Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

History of Global Outreach

"Our students must let the gritty reality of this world into their lives, so they can learn to feel it, think about it critically, respond to its suffering and engage it constructively. They should learn to perceive, think, judge, choose, and act for the rights of others, especially the disadvantaged and oppressed."        - Peter-Hans Kolvenbach                                                                              

Before 1980
Over the course of many years, a series of unconnected and largely unorganized service projects were undertaken by Fordham students, faculty, and administrators. The most consistent location was Mexico, where team members assisted in providing medical services in area clinics. The actualization of these trips depended on the interest and number of participants, which varied from year to year. At the end of the 1950's, these projects began to incorporate construction work as well. Campus Ministry eventually initiated its own service projects to Peru and Appalachia, independently of the ongoing Mexico project. Like the Mexican counterparts, the execution and success of these Campus Ministry-organized projects varied greatly.

By 1988 the tradition of service abroad was becoming a well established tradition at Fordham University. The year to year consistency of the existing service projects was becoming more and more solidified. Up until this time, service trips were all run by different organizations on campus. Combining the rising level of student interest with the growing complexity that it took to organize such endeavors, it soon became evident that a new, more focused, organization staff would have to come together to serve the student body better. In 1988, Father Paulbrant, SJ, committed himself to such a purpose. The new name of the club was the "Mexico Group Project." Mexico and Peru were the two most complex projects that the club offered, by still providing other satellite projects that solely served the United States.


Global Outreach, in its currently recognizable form, was not established until 1990. Interest in service abroad reached such high levels that, once again, a necessity for the club's expansion became evident. Dave Phillipson, an administrator at Fordham, organized the first board. The purpose of this board was to expand levels of participation and service opportunities for the student body. They began by initiating projects to Navajo, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, as well as the first cross Atlantic project, to India. Now encompassing a more advanced palette of locations and work sites, the name Global Outreach was adopted. In 1998, the program expanded to include an office at the Lincoln Center campus. Katie Cashette served as the first Coordinator of Global Outreach Lincoln Center, followed by Anna Pfeiffer in 2000.

In the new millennium, the Global Outreach programs at Lincoln Center and Rose Hill continued to expand and add new projects to meet the growing demand of students. At this time, the two campuses collaborated so that students could apply to projects at either campus. In 2003, Global Outreach began at the Marymount campus. In 2001, Mike Kravatz was hired as the Coordinator at Rose Hill.

In November of 2002, the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA), National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry (NADDCM) and the National Catholic Student Coalition (NCSC) publicly recognized Global Outreach in Washington DC at the US Bishops conference as one of seven programs in the nation that were exemplary in fulfilling the vision of the 1985 US Bishops' Pastoral Letter on Campus Ministry and its success in educating for justice.

In 2004, in partnership with the Office of Alumni Relations,  Global Outreach expanded even further and began reaching out to our alumni with 2 events: our first Global Outreach project for Fordham alumni in Oaxaca, Mexico and our first Alumni Gala, where over 100 alumni from the past 15 years came back to reconnect with old friends and team members. 
Global Outreach broke off from Campus Ministry in 2005 to become an autonomous office under the direction of Mission and Ministry. Mike Kravatz was named the director of the program and Diane Carter served as the Coordinator at Lincoln Center. At the same time, GO! consolidated the programs at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center to become one program that serves both campuses. During this time, the alumni program continued to expand, offering additional alumni projects and the annual Global Outreach Alumni Gala.

GO! was recognized again, in 2006, by the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA), National Association of Diocesan Directors of Campus Ministry (NADDCM) and the National Catholic Student Coalition (NCSC) as one of the “Best of the Best” Exemplary programs in the past 7 years. Currently, GO! offers approximately 30 projects for students and alumni from all three campuses. The current staff consists of Paul Francis who serves as the director and Emily Wilant and Stephen McGowan who serve as the coordinators at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center respectively.  Christine Johnsen works at both campuses as the assistant coordinator of Global Outreach.    


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