Hello from the New Civic Engagement Fellow!

Greetings! Welcome back to campus, or welcome for the first time for some!

I was really stoked to transfer to Wes (and move into the Butts).

My name is Rhea Drozdenko ‘18. I’m Allbritton’s new Civic Engagement Fellow for the ‘17-’18 academic year.

My parents are always asking me what my job is (hi mom + dad). So I figured I would write a blog post to help clarify what I do and what I plan to do with this year. The short version is that I work in the Allbritton Center on all things civic engagement. The long version is that I work closely with the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships (JCCP), the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life (CSPL) and Service-Learning, and the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship (PCSE). So what does that look like? I’m a communicator: connecting students, alumni and community members to events, opportunities, and funding. I send out our weekly ENGAGE newsletter (shoot me an email if you’re not subscribed yet!!), and manage our Facebook and Twitter. I’m an organizer: helping put together the RIGHT NOW! Series and other opportunities open to the public. I’m a resource: having several years of experience working with the Allbritton Center (in different capacities) and basically my whole life being civically engaged, I hope to help students as they navigate the complexities of being a student and wanting to do good.

Oh yeah, and I’m the first Fellow that’s still an undergrad. I study Sociology and Civic Engagement (surprise) and I’m super excited to graduate in December ‘17. Until then I will be a full-time student and part-time Fellow, and I’ll be learning how to balance everything.

Another passion of mine is traveling. This summer I had an amazing experience of seeing the solar eclipse in totality in southern Illinois. When traveling I also try to find different forms of communities to learn from.

So how did I get here? In high school I realized that my passion is making a difference for people. This passion has taken me some interesting places and given me some incredible experiences including 2 gap years of traveling and service work, political engagement at community college etc. (if you want the whole story, visit me in my office). When I first transferred here in Fall ‘15 from Northwestern Connecticut Community College, getting involved in the Allbritton Center really helped me find my community, learn hands-on skills in my field, and add robust experiences to my college career. I started off as an after school tutor at Traverse Square, then moved on to many other opportunities–and basically never left. So I am super honored and excited to have this position, so that I can give back to the Center that made my Wesleyan experience what it is.  I’m also very interested in learning how to build community, and why people are drawn to civic engagement (or not). So this position is as much a learning experience as it is a job, and I am stoked to learn from you all.




This is me and my sister during my last internship with Higher Order Thinking Schools. I tend to have too much fun at work.

Email me: engage@wesleyan.edu
Find me in my office: Allbritton 318 (I’m in the lounge hiding behind the bookshelf.)
Talk to me if you’re interested in civic engagement and want to learn more about opportunities. If you have a venture/community project/homework that you want feedback or a brainstorming session on. If you want organizational help. If you want to chat about social change, community organizing, travel, or ancient mythologies. If you want to tell me how to do my job better (constructively, of course). If you want support or just someone to listen.
Don’t be a stranger 🙂