David Peacock appointed as CSL Executive Director

23 March 2015

Community Service-Learning (CSL) is very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. David Peacock as Executive Director to begin July 1st, 2015.

Dr. Peacock was granted his PhD, which led to a thesis titled "Student Equity Policy and Practice" at the University of Queensland in August 2014. He joins the University of Alberta with vast knowledge and experience of CSL pedagogy and university-community engagement.

Peacock is a dual Australian-Canadian national who was instrumental in the development of the CSL program at the University of Saskatchewan, where he also completed his Master's thesis on "Transforming Lives through International Community Service-Learning". He was a founding steering committee member of the Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning (CACSL), and is currently the Service-Learning Coordinator at Queensland University of Technology where he previously held the role of Community Engaged Learning Coordinator.

"It's with much excitement and enthusiasm that my family and I return to Edmonton and to the University of Alberta. Bonnie, my partner, is a U of A alumna (Occupational Therapy), we have good friends in Edmonton, and are looking forward to meeting more.

The CSL program at the U of A is renowned in Canada and beyond for its academic rigour and extensive partnerships within the local community and beyond. I will be looking forward to working with the team to build on the program's existing strengths, such as the Non-Profit Board Internships, the Humanities 101 Program, the Certificate in Community Engagement and Service-Learning, and its deep engagement of over a thousand students in around 180 community organizations.

Additionally, I hope to join the team in exploring new interdisciplinary modes of community engagement, inviting students from across the social sciences and humanities and beyond into teams to work in collaboration with community partners on complex social problems. I also hope to work with others to examine new ways of connecting U of A based students with Northern Albertan communities via project-based work involving new communication technologies.

Finally, and in addition to evaluating our student learning and community outcomes, I hope to research CSL as a mode of student engagement, particularly in relation to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. My prior research into student equity policy and practice and CSL learning outcomes suggests to me that CSL maybe a particularly valuable strategy for better student retention and the success of 'first-in-family' university students. CSL offers opportunities for enhanced critical thinking and intercultural capacities, but also invaluable experiences of work cultures and practices, crucial for all of our students' employability."

The Community Service-Learning team is happy to welcome David and his family to the University of Alberta and wish them best of luck with their move from Australia.

We would also like to acknowledge the many strong applications that were received from people with outstanding experiences in linking universities, students, teachers, and community organizations in meaningful ways. CSL thanks all who engaged with us during this search.