An image of OUWB students cleaning up Pontiac


Center for Community Engagement

Through Compass, the official address of community engagement, we focus on navigating connections with local, regional, national and global communities. These relationships enable faculty and staff to share their expertise with the community and assist medical students with meeting their learning objectives while identifying the needs of vulnerable populations who are served by our many diverse Compass community partners.

To learn more about Compass and its recent community engagement, please email and request the community report.

How to Get Involved
Make a Difference Day

Two medical students stand by stove cooking meat and pasta for lasagna.

Make a Difference Day is an annual day of service for schools and organizations across the country. Each year, OUWB students volunteer their time at organizations around the community, which have included World Medical Relief in Southfield, MI, Hope Warming Center in Pontiac, MI, and Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park, MI, to name a few.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

OUWB students work at the health fair

Each year, OUWB carries forward the torch of community engagement by celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by hosting the MLK Day of Service. Throughout the week of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students participate in a series of volunteer activities, which have included volunteering at the Health Fair and Taste Fest at Chandler Park Academy, serving meals to the homeless, and preparing food for home-bound seniors. 

OUWB-HOS Mentoring Program

OUWB student helps high school student with her homework.

A partnership between OUWB and the Catholic Charities Southeast Michigan-Hispanic Outreach Services (CCSM-HOS) has created a mentoring program for medicals students. Enthusiastic medical students at OUWB are invited to become a child’s mentor (9-17 yr.) for a period of 1-year, leading to a program certificate. This program involves educational activities to promote health and awareness of diseases affecting our children and our community at the Hispanic Outreach Service (HOS) and extracurricular activities (zoo, museums, bowling, etc.) to enhance communication and social skills. 

Medical Student as Educator

A medical student shows and explains a medical photo to high school students.

Medical students teach a standardized lesson based off of the Michigan Model for Health curriculum. Topics on Nutrition/Physical Activity; Personal Health and Wellness; Social and Emotional Health; and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs are presented at one of the local elementary schools. This activity enables medical students to demonstrate the ability to assimilate scientific evidence and participate in the education of students. Additionally, this activity provides medical students with practice demonstrating interpersonal and communication skills across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

OUWB Day of Service

An OUWB student volunteering at Forgotten Harvest farms. He carries a bucket of greens through a field.

Every August, students, faculty and staff join in the tradition of kicking of the new school year by giving back to the metro-Detroit community. Volunteer opportunities take place at various locations throughout the metro-Detroit area in the morning and early afternoon. 

Street Medicine Oakland

An OUWB student volunteering at Forgotten Harvest farms. He carries a bucket of greens through a field.

Street Medicine Oakland is a medical student-led organization aiming to bridge the gap between the homeless members of our community and healthcare providers. We work to better understand our patients’ realities, so that we may provide quality medical care and resources, while equipping future physicians and leaders in healthcare with perspective and experience caring for the homeless population. More information can be found at

Community Partners

View a full list of community partners.

Sign Up for Compass Events

For the most up-to-date information and event sign-ups, please look for emails and newsletters from

Funding Opportunities

Community Service Mini-Grant: Individual students and student organizations are invited to submit a Compass Community Service Mini-Grant application. The mini-grant program is designed to encourage students, faculty, and staff to design and implement innovative service programs for the community surrounding OUWB.

The 2022-2023 mini-grant cycle is now open. The application and instructions for submission can be found here.  Awards will be granted on a rolling basis until all funds have been exhausted or until May 1, 2023.

For more information, please contact

Student Community Service Hours Log and Awards


Students can earn a certificate for the community service activities they participate in during the academic year.

Certificates are able to be earned by completing 50 hours of service at each of three different times points: the end of the M1 year, the end of the M2 year, and the end of the M4 year (the third and fourth year requirements are combined).

For our current students, the applicable service hours will fall accordingly:

  • Class of 2023 service certificate - 50 hours of service logged between August 1, 2021 and March 15, 2023
  • Class of 2024 service certificate – 50 hours of service logged between August 1, 2022 and March 14, 2024
  • Class of 2025 – 50 hours of service logged between August 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023. 
  • Class of 2026 - 50 hours of service logged between August 1, 2022 and May 31, 2023.

In addition to community service certificates, beginning with the class of 2023, students can earn service cords for graduation.  Students who receive a community service certificate at each time point (M1, M2, and M3/M4). More information on community service cords will be available soon.

Logging Hours

Students are responsible for logging their own volunteer hours and only those hours that have been logged in the form (see below) will count towards service certificates/ cords.

Students are able to log any direct service activity, not only those sponsored by OUWB. Fundraising does not count towards the service hours certificate, however if you are responsible for planning the fundraiser the hours completed for those preparations can be counted.  For questions on what does or does not count towards the service hours certificate contact

To log your service hours, go to the 2022-2023 service hours logging form found here. 

You are able to log service hours for an ongoing program with one form. Please wait until the last date of your program and log the total hours/ list the dates of the program.

Contact Compass

Compass Email:

Compass Phone: (248) 370-4696

Nelia Afonso, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Community Integration & Outreach
Professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies

Trixy Hall, MAT
Graduate Programs & Community Outreach Coordinator
Jean Szura, Ph.D.
Director of Service Learning
Rose Wedemeyer, Ph.D.
Director of Education Training