Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

CCCE looks to hire new director

<ir="ltr">Beginning in the fall, the Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) will have a new structure. The office will have a director, a new position that will oversee all of the CCCE’s subdivisions. The search committee, headed by Associate Dean George Shuffelton, is considering candidates for the position. The finalists include Adrienne Falcon ’89, currently the Director of Academic Civic Engagement, and Laura Riehle-Merrill, currently the CCCE student leadership director, among other unknown potential candidates from outside of Carleton. Shuffelton, Falcon and Riehle-Merrill declined to comment on the new position because of their current involvement in the job search.

According to the position description emailed to the college by Shuffelton, the new CCCE director will, among other things, “shape a coherent and compelling vision for community and civic engagement work at Carleton that encompasses faculty, students, staff and community partners.” The person hired will also “develop a comprehensive strategic plan for implementing that vision and communicate that plan to all the Center’s stakeholders.”

The new leadership position is not the only change that the CCCE is undergoing. Kelly Scheuerman, the former program director for civic engagement pathways, recently left Carleton. Claire Kelloway ’16, who graduated early, is currently serving as the CCCE’s educational associate for food and the environment, areas that Scheuerman oversaw. She will stay in the role until the end of this academic year. The CCCE will then hire a ten-month replacement for Scheuerman. The new director will hire someone to fill the role permanently. The transition has been going smoothly, said CCCE fellows Kate Abram ’17 and Emma Vinella-Brusher ’16.

“The office did a very good job of figuring out how to fill the gaps,” said Vinella-Brusher. Other members of the professional staff, she said, have adjusted their roles to compensate for some of these gaps.

Abram, a food fellow, agreed that the transition has been very straightforward. “It’s obviously been different because Kelly was really incredible at her job,” Abram said. “She was very connected to the Northfield community and very good at leveraging those connections and connecting people who wanted to know each other to work on any given project.” Despite this loss, “I think that it’s actually been incredibly smooth,” she said.

The number of connections that Scheuerman had is, however, one potential area of concern that some CCCE staff members have about her departure. “She definitely had a bulk of knowledge in terms of how Northfield functions as a city,” Vinella-Brusher, an environment and energy fellow, said.

“If there was any project that a student wanted to start, she knew exactly who to connect them with and things like that. Unfortunately, we don’t really have a database in terms of our community partners, which is something that Kelly and I have talked about that we need to create for the CCCE.”

The center still has these established connections, but Scheuerman’s absence makes finding them a little less easy. “I think that she did a really great job in terms of documenting everything,” Vinella-Brusher said. “She did do a good job of making sure to hand off that knowledge, but it’s definitely not as easy” as it would be if she were here, she said.

Rediscovering Scheuerman’s connections will be made easier by the fact that many students working in the CCCE are familiar with them as well, said Abram. While Scheuerman’s replacement will have many relationships to become familiar with, “I think it’s definitely doable,” said Abram, “especially because there are some really positive relationships in the community with the CCCE. I think that people will be really willing and excited to meet a new position and begin reconnecting those networks.”

The new leadership structure, too, may affect the way in which the CCCE operates, and has elicited a variety of responses from members of CCCE staff. Kelloway sees the position as a way to help the CCCE grow. “This new director is going to be responsible for providing direction and leadership to the CCCE and developing a strategic plan for the next several years and then coordinating the many dimensions of the work that we do,” Kelloway said. The new position, she said, will both develop the center’s current strengths and allow it to expand in the future.

Others, such as Vinella-Brusher, are not sure what to expect from the center’s new structure. “I’m really curious to see what it’ll be like,” Vinella-Brusher said. The CCCE “hasn’t really been a hierarchy in the past. The professional staff members all have a say in the organizational structure and in what the CCCE is doing,” she said. “It’s going to be really interesting to see how that works, especially since so many of the professional staff members have contributed so much to the CCCE and the community and they’re all super qualified, and it’s just going to be weird if one of them ends up being the boss of the other because that’s not how they function right now.” In general, Vinella-Brusher said, she is curious about the new structure, but still appreciates the current model. “I think that in some ways the CCCE could benefit from having one person,” she said, “but it’s such a collaborative organization in general that I think that not having one person in charge of everyone has worked well.”

Abram said that the new position gives the CCCE room for growth. “I think that it will be good to have sort of one person who has a real umbrella view of what the CCCE does from above,” she said. The new structure will also give the CCCE’s staff time for reflection, she said.

“I think inherent in sort of a restructuring process is a really cool opportunity to think about the future,” she said. “So I think it’ll be good.” Kelloway agreed. “It’s exciting to have this new leader, so I’m excited to see who it is.”


Update May 16, 2-16: In the first publication of this article it was incorrectly said that Adrienne Falcon is the Director of the CCCE. This is incorrect and does not accurately reflect the current hierarchical structure of the CCCE. Falcon is the Director of Academic and Civic Engagement.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *