LEAD California is pleased to announce that we are continuing our Community of Practice (started in 2020) with our new Community of Practice for Associate/Assistant Directors. This group will meet throughout 2023 to connect and support each other in the role of leading their community engagement centers. We have several openings available for this 8-month experience.


The Community of Practice for Associate/Assistant Directors is an 8-month initiative specifically designed to support associate or assistant directors at LEAD California member campuses who are implementing service, service-learning and community engagement.

This program will be co-facilitated by Piper McGinley, Associate Director of LEAD California, and Dr. Patrick Furlong, Director, Center for Service and Action, Loyola Marymount University. Piper has over 20 years of experience in service-learning and community engagement in higher education, including 16 years as the Associate Director of LEAD California. Patrick Furlong is the Director of the Pam Rector Center for Service and Action, a hub for students, staff, and faculty who want to engage in service, justice and advocacy. In addition to the facilitators, we may draw upon the knowledge and experience of other distinguished community engagement leaders to catalyze conversations on various topics. Occasional readings or videos may be integrated as part of this program or as preparation for sessions.

Program period: January 2023 – December 2023. We will come together three times in the spring (February, March, April) and three times in the fall (September, October, and November) for 90 minute Zoom calls. Based on the group’s desires, we may hold additional calls in May and December.

Please feel free to reach out to Piper if you wish to know more.


We recognize that the past few years have presented new and different challenges. We have witnessed your commitment, creativity, courage and resiliency as we have dealt with the ever-changing landscape of our work. This virtual 8-month community of practice is designed to create an intentional space for up to 12 associate or assistant directors from service-learning or community engagement centers to come together on a regular basis to:

  • Create and deeply engage in an inclusive learning community in which all experiences are honored and their challenging questions are explored.
  • Reflect on the gifts, passions, and identity they bring to this work.
  • Expand their leadership capacity to sustain and grow service-learning and civic and community engagement in their institutions and in the field.
  • Learn tools and strategies to strengthen their ability to foster and deepen their campus’s engagement with communities.
  • Explore the tensions and challenges inherent in the work.
  • Envision and strategize how they can help shape the future of the field in California.
  • Explore ideas to support personal and professional development; and
  • Rejuvenate and reflect via various contemplative and self-care practices.

“I got to enter a community of practice, where I was paired with other directors of centers similar to mine at a diversity of institutions around California… it’s just so refreshing to have people across the state that LEAD California brought together. I’m really excited – I think it is one of the most important things with LEAD California – bringing professionals like myself and others together so that we are doing right by this work, and we are finding ways to really engage in meaningful ways.

Patrick Furlong, Director of the Center for Service and Action, Loyola Marymount University


Unique features of this Community of Practice include:

  • Networking and learning in a small group setting.
  • Co-creation of a supportive and powerful learning community.
  • A team of facilitators to support, guide, and challenge the group.
  • A commitment to inclusion and equity woven throughout the program.
  • Participant input to identify compelling topics.
  • A focus on strategies for various campus and community contexts.
  • Opportunities for reflection.


Now accepting applications for the 2023 Community of Practice for Associate/Assistant Directors.
Application Deadline: Tuesday November 15th, 2022 at 4pm

Apply Here