Monthly Archives: June 2012

Five Questions for: Aaron Corcoran

Aaron Corcoran is an intern at Minnesota Campus Compact  and is working on the Deliberative Dialogue series in conjunction with the Center for Democracy and Citizenship.  He holds a Bachelors in Arts in Social Justice from Hamline University and is currently a Masters of Public Policy candidate at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at University of Minnesota. He is an avid Twins fan.

1)What about your college experience influenced where you are today?

Two experiences stick out.  The first being a Thanksgiving meal delivery I participated in several years ago at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.  The selflessness in the air during this event was so inspiring it was overwhelming.  Just as overwhelming, however was the profound poverty we encountered.  The single bag of groceries being delivered may have been the only food in the homes of these individuals.  This fact sickened me, but I left knowing that I could do some real life changing good at any moment, even if it was just for a moment.  Secondly, the work I’ve done as a tutor in various capacities throughout my undergraduate and graduate studies has been both challenging and rewarding when you see a fellow student take the power of a concept, articulate it for themselves, thereby changing their view of the world.

2) What are most excited about doing with Minnesota Campus Compact? 

Deliberative dialogues around Higher Ed and the idea of Service Learning.  My hope would be that institutions of higher education can move from the emphasis on learning objectives and more toward engagement.  While learning objectives are important, no one can argue that the far more important word is learning, no matter where or how or whom it happens to.

3) What book should everybody read, and why? 

Stephen Noble Smith’s Stoking the Fires of Democracy serves as an inspirational cautionary tale, that while you may not often find a perfect solution, sometimes the imperfect ones result in the most personal growth.   Even the ones that result in no solution at all have taught you something.

4) Who or what is inspiring your work these days?

Those people who are marginalized, not thought of, or stereotyped, and those that do the stereotyping.

5) What are you passionate about?

Equal opportunity with Equal responsibility.  To whom much is given, much should be expected, and we are only as good as our weakest link.  We need to work together.  While we cannot allow things to consume us, we cannot ignore them as “the other” anymore.

Two Minnesotans Named SENCER Leadership Fellows

Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER), works to improve science education by focusing on real world problems and, by so doing, extends the impact of this learning across the curriculum to the broader community and society. Recently, the organization selected nine faculty members and administers  to serve 18-month terms as SENCER Leadership Fellows. Two individuals from MNCC member campuses have received this honor: Dr. Richard Dunning, from Normandale Community College, and Dr. Linda Fuselier, from Minnesota State University, Moorhead.

Richard DunningDunning has undertaken a sabbatical project to develop student activities around Mississippi River related issues as a way to help students better engage in the class and in key local environmental issues. Over the previous decade he has developed and taught Environmental Geology, a course that relates the science of geology in relation to key environmental issues. Over the past four years, he has been the PI for an S-STEM scholarship program, work that has connected him to students from a wider range of scientific disciplines and has helped him appreciate some of the concerns they are dealing with.

Fuselier will continue to facilitate a learning group including faculty from Linda Fuseliereconomics, biology, philosophy, physics, and women’s and gender studies in their grant-funded project to design SENCER-based course modules for biology and physics courses. The group is working on a course designed around Red River Valley floods and a SENCER-based module on ultrasound techniques for an introductory Physics course, both of which will be implemented in the next year.

2012 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award Announced: Minnesotans are winner and finalist

Minnesota Campus Compact is pleased to announce that the 2012 Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award Winner is Dr. Andrew Furco from the University of Minnesota and Dr. Stephen Philion from St. Cloud State University is one of only 4 finalists!

Dr. Andrew Furco is the associate vice president for Public Engagement and associate professor of Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development and a Minnesota Campus Compact board member.  Here is an excerpt from Campus Compact’s press release:

Dr. Heidi Barajas, associate dean for Engagement, Diversity and Undergraduate Programs in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota says of Dr. Furco, “Through his graceful leadership as a teacher, researcher, and administrator, Professor Furco is systematically shifting the academic culture in our college and across the university system to more fully embrace community engagement practices in our teaching, research, and outreach.”

“Professor Furco is himself a remarkable engaged scholar and teacher, but what makes him exceptional is his ability to translate his individual curriculum into a platform for institutional change that transforms universities and colleges across the globe into being fully engaged institutions,” she concludes.

Dr. Stephen Philion is an associate professor of Sociology and the director of the Saint Cloud State University Faculty Research Group on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota. He completed his book, Workers Democracy and China’s Transition from State Socialism, in 2009.  As the Director of the Saint Cloud State University Research Group on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota, Dr. Philion has lectured on the social conditions of immigrant workers and is instrumental in organizing the Annual Social Conditions of Immigrant Workers and Families in Minnesota Conference.

Congratulations to both Dr. Furco and Dr. Philion and all the award finalists!