“I don’t want people to think the work is done:” Macalester’s Ten Years of Solidarity with New Orleans

In 2006, many 15-passenger vans arrived in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Faculty, staff, and student volunteers from campuses around the country, including Macalester College, responded to the disaster by mucking out houses, cutting back overgrowth, and helping people find a way home. Ten years after the storm, Macalester continues to stand in solidarity with it’s New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA) partners, and adapted their involvement as the landscape of community recovery has evolved. These days, when staff leads Ruth Janisch Lake and Sedric McClure ask their NOLA partners “How can we support you?” their partners tell them…

New Focus on the Community Engagement Professional

The number of administrative staff who support community engagement within higher education has grown exponentially over the past 10-12 years. Looking at the 2014 Campus Compact survey, 100% of respondents report having dedicated engagement staff. Looking at a survey of Carnegie Classified institutions, 91% of respondents reported having full-time administrative staffing for their engagement centers (Welch & Saltmarsh, 2013). Despite their growing numbers, there has been very little empirical literature focused on these administrative stakeholders, such as myself. As a group, we influence the ways faculty, students, community partners, and institutional leaders implement and evolve engagement within higher education. We…

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