April has been a busy month for the Center for Community Engaged Learning, with awards ceremonies, conferences, and volunteer events galore! Read below to learn more about what our staff members have been up to.

Compact24 Presentations

A Decade of the Community Engaged Learning Index

Members of the CCEL team, comprising Renee Brown, Michelle Snitgen, and Stephanie Brewer, had the privilege of presenting a retrospective analysis spanning a decade of the MSU Community Engaged Learning Index at the Campus Compact National Conference held on April 10, 2024, in Denver, Colorado. The session garnered considerable attention, drawing an audience exceeding 60 attendees. Within this presentation, the story of the index's evolutionary journey, encompassing student engagements over the course of 10 years, as well as an exploration of the encountered challenges, celebrated triumphs, and prospective trajectories, was delivered.

The occasion marked a significant juncture, affording us the opportunity to disseminate a decade's worth of dedicated scholarly endeavors and articulate our aspirations for expanded scholarly inquiry to our esteemed colleagues nationwide. Of notable distinction, we were gratified to share news of our recent recognition as #1 ranked institution in Service-Learning among all US public institutions, by the US News & World Report. We extend an invitation to our peers to engage with us further should they seek deeper insights into the workings of the index and its implications for pedagogical practice.

Ensuring Civic and Community Engagement as "The Way Forward"

CCEL was also pleased to have staff present a poster at the Campus Compact Compact24 conference on the process of creating an assessment plan for student learning within community-engaged learning experiences. 

In the spring of 2022, CCEL revisited its mission and vision to detail strategic priority areas and create a plan for ensuring civic and community engagement as “the way forward” at MSU. Born out of these efforts, staff engaged in a process to develop learning outcomes statements (LOs) for student learning as a result of participating in the scaffolded suite of CCEL programs. The poster illustrates the process of shaping learning outcomes, compiling an assessment plan, and reflecting upon the implementation of an assessment pilot phase. 

Missed the session at Campus Compact? Join Michelle Snitgen, Stephanie Brewer, and Tina Houghton at MSU’s Spring 2024 Teaching and Learning Conference on May 1st at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.


Community Engaged Scholars Program Showcase

The Community Engagement Scholars Program celebrated a year of partnership with their end-of-year Showcase event this month!

The MSU Community Engagement Scholars Program, a joint program between CCEL and the Office of the MSU President, is finishing up its 8th program year this spring. We have had approximately 85 student Scholars, 20 community partners, and 9 graduate student coordinators in that timeframe. Together, with community partners, these Scholars have addressed social issues and built community in meaningful and relevant ways. Our partners at the community organizations serve as co-educators with our Scholars, support and guide the Scholars' work and development over the year, and play an invaluable role in the success of this program. Our community partner organizations this year included:

  • Allen Neighborhood Center
  • City of Lansing, Public Service Department
  • Communities In Schools
  • Crim Fitness Foundation
  • Greater Flint Arts Council
  • Meta Peace Teams
  • Refugee Development Center

Congratulations to our Scholars, our community partner organizations, and our Graduate Coordinator, Erin Kramer, on a successful year!

Spring Spartan Day of Service

The Center for Community Engaged Learning just capped off our Spring Spartan Day of Service on Saturday April 13, 2024. We had 300+ students attend this day, with special guest speakers including Renee Brown, Executive Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning; Nick McLaren, AVP of Alumni, MSU Alumni Office | University Advancement; and Kevin Guskiewicz, President of Michigan State University. The day was a beautiful 64 degrees and mostly sunny! We sent students to 8 community partner sites in the Mid-Michigan area, as well as one service site in Detroit, Michigan. It was a great way to end the semester at MSU!


Outreach and Engagement Awards Ceremony

On March 21, CCEL staff had the privilege of attending the 2024 MSU Outreach and Engagement Awards Ceremony, an annual event which recognizes the outstanding community engaged learning and research that the MSU community has supported across the globe.

Notably, speakers included Renee Brown, CCEL’s Executive Director; KC Keyton, CCEL’s Assistant Director of Student Volunteer Programs, and Hady Omar, a fourth-year student who recently received our Spartan Volunteer Service Award for contributing 779 hours of community engagement in the last year.

Congratulations to all who received awards, and thank you to University Outreach and Engagement for your continued support and recognition of community engaged learning and research at MSU.



Student Leadership Awards

CCEL took home three awards at the recent Student Leadership Awards, hosted by the MSU Office of Spartan Experiences. MSUvote received the Civic Responsibility Program Award for 2024, while Alternative Spartan Breaks was awarded the Silver Award for Outstanding Service Organization Award.

Finally, please join us in congratulating our Assistant Director, Tina Houghton, for her recent Walter Adams Advisor of the Year Award! The Walter Adams Advisor of the Year Award is presented by the MSU Office of Spartan Experiences to a MSU graduate student, faculty, or staff member who has displayed an exemplary level of commitment and dedication to the organization they have advised for more than one academic year. Tina was nominated by our very own RSO, Alternative Spartan Breaks, for her “exceptional dedication, unwavering compassion, and profound commitment to the holistic development of students.” 

Over the years, Tina has facilitated over one hundred week-long and weekend experiences, showing an outstanding commitment to mentoring young leaders and supporting students and communities across the globe. We are proud to have her on our team!