Communities of Practice

Chairs - COP

Apply now to be a 2018-19 community of practice co-chair!

  • View the Call for Proposals and apply below.
  • Applications are due April 23, 2018.
  • Info sessions will take place March 20, 2018, 1-2 pm, and April 11, 2018, 2-3 pm.

A Community of Practice (CoP) is a group of people who share an area of inquiry and engage in collective learning about that issue as it relates to their work or practice. Through discussions, joint activities, and relationship building, the community of practice develops a shared and individual repertoire of resources, skills, and knowledge to use in their practice. Communities of practice exist everywhere; from formalized meetings to informal lunch discussions among peers, they create connections between people, facilitate sharing knowledge, and lead to shared practices.

The University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement and Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin Campus Compacts will co-sponsor a set of issue-focused Communities of Practice (CoPs) in 2018-19. These CoPs are open to faculty, staff, administrators, students, and community partners affiliated with the University of Minnesota and Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin Campus Compact member campuses.

The CoP participant application will open in spring, once CoP topics and co-chairs have been selected. If you’re interested in participating in the future, or with questions, contact Sinda at MNCC or contact Amber at OPE. 

For more information on what a CoP is and ideas around how to facilitate sessions, download Campus Compact’s Facilitation Manual below.

The following regional Communities of Practice are being offered in 2017-18:

Description: This Community of Practice will bring together colleagues from across campuses to delve into meaningful discourse surrounding racial equity, social justice and the application of an equity lens in post-secondary education. Together, we will invest time defining underlying assumptions and frameworks around equity and empowerment and begin exploring how participants can foster belonging and wholeness on their campuses. Participants will share/learn about equity initiatives across our campuses; engage in discussion grounded in shared readings, resources, and participant experiences; and be guided in the development of an individualized plan for enhancing intercultural competence via completion of the Intercultural Development Inventory prior to our first meeting (Cost of $15; scholarships available. Please note in your application if this is a cost you are unable to meet).


Joyce Coleman, Vice President for Student Services & Enrollment Management, Century College (bio)

Elizabeth Dunens, Assistant Director, Center for Community Work and Learning, St. Catherine University (bio)


  • October 13, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (in-person, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, see logistics section above)
  • November 17, 11:00 am-12:30 pm (video conference call)
  • December 15, 11:00 am-12:30 pm (video conference call)
  • January 19, 11:00 am-12:30 pm (video conference call)
  • February 16, 11:00 am-12:30 pm (video conference call)
  • March 16, 11:00 am-12:30 pm (video conference call)
  • April 20, 11:00 am-12:30 pm (video conference call)
  • May 18, 11:00 am-12:30 pm (video conference call)

Description: Dostilio and Perry (2017) reflect on, reframe, and explore “the role of community engagement professionals (CEPs) as change-oriented leaders, using their positions within the middle spaces of their organizations to catalyze change and greater realization of postsecondary education’s civic purpose” (p. 3, emphasis added). In this Community of Practice (CoP), we will use the recently published book The Community Engagement Professional in Higher Education: A Competency Model for an Emerging Field (Dostilio, 2017) as a common text to explore how our experiences and challenges as community engagement professionals have facilitated (or hindered) our capacity to work effectively across higher education institutions, build partnerships to advance the work of community engagement, and span institutional boundaries within the campus and between campus and community.    


Susan Erickson, Program Coordinator, Institute for Design Research and Outreach, Iowa State University (bio)

Jane Turk, High-Impact Learning Practices Coordinator/Liberal Education As Practice (LEAP) Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, Hamline University (bio)


  • October 13, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (in-person, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, see logistics section above)
  • November 14, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)
  • January 23, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)
  • March 6, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)
  • May 1, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)

Description: We all know that even great plans can sit in a file, if we don’t regularly revisit our priorities, identify specific action steps, and hold ourselves and others accountable–then celebrate progress and reflect on what comes next. In this Community of Practice, participants will embark on that implementation process together, sharing key goals in and context for their Civic Action Plans, discussing successes and challenges, considering opportunities to address common priorities together, and harvesting lessons and resources for the broader Campus Compact network.


Julie Plaut, Executive Director, Minnesota Campus Compact (bio)

Emily Shields, Executive Director, Iowa Campus Compact (bio)


  • October 13, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (in-person, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, see logistics section above)
  • November 15, 3:00-4:30 pm (video conference call)
  • December 13, 3:00-4:30 pm (video conference call)
  • January 31, 3:00-4:30 pm (video conference call)
  • March 7, 3:00-4:30 pm (video conference call)

Description: This Community of Practice will explore innovative teaching and learning strategies for using storytelling to cultivate meaningful dialogues on and off campus. Participants will discuss a multidisciplinary set of practices and design their own projects to help students and/or local communities build new capacities for listening, empathy, and deeper understanding. The storytelling projects can take on a variety of creative forms, including person-to-person and digital sharing. Our goal will be to translate public policy and social issue concerns into human terms by facilitating community dialogues across differences of experience and opinions.


Sophia Geng, Associate Professor of Chinese, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (bio)

David Supp-Montgomerie, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa (bio)


  • October 13, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (in-person, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, see logistics section above)
  • November 3, 3:30-5:00 pm (video conference call)
  • January 26, 3:30-5:00 pm (video conference call)
  • March 9, 3:30-5:00 pm (video conference call)
  • April 27, 3:30-5:00 pm (video conference call)

Description: Both community members and academics often care deeply about what they can do to make a difference in the world and how they might achieve positive and sustainable change through deep and authentic engagement. How can the community’s way of knowing and the academy’s knowledge be utilized to achieve mutual benefit with the individuals and collaboration? This community of practice will explore the ways in which community engagement can lead to differing yet equitable examples of scholarship for both community and the academic individuals.


Susan Gust, Community Development Consultant (bio)

Laura Palombi, Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota (bio)


  • October 13, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (in-person, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, see logistics section above)
  • November 9, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)
  • January 25, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)
  • February 22, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)
  • April 12, 1:00-2:30 pm (video conference call)

Description: Reflective practices–asking big questions, listening well and making meaning from experience–are skills of a life-long learner and attributes of engaged citizens in a diverse democracy.  This CoP addresses effective approaches for reflective practice to enhance student immersive learning experiences. Participants will actively work on their own reflective capacities, learn about reflective pedagogy with and from one another, and, together, consider systemic change towards more reflective institutional cultures.


Tina Kruse, Professor, Educational Studies, Macalester College (bio)

Karin Trail-Johnson, Director of Civic Engagement and Associate Dean, Macalester College (bio)


  • October 13, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm (in-person, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus, see logistics section above)
  • November 3, 9:00-10:30 am (video conference call)
  • December 1, 9:00-10:30 am (video conference call)
  • February 2, 9:00-10:30 am (video conference call)
  • March 2, 9:00-10:30 am (video conference call)

University of Minnesota CoPs

We are also offering two campus-based Communities of Practice specifically for the University of Minnesota community. These sessions will take place in person on the Twin Cities campus. These applications are also due September 8. (Note: Students, staff, faculty, and community partners affiliated with the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities are welcome to apply.)

Description: As individual faculty and staff members, we strive to engage in authentic reciprocal partnerships with community members. Our efforts, though, may be undermined by institutional histories of working in (or even on) communities, sometimes with negative impacts. This campus-based Community of Practice examines issues of restorative justice, which focuses on publicly acknowledging, and even more importantly, working to repair the negative impacts that result from university engagement. We will explore individual and collective actions we can take to make better known and redress negative consequences. We will also explore what other higher education institutions have done in these regards. This work intersects with other ongoing campus conversations focused on understanding colleges’ and universities’ legacies as colonial institutions and what it means and looks like to work to decolonize the academy.

Čhaŋtémaza (Neil McKay), Senior Teaching Specialist, American Indian Studies, University of Minnesota (bio)
Monica Siems McKay, Assistant Director, Center for Community-Engaged Learning, University of Minnesota (bio)

Dates and times for meetings will be determined based on the availability of registered participants.