Campus Compact of NY & PA are now Partners of Campus Community Engagement


Communites of Practice

Our Community of Practice Model

What is a Community of Practice (CoP)? It​ ​is a learning community, or collegial network, defined as “​a group of people who share interest in an area of inquiry and engage in collective learning about that issue as it relates to their work or practice. Through discussions, joint activities, and relationship building, the community of practice develops a shared and individual repertoire of resources, skills, and knowledge to use in their practice.​ ” (MN Campus Compact).

The CoP model combines elements of learning, practice, and community. Together, these interact so that shared learning in community informs practice. CoPs balance an emphasis on each of these, giving as much attention to building relationships as to thinking and doing. In this way, CoPs are designed to function differently than most dominant cultural modes of work, where action may be prioritized over relationships or reflection.

These CoPs embraces and embodies the following equity-based principles that: (a) everyone has knowledge to share, (b) everyone has learning to do, and (c) participants bring many identities and ways of knowing and that such diverse expressions should be encouraged and incorporated into CoP activities. CoPs will:

  1. Provide participants with the space to share, reflect on, and build knowledge & leadership skills in civic and community engagement. 
  2. Cultivate a valued cohort experience for collegial support as participants reflect on professional practice across New York & Pennsylvania.  
  3. Harvesting resources, research findings, program models, insights, webinars, conference sessions and more to share with those beyond a specific community of practice.
  4. Building the field’s knowledge about communities of practice as a model for professional development.

SPRING 2023 CoP: Equity-Centered Assessment: Strengthening Impact and Outcomes in Community Engagement

Audience: Faculty, Staff, Administrators and Community Partners


Nuala Boyle,  Nazareth College

Sarah Toleando, Siena College


This community of practice will provide a space for participants to strengthen your understanding and practice of equity-minded assessment, share resources, and strengthen your network of friends and colleagues.


Participants will:

  • Build a network of practitioners who can continue past CoP as resources and friends.
  • Develop their understanding of equity-minded assessment
  • Ensure assessment of impact includes all stakeholders: students, community partners, faculty, staff
  • Compile/Harvest resources that can act as tools to guide practitioners in the field of community engaged learning


CoP participants will collectively create a repository of promising practices as a result of their time together.

SPRING 2023 CoP: Leadership Across Boundaries

Audience: Faculty, Staff, Administrators and Community Partners


Laura Megivern, Dickinson College

Megan Boone Valkenburg, Wilkes University


This community of practice will provide an opportunity for participants to explore their own roles and leadership styles in an ever changing society. Using your own stories and different leadership frameworks and tools, participants will have the opportunity to develop new and innovative approaches to solve an organizational leadership challenge.


Participants will:

  • Share and explore a challenge, analyze their organization(s) and relationships
  • Brainstorm solutions with each other – allowing the group to find, cross and maintain boundaries as they lead organizations

CoP Facilitators

Experienced civic engagement experts (CEPs) who participated in PCCE’s rigorous, cohort-based summer facilitation program serve as the facilitators. In order to create an environment that is engaging, welcoming, inquisitive, and compelling for all participants, this program prepared CEPs in the design and execution of effective professional development workshops. CoP facilitators and members of the CoP leadership team co-facilitate workshops throughout the 2022-2023 academic year.

Because a CoP is focused on building shared knowledge amongst professionals, facilitators create a safe and confidential space for honest conversation, keep the group moving in its desired direction, and maintain positive group dynamics while remaining learners and participants. PCCE’s trained facilitators encourage agency and mutual responsibility of all group members, ensuring that all participants recognize their role as an equal contributor to the process of working together to build and sustain equitable and inclusive civic engagement environments. 

To learn more about our CoP facilitators and leadership team, please view their bios.

Nuala S. Boyle

Director for Equity and Access in Experiential Education at Nazareth College

Nuala S. Boyle is a leader in the field of community-engaged learning and has 25 years of experience educating and facilitating experiences that empower students, institutions, and communities to create positive social change. Boyle’s efforts have enabled the institutions she’s worked with to become nationally recognized for their commitment to civic engagement and experiential education. A champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Boyle is dedicated to building a culture of belonging with equitable outcomes for all. Currently, the Director for Equity and Access in Experiential Education at Nazareth College, Boyle works across the institution to bring awareness and action around issues of accessibility, ensuring equity in student success across ancestral and economic backgrounds, analyzing patterns of student retention and attrition through an anti-racist and anti-poverty lens. 

Boyle’s areas of research and expertise involve high-impact practices connecting college students with local and global communities, and include – but are not limited to service-learning, community engagement, community-based global learning, experiential education, civic learning and democratic participation, federal community service work-study and student employment, engaged scholarship, collective impact, equity-minded assessment, and inclusive higher education options for students with intellectual disabilities. Boyle continues to publish, consult, and present nationally on topics pertaining to this work.

Boyle is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), and a graduate of NSEE’s Experiential Education Academy. Additionally, Boyle holds leadership positions and Board membership for several nonprofits in her hometown of Rochester, NY.  She earned her B.A. in English from Stonehill College in Boston, MA, and her M.A. in Religious Studies from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT.

Sarah Toledano

Assistant Director in the Center for Academic Community Engagement at Siena College

Sarah Toledano, LMSW is an educator, consultant, and community connector who helps people, organizations, and communities strive for their definition of success. She works as an Assistant Director in the Center for Academic Community Engagement at Siena College. Sarah is dedicated to student leadership, interdisciplinary work, and building the capacity of community nonprofits. She is also an adjunct professor at Siena College in their Social Work Department.

Laura Megivern

Director of Community Engagement at Dickinson College’s Center for Civic Learning & Action

Laura Megivern is the Director of Community Engagement at Dickinson College’s Center for Civic Learning & Action. Her current work includes managing Dickinson’s Community Engagement Fellows and Service Trips programs, among many other initiatives. Laura’s professional and research interests include the intersections of politics and group conflict in community engagement work in higher education; constructivist diversity, equity, and inclusion education; creating quality alternative breaks; and mentorship and support of new professionals and graduate students.

Laura previously served as the Assistant Director of Student Life for Leadership and Civic Engagement Programs at the University of Vermont from 2011-2019. In her work at UVM, she worked with student-focused service programs including a service orientation program; cofacilitated a research team focused on service trips, motivation and leadership; and created and facilitated intergroup dialogue, social justice and racial justice education programs. Laura is also a UVM alumna with degrees in Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration and Human Development & Family Studies.

 Laura is also a former board chair for the national IMPACT Conference, historically the largest annual gathering of college students focused on service, action, and advocacy, and received the John Sarvey Administrator of the Year Award in 2019 for her leadership.

Megan Valkenburg

Civic Engagement Coordinator and educator at Wilkes University

Megan Valkenburg has served as the Civic Engagement Coordinator and educator at Wilkes University since 2007.  Before her appointment to the Civic Engagement Office, she was the AmeriCorps*VISTA working in the Wilkes-Barre community teaching financial literacy in the Financial Independence for Tomorrow (FIT) program. FIT was a partnership between the Sidu school of business and the Commission on Economic Opportunity. She is the formal contact at Wilkes University for the LEAP-AB Alternative Break programs, the AmeriCorpsVISTA projects through PCCE, Student leadership training for engaged citizens and social responsibility, Alpha Phi Omega.

She possesses two decades of extensive experience as a community engagement professional (CEP) in conceptualizing, leading, designing, and implementing educational programs in higher education, corporate, and non-profits that are, at their core, community-first. Her commitment is to continue supporting reciprocal community impact, community-based learning (service-learning), community-based research, and workforce development. Combining her love of community engagement, Megan also thrives in teaching about LEGO serious play methodology. This methodology focuses on organizational systems, organizational change, change management, leadership development, team identity, and team learning. It is a DEIJB-focused method of teaching and learning that powerfully leverages creative confidence in solving complex challenges by elevating each individual’s contributions in a collaborative, democratic process.

Megan holds a degree in Student personnel counseling from Shippensburg University. Currently, she is duly enrolled in the Wilkes University MBA and Doctorate of Educational Leadership programs. Her research interests focus on the nexus between elevating the health of civic life in our community and 21st-century employability skills using experiential and ludic methodologies. She is currently researching a full-circle view of ludic co-curricular practitioners’ impact on those with whom they teach. This builds on the scant ludic (play) method used in higher education. She is also interested in using LEGO serious play (LSP) as a methodology for elevating DEIJB in group processes. Finally, she is interested in the use of the ludic LSP method as means of igniting the civic imagination.

She is the only LEGO Serious Play facilitator in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She will be featured as a contributor in the new Playful Professor’s Playbook (in press).

Let’s connect:

Ella Guimond

Associate Director, Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact at West Chester University

Ella Guimond serves as the Associate Director for the Center for Civic Engagement & Social Impact at West Chester University (WCU). Before joining WCU, Ella worked as a Community Engagement Manager for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) where she mobilized local communities to advocate for changes to U.S. foreign policy that promote justice and reduce poverty overseas. Prior to CRS, Ella worked at the Faith-Justice Institute at Saint Joseph’s University, where she promoted academic service-learning experiences with community-based organizations throughout Philadelphia and New Jersey. Ella also spent a year working for the Casa de la Solidaridad study abroad program in El Salvador. 

Ella has her Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania and her Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies with minors in Spanish and Peace and Justice Studies from the University of San Diego. Ella is passionate about creating meaningful experiences for students to engage in experiential learning opportunities that challenge them to think critically and take action.

Erica Acosta

Director for Diversity Initiatives at Wilkes University

Erica Acosta was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from the State University of New York Buffalo with a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Spanish. In 2008, she moved to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, working for Misericordia University as the Multicultural Student Outreach Coordinator. While working for Misericordia she obtained a Master’s of Science degree in Organizational Management with a concentration in Human Resources.  She found her passion for diversity, equity & social justice education. This led to the development of Misericordia University’s Multicultural Education program (MU/ME). She created and developed innovative programming to educate the community on cross-cultural topics and created diversity awareness. 

Currently, she is the Director for Diversity Initiatives at Wilkes University.  She provides support and services for undergraduate students from the BIPOC community, as well as, facilitates and coordinates efforts across the university to enhance diversity and enrich the academic, social, and cultural experiences of members of the campus community. Her search for ways to engage students on campus led her to develop a diversity certificate program for undergraduates. With the D.I.V.E. (Difference, Inclusion Value Each other) certificate, the program offers students opportunities to show their passion for diversity and inclusion in their campus community. She also created a Diversity & Inclusion student conference where local colleges and universities attend a day-long conference about equity and social justice topics. 

Erica has an MBA from Wilkes University & her Masters of Science from Misericordia University. Her passion for diversity and inclusion has led her to take a leadership role in the city of Wilkes-Barre. She currently serves on various boards that she is passionate about such as Dress for Success Luzerne County, Maternal and  Family Health Services, The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Northeast PA Diversity Education Consortium.

Vippy Yee

Director of the Center for Ethics and Civic Engagement at Penn State Brandywine

Vippy Yee received her B.A. in Political Science and East Asian Studies from Dickinson College and her M.S. in Sociology from The London School of Economics and Political Science at The University of London. Her Master’s Thesis explored the mechanisms and impact of social capital within faith-based immigrant community centers. Her scholarly interests include racial and social inequality, social mobility and social movements, and she has prioritized these issues in courses including Social Problems, Urban Sociology, Sociology of Gender, and the Foundations of Civic and Community Engagement.

As the Director of the Center for Ethics and Civic Engagement, Vippy draws upon over two decades of civic leadership and service. She provides strategic leadership for the center and is responsible for the supervision, programmatic and fiscal management, leadership development, and risk management operations for the center. A member of the senior leadership team for the campus, she serves as the liaison among faculty, staff, students, and community partners to develop and implement a systematic long-term plan for institutionalizing civic engagement and ethics education throughout the campus’ curricular and co-curricular programs. Through the Center for Ethics and Civic Engagement, Vippy prepares students to become engaged leaders in their communities by providing the context, training, and opportunities to develop self-awareness and meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and dignity.

​Prior to her current role at Penn State Brandywine, she served as the Assistant Director of Volunteer Programs at Bryn Mawr College. She is currently an elected member of the Rose Valley Borough Council, and serves of the Boards of the Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation, the Chester Children’s Chorus, and the Helen Kate Furness Library.

Dr. Maria Mercedes Franco (she, her, hers)

Professor (effective August 25, 2022) Mathematics & Computer Science at Queensborough Community College-CUNY

Dr. Franco has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from Cornell University. She is co-PI and co-Director of the NSF-funded Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM) and co-PI and co-Director of the NSF-REU program MSRI-UP. MSRI-UP was recognized by the American Mathematical Society with the 2021 Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference Award. Both programs address issues of underrepresentation in the mathematical sciences. Dr. Franco co-developed and co-facilitated Mathematics for Social Justice mini-courses for faculty in the 2020 and 2021 cohorts of MAA’s Project NExT and is the author of the book chapter “Examining Human Rights Issues through the Lens of Statistics,” that appeared in Mathematics for Social Justice: Focusing on Quantitative Reasoning and Statistics (MAA Press, 2021). As department chair (2017-2020), she worked on eliminating non-credit bearing math courses, making Queensborough the first CUNY institution to meet this system-wide equity goal. Dr. Franco played instrumental roles in the institutionalization of Service-Learning and Undergraduate Research as high-impact practices at the college and led efforts to establish undergraduate research courses and an undergraduate research student award in her department. She is a member of the Mathematics Advisory Group for Transforming Post-Secondary Education in Mathematics (TPSE Math).

Dr. Franco self-identifies as a cisgender, Afro-Latina mathematics educator and first-generation equity practitioner. She participated in the Inaugural Cohort of Duke University’s Cultural Competence in Computing Fellows Program (2020-2022) and recently developed and co-facilitated the CCNYPA Community of Practice Beyond the Rhetoric: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Lived Out On Campus (Fall 2021).” Dr. Franco is a member of the Queensborough team that worked to establish an AAC&U Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Campus Center where she also serves as a racial healing circle facilitator. She is trained on “Giving Voice to the Voiceless: Teaching for Justice and Peace” by Herstory Writers Workshop and the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University (2020-2021) and has experience facilitating Herstory writing  workshops for college and high school students. She served as facilitator for Math Chairs/Leaders  4 Racial Justice (MC4RJ, Summer 2020 & ML4RJ, Summer 2022). 

​Dr. Franco is a member of PCCE’s Community of Practice Leadership Team (CoPLT). The CoPLT members co-designed and co-facilitated the Summer 2022 PCCE CoP Facilitator Training Workshops.