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register onlineCWI's Summer EAST Institute Faculty

JOE BROOKS—is the Founder and Director of Community Works Institute (CWI) and a veteran teacher. He is an international advocate, speaker, and workshop leader for embedding place based service-learning and sustainability in K-16 education. Joe is also channeling his extensive experience and personal passion for place based education through the CommonLore program as part of an effort to create opportunities for students to bring their communities together through purposeful local people-oriented projects.

He travels widely working with schools and teachers through a process that includes the use of Collaborative Ethnography as a teaching tool to develop understanding, empathy, and compassion. Over the past three decades Joe has worked across the U.S. and internationally with students, educators, and administrators, at every grade level, both in urban and rural contexts. As a public school teacher he established a nationally recognized K-12 service-learning program that included a unique student run community newspaper that thrived for twenty years. In 1995 he established CWI's Summer EAST Institute in Vermont, and later Summer WEST in Los Angeles. These week long intensive Institutes function as a collaborative learning and design laboratory and have been attended by educators from nearly every U.S. state and many countries around the world. Participant demographics include K-16 and community educators from an incredibly diverse set of contexts and job descriptions. Joe's message to Institute participants is to always seek to develop learning experiences that possess a compelling sense of purpose and reciprocity.

Joe passionately believes that the path to a meaningful life and education lies in deep community engagement and self efficacy. He advocates that education must focus on a creating a developed sense of place, informed by the goal of sustainable communities, using principles of democratic teaching and social justice—with the regular opportunity to apply content and skills in meaningful service to the community. His work with students and educators emphasizes support of designed learning environments where students reap the academic and social benefits of an experiential curriculum connected to people, nature and place. email Joe

SteveSTEVE COLANGELI—veteran science and agriculture teacher in the Alternative Education Program at Middlebury Union High School in Middlebury, Vermont. Steve has a strong passion for sustainable agriculture and environmental science. For the past six years he has been involved in building school based greenhouses and gardens as outdoor classrooms. Steve, his students, and colleagues use the gardens and greenhouse as a base for a variety of service-learning projects that connect the curriculum to the community. Over the years Steve has been involved in a multitude of service-learning projects and is always inspired by the learning that students gain through this type of education. Steve lives in Charlotte with his son Aiden. They are in the beginnings of opening Paradiso Farm, a small farm business on their property growing winter-greens, figs, and ginger. In his spare time, Steve enjoys racing his bike and spending time on the lake with his family. He is a longtime faculty member of Community Works Institute.
maryMARY WHALEN—is a veteran high school history teacher who has worked extensively with student voice and participation as democratizing principles in her classroom. She and her students have compiled a diverse array of experiences as participants in service-learning projects both locally and nationally. Mary brings first hand experience and professional passion to the question of how we create and nurture meaningful student voice within the constraints of a typical classroom and school. She is also a recent recipient of a Rowland Fellowship for Declaring Ourselves!  An action research project concerning civic engagement in the 21st Century.  Service-Learning, Participatory Action Research and Live Video Collaboration is her present focus. Mary also has a particular interests in the Eugenics Movement in Vermont, Genealogical Research and Comparative Education within the United States. She currently teaches at Twinfield Union School in Plainfield, Vermont. Mary is CWI consultant and a regular presenter and facilitator at CWI events.
dan higginsDAN HIGGINS—has been working to document, understand, and illustrate change in Vermont for more than forty years—formally as an educator, and informally as a community member's lifelong passion. Dan is a Professor of History and Art History, Emeritus, at the University of Vermont, where he taught for many years, through many disciplines—including anthropology and photography. His particular focus has been on Burlington's next door neighbor, the city of Winooski, where he has observed the demographics diversify significantly since he arrived in the 1960s. Now a retired UVM professor, Dan Higgins founded the University of Vermont's Photography Program. He has been taking portraits of Winooski residents for more than forty years. For his latest formal photography show, he found his subjects in a new way—through a local virtual neighborhood. Dan approaches photography differently from most documentarians. Rather than trying to capture subjects off guard or unposed, he actively works with them to create the final shot, using props, poses and costumes to help them craft a visual narrative about themselves. Higgins' photographs are not typical and do not depict the pastoral beauty of rural Vermont. For four decades, he has been focusing his lens on workaday people and the seemingly mundane places where they congregate. That work has also often included students as learning documentarians. Dan is also involved in community gardens, a long term effort in Burlington. He is currently coordinating a sister city exchange with Nicauragua, that was originally an initiative under the administration of Mayor Bernie Sanders.

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