What does the Gelfand Center do?
The Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning & Outreach supports activities that enable Carnegie Mellon students, faculty and staff to use their energy and expertise to improve the quality of life, motivate learners of all ages, or solve problems in the community. We assist with partnership development with individuals, school districts and organizations in Pennsylvania and beyond to design and implement programs and service learning course activities. STEM education outreach programs are our priority.
Where is the Gelfand Center located and what are the hours?
The Gelfand Center is located at 4614 Wean Hall. We are normally available between 9am and 4pm, Monday through Friday. If you have a specific question or idea though, please feel free to set up an appointment with Kristin Lavery
I am interested in pursuing a career in education. Can I do that while I am at Carnegie Mellon?
Students who wish to complete their teacher certifications can cross-register to take courses at other universities in Pittsburgh that have education departments, while completing their major at Carnegie Mellon. Even if you are not able to complete the entire certification sequence, it is possible to explore topics related to education at one of several universities in Pittsburgh. Many Carnegie Mellon students find their way to a teaching career through alternative programs such as Teach for America or through a one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program. In addition, some Carnegie Mellon courses in education have a service learning component, which allows students to practice what they've learned and gain teaching skills in their communities.
Please contact Judy Hallinen, email@example.com to schedule an appointment to learn about pathways to a career in K-12 education.
How can I become a tutor for local children?
The Gelfand Center provides tutors for multiple schools in the Pittsburgh Public School district. Our positions, when available, are posted on Tartan Trak. You must be available during the times when tutoring takes place (afterschool hours) and have strong English communications skills. Volunteer tutoring positions are available through academic departments and student organizations that provide services to middle and high school students in the community.
Is there anything I can do to prepare to be a tutor?
Yes. The Gelfand Center offers tutor trainings several times per year. We discuss tutoring tips, child safety, learning styles, and go over several tricky scenarios tutors might encounter while on the job. Check our calendar
to see when the next session is scheduled. You can also take a look at the online tutoring guide, available on the Gelfand Center webpage here
Do I need to be an undergraduate at CMU to get involved?
You must have affiliation with Carnegie Mellon University to partake in most outreach opportunities. We provide opportunities for undergraduate & graduate students, faculty, and staff. Each program is different, so it’s important to check with the program coordinator for more information.
For what age groups does the Gelfand Center provide programs & workshops?
We provide tutoring and program opportunities for K-12 students.
Do I need to have clearances to work with children?
Yes. As of January 2015, you will need state, federal, and child abuse clearances. The Human Resources Office at CMU will now be the office for the entire campus to receive their clearances. A guidance document concerning Act 153 and employees is available on the Human Resources website.
If you are faculty, staff, paid student employee or student volunteer, please contact Nubhia Nishad (firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-268-7374) or Madeleine Cossell (email@example.com, 412-268-3210) of the Human Resources Office at CMU for more information and also to schedule an appointment to have your clearances processed. Appointments will be at the Whitfield Hall location: 143 N. Craig St., Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Please bring with you to the appointment your state ID/passport and completed forms (should you have them). Appointments will last approximately 1 hour and will be scheduled during normal business hours, M-F.
Are there volunteer opportunities for weekends or summer months?
Opportunities vary, so it is best to check the Gelfand Center calendar, and to sign up for our volunteer d-list. We often send out requests for volunteers a week or two prior to events. These opportunities are fun, and often require hands-on work with kids and teenagers, tabling, and organization skills. To be able to work at many of these events, you would need to complete your clearance forms.
I can’t commit to any of the opportunities the Gelfand Center offers. Are there other ways I can get involved with my community?
Student Activities and PACE (Partners Allied in Civic Engagement) can help you to find a group or activity that can work with your schedule, and allow you to engage in teamwork, community activism, and outreach. These opportunities vary from Habitat for Humanity work to Earth Day events, to food pantry aid. You can find more information here