Right Place, Right Time, Right People

David Hoffman is Assistant Director of Student Life for Civic Agency at UMBC.

When I came to UMBC I had no idea how lucky I was. I had arrived at just the right place, at just the right time, and among just the right people to work on projects with the potential to help renew our democracy. Now, nine years later, UMBC is in the national spotlight for its creativity and cross-campus commitment to civic engagement.

At a White House event earlier this year, UMBC and its Student Government Association were celebrated as models for “next generation” engagement initiatives. BreakingGround builds on this important work, and its potential impact is immense.

Two reports released at the White House event describe a revolution in thinking about civic education on U.S. college and university campuses. The reports urge schools to embrace civic education and engagement across disciplines and departments, and to help students prepare to be creative problem-solvers rather than merely participants in civic life. UMBC has been deeply involved in the civic education revolution reflected in these two reports, and 2011-2012 SGA President Catie Collins was an invited speaker at the White House event celebrating their publication.  [Read more…]