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About Us

Established in 1995 by the Political Science faculty, the Center rests on the belief that structured programs are needed to develop good citizens, just as similar programs are needed to develop competent teachers, nurses, engineers, and other workers.  It aims to develop the civic confidence and competence of students by creating opportunities for them to work on community problems during their undergraduate years.

Democracy House is a part of the Department of History and Social Sciences, within the Division of Arts and Sciences. The Center resides in Room 003 of Raritan Hall. For additional information, please contact us at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or 732-548-6000 ext. 3262.


Center Leadership

Faculty Director - Jennifer Altman, Ph.D.
Democracy House is lead by Dr. Jennifer Altman, a Sociology faculty member of the Department of History and Social Science.   Dr. Altman holds a doctorate in Policy and Planning from Rutgers University, a Masters in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Rutgers College.  Her doctoral research focused on Campus-Community Partnerships and was funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Center Coordinator - Phillip Vazquez
The daily activities of the Center are Coordinated through Phillip Vazquez.  Mr. Vazquez is a past student participant of the MCC program, as well a current full-time AmeriCorps member.  He comes to the Center with significant experience in the private and community sector, as well as in journalism.

Public Affairs and Service Scholars Coordinator - Claire D'Amato
Claire D'Amato, a part-time AmeriCorps member, is the Coordinator for public events and co-coordinator for the Service Scholars group at the Center.  Ms. D'Amato graduated Cum Laude from Rutgers University, with a degree in Art History and Italian.  Her awards and honors include Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma Iota.

Service Learning and Service Scholars Coordinators - Jessica Gulutz
Jessica Gulutz, a part-time AmeriCorps member, is the Coordinator for service learning and co-coordinator for the Service Scholars group at the Center.  Ms. Gulutz graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University, majoring in Public Health and Communication.  Her awards and honors include Academic Excellence and National Society of Collegiate Scholars.