The Welcoming Semester

As I compiled the end of semester reports, I noticed a bit of a theme for the Office of Community Engagement this fall. We have been doing a lot of welcoming.

First we welcomed five new staff members to our team. That’s three new community engagement fellows, our new budget manager, and a new coordinator of education programs. You can read about each of our staff members’ talents and experience, but one thing we all share is a love of laughter.

With our team assembled, we welcomed new students to campus. We hosted the 7 Generations pre-orientation program and then 150 incoming students slogged through the rainiest SHOW Day we’ve ever hosted. Together they learned more about their new community focused on civic engagement, natural resources, poverty, education, health, criminal justice, civic engagement, and more.

We welcomed Griffin School Partnerships as our newest education program. Combining the assets of Project Phoenix and College Partnership for Kids, GSP provides a wide range of programming. As our students offer in-class assistance, one to one mentoring, after-school programs, and even weekend enrichment, they are also trained in education equity.

A much celebrated welcome was the arrival of River Elizabeth Porter, daughter of our director, Melody. While we miss Melody during her leave, we are so excited to have River in the world and for Melody to be focused on training her in active citizenship.

Our dinner dialogues gave us the opportunity to welcome students, staff, and community members to share a meal together while practicing facilitated dialogue. Participants explored questions like what is the common good and should we adapt for sustainability?

We also had the opportunity to welcome our community partners onto campus for our annual partner breakfast. A record number of representatives attended and the room was full with new ideas and potential collaborations.

This semester of welcoming brought amazing new people, experiences, and ideas for our work of cultivating active citizenship within our communities. I am looking forward to what we will welcome into that work come spring.

Categories: Campus Life, Community Engagement & Service, Faculty & Staff Blogs

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