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Center for Democracy and Civic Life Staff at National Forums

PLACE Collaboratory, Kettering Foundation Events

On November 4, Director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Life David Hoffman Ph.D. ’13, language, literacy, and culture (LLC), Emily Paul ‘21, Felipe Filomeno, Nic Nemec ‘21, Assistant Director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Life Romy Hübler ‘09, modern languages and linguistics, M.A. ‘11, intercultural communication, Ph.D. ‘15, LLC, and Shannon Cheek ‘21 led a two-hour gathering of the PLACE Collaboratory, a national network of higher education leaders and community partners convened by Bringing Theory to Practice. The UMBC team reported on the Baltimore PLACE project, which has connected UMBC faculty, staff, and students with students and teachers at Ben Franklin High School in the Brooklyn/Curtis Bay neighborhood to develop community-driven plans to enhance students’ well-being. The team shared a photovoice exhibit featuring images and text created by Ben Franklin students to illuminate issues and opportunities relating to their mental health. Team members also reflected on themes that have emerged over the past two years of the project, and facilitated breakout sessions focused on approaches to developing undergraduate students’ civic agency and pursuing humanities research projects that center and amplify community voices.

On November 18, Hoffman and Hübler participated in a Kettering Foundation research exchange, the latest in a series of conversations among higher education leaders exploring approaches to Educating for Civic Professionalism. Building on pedagogical experiments led by the participants during the 2020-2021 academic year, participants shared their research findings and considered new possibilities. The project Hoffman and Hübler led at UMBC featured interviews with alumni reflecting on how their UMBC experiences helped prepare them to enact their civic values in their professional roles. The project also involved facilitating Meaningful Careers Workshops and observing how students responded to the terms, ideas, and activities they introduced.

The Center is participating in a multiyear collaborative research project focused on civic professionalism, coordinated and funded by the Kettering Foundation. Center staff conducted a study titled "Civic Professionalism and Meaning-Making by UMBC Center for Democracy and Civic Life Alumni," exploring how UMBC alumni developed the knowledge, skills, and and dispositions to approach their careers as civic professionals.

Hoffman and Hübler served as principal investigators and Dominique Henriques-Melo ‘22 and Tess McRae ‘22 served as research assistants.


Posted: January 4, 2022, 9:51 AM