While I have many passions, one of my most intense has always been community. Specifically, I find it fascinating when students/professors can engage in the academy. As a student, I pushed my professors in regards to community (I am unsure if this yielded the best results, but I think it at least put my heart out there) and as a professor I desire to give 199% to my students. If not more.

At Cornerstone, engagement was a buzz word (yes, Chuck Swanson, I still remember). I think most smaller, private Christian campuses naturally engage. Publishing is not a big deal, so interacting with students becomes the central focus.

At UW-Milwaukee, I pushed for engagement. I knew that it had to look different than CU, but I wasn’t and still am not sure how that “different” looks. Eventually, I would *love* to go back to a larger university and interact in a way that I think is appropriate, Christ-like, and 100% enagagement worthy.

Until then… I have my students at CCU, and I am SO excited to be able to apply what I am sure most of my prof’s at UW were like, “Sarah… really? REALLY? No… you don’t understand”. And yet, they were very kind to just let me vent and email my little heart out. And even to work on community while publishing. Wow. Seriously, this community thing is tough work, so kudos for trying. And doing! Serious kudos. I’m not even full time and I am drained from the energy (I think it’s this first year thing and all of the changes, etc…). But, I still love it and am going to put forth every effort (of course, in Christ) that I can to push my students forward in engagement.

http://www.sjcme.edu/magazine/fall06/syllabus.htm

(Mostly) Practical ways I see this working:

* Personal notes.

* Lots of chocolate 😉 It’s an 8 am class!

* Showing up for events (musical, sports, etc).

* Being available during, after, and before office hours.

* Jesus. Them. Me.

* Discovering personal truths about each of them so that I can encourage them in the best way possible.

* Love.

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