Initiatives & Events
Point Park University's Department of Community Engagement & Leadership facilitates initiatives that address basic needs in the University and broader communities, encourage volunteerism and foster service-learning opportunities.
Basic Needs Supports
Point Park is committed to serving students basic needs including food, clothing and other financial supports though our Department of Community Engagement programs
- Pioneer Pantry is an on-campus pantry that serves students in need. Students may order items from the pantry website and pick up any time. The pantry is located on the 2nd floor of Lawrence Hall just outside the Point Café. The Pantry also hosts monthly Produce Pop Ups to bring fresh produce to campus.
- The Bison Exchange is an on-campus thrift store through which students in need may receive career-ready and other clothing and other accessories free of charge.
- The Pioneer Patch garden operates two aeroponic tower gardens in the Department of Community Engagement. The gardens grow a variety of produce, herbs and vegetables that are harvested for the Point Park Community on a regular basis.
- Other basic needs initiatives include a Thanksgiving meal drive, an annual winter clothing drive, a gift card donation program and basic needs research.
Service Learning & Volunteerism
- The Bonner Leaders Program is a nationally-recognized four-year, undergraduate civic-engagement program providing leadership programming, academic support, engagement opportunities, and a social network. The founding mission for the Bonner Program is to provide diverse low-income, under-represented, and first-generation students with the opportunity to attend college while engaging their talents and education in building and supporting communities.
- 412 Impact Service Learning Camp is a youth and high school summer program through which attendees work with nonprofit organizations on volunteer projects both on- and off-campus and develop their own ideas to help the community.
- Pioneer Partners is our campus-wide volunteer initiative. Through Pioneer Partners, our faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteer together once a month at a local nonprofit organization.
Nonprofit Partnerships & Support
- Wood Street Communications is an on-campus agency operated in partnership with the School of Communication that connects nonprofits seeking assistance with communications services with Point Park students.
- Nonprofit Professionals Community of Practice seeks to unite nonprofit professionals in the Pittsburgh region and beyond through a LinkedIn group for sharing of best practices, training, social events and more.
Community Engagement Support & Recognition
- Excellence in Community Engagement Awards recognize students, faculty and community partners for their dedication to service, research, engagement and community partnerships.
- Community Engagement Badges provide an opportunity for students to be recognized for their work with area nonprofits and community organizations.
- Social Impact Grants Program, created in partnership with the Center for Inclusive Excellence, funds interdisciplinary social impact projects connecting Point Park to organizations in the region to effect social change.
The Department of Community Engagement & Leadership hosts campus events throughout the year that allow students, staff, faculty and external audiences to learn about ways in which we can work together to improve our communities.
Regular events include:
- TEDx Point Park University is an annual event that brings together six dynamic speakers to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group and share TED’s spirit of ideas worth spreading. The event is held each Fall and focuses on a different theme each year. View previous TEDx events and talks below.
- TEDxPoint Park University 2022:
- How Saying Hello Can Transform and Create Community by Sloane Davidson
- Braving Big Emotions with Little Learners by Laurie Havrisko
- Reshaping the Trajectory of Maternal Health by Aleta Heard
- Reinventing the Future Through Music Creation by Yan Pang
- How to Stop the War between Rich and Poor by Creating a Food Secure City by Chef Claudy Pierre
- Practicing Safe Parasocializing by Sarah Schreck
- Point Park University's Department of Community Engagement Hosts Virtual TEDx Event
- Point Park University Hosts Aging Gracefully TEDx Event
- Building Bridges Theme of TEDxPointParkUniversity
- TEDxPoint Park University 2022:
- ENGAGE with Research: Research Discussions – View recordings of previous events below.
Listen, Learn, & Lead: Author, Leader or Panel – View recordings of previous events below.
Expanding Our Toolkit: Professional Development
Convene & Collaborate: Social Interaction Events
- The Community Engagement Symposium brings together doctoral students, social impact grant recipients, and other students doing community engaged research each August to present their scholarship and findings