Service Learning & Community Action

Service Learning & Community Action Staff

Meet the SLCA staff and learn about their work with our community partners.

  • Suzanne Hinton

    Suzanne Hinton, Director of Academic Engagement and Community Action; Part-time Faculty, Dept. of Communication Studies

    Hinton, a New Hampshire native and longtime Jamaica Plain resident, earned philosophy degrees from Drexel University and The University of Tennessee. At Emerson, she connects community partners, faculty, and students to integrate service learning into the curricula and promote the engaged research and creative work of faculty members.

    Early in her career, Hinton taught gender studies and ethics, including classes for first-generation students, and a social and political philosophy course for Bahraini students in the Kingdom of Bahrain. At Emerson, she teaches Action for Community Transformation out of the institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Stucies, as well as courses about agents of social change out of the Department of Communication Studies. 

    The roles of convener, connector, and catalyst are ones Hinton has most enjoyed in her career in higher education. While her parents are her greatest role models and favorite people, modern dreamers influential in her work are those whose ideas promote education that supports the liberation of all, including (but not limited to): Leslie Feinberg, bell hooks, Angela Davis, Adrienne Rich, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Paolo Freire.

    Through Committees and task forces, Hinton is a tireless advocate for innovative projects around social and environmental justice. She is a consultant on international community collaborations, an avid gardener, an active member of the local music community, and a proud bicycle rider and advocate.

  • Ashley Tarbet DeStefano

    Ashley Tarbet DeStefano, Administrative Associate

    Ashley Tarbet DeStefano ’09 was a double major in Political Communications and New Media at Emerson College and now works with the Elma Lewis Center for Civic Engagement, Learning, and Research and the Office of Service Learning and Community Action. Tarbet DeStefano aims to provide opportunities for students, staff, and faculty to engage with and learn from their communities and realize how they can each use their talents and passions to contribute to and even lead the way in social change. In her role as Administrative Associate, Tarbet DeStefano runs the Alternative Spring Break program and contributes to initiatives such as Emerson's Civic Engagers Network and the Charles Beard Arts & Communications Exploration summer program, and coordinates many of the events and activities hosted by the Elma Lewis Center. As an Emerson student, Tarbet was a volunteer and activist with many organizations and programs, including Jumpstart, Alternative Spring Break, ACT Leaders, and Emerson Peace and Social Justice. From a young age, Tarbet’s parents inspired her to take part in service and community building activities and instilled in her the value of making personal sacrifice to benefit the greater good. She hopes to live to see the day when a child’s parents’ income does not determine the quality (or lack thereof) of education that a child receives, and to see a world that provides an equal educational opportunity for all.

  • Tara Jacobsen

    Tara Jacobsen, Jumpstart Site Manager

    Tara Jacobsen began working with Jumpstart, a non-profit that strives to prepare children to succeed within the classroom, when she was a sophomore at Emerson. Through that experience, Jacobsen realized how even one person, one team, or one organization can have an impact. As a young student, Jacobsen was greatly impacted by the work of Jane Goodall and even tried dressing like the conservationist and animal advocate for a time. She is passionate about environment conservation and children’s rights and hopes to one day combine those interests in a professional field. Jacobsen holds a BS in Psychology from Worcester State University and has worked with volunteers at Cradles to Crayons. Jacobsen is thrilled to be back at Jumpstart and Emerson!

Carnegie Foundation for Elective Community Engagement Classification Seal

Emerson Receives Community Engagement Classification

Emerson College recognized nationally for its high level of commitment to civic and community engagement.

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The President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Seal

Emerson named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

Emerson College once again recognized for reflecting the values of exemplary community service and achieving meaningful outcomes in its community.

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