A Distinguished Career: A Call for Future Intentionality

By Lori Kniffin, Kansas State University

On November 16th, 2015 more than 50 people joined in recognizing the outstanding work of Edward Zlotkowski. He is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Career Award from the International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE). Andrew Seligsohn, President of Campus Compact, was there to welcome the group and congratulate Zlotkowski. When Zlotkowski took the floor he did not accept the award with content of achievement. It has been 20 years since Zlotkowski (1995) wrote “Does Service-Learning Have a Future?” Great strides have been made, but in his speech he called us all to do greater and more intentional work in service-learning and civic engagement (SLCE).

Following his passionate call to reinvigorate the movement, Patti Clayton, Jeff Howard, and Sarah Stanlick oriented the group to the work of the SLCE Future Directions Project (SLCE-FDP). All participants joined in conversation around each of the thought pieces from this project. More people joined for a dinner where these small group discussions continued, and ideas were generated around the current essays now in the Fall 2015 Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (MJCSL) and future essays for Fall 2016 special section of the MJCSL.

As a young person in the field of SLCE, yesterday made me proud of all those who heeded the warning of Zlotkowski in 1995. It also brought the realization that people like me must help carry on this work in the next 20 years. The SLCE-FDP is a platform that can hear my voice and the voice of students, faculty, community partners, practitioner-scholars and others who contribute to this work. I hope more people here at IARSLCE and those not here will converse on the SLCE-FDP platform to honor Zlotkowski and reinvigorate SLCE work in the next 20 years.

Zlotkowski, E. (1995). Does service-learning have a future? Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 2(1), 123-133.

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