Community Engagement & Leadership

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About Community Engagement & Leadership


There has been a volunteer office at SMU since the mid-1970s, which later merged with the SMU Women's Center.  In 2003, the Leadership & Community Involvement (LCI) Office was formed which tied the community service and service-learning aspects (formerly with the Women's Center) with the leadership initiatives housed in the Student Activities Center. LCI was housed on the third floor of Hughes-Trigg in Suite 318. In August 2011, the department relocated to Suite 200 with the Hegi Family Center for Career Development and underwent a renaming process to become the Community Engagement & Leadership Center.


The Community Engagement & Leadership Center provides intentional learning opportunities and facilitates mutually beneficial relationships that support the development of students who have a lifelong commitment to ethical leadership and engaged citizenship.

Our Vision

Socially responsible leaders equipped and committed to positive change.

Our Beliefs

Within Community Engagement & Leadership, we believe that:
  • Leadership and service are bound by their intrinsic relationship to each other.  Service is the path to leadership.

  • Leadership is a process; not a position.

  • Ethics is a prerequisite for effective leadership.

  • Community engagement provides opportunities for appreciating differences and fostering inclusiveness.

  • Community engagement is characterized by reciprocity: a mutually rewarding relationship where all parties teach, learn, and develop.

  • Beneficial community engagement initiatives are dependent upon addressing community-identified needs.

  • Meaningful community service involves a balance between direct service, education, and reflection.

  • Service cultivates a consciousness of self, commitment to a common purpose and citizenship through guided experiences and reflection.

Our Shared Values

  • Relationships: CEL creates meaningful and mutually beneficial connections with students, faculty, staff, and the community.

  • Developmental: CEL understands the importance of growth through challenging and supporting students and staff to be better citizens and leaders.

  • Excellence: CEL continually challenges ourselves to improve and be more efficient, more successful, and model exemplary behavior and practices in all that we do.

  • Inclusiveness: CEL welcomes, supports, and celebrates the diverse experiences and perspectives of a broad range of individuals, incorporating them into our work, culture, and ethos.

  • Service: CEL strives to raise awareness of social issues through hands-on community engagement.

Learning Outcomes

Students involved with programs and services affiliated with Community Engagement & Leadership will:

  • Be able to articulate the intrinsic relationship between leadership and service.

  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of societal issues.

  • Are able to apply skills and knowledge to seek solutions to community issues (i.e. campus, local, global).

  • Will enhance their level of self-awareness which may include values clarification, integrity, critical thinking, problem solving, accountability and goal setting/attainment.

2014 Student Leaders 

Mustang Heroes President: Please check back!
Alternative Breaks Student Director: Please check back!