Meet the 2019 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting Planning Committee


Published
December 19, 2018


AASCU’s The American Democracy Project and the NASPA LEAD Initiative are proud to announce its committee members for the 2019 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Below you’ll find out more about them and their contributions to spirit of civic engagement and learning in higher education.

Committee Leadership

Stephanie King is the Director for Civic Engagement and Knowledge Community Initiatives, formerly the Assistant Director for Civic Engagement, Knowledge Community, and Social Justice Initiatives at NASPA where she directs the NASPA LEAD Initiative and co-manages the Voter Friendly Campus program. She has worked in higher education since 2009 in the areas of student activities, orientation, residence life, and civic learning and democratic engagement. Stephanie earned her Master of Arts in Psychology at Chatham University and her B.S. in Biology from Walsh University. She has contributed to a few publications including Effective Strategies for Supporting Student Civic Engagement (May 2018) and Higher Education’s Role in Enacting a Thriving Democracy: Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Theory of Change (June 2018).

George L. Mehaffy has served as AASCU’s Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change since 1999. In this role, he is responsible for developing and managing programs for member institutions in areas such as student success, international education, teacher education, civic engagement, leadership development and technology. Before coming to AASCU, he had more than 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in higher education in Texas, New Mexico and California. In addition, he served for 33 years in the United States Coast Guard Reserve,

Committee Members

Craig Berger is Assistant Director for Community Engaged Learning at Kent State University (Ohio). Craig works with faculty, staff, students, and community partners to design, facilitate, and capture the impact of learning experiences that strengthen the Kent community and foster students’ civic agency. Craig’s research examines how traditional models of educational planning and assessment in higher education can limit the quality of learning experiences and communicate unintended messages to students. Prior to his time at Kent State, Craig worked for several years as Coordinator of Student Life for Campus and Civic Engagement at UMBC, developing cross-campus relationships and experimenting with democratic pedagogies in courses and programs. Craig received his Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Miami University and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Allegheny College. Craig served as the Chair of the American Democracy Project Steering Committee during the 2016-2017 academic year and has contributed to discussions that formed the basis of the CLDE Emergent Theory of Change.

Mike Bishop serves as the director of student leadership, at Cornell University (N.Y.). Mike supports the engaged leadership ethos across Cornell University. He focuses on supporting students in integrating their community engagement and leadership development, as well as cultivating a vibrant network of leadership educators at Cornell. Before working in higher education Mike served for five years with the Missouri Division of Youth Services as a youth counselor, youth group leader and trainer. After completing a career-transition M.Ed. in 2003 at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Mike served as the assistant director for the Harvard Public Service Network and Center for Public Interest Careers, partnering with Harvard College alumni to offer summer and post-graduate internships and mentoring opportunities to students. For ten years with University of California Berkeley’s Public Service Center, he oversaw all co-curricular student leadership and service programs, the Center’s local poverty initiative, new alumni development and student learning assessment. He developed and spearheaded Magnolia Project, the Center’s ten-year commitment to post-Katrina New Orleans, in the process deepening his understanding of race and class privilege. For the past twenty years, Mike has helped young leaders connect their community engagement to academic scholarship, career exploration and personal development. Passionate about experiential education, Mike has created leadership programming in varied settings that emphasizes service to the public good, democratic teaching, reflective dialogue and mentoring. He views his work as strengthening democracy by providing emerging leaders with the tools to build healthy communities.  

Sam Collins currently works as the Service Leadership Coordinator at the Thayne Center for Service & Learning at Salt Lake Community College (Utah). In her current position, she coordinates the Community Work Study program and the Student Leaders in Civic Engagement (SLiCE) program. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Romance Languages and East European and Eurasian Studies at Bowdoin College and her Master’s degree through the Development Practice program at Emory University. Prior to working at the Salt Lake Community College, she has used her passion for nonprofit operations, strategy, and systems in a variety of settings in Maine, Georgia, and internationally. She is currently pursuing a Community College Leadership and Teaching Certificate at the University of Utah.

Molly Kerby is an associate professor in the Department of Diversity & Community Studies and the Director of QEP Implementation in Academic Affairs at Western Kentucky University (WKU). Molly completed her undergraduate degree in sociology and environmental science and her master's degree in public/environmental health at WKU.  Molly received her PhD in Higher Education Leadership & Administration from the University of Louisville. Dr. Kerby primarily teach courses in public problem solving, community resilience, and methodology.

They have been teaching at the university level since the spring of 1995. In the last few years, Molly’s educational and research interests have focused on issues pertaining to resilience and sustainability in terms of place, social policy, higher education, and the politics of food justice. Her most recent research and publication projects include (a) an examination of civic and information literacy in terms of “fake news,” (b) an analysis of planned and emergent change theory, (c) a theoretical model of sense of place and college retention using classical social theory, (d) a conceptual manuscript on resilience, entitled “beyond sustainability,” (e) a collaborative manuscript dealing with consumer-based higher education and resilience, and (f) data collection from a community garden project with African refugees in the Bowling Green, KY community.

Morgan Lewing serves as the Department Chair of Educational Leadership & Human Development, the Director of Community-Based Learning, and a faculty member in both the Higher Education Leadership graduate program and the Exercise Physiology and Human Performance undergraduate program at the Texas A&M University-Central Texas.  He earned a bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and has experience in various sectors of higher education ranging from student affairs to laboratory research.  His current research agenda examines the institutionalization of service-learning and community engagement as a mode of organizational change for colleges and universities.

Mike McFadden is the Coordinator of the LEAD Scholars Academy at the University of Central Florida, where he has served since 2016. In this role, Mike oversees the Civic Engagement Scholars and Global Leadership Programs, working primarily with upperclassmen and transfer students interested in leadership and service-learning. Mike also serves on the leadership team for the NASPA Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Knowledge Community. He is passionate about educating students on the importance of civic learning and democratic engagement, and hopes to empower all students, faculty, staff, and community members to use their voice and to develop as active citizens in their communities.

William McKinney serves as the Senior Advisor for Regional Campus Affairs at Indiana University. For more than 25 years, Bill has been committed to the civic value of a liberal education.  His current position at IU encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, especially those outlined in Blueprint 2.0:  The Bicentennial Strategic Plan for the Regional Campuses of Indiana University.  This ambitious plan links student success and community engagement.  He leads a number of strategic projects for IU’s five regional campuses, including their joint participation in AASCU’s Re-imagining the First Year. Bill has also been Senior Fellow with AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), and coordinator of the State of Indiana’s LEAP Faculty Collaborative. He has also served on the board of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning since 2012.

Prior to joining Indiana University in 2015, he served as President of Valdosta State University, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, Dean of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and Professor and Chair of Philosophy and Religion at Southeast Missouri State University.  He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science and his M.A. in the History and Philosophy of Science from IU-Bloomington.  He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and his B.A. in History from Bucknell University.  He has published or presented well over 100 papers, book chapters or reviews in such diverse topics as the philosophical nature of scientific experiments, environmental ethics, liberal education, and civic engagement.

Paul Valdez is the Associate Director in the Center for Community & Civic Engagement at Bowling Green State University (Ohio).  He works with faculty, community partners, and students to develop mutually beneficial partnerships that enhance student learning and meet identified community needs.  Paul has an undergraduate degree in paleontology from Bowling Green State University (’04) and a master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University (’07).  During his time in higher education Paul has worked in a variety of functional areas including Semester at Sea, Residence Life, Campus Activities, Honors Programs, and most recently and extensively Community Engagement.  His work in community engagement has focused on faculty development for community-based learning, community partnership development, and student civic engagement through programs such as BGSU Votes, MLK Jr. Day of Service, and the Civic Action Leaders Scholarship Program.  Paul serves in a variety of community roles such as on the executive board for Directors of Volunteers in Agencies of Northwest Ohio, as a past chair and board member of Equality Toledo, as a member of the Advisory Board for US Together Toledo, and as the past-chair and current board member of the Ohio Campus Compact Advisory Council.


To get involved with the 2019 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting, consider these opportunities:

  • Submit a proposal by January 31 here.
  • Sign up to review program proposals by January 31 here
  • Recommend a Student Intern by January 31 here
  • Attend the CLDE: Theory of Change Live Briefing on Feb. 13. Register here

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