Director, Center for Service and Community Engagement & Seattle University Youth Initiative
As Director of the Center for Service and Community Engagement and the Seattle University Youth Initiative, I oversee the development and implementation of our programs and activities.
Through my work I am continually inspired by the committed faculty, students, staff and community leaders I have the opportunity to meet. Through thoughtful and intentional collaborations between these many groups and individuals, we can address the intractable social and environmental issues faced by our communities.
I am particularly excited about the Seattle University Youth Initiative. The Initiative offers a long-term, focused approach to community engagement that promotes a shared vision of justice for local youth. If the Initiative succeeds, we’ll see much more interdisciplinary and cross-campus collaborations which will deepen student learning. Since the challenges faced by local youth and families are rarely one dimensional, these collaborative activities will also have a much more significant impact in the wider community. The initiative could have a big impact on the University’s identity. My dream would be that through this effort more and more students would be drawn to study at the University because we walk our talk of “the faith that does justice.”
In addition to my role as Director, I teach a course on leadership for community engagement as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Liberal Studies Program. My intellectual and research interests have focused on the intersection between service and spirituality and also on conceptions and approaches to service and social change.
My roots in service and justice activities arise from my parents and my educational experiences. As the son of a Methodist minister and a high school English teacher, I joke that “my apple fell between the trees." As a student at Grinnell College in the 1980s, I developed a mentoring program and several alternative spring break projects. Since these initial experiences, I have coordinated and led service-learning initiatives in several K-12 and higher education contexts. Prior to my arrival at Seattle University, I was the Service-Learning Program Director at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. In addition, earlier in my career I served as Executive Director of Youth Community Service based in Palo Alto, California. I hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.