Faculty and staff are invited to participate in a June seminar titled “Stewardship of the Commons: Reclaiming the ‘We.’” The seminar will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, June 7-10, at a variety of off-campus sites in the Twin Cities and will be facilitated by HECUA (the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs).

The workshop is sponsored by the Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement (CILCE), Service-Learning and Faculty Development.

A key component of St. Thomas’ mission statement is preparing students to work skillfully to advance the common good.

The workshop will explore three aspects of the common good:

  1. The changing climate of the shared planet,
  2. The challenge of maintaining a civil and effective public discourse in an age of fragmented media and news, and
  3. Working effectively with others of different backgrounds.

Activities of the workshop will include visits to organizations that deal with these issues, a bus tour that explores the evolution of different Twin Cities neighborhoods, and a session with local consultant Beth Zemsky. Zemsky will help participants reflect on stages of intercultural development and effective strategies for meeting students where they are on the continuum from discomfort with difference to curiosity to enthusiastic adaptation. Post-workshop reflection and a discussion of ways to integrate off-campus experiences into coherent curricular and co-curricular offerings will conclude the event.

Seminar objectives

  • Gain firsthand knowledge of Twin Cities’ communities and some of the issues they face.
  • Gain ideas for case studies and community-based projects.
  • Become more knowledgeable about pedagogical principles and practices in experiential education and intercultural learning.
  • Increase understanding of the ethical and practical considerations in getting students involved with communities outside the St. Thomas campus.
  • Help participants plan for changes they could make to their own courses and programs.

Registration deadline

The registration deadline is Friday, May 21. Space is limited due to the experiential nature of the seminar; early registration is advised. Interested faculty and staff will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

To register, e-mail Katie Ngumba; include a few sentences outlining your goals for participating and your interest in or experience with community engagement, community-based learning or service-learning. (No experience with community-based pedagogy is assumed.)

For more information, contact Meghan Allen Eliason, CILCE, (651) 962-6805; Kevin Sauter, Service-Learning, (651) 962-5821; or Barb Baker, Service-Learning, (651) 962-5380.