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Donahue Scholar Urges Students to “Engage Responsibly in a Diverse World”

October 08, 2014

Nadinne Cruz, a pioneering academic in community-based learning, delivered the 2014 Distinguished Donahue Scholar lecture on Tuesday, October 7. Her topic, "Education to Change the World: A Call to Engagement by a ‘Loyal Critic' of Service," touched upon her distinguished career as a leader, advocate, speaker and author on the need for pedagogies of engagement in higher education as well as her life experience as an immigrant Filipina-American.

Calling herself a "reflective practitioner," Cruz urged students to "engage responsibly in a diverse world," emphasizing that "the academy is a small, privileged slice of the circle of all knowledge, not the authoritative voice, nor the center of all knowledge."

The former director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University implored her Lasell audience to "reframe the context of service learning" and value "the world and history of indigenous people."

"We must ask ourselves, ‘what is the world I want to create? What is the ideal community I want to imagine?,'" she said, urging students to "deliberately put yourselves in situations, as I did, where you'll make huge mistakes you'll remember for the rest of your life--but you wouldn't be the same person if you hadn't."

Cruz holds a BA in Political Science from the University of San Francisco, an MA in Political Science from Marquette University and has pursued a Ph.D. program in Transformative Studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She was the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor of Social Change at Swarthmore College, where she piloted service learning for the Political Science department.

Cruz's talk was the 11th annual Distinguished Donahue Scholar lecture, part of the Nancy Lawson Donahue ‘49/H'98 Institute for Values and Public Life series.