I've played leadership roles in a number of settings.  Sometimes this involved program-building and administration at my home institutions; sometimes, board membership in national associations, cultural organizations, and publication projects.  The work has enlarged my own teaching, research, writing, and public projects.

Most important has been the chance to launch or lead four initiatives for engaged education.  In 1998, as a faculty member at the University of Michigan, I started Arts of Citizenship, a program that fostered the public role of the arts, humanities, and design through community partnerships. In 2005, I joined Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine, as inaugural Director of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships.  Five years later, at The New School in New York, I became dean of the New School For Public Engagement, a new division dedicated to interdisciplinary, practice-based, publicly-engaged learning.  I now serve as Director of Bringing Theory To Practice, a national initiative that supports innovative practices to renew the core purposes of undergraduate education.  (See Current Work for more information about BTtoP.)

Nationally I've been active in Imagining America: Artists Scholars In Public Life, a consortium of academic institutions and cultural organizations dedicated to public work in the arts, humanities, and design.  I've served on the boards of other initiatives focused on civic engagement and liberal education. In 2010-12, I was a member of the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education.  Our 2011 report, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy's Future, remains a landmark call for democratic engagement in higher education.  

I've sat on the boards of cultural and civic organizations in Michigan and Maine, as well as on publication initiatives for engaged scholarship.  I've served as an advisor to museum exhibitions, documentaries, and other public-cultural projects.  I continue to consult and speak widely on civic engagement, community-based learning, nontraditional students, and academic innovation.

Below is a roster of this work.  Some items link to further information, as well as relevant writing, teaching, and projects.  My vita gives a more complete list of my administrative work and campus consulting.



publication initiatives:

State and local leadership work:

  • Board member, Michigan Humanities Council (2003-05)

  • Board member, Museum L-A (community history museum, Lewiston, Maine) (2005-10)

  • Board member, Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce, Lewiston, Maine (2006-09)


  • Bringing Theory to Practice (national project on links between engaged learning, civic development, and student well-being)
    Member, National Advisory Board (2008-18)
    Director (2018-)

  • Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (academic civic-engagement consortium in the arts, humanities, and design)
    Member, National Advisory Board (1999-2008, 2014-17)
    Chair, National Advisory Board (2005-08)
    Program Representative, Bates College (2006-10)
    Chair, Transition Working Group (2014-17)

  • Project Pericles (civic-engagement consortium of liberal-arts institutions)
    Member, National Advisory Board (2004-)
    Program Director, Bates College (2006-10)

  • Member, National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education to create national action plan for democratic engagement in higher education (2010-12