The Association of American State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project (ADP), and The Democracy Commitment (TDC), in partnership with NASPA and its Lead Initiative are proud to announce its committee members for the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 7-10, 2017. Below you’ll learn more about each committee member and their contributions to higher education’s civic work.
Jennifer Domagal-Goldman directs AASCU’s American Democracy Project. She earned her doctorate in higher education from the Pennsylvania State University. She received her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester. Jennifer’s dissertation focused on how faculties learn to incorporate civic learning and engagement in their undergraduate teaching within their academic discipline. Jennifer holds an ex-officio position on the eJournal of Public Affairs’ editorial board.
Stephanie Reynolds is the Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Initiatives at NASPA. 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 served as the Coordinator for Commuter, Evening and Weekend Programs at Walsh University, Administrative Assistant to the VP and Dean of Students for the Office of Student Affairs, the Coordinator of Student Affairs, and the Assistant Director of Residence Life and Student Affairs at Chatham University.
Verdis LeVar Robinson is the interim National Manager of The Democracy Commitment (TDC). He comes to TDC as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies having taught writing-intensive, web-enhanced, service-learning courses at Monroe Community College (NY) for the past 10 years. Verdis is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s faculty seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ faculty seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West. Additionally, Verdis is the founder of the Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project that created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the 1964 Race Riots, which has engaged over 300 members of the Rochester community in dialogue and learning. He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. and an M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.
Fagan Forhan is the Assistant Dean of K-12 Partnerships and Civic Engagement at Mount Wachusett Community College (Mass.). She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Psychology. Before coming to the MWCC in 2006, Fagan worked for six years with the Massachusetts State Legislature as Chief of Staff for former State Rep. Brian Knuuttila as a liaison for local nonprofits and constituents. In her current role, Fagan provides strategic direction and oversight for the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, as well as the college’s Division of Access and Transition. She serves as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Study Group on Civic Learning, a National Steering Committee Member for The Democracy Commitment, and a steering committee member for the national Economic Inequality Initiative through the American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment. She also advises the Phi Delta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and serves as an advisor for Otaku United.
David Hoffman is the Assistant Director of Student Life for Civic Agency at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and an architect of UMBC’s BreakingGround initiative. His work is directed at fostering civic agency and democratic engagement through courses, co-curricular experiences and cultural practices on campus. His research explores students’ development as civic agents, highlighting the crucial role of experiences, environments, and relationships students perceive as “real” rather than synthetic or scripted. David is a member of Steering Committee for the American Democracy Project and the National Advisory Board for Imagining America. He is an alum of UCLA (BA), Harvard (JD, MPP) and UMBC (PhD).
Christopher D. Jensen, Ph.D. is the Director for the Office of Civic Engagement and Leadership at Towson University (Md.). He has worked in higher education for over 17 years, in the areas of leadership development, community service/service-learning, campus safety, housing, Greek life, orientation, and enrollment management. Chris earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Studies in Religion, a M.Ed. from Michigan State University in Student Affairs Administration and a Ph.D. from Oakland University in Educational Leadership. His research has focused on the impact of community service experiences on students’ persistence in college. Chris coordinates many of the political engagement, environmental initiatives, service-learning, and leadership initiatives at Towson University.
Rhonda K. Lewis, Ph.D., MPH. is a professor and chair of the psychology department at Wichita State University (Kan.). She is also a member of the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association, and the Association of Black Psychologists. Lewis uses behavioral and community research methodologies to promote health and reduce educational inequity. Dr. Lewis has over 20 years of experience in community organizing, program development, and evaluation. Dr. Lewis’ research interest include: eliminating disparities in health among populations of color, working with disadvantaged populations, building healthy communities, and investigating adolescent and emerging African American adult health. She has over 50+ publications and 100 presentations at regional, national, and international conventions.
Patrick O’Brien serves as the Director, Civic Engagement, Student & Community Involvement at Frostburg State University (Md.) from which he received his B.S. in Business Management. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. While a student at FSU Patrick served as an AmeriCorps member with the A STAR! in Western Maryland AmeriCorps program as their VOICE Clearinghouse Volunteer Coordinator. He has been working for Frostburg State University as the Director of Civic Engagement since July of 2008. Patrick’s office works with programs including Special Olympics Maryland, Read to Succeed, Relay for Life, Alternative Breaks, and Beautify the ‘Burg to name a few. The office also houses their own AmeriCorps program (A STAR! in Western Maryland) that spans the four most western counties in Maryland (Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett) and includes over 20 full time members and 100 part time members.
Duane D. Oakes has served as the Faculty Director for the Center for Community & Civic Engagement and Recreation Instructor at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) since 2000. At Chandler-Gilbert Community College he helped create a comprehensive student life program which included the Service-learning program where he and his colleagues were recognized with the Innovation of the Year award from the District. He also served as a service-learning and civic responsibility trainer for the Community College National Center for Community Engagement and the American Association of Community Colleges for over 15 years. Duane service as the Chair of the Brigham Young University Alumni Association in Arizona and serves on the Mesa Public Schools Service-learning Advisory Board, volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and supports his son’s high school supporting the music arts. Duane has worked in the higher education arena since 1990 helping students becoming better citizens through service and leadership.
Julian Rogers serves as the Director of Community Partnerships with Cleveland State University (Ohio) where he oversees the Office of Civic Engagement. Prior to this, he was a member of the inaugural Cuyahoga County Council where he represented a diverse district of about 118,000 people. Julian has also served as the Executive Director of Education Voters of Ohio, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public education. Julian is a resident of Cleveland Heights, Ohio and is active in the community. He formerly served on the boards of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). He currently serves as a trustee for the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Julian was inducted into Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40/40 Club and was awarded the Emerging Leader Award from the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus.
Daniel Fidalgo Tomé is the Director of Service Learning at Stockton University (N.J.). He earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior from Cook College, Rutgers University and his Master in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He works closely with the faculty and students from Stockton University and community partners in the South Jersey region creating authentic, reciprocal relationships. Prior to his work at Stockton, he has worked at the City College of New York in Harlem overseeing diversity, community service and leadership development student programs, part of the City University of New York system and for the Board of Public Higher Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts coordinating the Undergraduate Research Conference for the state.
Erin Yokum is the Director of Student Life at Allegany College of Maryland (Md.), where she coordinates extracurricular and co-curricular experiences for students, faculty, staff and the community, as well as New Student Orientation. She oversees ACM’s student clubs/organizations and serves as the advisor to the Student Government Association and co-advisor for the Veteran Support Club. She is also a member of The Democracy Commitment committee and the Diversity committee for Allegany College of Maryland (among several other committees), helping to plan events (such as speakers, film screenings, discussions, Deliberative Dialogues, Democracy Cafés and voter registration drives) on campus around themes selected by the committees. Erin is active in several professional organizations, serves on the regional leadership team for NODA Region 8 and volunteers in several community organizations.
Please feel free to share ideas for the conference with committee members or in the comments space below– we look forward to planning the best CLDE meeting yet! #CLDE17