April 6-8, 2024
Denver & Boulder, CO

Join us for The Research Universities Civic Engagement Network (TRUCEN) for the 2024 Annual Meeting—two days of action-focused discussions, networking, and coalition-building focused on the unique challenges and contexts faced by R1 universities. This year's meeting will focus on:

  • Organizing your institution and ecosystem for effective impact
  • Diving into the unique expectations, and tensions, that come with your geographic footprint and place-based community engagement mission. Specifically hyperlocal community engagement and responsibilities as a flagship in supporting the entire state. 
  • The nuts and bolts of advancing community and civic engagement–programs, resources, and tools for furthering the work

In this meeting we will: 

  • Foster relationship building and networking among members
  • Generate actionable takeaway for attendees that helps advance a specific challenge on their campuses
  • Ground our work in the unique contexts of the Denver and Boulder regions  
  • Build momentum and energy for TRUCEN going forward

Who should attend?

The 2024 TRUCEN Annual Meeting is open to all R1 institutions with active Campus Compact membership. We encourage 2 representatives to join us from each institution.

Want to bring more than 2 from your institution? Get in touch with Bobbie Laur at blaur@compact.org.

Thanks to the generous support of the University of Colorado Boulder, registration for this event is free. Attendees will be responsible for travel and lodging.

Register for Compact24

Compact24 Conference is right after!

This year the annual TRUCEN Meeting runs right up against the Campus Compact annual conference, Compact24. We highly encourage you to extend your stay in Colorado and check out Compact24 which is packed with sessions you won't want to miss!

Thank you!

We want to say a big thank you to GivePulse for their sponsorship and support in making the TRUCEN convening possible.


Saturday, 4/6

1:00 - 4:30 PM                                                                          

(Optional) Self-guided Downtown Tours & Exploration in downtown Denver

Begins at 3:30 PM

Registration & Check In, Hilton Denver City Center, Penrose II Room

5:00 - 8:30 PM

Opening speaker and networking welcome reception at Hilton Denver City Center, Penrose I & II Rooms

5:00 - 5:45: Cocktail Hour & Networking in Penrose I

5:45 - 6:00: Dinner - Welcome to TRUCEN in Penrose II

  • Bobbie Laur, President of Campus Compact
  • Mike Lightner, Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Colorado 
  • Anne DePrince, Associate Vice Provost of Public Good Strategy and Research, University of Denver 

6:00 - 6:30: Featured Speakers: Community Leaders 
Evon, Art, and Adriana Lopez, Community Advocates & Leaders, Valverde Neighborhood 

6:30 - 7:30: Dinner 

7:30 - 8:00: Featured Speakers: University Partners  

  • Carrie Makarewicz, Associate Professor & Department Chair, Department of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Colorado Denver
  • Cara DiEnno, Executive Director, Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship and Learning, University of Denver 

8:00: Closing Remarks

Sunday, 4/7

7:45 AM

Meet in Hilton City Center Lobby to Depart for Boulder

8:00 - 8:30 AM

Travel to Boulder (find a buddy to sit with!) 

8:30-9:00 AM

Continental Breakfast 

9:00 - 9:15 AM                                       

Welcome Remarks and Framing for the Day

  • David Meens, Director, Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship, University of Colorado Boulder 
  • Ann Schmiesing, Executive Vice Provost for Academic Resources, University of Colorado Boulder
  • James Roland, TRUCEN Leadership Committee Representative and Senior Director of Civic and Community Engagement, Emory University

9:15 - 10:45 AM

Navigating your Place-based Mission

During this interactive session we will break attendees into two groups: 

  1. Hyperlocal engagement
  2. State-wide engagement, with a particular emphasis on rural community engagement 

Utilizing design thinking tools, attendees will generate ideas, challenges, and resources available to community engagement leaders focused on furthering state-level engagement strategies and hyperlocal strategies.  


  • Jamilah Ducar, Executive Director of the Engaged Campus, University of Pittsburgh (Hyperlocal Facilitator) 
  • Laura Martin, M-Partner Director and Associate Director of the Grisham-McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, Ole Miss (State-wide Facilitator) 

10:45 - 11:00 AM    


11:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Organizing for Impact
This panel will spotlight TRUCEN members, from diverse institution types, utilizing specific tools and approaches to support collaboration and collective impact within their campuses to drive meaningful progress and impact. 

  • Moderator: Neeraja Aravamudan, Director, Edward Ginsberg Center, University of Michigan
  • Briana Huett, Associate Director, Office of Outreach & Engagement, University of Connecticut
  • Robin Bachin, Associate Professor and Assistant Provost for Civic and Community Engagement, University of Miami
  • Shalom Staub, Assistant Dean and Executive Director, Center for Community Engagement, University of California Los Angeles
  • Kwesi Brookins, Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement, Michigan State University 

12:15 - 2:15 PM

Working Lunch for Reporting Out and Workshopping Outcomes from the 2022-2023 Sustained Conversation Groups

  • 12:15 - 12:45: Lunch 
  • 12:45-2:15: 2023-2024 Sustained Conversation Group Report Outs and Discussion:
    • Supporting Equity-Focused Community-Based Research (Co-Facilitators: Clayton Hurd and Maranda Ward)
    • Strengthening Student Learning and Engagement for a Challenged Democracy (Co-Facilitators: Renee Brown & Nancy Thomas)
    • Cultivating Community Voice in our Engagement Programs (Facilitator: Doug Barrera)

2:15 - 2:30 PM


2:30 - 4:00 PM

Holistic Community Engagement Approaches – Climate Solutions as Case Study

2:30 - 3:00: CU Boulder campus-level investment and coordination 

  • Keynote w/ Q&A:  “How Research Strengths and Signature Events Support Collaboration and Engagement: The United Nations Right Here, Right Now Climate Summit as a Case Study,” Vice Chancellor & Chief Communications Officer Jon Leslie, Strategic Relations & Communications

3:00 - 4:00: Break-out groups for brief presentations from CU Boulder sustainability and climate solutions program leaders, followed by interactive and generative discussion. (20 minutes per session) Potential topics include:  

  • Leveraging Right Here, Right Now in external partnership development
    • Lori Call, Associate Vice Chancellor for Local Government & Community Relations
  • How deans and directors advanced division or unit-level goals through Right Here, Right Now
    • Max Boykoff, Professor, Environmental Studies
  • How Right Here, Right Now advanced campus sustainability efforts
    • Chris Ewing, Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Officer, Infrastructure & Sustainability
  • Integrating Right Here, Right Now in curricular and co-curricular engagement opportunities
    • Patrick Chandler, Outreach & Engagement Associate, Cooperative Institute for Environmental Sciences
  • Leveraging Right Here, Right Now to advance student engagement in climate solutions
    • Jasmin Barco, Assistant Director of Energy and Climate Justice, Environmental Center

4:00 - 4:30 PM

Campus Walking Tour 

4:30 - 5:30 PM

Networking Reception at Alumni Center

5:30 PM

Depart for Denver 
Those that would like to stay in Boulder to explore, are welcome to.  There is public bus transportation readily available to return folks to Denver.
Directions and information for exploring Boulder and returning to Denver is available here. 

Monday, 4/8

7:00 - 8:00 AM                  


8:00 - 9:00 AM

Kick-off and Introductions for 2024 - 2025 Sustained Conversation Groups
Facilitated by Laurel Hirt, Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning, University of Minnesota

9:00 - 9:45 AM

Welcome remarks from Give Pulse, George Luc, Co-Founder and CEO

Peer to Peer Coaching

  • Facilitated by Bobbie Laur 
  • This is a space where participants each bring a project/initiative that they are working on and need support/advice on connected to the topic of effectively organizing your institution and ecosystem for impact 

9:45 - 10:00 AM


10:00 - 11:30 AM

Nuts and Bolts of Civic and Community Engagement Lightning Presentations and Follow-up Roundtables Discussions

Facilitated by Renee Brown, Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning, Michigan State University


  • Montana State University: The MSU Public Engagement Fellowship Program
  • Tulane University: Community partner in residence program
  • University of Michigan: Storytelling for Social Change 
  • Harvard College: Academic certification for civic engagement work
  • University of Notre Dame: Enhancing the social impact of grants
  • Dartmouth College: Winter break community-based learning programming- Dartmouth's new ImpACT Winterim Leadership Intensive

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Visioning for TRUCEN Going Forward

Facilitated by Laurel Hirt and James Roland underneath

  • Networking Session Topics for Coming Year
  • Showcase Visit Ideas and Needs
  • New Programming Ideas 
  • Fostering Connections 

12:00 - 12:30 PM

Closing Remarks & Box Lunch
Compact24 Conference officially kicks off at 1:15 PM



Hilton Denver City Center

Room block rate: $209/night (plus taxes and fees)

Room block expires on Friday, March 15, 2024.

Thank you to these TRUCEN members for providing key network leadership

University of Colorado Boulder Core Team: 

  • David Meens, Director, Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship
  • Jeanne McDonald, Associate Director, Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship
  • Katie Kleinhesselink, Community Program Manager, Office for Public and Community-Engaged Scholarship

TRUCEN Leadership Committee: 

  • Neeraja Aravamudan, Director, Edward Ginsberg Center, University of Michigan
  • Renee Brown, Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning, Michigan State University
  • Laurel Hirt, Director, Center for Community Engaged Learning, University of Minnesota
  • James Roland, Senior Director, Center for Civic and Community Engagement, Emory University
  • Shalom Staub, Director, Center for Community Engagement, University of California Los Angeles


Questions? Get in touch with Bobbie Laur at blaur@compact.org.