(Dept. of Communication Studies Nomination):
We nominate Communicating Common Ground (CCG) for the Presidents’ Civic Engagement Steward Award. Communicating Common Ground is an exemplary service-learning project facilitated by Dr. Eddah Mutua-Kombo, professor of Communication Studies at SCSU.
Communicating Common Ground forges strategic community partnerships between students from Apollo, Tech, and Sauk Rapids-Rice high schools and students from SCSU Communication Studies Department to create intercultural understanding, address differences in meaningful and tangible ways, and provide crucial leadership in reducing racial, ethnic, and religious prejudice and intolerance in central Minnesota. Communicating Common Ground has engaged over 255 students from diverse perspectives and backgrounds since its inception in 2006. Students involved in CCG are creative problem-solvers who are invested in maintaining integrity in the midst of difficult conversations; they are mindful listeners and critical thinkers willing to engage in rigorous dialogue about pressing issues facing their communities. Clearly, because of Dr. Mutua-Kombo’s leadership, the students who participate in CCG are invested in intercultural commitments that seek new narratives imbued with possibility and imagination, and that are based in the recognition of one another’s immanent value. Communication Common Ground, a model of civic engagement praxis, provides a place where student-citizens are building communities grounded in dialogue and agency.
(ISD 742 Superintendent & Apollo Principal Nomination):
We are writing this letter of nomination in support of the collaborative effort between Eddah Mutua-Kombo, Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University, and St. Cloud Area School District 742. Along with District administrators and faculty, we have been working with Dr. Mutua-Kombo on the Communicating Common Ground Project. Dr. Mutua-Kombo is an incredible facilitator of the project and is meticulous in developing an effective collaboration.
St. Cloud Area School District 742 is extremely pleased to be partnering with SCSU in the development of our future leaders in the communications area. We value strong intercultural relationships as an important factor in school achievement for our students. Testimonials from our high school students indicate a sense of connection with the students at SCSU during the sessions of the project. Derived from the partnership, the students and staff from Apollo and Tech High Schools report a strong sense of ownership in developing strategies and skills for tomorrow’s leaders. The collaboration with Dr. Mutua-Kombo and the Department of Communication Studies at SCSU has allowed us to set the foundation for research-based training and techniques.
It is our pleasure to be involved with the Communicating Common Ground Project. We are in strong support of the collaborative effort between Dr. Eddah Mutua-Kombo and St. Cloud Area School District 742.