Past CoPs

2017-18 Communities of Practice:

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)

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)


Click here for resources created from this CoP.

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)

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)

Multicultural Organization Development

The Role of Story in Organizations

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)

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)


Reflective Practice CoP Resources Document

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)

2016-17 Communities of Practice

Co-Chairs: Marla Kanengieter-Wildeson and Kara Lindaman

Co-Chairs: Dave Ellis and Awale Osman

Co-Chairs: Erin Slattengren and Karin Trail Johnson

A number of individuals who have facilitated or helped to organize CoPs in the past compiled useful information on what defines a CoP as well as tips and strategies on how to facilitate. The resulting Manual can be downloaded at the link below.