Six Pathways to Public Engagement


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8 a.m. Registration

Alumni Memorial Union, 2nd floor Lobby

8 – 8:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast

Weasler Auditorium, Lobby

8:30 – 8:40 a.m. Welcome by Dr. Michael Lovell, President, Marquette University

Weasler Auditorium

8:40 – 10:05 a.m. Pathways Presentations

 Weasler Auditorium 


Talk Topic: Why Community Engagement is a Responsibility

Grady Crosby, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer for Johnson Controls and President, Johnson Controls Foundation


Talk Topic: Why Organizing is Not a Choice if You are Committed to Social Justice

Janan Najeeb, President, Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition


Talk Topic: Giving Voice to Our Young People

Annie McGinnity Kubes, Executive Director, The McGinnity Family Foundation


Talk Topic: Why "Going In" Matters for Community-Engaged Scholarship

 Naya Jones, Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical College of Wisconsin


Talk Topic: Why Hope in Community Engagement Matters

Tracey Sparrow, President, Next Door Foundation


Talk Topic: Why Policy is the Power of the People’s Voice

Shauntay Nelson, Wisconsin State Director – All Voting is Local, The Leadership Conference Education Fund

10:20 – 11:15 a.m. Pathways Workshops

Workshop 1: Corporate Social Responsibility

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 227 

Grady Crosby, Vice President of Public Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer for Johnson Controls and President, Johnson Controls Foundation

Join Grady Crosby as he overviews the process of developing a corporate social responsibility strategy and how Johnson Controls has leveraged their efforts in community engagement to advance meaningful neighborhood-based outcomes. Learn about key strategies you might employ at your organization to more meaningfully engage your local community.


Workshop 2: Community Organizing and Social Activism

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 157 

Janan Najeeb, President, Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition

Participants will be invited to consider the strategies and actions utilized in the process of community organizing, and social activism. In small groups, they will be invited to consider contemporary issues and, design a specific plan of action for organizing around the issue.


Workshop 3: Engaging Young People in Philanthropy 

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 252 

Annie McGinnity Kubes, Executive Director, The McGinnity Family Foundation 

The McGinnity Family Foundation believes that there is an amazing untapped resource in the minds and hearts of our young people.  Join us as we explore strategies for engaging young people in finding their voice and using it for good and the role that philanthropy can play in supporting their game changing, socially innovative ideas for addressing community-based challenges.  We welcome those with experience in engaging young people as well as those who have an interest in learning more!


Workshop 4: “Going In” Workshop

Alumni Memorial Union, 3rd floor, Ballroom CD

Naya Jones, Postdoctoral Fellow, Medical College of Wisconsin

Kevin Thomas, Assistant Professor of Multicultural Branding, Strategic Communication, Marquette University

Mai See Thao, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin

Grounded in contemplative practice and social justice, this body-centered workshop is about being + sitting with the engaged scholarship we do (or feel called to do). Part guided meditation and breathwork, part storytelling with community engaged scholars. We'll focus on themes of social location, power, and radical healing and community engaged scholarship. Always in touch with our breaths, bodies, and spirits throughout.


Workshop 5: Non-profit Strategies for Building Successful Partnerships

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 254 

Tracey Sparrow, President, Next Door

Delve into specific partnerships cultivated by Tracey Sparrow in her time as the executive director of both MCFI, and the Next Door Foundation, to better understand what made them successful/challenging. Work through your own partnership opportunities and challenges with small groups, as you define your goals, outcomes, and vision for what you hope to achieve in relationship with another organization.


Workshop 6: Leveraging the People’s Voice to Change Policy

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 163 

Shauntay Nelson, Wisconsin State Director – All Voting is Local, The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Explore the process of policy change beginning with partnership, coalition building, and identification of the appropriate channels. In small groups, consider policy case studies and identify the processes you would take to address meaningful policy change.


11:20 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. Lunch, Awards and Educational Opportunity Program Panel

Alumni Memorial Union, 3rd floor, Ballrooms


Award Recipients

Community Engaged Teaching Award – Joshua Knox 

Community Partner Award – Aurora Sinai Medical Center 

Community Engaged Research Partnership Award – Michael Schlappi and Fondy Food Center  


Educational Opportunity Program Panelists

Moderator – Kimo Ah Yun, Acting Provost, Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Marquette University

Griselda Aldrete, Executive Director, Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission

Karen Robinson, Associate Professor, Nursing, Marquette University

Walter Harvey, Senior Pastor, Parklawn Assembly of God

12:30 – 1:25 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Workshop 1: Building the High-Road in Wisconsin: The UniverCity Alliance & UniverCity Year Program

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 254 

Gavin Luter, Managing Director, UniverCity Alliance, University of Wisconsin-Madison

High-road policy and governance promotes shared prosperity, environmental sustainability, and efficient democratic government. Building high-road cities, metropolitan regions, and states is both good for citizens and a key way to move the national dialogue toward progressive policy solutions. Learn about a new effort at UW-Madison aimed at coordinating teaching, research, and service in service of building high-road places in Wisconsin. Building these kinds of cities is complex, and local governments need partners who can guide them through these complexities. This is the aim of the UniverCity Year program, a three-year partnership between local governments at UW-Madison where students and faculty work on projects identified by localities. Coordination with complementary Milwaukee-based higher education institution will also be discussed.


Workshop 2: Goal Diggers: Strong Not Scared - A Community Strength & Nutrition Program to Address Trauma

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 252 

Claire Menck, Owner, Girl Chef

Goal Diggers is a strength and culinary training program that seeks to use power lifting and nutritional training to address issues of trauma in women.  The program is designed loosely on the research of Bessel van der Kalk into yoga as a therapeutic modality in the treatment of PTSD.  This presentation introduces the overall structure of the program, and the proposed research questions that will be the foundation for the study of the impact of strength and culinary training on trauma.  Further, the presentation is intended to engage other researchers in the Milwaukee area who are interested in therapeutic modalities in the treatment of trauma as partners in this developing program.


Workshop 3: Soundbites are Not Solutions: How a Local Podcast is Bridging Sectors and Communities Together in Milwaukee

Alumni Memorial Union, 3rd floor, Ballroom CD 

Ashlie Benson, Development Manager and Host, Bridge the City

Kyle Hagge, Co-Founder and Producer, Bridge the City

Bridge the City’s mission is to bridge together people, resources and ideas that inspire Milwaukee to action. From its inception in December 2017, Bridge the City has focused on the local. Connect Local. Support Local. Vote Local. Taking a step back from the national media landscape and focusing on Milwaukee and Wisconsin, Bridge the City is able to highlight tangible avenues for community members to get involved with their local entities, building coalitions for larger systemic engagement. Because of this, we believe soundbites are not solutions. Providing listeners with new information is imperative, but if they are not given attainable action steps to get involved with their local communities we have failed in our mission. Every episode and live event ends with guests sharing accessible ways to get involved in the local communities.


Workshop 4: Teaching Milwaukee’s Young Children Mindfulness: A Model of a Sustained Collaborative Partnership

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 163 

Astrida Kaugars, Associate Professor Psychology, Marquette University

Latrice Robinson, Next Door Foundation

Daiquiri Williams, Next Door Foundation

This session will present an example of a sustained community-university partnership that incorporates practice and research. Presenters will describe the implementation and evaluation of the Calm Classroom curriculum in kindergarten classrooms at Next Door. Successes and challenges encountered will be discussed.


Workshop 5: Merging Rivers of Social Justice: An Internship Program that Combines Several Tributaries to Create a Powerful Force

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 157 

Ed de St. Aubin, Psychology Department, Marquette University

The Marquette Psychology Internship Program currently places students in one of 5 Milwaukee agencies that have social justice missions.  One cluster of interns focus on Domestic Violence concerns and the other group address Decarceration and successful community Reentry of former inmates.  This session outlines the benefits of this program for student-interns, the agencies they serve, and the wider Milwaukee community.  Current and former interns join their site mentors in a discussion with the audience about the strengths and potential growth areas of this program.


Workshop 6: Strategically Fostering Community and Faculty Connections: The President’s Challenge 

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 227 

Amy Vaughan Van Hecke, Associate Professor of Psychology, Marquette University; Executive Co-Director, Next Step Clinic; Director, Marquette PEERS Program in the Interdisciplinary Autism Initiative 

In January, 2018, Marquette University announced the President’s Challenge Award, designed to put the University’s Community Engagement Strategic Plan into action. Ten Marquette faculty from eight departments and five colleges partnered with Mental Health America of Wisconsin, Next Door Foundation, two area church networks, and other nonprofits to develop the proposal, “Next Step Clinic: A Partnership Targeting Mental and Developmental Health for Milwaukee’s Underserved Children and Families.” Impacts will include immediate abatement of a community need, while also addressing capacity by training more future clinicians and professionals. 


1:30 – 2:10 p.m. Coffee, Dessert Bar, Networking and Haggerty Art Museum Curated Community Engaged Art Exhibit


Alumni Memorial Union, 3rd floor, Lynch Lounge



2:15 – 3:10 p.m.        Breakout Sessions


Workshop 1: Stimulating Small Business Growth and Jobs in the Community by Educating Marquette Students to Analyze, and Fund, Small Business Loans

A partnership with Town Bank and the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 163 

Kent Belasco, Director, Commercial Banking Program, Marquette University

Marquette University recently established a new program in Commercial Banking to capitalize on the “applied” focus of business education at Marquette.  Recognizing the importance of small business loans in the community, a curriculum was developed to educate students in the art of underwriting business loans.  Students gain experience by analyzing “live” credits emerging from the communities we serve.   A revolving loan fund of approximately $1,000,000 was established, through Town Bank, a local community bank, and in conjunction with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative (WWBIC), a not-for-profit micro-lender, to extend credit to start-up small businesses within the community.  This not only helps to strengthen the fabric of the community and helps to align these goals with the urban areas served by both Marquette and Milwaukee.  Students, in the program analyze these requests, present them to a credit committee of bankers, and extend loans to the local community businesses. The objective is to build a functioning portfolio, managed by the students, which supports the needs of the community and integrates the university with the broader objectives of Milwaukee, as well as the overall economy through job creation, in addition to creating jobs for students and talent for the industry.


Workshop 2: Cycling Without Age: A Pilot Study Examining Social Isolation and Quality of Life among Elderly Residents in a Skilled Nursing Setting

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 252 

Kate Ksobiech, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

“Cycling Without Age” (CWA) is an international outdoor leisure activity program targeting senior citizens.  As mobility typically decreases as we age, our ability to navigate outside of our living space often decreases.  Lack of mobility positively correlates with perceived social isolation and is inversely correlated with perceived QOL (quality of life).  In this pilot study, residents in a skilled nursing unit at Fairhaven Senior Living in Whitewater, Wisconsin participated in CWA through one or more rides on a specially designed trishaw, which seats the passenger in front of the person navigating.  Feasibility of carrying out the program on a wider scale will be discussed, along with initial findings.


Workshop 3: Situating Community Engagement within Intersections of Critical Theory and the Social Sciences: Community Engagement for Consciousness and Social Justice

Alumni Memorial Union, 3rd floor, Ballroom CD 

Aaliyah Baker, Associate Professor, Cardinal Stritch University

Tyanna McLaurin, Assistant Director, Service Learning Program, Marquette University

Sylvia Wynter, in On Being Human as Praxis, conceptualizes humanity as it encompasses thought and knowledge, and the intellectual struggle for freedom (McKittrick, 2015).  This intellectual struggle for freedom can happen at the crux of community engagement for 21st century institutions of higher education.  We come together as critically and civically engaged scholars at two institutions of higher education, with different university responsibilities, yet share a common interest in exploring critical theory in the work of community engagement.  Representations of research and service can cultivate opportunities to bring about social change.  However, the forms by which these representations take place may be limited in their ability to connect critical theory to practice if we fail to collaborate in more meaningful ways.

The Milwaukee area has suffered effects of race related sanctions which have yet to be eradicated.  Critical race theory becomes a unique and integral component of being able to challenge systems of oppression in society.  Researchers use this analytical lens as a tool for unpacking race-based issues.  At the same time, community organizations are at a unique advantage to engage and enrich higher education learning through literary, artistic, and theoretical representations of race in community engaged work.  We offer this session as an open dialogue/discussion on how to infuse critical thought into community engaged work so that the intellectual struggle for freedom happens collectively between and within the community at large and institutions of higher education.  We focus on critical theory as the precursor/prerequisite to community engaged learning.


Workshop 4: Narrating Freedom: Collaboration in Questioning Identity

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 157 

Julie Ashlock, Associate Dean, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Theresa Tobin, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Student Development, Graduate School; Associate Professor of Philosophy, Marquette University

Marisola Xhelili Ciaccio, Lecturer, Marquette University

According to Wisconsin Policy Forum, the state is on pace for having over 25,000 adults incarcerated by 2021 (2018). Reaching record highs, the communities that are hardest hit are those in urban Milwaukee. Recognizing a need for action, leaders from two of Milwaukee’s higher and postsecondary education institutions worked together to bring awareness to issues of mass incarceration. Dr. Theresa Tobin (Marquette University), Dr. Julie Ashlock (Milwaukee Area Technical College) and PhD students, Ms. Marisola Xhelili and Jennifer Marra (Marquette University) partnered to create a unique learning experience for traditional and non-traditional students from their two neighboring schools. Marquette University (MU) offered a 3-credit course PHIL 4931: Narrating Freedom: Gender, Race, and Mass Incarceration, to students of both colleges. Students worked together investigating experiences of being incarcerated, questioning social identity and construct. Students attended class at both campuses, in addition to a field trip to the Milwaukee Art Museum, experiencing the different environment and culture of each place. Students gained a greater appreciation for their shared human experience and expressed themselves through written and visual form. This session will share briefly the successes of this partnership, including expansions of the model being piloted next semester (SP 2020), as well as significant challenges around educational access and equity that this partnership exposed and that models like this may unintentionally exacerbate.


Workshop 5: “So You Want to Meet My Family?” – Effectively Engaging the Community in Research

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 254 

Al Castro, Health Research Program Director, United Community Center

Shary Perez, Health Research Program Coordinator, United Community Center

Effective community engaged research by academic/research institutions may involve similar characteristics as a “blended marriage” in order for a successful partnership. From the initial dating to engagement, to accepting the other partner’s children and family members and their way of doing things, then marriage or union, creating a home and sharing the raising of step-children, working to support the family, and aging together, the two partners are tasked with sharing, learning, and growing together in stages, while learning how to communicate and managing a dynamic relationship towards common interests. From the community partner side, we propose these are similar dynamics encountered in community engaged research, in which the collaborative relationship develops in stages (or steps) for true engagement (as in the STEPS model, A. Adams etal.) and may be used as a guide to effectively engage the community in health research.

In this workshop you learn the value of how to best approach a community, and of collaborating with community partners in an ethnic community (in this case, a Latino community) to enhance culturally effective and acceptable study designs and engagement of the target community. You will learn of what community organizations see is important to assess, change and measure, and to see beyond the research project, and how the community needs to have a voice in the efforts. You will learn of examples of successful or promising community engaged health research projects with academic partners.


Workshop 6: MU Engage: Marquette University’s New Community Engagement Data System

Alumni Memorial Union, Room 227 

Kim Jensen Bohat, Director, Service Learning Program, Center for Teaching and Learning, Marquette University

Campbell Hill, Student, Marquette University

Jessica Yohannan, Student, Marquette University

Sara Manjee, Student, Marquette University

If you are a faculty member who teaches a service learning course; Or, a community member who hosts volunteers at your organization, this session is for you! Join students and staff as they present on the university’s new community engagement data system – MU Engage. The site tracks and reports on the myriad service engagements that our students, faculty, staff, and community partners have with one another in advancing the critical work of community engagement. They will spend time overviewing the database and its purpose and provide attendees the opportunity to build and create their own profiles. Presenters will be available for support and assistance where it is needed.


3:15 p.m. Closing Remarks and Reflection

Weasler Auditorium