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.


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