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St. Thomas Team Presents Twice at National Conference on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement

A team of St. Thomas University faculty and staff were honored to present twice at this year’s NASPA Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Conference, held June 13th-15, 2014.  

The presentations, coordinated by the STU Center for Community Engagement, were part of St. Thomas’s membership as a “Lead Institution” in the NASPA CLDE initiative. The initiative identifies universities based on their commitment to developing thoughtful civic engagement and implementing best practices in the field of engaged scholarship. This year NASPA named 73 colleges and universities in the nation as Lead Institutions – placing St. Thomas alongside prestigious universities such as Stanford, Cornell, and Boston College.

Dr. Darrell Arnold, Associate Professor of Philosophy, and Dr. Nathanial Samuel, Assistant Professor of Theological and Ministerial Studies, attended the conference with Center for Community Engagement staff. Drs. Arnold and Samuel have long been committed to community engagement, and have worked extensively with the CCE to integrate into their classes hands-on learning experiences that address pressing social justice issues. 

“It was an honor to be at the conference and present,” said Anthony Vinciguerra, Coordinator of the STU CCE. “We have faculty and staff doing such incredible community-engaged work. It’s always a pleasure to highlight their efforts, while learning from best practices in the field.” 

The presentations at the conference highlighted the university’s long-term partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (as a plenary session, alongside the University of Miami and Florida International University). The second presentation highlighted the university’s long-term partnerships in the Northwest Department of Haiti.

St. Thomas University has a long history of community engagement as a key component of its Catholic Identity. The Center for Community Engagement serves as a central facilitating unit for community engagement on the St. Thomas campus. With collaborations locally in North Miami Dade County, regionally in the Central Florida Farmworker community, and internationally in Miami’s sister-diocese of Port-de-Paix, the Center supports faculty and students in leveraging their teaching and research into the most urgent problems of our region. 

For more information on the STU Center for Community Engagement visit www.stu.edu/cce. To learn more about NASPA’s Lead Initiative please visit http://www.naspa.org/rpi/lead-initiative/P4.