Michael McFadden Headshot Update

Michael McFadden

Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement KC Co-Chair Elect

Academic Program Coordinator
University of Central Florida

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Joint Candidate Statement

The Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Knowledge Community has been an integral part of our growth as CLDE professionals, and we hope to have the opportunity to engage with the knowledge community on a deeper level as Co-Chairs. Being a part of this knowledge community has allowed us to build a professional network across the country, get connected to best practices and research in the field, and celebrate the amazing work of colleagues on our own campuses and beyond. 

As members of this knowledge community since its inception, we have seen the growth, engagement and continued potential of this community. As members of the national leadership team, we have taken an active role in the development, growth, and promotion of the knowledge community. Through webinars, publications, awards, and conferences, we have seen and experienced the impact of the work of this knowledge community firsthand. This knowledge community spans almost every element of an institution – which is both an exciting, and terrifying, prospect! That means our opportunities for collaborations are immense and our responsibility to the field of student affairs is vital.

We believe that civic learning and democratic engagement is imperative to the continuation and success of our democracy, our campuses, and our communities. We need CLDE professionals who instill in our students the democratic values of inclusion, social justice, dialogue, advocacy, and leadership – among many others. CLDE work happens at all corners of campus and at every institution in our network. Therefore, we need a knowledge community that collaborates with diverse partners to produce and disseminate best practices and relevant research to its members, ensuring that we are growing and developing alongside our students.

In our roles as student affairs professionals, we both bring a wealth of experience in leadership development and civic engagement work, both in a curricular and co-curricular sense. Our combined experience in various communities and regions of the country, in addition to work experience at various types of institutions gives us a unique advantage as Co-Chairs that will allow us to provide a more specialized approach to working with member institutions.

We believe that our purpose as a knowledge community is to support student affairs professionals in their work, offer spaces to encourage and build community, and be advocates and educators for social responsibility and an active and engaged citizenry. As Co-Chairs of the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Knowledge Community, we have developed several goals that we hope to accomplish during our term, listed below:

  • Examining the current roles on the leadership team and conducting an assessment around gap areas with the intent of ensuring that each position is clear in its purpose
  • Identifying key partnerships in NASPA and beyond, and developing a set of expectations and intended achievements with those partners
  • Increasing the awareness and membership count of the knowledge community by utilizing our combined experience on the Outreach Team
  • Continuing to develop resources, strategies, and best practices regarding civic learning and democratic engagement to be shared with the membership