Community Engagement Professionals Webinar Series

Testing our Mettle: Inviting Mid-Career Community Engagement Professionals to Explore Competencies and Conundrums in the Current Context

ICYMI: Watch Part 1 on YouTube!

Part Two: Leveraging our CEP Capacities and Igniting our Motivation to Enact Change

Monday, October 3, 2022
9:30am PT / 11:30am CT / 1:30pm ET

This webinar format is based on the principles of "Community of Practice," where a group of people share a common interest or concern, and come together to share their approaches and experiences. In the process, they create new knowledge to advance the field.Participants will briefly revisit the CEP Competency Model (Dostilio et al, 2017) as a framework for guiding the reflective discussion. Breakout room facilitators will invite participants to share insights, stories, problems of practice, and questions to illuminate common themes of motivation, tension, and aspiration across mid-career CEPs’ experiences. Participants will also crowdsource resources, strategies, and insights to support them in envisioning and advancing change. This session is geared toward mid-career CEPs and is a follow up to the panel discussion held on September 16, but participants are not required to have attended the panel.


  • Kortney Hernandez is the Director of the Academic Resource Center at Westcliff University, in Irvine, California.  Prior to this role, she served as a site manager for a nonprofit, community development, early childhood program, where she had been involved in preparing and engaging hundreds of undergraduate university students to work with preschool children from culturally diverse communities. Her doctoral research critically engaged the phenomenon of service learning/community engagement through a decolonizing lens that offered a radical political deconstruction of service learning ideologies and practices. She holds a BA in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of California, Irvine, as well an MA in Early Childhood, and an EdD in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University. She is passionate and committed to creating loving, liberatory, and counterhegemonic spaces that foster the critical intellectual formation of students.

  • Amber Cameron has been the Director for Public Engagement Initiatives in the Office for Public Engagement at the University of Minnesota since 2012.  Amber holds a Master of Science degree in Nonprofit/NGO Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree in African/African-American studies from Carleton College. Prior to her work at the University of Minnesota, she served as the assistant director of the Acting in the Community Together (ACT) Center, Carleton College’s center for civic engagement.  In addition, she has been an instructor for a variety of engagement-related courses, including:  Preparing for Community Engagement, Ethics of Service, Public Sociology, and Civil Rights Movement:  History and Consequences. 
  • Maria Avila, Ph.D. is a civically engaged scholar whose practices include relational community organizing,

    research in action, and narrative inquiry. Through these practices, she create spaces where collective leadership can evolve to create more collaborative cultures in academic and non-academic settings. She was Associate Professor in the Social Work department at California State University, Dominguez Hills, from 2014 through 2022. Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow with the Center for Diversity and Democracy and taught in the department of American Studies and Ethnicity from 2012 to 2014, at the University of Southern California. She was also the founding Director of the Center for Community Based Learning at Occidental College, from 2001 to 2011. Her research has been funded by the Kettering Foundation, by the Los Angeles Unified School District, and by the California Community Foundation. She earned a MA in Social Service Administration at University of Chicago in the USA, and a PhD in Adult and Community Education at Maynooth University, in Ireland.

Register for Part 2


Previously recorded webinars are available on our YouTube Channel