accessibility features, and a new Coordinator Resources website, replacing older technologies such as the Coordinator Resources Google Drive folder or paper resources you all may have previously used.

In other changes for the future, we also finished rolling out a new Coordinator-in-Training (CIT) onboarding process, incorporating the Community Engaged Learning Series (CELS) curriculum from the Department of Community Service along with a CIT orientation during Team Day. New coordinators now receive seven hours of dedicated training from DCS and WG leadership as they begin their first semester. The newest coordinators to the Waltham Group family have been absolutely awesome to work with and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the future.

Other highlights this semester include our “Whoopie! It’s National Volunteer Week!” volunteer appreciation event, a Movie Night and Potluck for coordinators to bond as a community, and the election of a new Executive Board for next year with competitive races in several positions and record voter turnout.

It has undoubtedly been the honor of a lifetime to serve as President for this incredible organization during its 52nd year. Waltham Group has changed considerably throughout the year, perhaps being one of our biggest years of change in history. It has been a true privilege to navigate Waltham Group through the changes of the past year and see it flourish under our new era. As I turn over the Presidency to Theresa Weis ‘20 of Brandeis Buddies, I look forward to seeing how our future continues to grow and evolve. Waltham Group continues to be a cornerstone of the Brandeis experience and I look forward to its long and great future ahead.

Matt Nadler ‘20

Introducing the new Waltham Group E-Board

This fall, we welcomed a new group of students to the Waltham Group E-Board. The President is the head of the Waltham Group EBoard, and oversees all positions, but all of EBoard works collaboratively. The House Representatives work together to plan coordinator training initiatives, and each House Rep leads a small group (called houses) of WG programs. The Volunteer Engagement Coordinator advertises volunteer opportunities throughout the year, leads trainings on volunteer retention and recruitment, and collaborates with campus partners to broaden volunteer recruitment and appreciation, among other things. The Treasurer oversees the Waltham Group budget and assists coordinators in filling out the proper paperwork and making sure it is submitted correctly. The Public Relations Coordinator runs all WG social media, like Facebook and Instagram, and publicizes Waltham Group events; she will be receiving training to manage the website and physical publications. The Community Building Coordinator plans events to promote bonding among coordinators within the Waltham Group. The Volunteer Representatives were elected midway through the semester, by both volunteers and coordinators. They serve as the link between coordinators and all Waltham Group volunteers. Read more about the Waltham Group E-Board representatives!

Department of Community Service and Waltham Group Headlines

New Community Service Staff 

This fall, DCS welcomed a new Community Service Specialist and two Graduate Students to the team! Learn more about Samantha, Derrick and Ashley by reading their bios! 

Rich/Collins Community Impact and Leadership Fellowship

Volunteers at S'mores eventDue to the generous gift of resources and trust in 2017 by the Rich Collins family. The Rich/Collins Community Leadership and Impact Fellowship allows students to apply for mini-grants between $500-$4,000 to implement a community impact project over the course of the Spring semester alongside a community partner within a 30-mile radius of Brandeis. The Fellowship is focused on student innovation, community impact, and cohort-based leadership development. Fellows are selected by a committee of faculty, staff, students, community partners and donors. The Fellows program is the first of its kind at Brandeis, and the 2018-2019 year was only the second ever cohort of Fellows. One exciting change for this year includes a $600 stipend for all fellows! To read more about the projects of the 18-19 fellows, visit the R/C CLIF projects website.  One change for this year includes a $600 stipend for all fellows!

New Toyota SiennaCommunity Engagement Ambassador Program

Each year, four students with strong leadership skills and a demonstrated commitment to community engagement will be selected by the Department of Community Service (DCS) to serve as Ambassadors within the Community Engagement Ambassador Program (CEAP). These Ambassadors will work with DCS professional staff to build the capacity of all Brandeis community service clubs. This program is generously funded by the family of an alumna of the Waltham Group and one of its first members, Dr. Lori Levinson Luft '69. CEAP will engage talented Brandeis students whose passion for community service and values reflect those of Dr. Levinson Luft and their work will honor her memory and be a fitting tribute to her remarkable contributions to Brandeis.

In its pilot year, the four selected 2018-2019 Community Engagement Ambassadors served an integral role within the Department of Community Service. They each strengthened Brandeis’ overall community engagement impact through coordination across service clubs and campus and community partners. To learn more about the 18-19 Ambassador projects, visit the  Former Ambassador Projects website. Starting in Fall 2019, we will be joined by Sarah Ernst, Kyra Frazier, Matthew Nadler and Reika Oshima  as the 2019-2020 CEAP Ambassadors. To learn more about CEAP, visit here.

Wrapped presents during the annual Toy DriveCelebration of Service 2019

The 2019 Celebration of Service was another successful event. This was our 10th annual celebration with a theme of "Seeds for Service." The event is free and open to the entire Brandeis community and typically includes a full sit down dinner, live music, photo booth, student speakers, staff remarks and presentation of the Commitment to Service Award medals. Read more about Celebration of Service and the medal winners. 

Sweet Spring Semester Facts!


Thank you for reading our Summer 2019 Newsletter! The success of the Waltham Group is due to our active and engaged students. As alumni, we hope that you will continue to stay involved. Learn about the variety of ways you can support the Waltham Group. We hope you had a great summer and enjoy the fall!