Five seniors from the Community Engaged Leadership (CEL) Program presented their projects at the CEL capstone event in May. The CEL Program combines academic and community experiences to equip students with critical thinking skills to address important social and political concerns. Students participate in meetings, workshops, retreats, and projects over the course of three years, culminating in a capstone project in collaboration with a community partner.

This year’s event was attended by faculty, staff, trustees, students, and community members who shared dinner and conversation about community-based learning and outreach. The students’ projects focused on a range of social issues:

Gianina Horton ’14 produced a film on racism at Colorado College and led a discussion on diversity in higher education.

Sean Buck ’14 worked with Jessie Dubreuil, now Director of the First Year Experience Program, who was teaching Rhetoric of Health and Illness, a community-based learning class, at the Moab Free Health Clinic in Utah.

Caley Gallison ’14 developed curricula for an after-school outdoor enrichment program at the Catamount Institute.

Tara Milliken ’14 collaborated with Anthropology Professor Sarah Hautzinger on the event “Sharing War,” which used Hautzinger’s recent book, “Beyond Post-Traumatic Stress,” as a catalyst for discussion about the experiences of veterans at Fort Carson U.S. Army post in Colorado Springs.

Brooke Larsen ’14 organized an Outdoor Recreation Club trip to Moab, Utah, to meet with the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and other stakeholders. The group performed trail maintenance and discussed changes in land use policy around Canyonlands National Park, outside Moab.

The CEL Program is a resource for community organizations seeking to partner with students and faculty on community-based research or service projects. Most graduates of the program have entered public service or the nonprofit sector. The Boettcher Foundation supports the CEL Program through the Boettcher Endowment for Distinctive Educational Programming at Colorado College.