Accepting the Challenge

Montclair State participates in President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge

Photo courtesy of Shannon Gary

Representing Montclair State at the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge event were, from left, Shannon Gary, John Klarman, Weaam Ali, Rachel Drucker and Esmilda Abreu.

A delegation of Montclair State University students and administrators recently participated in the third annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge gathering at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Attending for the first time, the Montclair State contingent joined with those from other institutions to share and learn about interfaith and community service activities on campuses around the nation.

Launched by the White House in 2010, the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge is an initiative inviting institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith and community service programming on campus. More than 300 colleges and universities around the country are now involved.

Montclair State was invited to attend the event to present on interfaith engagement and to highlight the University’s community service activities. “We were able to showcase the impact Montclair State has on the surrounding communities through the efforts of our students and religious organizations,” says Shannon Gary, associate dean of students and one of the leaders of the Montclair State team.

Director of Equity and Diversity Esmilda Abreu was the delegation’s other leader and also represented Montclair State on the panel for the presentation, “Interfaith Engagement at Public Institutions,” along with representatives from the University of Maryland and Delaware State University.

“It was an absolute pleasure to represent Montclair State University at this third annual White House-sponsored Interfaith Gathering with such a diverse and committed delegation of students,” says Abreu. “It was a great privilege to share the quantity, variety and creativity of Montclair State’s cutting-edge interfaith programs with more than 300 other colleges and universities. I was delighted and humbled when the other institutions commented on how impressed they were with the strength of Montclair State’s level of genuine inclusion”

Rounding out the Montclair State team were student delegates John Klarman, Weaam Ali and Rachel Drucker, who represented Newman Catholic, the Muslim Student Association and Hillel, respectively.