Academic Connections

Public engagement and the classroom need not operate independently — in fact, we believe that community engagement can actually enhance academic understanding and contribute directly to our greater mission of creating active citizens and principled leaders for today and tomorrow.

That's why the McKeen Center works with faculty and students to identify public engagement themes in the curriculum and to translate them into community-based teaching and research. Through discipline-specific discussions about civic responsibility or the roots of complex societal problems as well as courses where students engage directly with community organizations, students can analyze and understand public issues both in theory and in concrete, contextual, and practical experience.

For more information about these and other academic connections, contact Sarah Seames, director.

cropped-barry-mills-at-common-good-symposium.jpegCommunity Engaged Research through Honors Projects and Independent Studies

Africana Studies 4051: Honors in Africana Studies with Assoc. Prof. Brian Purnell

"The Federal Disproportionate Minority Contact Mandate: An Examination of its Effectiveness in Reducing Racial Disparities in Juvenile Justice" — Hannah Wurgaft '14

community-engaged-courses.jpegCommunity Engaged and Community-Based Option Courses

Community Engaged Courses connect classroom concepts to community needs in order to enhance learning, promote active citizenship, and foster mutually beneficial ties between the campus and community. In partnership with local agencies, students in community engaged courses apply the knowledge and analytical skills gained in the classroom to address environmental, social, educational, and cultural issues within the actual lives of those most directly affected. Courses with a Community-Based Option provide just that - the option and support to include real community data in a final project.

Student Published Research

Environmental Studies 4050-4051: Honors in Environmental Studies with Assoc. Prof. Connie Chiang

"A Gateway for Maine’s Gateway: Portland's Bayside Neighborhood, 1866-2014" — Alex Tougas '14

cropped-commongood1.jpegBowdoin and the Common Good: Celebrating Community-Based Learning Initiatives

At the end of each spring semester, students in community-based courses display their projects in a symposium attended by community partners, faculty, staff and fellow students. Posters adorn the walls as students explain their projects web sites, and exhibits, all course projects are represented in one room in this celebration of campus-community learning partnerships. The symposium is a great way for students to share what they have learned from this experience of civic engagement. It offers faculty, community members and other students a chance to see the many ways that students can address real community issues through academic work. Additionally, it is an opportunity to acknowledge community partners and promote further collaborations. All are welcome to attend.

Read more about our 2015 Spring Bowdoin and the Common Good Symposium.

michelle-johnsoncropped.jpegThe Journey

From Lexington, MA, Michelle Johnson '14 (Sociology major/Education Studies minor) When looking at colleges, Michelle found that Bowdoin’s emphasis on the Common Good, ideals towards service, and Center to help students in these pursuits set it apart from other schools. Her involvement with the McKeen Center began even before her first year began on the Midcoast Community Immersion pre-Orientation Trip, which focused on hunger and homelessness in the surrounding area. Through the trip, she forged a solid connection to the McKeen Center, and when she returned to campus and began classes, the McKeen Center had already become a familiar community on campus. Coming full circle, Michelle lead a McKeen Center Orientation Trip this fall, her senior year, working with the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Downeast Maine.