Continuums of Service Conference Celebrates Community Engagement

Continuums of Service Conference Celebrates Community Engagement

The University of San Diego opened its campus to more than 300 men and women representing 30 states who work for community colleges, colleges and universities as the Western Region Campus Compact 20th Continuums of Service Conference was held on March 6-8.

COS Conference 2019

The conference, which was themed “Beyond Borders: Embracing Multiple Ways of Knowing and Being,” offered an up-close look into the experiential and life-changing work done in the community engagement higher education field.

In addition to hosting the event, a number of USD faculty, staff and administrators attended the conference to present their work or share their experiences with conference-goers looking to take back what they gleaned and consider it for their school.

USD faculty member presenters were: Kevin Guerrieri (Spanish, Languages and Literature), Odesma Dalrymple (Engineering), Perla Myers (Math) and Joi Spencer (SOLES), Alberto Pulido (Ethnic Studies), Perse Lewis (Ethnic Studies, USD Tribal Liaison), Emilie Amrein (Music, Choral Scholars), Louis Komjathy (Theology and Religious Studies), Sandra Sgoutas-Emch (Psychological Sciences), Ricardo Medina (SOLES), Lisa Nunn (Sociology) and Mike Williams (International Relations and Political Science/Changemaker Hub). USD staff presenters and speakers were Chris Nayve, John Loggins and Maria Silva (all from Mulvaney Center for Community Awareness and Social Action), Stacey Williams (Student Affairs), Kira Espiritu (International Center), Peter Maribel (SOLES) and Colton Strawser (SOLES’ Nonprofit Institute).

Some of the USD-focused breakout sessions included Coming Together as a Community to Nurture Students in STEM (Dalrymple/Myers/Spencer); The Cajitas Project: Exploring Identity through Material Expression (Komjathy/Pulido); Epistemic Justice and the Power of Stories in Transforming Community Engagement (Nayve/Loggins); The Four Tezcatlipocas: Transformation through Critical and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy (Medina); and Community Engagement Power and Privilege in Makuleke, South Africa (Nunn/Williams).

One of three conference keynote addresses was given by Amrein, who during USD’s spring break week co-directed the Common Ground Voices La Frontera project.

Common Ground Voices/La Frontera brought together a diverse group of artists in a community music and peace-building project situated at the border of Mexico and the United States. The international ensemble, led by Amrein and Boston University Professor of Music and Music Education Chair André de Quadros, featured musicians from across Mexico and the United States, including many from the greater trans-border region. Throughout its week-long residency, Common Ground Voices/La Frontera considers forced migration, identity, place, belonging, and shared humanity in this politically charged and historically contested region.

The 26 people, which included a few USD students, performed in Tijuana, during the keynote address at the Continuums of Service — “Finding Common Ground: Building Community and understanding Across Political, Demographic and Perceptual Boarders” — and at the Bread and Salt building in Barrio Logan. On March 9, members of the group visited the U.S.-Mexico border’s International Friendship Park area where they sang and conversed through the fence with those on the Mexico side of the border.

Another proud moment during the event was honoring milestone 30th anniversary years of community engagement for USD’s Mulvaney Center and the California Campus Compact, of which USD was a founding member of the latter. Nayve, a triple USD alumnus and the associate vice president for community engagement and anchor initiatives, spoke appreciatively at various times during the conference about the importance of the work done by and through everyone who has been part of the center. While the late Judy Rauner was the founding director of the center, former director Elaine Elliott and Nayve, Loggins, both longtime leaders of the center were present at the conference as was one of its foundational community partners who worked with Rauner, Reggie Smith. The Mulvaney Center had a special dinner event on the first night of the conference with members of Campus Compact to mark the milestone.

Seven awards were given out on the conference’s final day to Western Region Campus Compact members: Bob Franco from Kapi’olani Community College, University of Hawai’I for the Advancing the Field Distinguished Leader Award; Father Stephen Sundborg, president of Seattle (Wash.) University was given the Engaged Presidential Leadership Award; Deborah Smith Arthur from Portland State University earned the Engaged Scholar Award; Karin Cotterman of the University of San Francisco was recognized for the Community Engagement Professional Award; two college students, Manuel Chavez of Whittier College and Andrew Menor from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, earned Engaged Student Leadership Awards; and Evergreen State College in the state of Washington was the Campus-Community Partnership Award recipient. Learn more about their accomplishments for receiving their awards.

— USD News Center

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