Mindfulness - paying attention to the small yet oh so powerful moments in our lives - is at the core of engagement.   [Photo by Patti] 

Mindfulness - paying attention to the small yet oh so powerful moments in our lives - is at the core of engagement. 

[Photo by Patti] 

Sample Keynote Addresses


'With-ness' as a Way of Being: The Heart of Service-Learning and Community Engagement -- Sigmon's seminal 1979 article establishing the core principles of  service-learning made explicit that all serve and are served, all teach,  and all learn. Thirty years later, the Democratic Engagement White Paper  (Saltmarsh, Hartley, & Clayton, 2009) conceptualized a paradigm shift  from technocratic to democratic community engagement, with a key element  being the distinction between the hierarchical, deficit-based doing  "for" and the reciprocal, asset-based thinking and acting "with."  Democratic engagement positions all participants as "teachers, learners, and leaders" (Mondloch, 2008/9), indeed as "co-learners, co-educators,  and co-generators of knowledge (Jameson, Jaeger, & Clayton, 2010). How, concretely,in our everyday practice, might we live out the "thick"  reciprocity of democratic engagement in a largely technocratic world? Patti refers to the identities, perspectives, and practices underlying such a conceptualization of reciprocity as 'with-ness.' Much of her current work is focused on collaboratively exploring 'with-ness' as a way of being. What learning does it require and foster?  What forces encourage it and what forces hinder it--at individual, interpersonal,  organizational, and systemic levels? What, exactly, would we do (and not do) on the first day of class, during a gathering of faculty and  community members, in designing a syllabus or a research project, in  facilitating a workshop, in disseminating our work? In short, how can we enact and encourage the sharing and integration of power, voice, resources, and questions that comprises 'with-ness,' most especially in  our community-engaged classrooms and partnerships? 


Tapping the Transformative Potential of Experiential Education through Democratic Engagement -- Patti Clayton will facilitate a reflective keynote session in which we will explore prospects for tapping the transformative potential of the full range of experiential pedagogies through the lens of some of the most powerful dynamics of community engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship. Reciprocal partnerships, critical reflection, civic learning, and collaborative capacity-building are among the defining dimensions of community engagement; and they can help generate learning and change among all participants in a variety of experiential learning contexts. Key to the design of transformative experiential education are the shifts in perspective and practice that bring to life a paradigm shift from technocratic to democratic engagement and thereby position and empower all participants as co-learners, co-educators, and co-generators of knowledge. In this session we will assess our own approaches to experiential education with an eye to how we might enhance their democratic nature and deepen their transformative outcomes.


Students Engaging with the World, Now: As Real as it Gets -- All too often we speak of the “real world” as beginning after graduation and, relatedly, we think of the undergraduate experience as a time of preparation for “real life.” Service-learning, however, invites us to approach college as the real world and to assume responsibility for that world and for our presence in it, now. This understanding of what constitutes the “real world” both requires and fosters shifts in perspective and practice, not only on the part of students but among all members of the college community. Students can be key change agents in this process, leading the way toward a more civically engaged campus. Our guest, Patti Clayton, has worked closely with undergraduates for many years to develop strong models for what they call “service-learning as a shared developmental journey.” She will share several stories of the extraordinary impact these students have had, on campus and beyond, and will discuss with us thlessons they have learned together and the keys to their leadership