WSU United by Annual Theme for Social Change

“Equity as a Human Right” ball pit starts conversation. Is it possible for a whole university to come together to address a single social issue? Winona State University (WSU) thinks so, and has been doing so for nine years. Read on to hear MNCC intern Anisa Sharif tell the story: WSU started organizing its community engagement work around an annual theme when the university received a $20,000 grant from Minnesota Campus Compact for “Our Drinking Fountains, Our Water,” a collaboration between WSU, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Southeastern Technical College, and In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre…

Guest Post: The Gift of Reading

by Kassidy Jackson As a former bilingual classroom teacher, Winona State University Professor Mary Hudgens Henderson knows that sometimes finding materials to support classroom learning in Spanish can be hard. This semester, Hudgens Henderson designed a project for her Intermediate Spanish classes at WSU to write Spanish children’s books for Winona Area Public Schools’ Spanish Language Immersion Program (SLIP). “Many Spanish-language programs have difficulty getting books in Spanish for their students to read,” said Hudgens Henderson. “For this project, I wanted to have students create an authentic product that could be used in a community of Spanish-speakers.” For the project,…

Reflections on the Thomas Ehrlich Award by Andrew Furco, 2012 Recipient

A guest post by Andrew Furco, Associate Vice-President for Public Engagement and Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota. Andrew Furco is the 2012 recipient of the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award. Receiving the Thomas Ehrlich Award in 2012 was truly an honor. This award, in particular, has meant a great deal to me. I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Ehrlich in 1992, while a graduate student at UC Berkeley working on my dissertation on service-learning. And meeting him was a turning point for me — one that changed the course of my career. At the time, I was…

Fear and Fearlessness

May 5, 2017

By Andrew Seligsohn, President, Campus Compact I have been involved in several conversations recently about what it’s like for students, faculty, staff, and senior leaders in higher education right now. More than anything I hear fear. Students from many racial and ethnic groups fear harassment and abuse. Students with conservative views fear ostracism. Faculty fear social media firestorms based on misinterpreted or misrepresented statements made in class. Advisers fear unhappy students in the context of increasingly permissive firearms laws. Administrators fear conflicts on their campuses and responses from legislators–some of whom neither know nor care about higher education. Everyone is…

At our April 5th summit, keynote speaker, Dr. Mary Hinton, president of the College of Saint Benedict and a member of the Minnesota Campus Compact board of directors, emphasized the current need to expand dialogue around inclusion. Here is a condensed version of that speech prepared by the College of Saint Benedict: “We are at a critical juncture in higher education. I think we have to ask ourselves whether our mission is to perpetuate social norms and the status quo or to challenge ourselves by striving for a different reality on our campuses and for our students. Or, as the…

May Update – New Community Engagement Resources

Articles, Books, and Journals Beyond Politics as Usual: Paths for Engaging College Students in Politics by Ileana Marin and Ray Minor The Community Engagement Professional in Higher Education edited by Lina D. Dostilio “Democratizing the Great Books” by Casey N. Blake,  Roosevelt Montas and Tamara Mann Tweel Diversity and Democracy: Current Issue, Citizenship Under Siege edited by Kathryn Peltier Campbell eJournal of Public Affairs: Civic Leadership for Social Justice. Vol 6, No 1 (2017) “The Making of Future Citizens” by Maria Henson Rethinking Readiness: Deeper Learning for College, Work, and Life edited by Rafael Heller, Rebecca E. Wolfe, and Adria Steinberg (includes a chapter…

Hear the Speakers at MNCC’s 2017 Summit and Awards Ceremony

Whether or not you were among the 300+ attendees of Minnesota Campus Compact’s summit and awards ceremony on April 5, 2017, you can be inspired by the speakers who invited all of us to expand our circles and use our gifts to create stronger communities. To see the event’s printed program, which includes information on all award recipients as well as the day’s content, click here.  Listen to the morning audio to hear Mary Dana Hinton, president of the College of Saint Benedict and a member of the Minnesota Campus Compact board of directors (6:55-22:32), followed by Andrew Seligoshn, president…

Metropolitan State University President Ginny Arthur, Leading the Way for the Common Good

“I’ve come a long way from the scared, first-generation college student, who had no idea how to navigate the alien world of higher education and cried herself to sleep nearly every night of my first semester, annoying my very confident and worldly roommate.” That student is now Metropolitan State University’s seventh president, Virginia (Ginny) Arthur, a leader dedicated to the “daunting but sacred responsibility” of supporting “the hopes and dreams of many traditionally underserved students.” In her inauguration speech on April 7th, Arthur emphasized the importance of “nurturing and developing rich but under-utilized talent” to the continued health and vitality…

Summer Regional Gatherings in May and June

Take some time to connect and learn with colleagues committed to advancing community engagement this summer! In a context that includes tight budgets and societal polarization, many of us are feeling challenged to clarify our goals, expand our partnerships, and enhance our capacity and impact. This interactive gathering will provide a space to discuss campuses’ community engagement priorities and goals, to delve into pressing questions and challenges in peer coaching circles, and to learn about communities of practice as a strategy for advancing community engagement work, as well as specific strategies and resources for fostering dialogue across differences. Campus teams or…

Partnerships Increase MCTC Students’ Access to Housing

Yasir Hassan serves at Minneapolis Community and Technical College addressing three needs of non-academic support for students at MCTC: healthcare, food, and housing. Read the full article to learn how Hassan has started developing partnerships within the community.

April Update – New Community Engagement Resources

Articles, Books and Journals The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice co-edited by Harry Brighouse and Michael McPherson (McPherson is a former president of Macalester College and former chair of Minnesota Campus Compact) “Building Democracy in ‘Trump Country” by Ben Fink (a University of Minnesota alum) The Cambridge Handbook of Service Learning and Community Engagement co-edited by Corey Dolgon, Tania D. Mitchell (faculty at the University of Minnesota), and Timothy K. Eatman (Stephen Philion of St. Cloud State University and Julie Plaut of MNCC also contributed) The Community Engagement Professional in Higher Education: A Competency Model for an Emerging Field edited…

Summary of the February 6, 2017 Presidents and Chancellors Conversation

Nineteen college and university presidents and chancellors from across Minnesota gathered on February 6, 2017, to reflect on what we can and must do in a time of visible polarization along lines of race, class, religion, location (urban/rural), political ideology, immigration status, and more. Our goal for ourselves and our communities is not necessarily agreement, but an enhanced ability to live and work together constructively in a free society. We discovered a strong, shared commitment to championing dialogue across differences and to practicing it ourselves. Listening deeply to each other’s stories is powerful. It can build trust, seed new relationships,…

New Partnerships Ease the Burden of Community Engagement Matching and Tracking

Without dedicated software, comprehensive tracking of student community engagement activity can be a lot of work – or nearly impossible. Software programs can be expensive, but two creative partnerships are making sophisticated tracking accessible to more campuses both in Greater Minnesota and the Twin Cities. If campuses and community organizations increasingly use shared software platforms, higher education volunteers, service-learners, interns, and other resources can also become easier for our communities to access. It’s a win-win. Southwest Minnesota State University and United Way of Southwest Minnesota recently launched a new collaborative website called MustangsVOLUNTEER, which makes service opportunities easier to find for…

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through Learning, Celebration, and Service

Minnesota Campus Compact members organized a variety of thoughtful programming during the week of January 17, 2017, celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, learning about current issues of race and justice in our state, and showcasing the plethora of options students have to engage with their communities. Here’s a small sample of activities: Augsburg College  Augsburg College held its 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation. This year’s theme was “Renewing King’s Call for Social Justice, Equality, and Inclusion, in an Age of Demagoguery.” The keynote speaker was Dr. Nekima Levy-Pounds, a civil rights attorney and legal scholar on issues of race, public policy,…

Building Meaningful Classroom Connections

“Not only did partnering with Brightside give us an opportunity to have real time discussions about what challenges organizations face, it allowed us to think bigger than ourselves, about our community and the good work that is being done and needs to be expanded.”

January Update – New Community Engagement Resources

Articles, Books, and Journals The Benefits of Gender Balance in a System’s Presidential Offices by Anne Blackhurst, Joyce Ester, Connie Gores, and Barbara McDonald Critical Competences for Social Impact Leaders by Romy Kraemer Engaging Learning Through Student Activism by Stephen G. Pelletier Engaging Urban Universities as Anchor Institutions for Health Equity by Ira Harkavy Engaged Research and Practice edited by Betty Overton, Penny A. Pasque, John C. Burkhardt Higher Education’s Post-Election Voice by Pete Mackey In Tumultuous Times, Colleges Can Do What They Do Best by Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh The Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, 2016 edited by Alexis Petri, and Tabitha Underwood More universities…

Top Ten of 2016

When the Minnesota Campus Compact staff thinks about what we’re grateful for, the first answer is always going to be the thousands of people in this network who are dedicated to doing their work and living their lives in ways that contribute to a just, equitable, and sustainable state, transformative educational experiences, new knowledge, and more engaged citizens. That gratitude list wouldn’t fit in a top ten, so instead we’re naming (in order of chronology, not significance) ten aspects of MNCC’s work over the last year that sustain our spirits and show the potential in our collective commitment to the…

Cultivating Critical Thinking in Difficult Discussion: Tools and Techniques

In this line of work, we talk a lot about engaging across difference and having difficult conversations. Since the divisive presidential election, we’ve heard from colleagues that this is more imperative than ever, and the stakes are high. These conversations are made more complex by considerations of trigger warnings, academic freedom, and questions of what constitutes hate speech. In the midst of all of this, we’re also hearing from some of you that students and communities are eager to move to action. Many of us are left with more questions than answers: How do we connect listening and action? How…

Three Years of Dedicated Work

As a VISTA with the Youth Violence Prevention (YVP) team for the Minneapolis Health Department (MHD), I get to do all sorts of things but my favorite piece of the puzzle is Next Step.

Moving Forward After the Election: Resources for Campuses

Many of us are thinking today about how to engage campus communities in moving forward after the election. Though we operate in distinct institutional contexts, we may be able to draw upon one another’s work.  Our staff offers a few words and resources from the Campus Compact network, below, and invites your suggestions as comments to this post. Please also feel welcome to reach out to our staff at sinda {at} mncampuscompact(.)org or 612-436-2080. Augsburg College President Paul Pribbenow shared a letter to his campus on the morning of November 9, 2016, which frames our work in a helpful way: As I…

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