Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Community-Engaged Learning

About Us

55% of Southwestern’s student population participates in some form of civic engagement. During the 2015-2016 academic year, 826 students spent nearly 14,000 hours Engaging with the local community. The OCEL helps facilitate these opportunities so that they are mutually beneficial to the community and SU Student Learning.


Dr. Brackmann
Sarah Brackmann directs the Office of Community-Engaged Learning at Southwestern University. Dr. Brackmann completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Georgia, where her research focused on the impact of decreased public funding on community engagement programs. She earned a Masters of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs with a concentration in service-learning from The Ohio State University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Xavier University (OH).






Nikki Welch is the Coordinator of Community-Engaged Learning. Nikki brings energy, experience, and enthusiasm to her position. She advises Spring Breakaway, and co-advises the Global Engagement Hall. She graduated from Southwestern University in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. During her time at Southwestern, she played volleyball, led Young Life at Georgetown High School, and was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. She is originally from Austin, TX, and is the epitome of a “people-person.”






Jordan Herbert is a senior at Southwestern University. She is majoring in Elementary Education, and this will be her fourth year as a student worker for the Office of Community-Engaged Learning. Jordan is involved in the Investigating Identity Paideia cluster and is a member of Delta Omicron. She also helps lead Tuesday Night Worship and is a College YoungLife Leader. She’s locally from Austin, TX, and loves laughing and sweet tea.




Ellie Crowley is a student worker in the Office of Community-Engaged Learning, working predominately with social media and marketing. She is currently a sophomore, double majoring in Business and Music Performance. Ellie plays the guitar and is part of Sailors and Sirens, Student Foundation, Art Association, Astronomy Club and the Global Engagement Hall. She is from San Antonio, Texas, loves to play music, to be outdoors and to travel.