FALL | 2015
The Office of Civic Engagement at the University of St. Thomas is pleased to announce the online edition* of the Center's newsletter, The COMPANION. The title comes from the philosophy of accompaniment that will inform the Office's work both globally and locally as we strive to become companions to eradicate poverty and hunger; to achieve equitable access to education globally and to close the achievement gap locally; to improve public health; to promote human rights; to promote racial and gender equality; to care for elders; to ensure environmental sustainability; and to partner for global development.
Accompaniment is a theoretical model practiced by many humanitarian organizations throughout the world emphasizing the relationship that is developed when people walk together. The model of accompaniment does not assume that anything can be fixed, saved, or changed; rather, this model recognizes that any true change can only happen when transformation influences everyone in the relationship. This kind of engagement is intentional about overcoming the power dynamics too often at play between one who provides service and the one receiving service. The University and the global or local community partner with whom we are engaged enter into a mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationship in order for students to contribute to something meaningful for the partnering organization even as the partnering organization agrees to assist the University and its professors in the task of education. We work together to advance the common good.
This newsletter is aimed at fostering this conversation as the University of St. Thomas engages global and local communities.
Dr. Camille George reflects on the transition of the International Education Center to the
Center for Global & Local Engagement, and reports on her first six months on the job.
Kimberly Vrudny summarizes the history of service-learning at UST,
and outlines our current mission and aspirations for the future.
Elise Amel and Maria Dahmus are coordinating sustainability initiatives at UST.
Read more about these new and exciting sustainability efforts on campus.
Over the summer, the Change Team went through a screening process with Ashoka.
We are now beginning the 360° scan.
Read more about our efforts toward becoming an Ashoka-certified Changemaker campus.
EVENTS / DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN CIVIC ENGAGEMENT
Poverty and Homelessness in the Twin Cities
Angela Senander reflects on her use of the Pope's Encyclical, Laudato Si', in her Murray course this past summer.
Lucia Pawlowski describes her own efforts in piloting a service-learning course,
and offers some tips for faculty new to service learning to try it in one of their own upcoming courses.
Here is the line-up of fall courses with components in service to the community.
All of these courses have been officially designated through the Office of Civic Engagement and the registrar's office.
It's not too late to designate!
Pursue a designation for courses currently underway.
(Designation for J-term and spring semester will open in October.)
WE NEED YOU!
SAVE THE DATES
The Office of Civic Engagement is hosting an Engagement Dinner.
We are tentatively holding March 8 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. and are lining up a speaker.
Watch for announcements.
The community celebration is tentatively scheduled
for May 2, 2016, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Watch for details.
*This year, the COMPANION will be published only online.
Watch for announcements about the return of a print edition.