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Civic Engagement at BSU

Working to Make a Difference

Bridgewater State University works in an interdisciplinary and interdivisional fashion to offer opportunities that educate, inform, engage, and empower our students and broader community about civic engagement. We encourage all members of the community to be actively engaged in their local, regional and global communities. BSU engages and educates students and the community on the importance of democratic engagement, civic learning, and civic participation and community leadership at the local, state and national levels.

Civic engagement is working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.

A person in a BSU sweatshirt holding a letter board that says VOTE
The engagement of citizens in public life and in government through political institutions, organizations and activities.
Dr. Castagna Lacet leading a discussion in her community organization class
A process through which people develop the knowledge, skills and commitments to interact effectively with fellow community members to address shared problems.
Five student leaders smile for the camera at the BSU involvement fair.
Individuals and groups taking political and nonpolitical actions to support their community.

Simply Civics

An approach to better understand the United States democratic experience from the early days of independence to the present.

Using short examples of events, personalities, documents, controversies and trivia, Simply Civics is designed to explain American politics and government in a way that is clear, concise and conversational. Simply Civics is part of Bridgewater State University’s commitment to civic education and civic engagement at a time when it is vitally important that citizens have a working knowledge and appreciation of the values, the vision and the policies that form the foundation of our democratic system.


Michael Kryzanek
Authored By Michael Kryzanek, Professor Emeritus of Political Science. 

During his years in the Political Science Department, he was the longest serving chairperson and helped launch the Master of Public Administration program. After leaving the Department in 2015 Dr. Kryzanek was appointed the Executive Director of the Minnock Center for International Engagement with responsibility for expanding the university’s global presence. From 2016-2019 Dr. Kryzanek was the Academic Director in the Public Management Institute for the U.S. State Department’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that brought 25 Fellows to the campus as Mandela Fellows. He continues as a consultant for that program.

Currently, Dr. Kryzanek is participating in Bridgewater State’s Senior College where he teaches courses on American politics and government. Dr. Kryzanek received his Ph.D from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 1975. He is the author of eight books on U.S. foreign policy, American government and comparative politics. His latest book, written with his daughter Dr. Ann Karreth, is 25 Issues That Shape American Politics: Debates, Differences and Divisions. Dr. Kryzanek is the board chair of Fr. Bill’s and Mainspring, the largest homeless organization on the South Shore and President of the Rotary Club of the Bridgewaters. He lives in Whitman with his wife Carol. They have three daughters and five grandchildren.

A map of the United States, showing the electoral votes allocated to each state
The Electoral College
Deciphering the Electoral College, the system that elects the United States president.
Washington Crossing the Delaware, by Emanuel Leutze - George Washington is rowed across the icy Delaware River in the early morning of December 26, 1776
1776: A Year of Destiny
There has been much written about the events and personalities of 1776 — some fact, some myth, some legend.
Votes for Women cartoon from 1912 Bridgewater Normal School yearbook
The Struggle for Women’s Voting Rights
Women have struggled to gain their right to cast ballots and have their voice heard in the political arena. Let’s take a look at this struggle for women and voting, often termed suffrage.