Forum Bios & Other Information

Did You Know?

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  • Luther College offers the best of both worlds: a smaller college environment with all the benefits of a larger university.

  •  Every single degree program at Luther College offers an optional experiential learning component; gain real world experience and get paid while you go to school!

  • The Luther College Residence offers an early payment discount. You can save up to $225 when you pay by August 15 (for Fall) and/or December 15 (for Winter)!

  • The Luther Library has over 18,000 items in its collection, 3,000 books checked out per year, and 6,000 students who come through its door per month.

Forum Bios & Other Information

Keynote Speaker: Dr. David O. Renz, an expert on the leadership and governance of nonprofit organizations and networks, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Renz is Beth K. Smith/Missouri Chair in Nonprofit Leadership and Director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership (MCNL), an education, research and outreach center of the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The mission of the MCNL is to enhance the performance and effectiveness of the nonprofit sector through high quality community-oriented education, applied research, and problem-solving. Through local capacity building and a model of interaction that spans boundaries, Renz has fostered the development of truly engaged and reciprocal relationships that benefit the community and university.  

Dr. Renz has worked with more than 135 boards, commissions and leadership networks in the past decade and writes frequently for both the academic and practice communities. He has produced more than 130 chapters, reports, and articles for journals such as Nonprofit Management and Leadership, The Nonprofit Quarterly, Strategic Governance, Public Administration and Review, and Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly. He is the editor of the third and fourth editions of The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management and co-editor of the Research Handbook on Entrepreneurs’ Engagement in Philanthropy. Renz earned his PhD in Organization Theory and Design at the University of Minnesota, USA.

Origin of the Forum: In the fall, community-engaged staff from Campion and Luther College met to welcome a "new kid on the service learning block", VSSN Director and Luther College Associate Professor, Dr. Yvonne Harrison. With engagement an integral component of how students in Campion and Luther College’s Nonprofit Sector Leadership and Innovation (NSLI) Certificate Program learn, a decision was reached to extend the conversation to others on campus. In December, an interdisciplinary group of community engaged faculty, staff, and administrators met and discussed the diversity of language, activities and benefits of engagement on a number of levels. Barriers to engagement also emerged that pointed to the need to deepen and extend the conversation to include the nonprofit community.

Objective of the Forum: The forum was envisioned by the planning group as an invitation to form a community of practice, a term Wenger-Trayner (2011) defines as “a group of people who share a concern or passion for something they do, and learn how to do it better as they interact….” To this end, the objective of the forum is to meet as a community, share perspectives and learnings, create bonds and connections to further develop in relationship and practice around engaged learning, research, and service.