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Center for Leadership & Community Engagement

Immersion: Citizens Take Action

Through Immersion, participants are taken outside the Rollins community and immersed in activities and projects based on need-areas identified by community agencies and Rollins. Trained faculty, staff, and student site leaders provide direction and support for participants during weekend journies of education, reflection, and action.

Mission and Vision

Mission  Immersion is rooted in the academic mission of Rollins to educate students for global citizenship and responsible leadership. The program is committed to engage students, faculty, and staff in communities in Florida and beyond through weekends (and sometimes week-long) experiences of education, reflection, and action.   

Vision  To immerse students in direct community engagement, leadership development, multicultural education, discussion, and pre/reflection activities to prepare them for the big challenges and questions that face communities in the 21st Century.

What can I expect from an Immersion?

As many Rollins students will tell you, Immersions are terrific opportunities to meet your fellow students, learn about an impact area to serve with a new community, and bring your passions to life. As one participant said, “This was a once in a lifetime experience!

Weekend Immersions are offered to Rollins community members free of cost and include transportation, lodging, and meals. Here’s what you can expect on a typical weekend Immersion:

  • Before departing campus, meet with the facilitators (two students and a faculty/staff member) and your fellow participants to get to know one another and learn about the community, social issue, and nonprofit partners with whom you will be engaging
  • Leave campus around 5:00 PM 
  • Stay in community housing accommodations paid for by the Immersion program*
  • Eat meals together – all meals are provided by the Immersion program!
  • Serve with nonprofit organizations for 6-10 hours throughout the weekend
  • Experience the community through cultural activities
  • Reflect on your experiences with the facilitators and participants
  • Return to campus by 7:00 PM on Sunday

All Immersion experiences are drug and alcohol free, for the safety and inclusion of all and to respect the communities we enter.

What are Alternative Spring Breaks?

Alternative Spring Breaks are similar to weekend Immersions, but much more intense! Groups typically travel further from Rollins, either by plane or car, and stay in the community for 5-8 days. Participants can expect to:

  • Attend 3-4 pre-departure meetings with your team of three facilitators and twelve participants, learning about one another, the social issue you will be addressing, and the community you will be entering
  • Experience intense community service, which sometimes includes early mornings or long days
  • Undergo group exploration of the unique community offerings, such as museums, monuments, parks, neighborhoods, or community centers
  • Do nightly reflections on service, empathy, social justice, and community-centered change
  • Commit to refraining from the use of drugs and alcohol throughout the entire experience
  • Cook/prepare meals in small teams, taking into account your fellow participants' needs
  • Stay together in community-based housing, which could include churches, YMCAs, bunkhouses, rental homes, or camping*
  • Bring an open mind, maintain a positive attitude, and ask for support when needed

* Specific housing accommodations will be disclosed as part of the application process. Participants are expected to stay in the housing provided and may be asked to share queen/king size beds. Romantic partners will be asked to sleep in different beds/rooms.

Why is there an application process?

We have many students who apply to attend Immersions, and we want to make sure we have a well-rounded, diverse team of participants! We take into account things like your year and major, your previous Immersion experience, and your answers to a few short questions. To give more people opportunities, we preference those who have not attended an Immersion before. Your answers to the essay questions don’t have to be long, but please take some time to give thoughtful responses. Questions about the selection process can be directed to immersion@rollins.edu.

Upcoming Opportunities

Immersions are open to anyone on campus, including faculty, staff, and students in Holt, Crummer, and the College of Liberal Arts. Deadlines and application links are below.

**Note: Not all Immersions are fully planned, but full information will be available in the application link as the experience approaches.

How can I get involved with Immersions?

There are a few different ways! You can participate in an Immersion by checking out the dates and topics in the section below and applying through the online portal. Once you have participated in an Immersion, you can apply to facilitate one yourself! The application for facilitators will be sent out in early September and again in mid-March, so keep an eye out! The program recruits for new facilitators one semester before the experience. You can always reach out to immersion@rollins.edu with any questions about the program!

  • Fall Break #1 
    • Dates: Rescheduled for January 13-17 
    • Facilitators: (Yoke Tassant)
    • Impact Area and Location: Environmental - Everglades, FL 
    • Description: (TBD)
  • Fall Break #2 
    • Dates: October 7-9, 2022
    • Facilitator: Robert Whetstone
    • Impact Area and Location: Houselessness - Saint Petersburg, FL
    • Description: (TBD)
  • Immersion #3
    • Dates: November 11th - 13th, 2022
    • Facilitators: Brendan Manning and Katie Alonso 
    • Impact Area and Location: Farm Animal Rehabilitation and Rescue, Mental Health Awareness - Gainesville
    • Description: (TBD)
  • MLK Immersion
    • Dates: January 20th - 22nd, 2023
    • Facilitator: (TBD)
    • Impact Area: Dr. Martin Luther Kings Legacy and Impacts 
    • Description: (TBD)
    • Application Link: Get Involved: Immersion Citizens Take Action 

Immersion Planning Team 2022-2023

Immersion Planning Team 2022-2023

  • Victoria Teske, Advisor
  • Meredith Hein, CLCE Director/Emergency Support 
  • Jordan McLean, Student Coordinator
  • Brendan Manning, Student Coordinator
  • Hadasa Morales, Student Coordinator
  • Callie Dochterman, Team Coach
  • Andrese Parks, Team Coach