|Hello Wisconsin Campus Compact Nation!
It has been a very busy first few weeks as the new director of Wisconsin Campus Compact, but I am grateful to have colleagues like Lynne Blinkenberg, Luke Verdecchia, and Alejandra Gonzalez working alongside me in Wisconsin, as well as great support from the Campus Compact national office staff and other Compact directors from around the country. I have also appreciated the warm welcome notes from faculty and staff at WiCC member institutions.
My primary focus these past couple weeks has been on settling into my new role, including attending a Campus Compact staff retreat focused on visioning the future of Campus Compact. I am excited to see what new programming (like the 2018-2019 Campus Compact Webinars) and opportunities (like Education for Democracy Initiative) will be coming out of the national office, and I am confident that WiCC’s move under the national office will result in even greater resources for our members. The last few weeks have also involved coordination of an office move as we make the transition from Madison to Milwaukee. Stay tuned for an update on our new campus host!
I have also been making plans to connect with campuses across the state during the 2018-2019 academic year. As I visit campuses throughout Wisconsin, I am excited to be a part of discussions with presidents, chancellors, staff, faculty, students, and community partners about the issues and challenges they face and the opportunities that lie ahead. After each campus visit, I will be compiling notes and will eventually release a document summarizing common themes across campuses. My plan is to use this document to inform future WiCC programs, initiatives, and resources, as well as guide the strategic direction of WiCC.
Finally, and thankfully, my time has not been entirely spent in the office. I was able to travel to Moraine Park Technical College in my second week to give a presentation as part of their August in-service. The focus of the presentation was “Linking Classroom and Community: Service-Learning as a Teaching Strategy.” Creating linkages is a big part of what WiCC is about – linkages between campuses and communities, linkages among all stakeholders involved in community-campus partnerships, and linkages between higher education institutions and the individuals that support and advocate for community-engaged work. As my future travels take me throughout the state this year, I look forward to “linking up” with the great work you are all doing on your campuses and in your communities. I have already scheduled visits at UW-Oshkosh, Gateway Technical College, Carthage College, UW-Parkside, and UW-Superior, and I look forward to adding more visits to my schedule in the coming weeks!
Best wishes as the Fall semester takes off, and I look forward to meeting many of you soon!
Trina Van Schyndel
Director, Wisconsin Campus Compact