2013 American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment National Meeting

2013 ADP/TDC National Meeting

Thursday, June 6, 2013 to Saturday, June 8, 2013
Marriott City Center • Denver, Colorado

“21st Century Citizens: Building Bridges, Solving Problems”

Please join us in Denver, Colorado for the American Democracy Project’s (ADP) 11th annual national meeting and The Democracy Commitment’s (TDC) 3rd annual national meeting at the Marriott City Center. The meeting begins on Thursday, June 6 with a series of pre-conference workshops, a late afternoon opening plenary, and a wine and cheese reception; it concludes with a dinner Saturday evening, June 8.

About the Conference

The theme for this year’s meeting, 21st Century Citizens: Building Bridges, Solving Problems, calls our attention to the educational experiences and civic skills needed by today’s college graduates. Citizenship is more than a legal status; all students must be prepared to be active contributors in their communities. However, our institutions are increasingly called on to train students for specific jobs, rather than educating them more broadly with the knowledge, transferable intellectual and practical skills and sense of social responsibility in keeping with liberal arts education – one of the historic missions of U.S. public higher education. As our society grows increasingly complex, students need more than ever the broad preparation required to become informed, engaged citizens.  

In order to prepare students to engage in our communities, students must be equipped with 21st century skills: working with others, critical thinking, communication, creativity and problem-solving, to name a few. Such skills are as valuable in the workforce as they are in our communities and are essential if we are to bridge existing gaps between learning and doing, intention and action. In fact, research and employer surveys indicate that citizenship skills are an important component of 21st century career skills (Battistoni and Longo, 2005; Kolb, 2011; Hart Research Associates, 2010). Employers seek graduates who can work collaboratively with people who are different from them; they want graduates ready to tackle complex problems in multi-disciplinary teams. The first step in problem solving and working with others is building bridges to understanding different perspectives; skills required not only in the workforce but needed even more in our fractured democracy.

The meeting theme poses the following set of questions: 

  • What educational experiences across disciplines and practices are best suited to help students develop 21st century skills?
  • In what ways can the American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment work together to better prepare students in connecting their studies with the concrete problems facing our communities?
  • How can we educate for both employment and civic engagement, leveraging the congruence between career and civic skills?
  • How do we prepare students to be globally competent citizens in our increasingly complex, interdependent world?
  • What knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences do students need to be the informed, engaged citizens our democracy needs?

During our meeting in Denver, we will explore innovative ways in which to advance our civic work.

The 2013 meeting will be an outstanding program with more than 500 attendees, including provosts, other administrators, faculty members, students and community partners. The conference structure includes four plenary sessions, a set of featured speaker presentations, a poster session, a series of concurrent sessions, workshops, and lightning rounds, panels and roundtables with multiple presenters.

Contact Us

For logistical (e.g., hotel accommodations, audio-visual needs) questions about the ADP/TDC National Meeting, please contact:
Jill M. Gately
Manager, ALC Meetings and Outreach Programs
(202) 478-4668

For ADP programmatic questions, please contact:
Jen Domagal-Goldman
National Manager, American Democracy Project
(202) 478-7833

For TDC programmatic questions, please contact:
Amee Bearne
National Coordinator, The Democracy Commitment
(202) 478-4675

Schedule top

ADP TDC 2013 - Full Program icon
Click above image to download full program (pdf)

Wednesday, June 5

2 – 6 p.m.
Global Engagement Scholars Meeting (Private)
Gold Coin

5 – 8 p.m.
Civic Minor Working Group Dinner (Private)

Thursday, June 6

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Pre-Conference Workshops and Meetings

3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Opening Plenary: Empowering Millennials to Create Change
This is the both the best of times and the worst of times. The worst is the unprecedented level of global change and the uncertainty and insecurity that come with change.  Our environment, our economy, our civil society are in a tailspin. The tools for mediating these new and often turbulent terrains are evolving slower than the change itself. The good news is that a new generation of idealists – the Millennials – are coming of age to navigate these murky waters. But this is only if we effectively prepare them for this brave new world. We cannot use old methods for addressing this new world; we need to redesign our educational system for major social and economic transformation. Millennials need skills to tackle tomorrow’s key challenges, including sustainability, civility and global citizenship, and above all, ambiguity.  These challenges are best addressed through experiential learning focused less on service-learning (learning how to do what is already being done) and more on innovating social change experiences for Millennials, so that they may deliver in these new times.
Presenter: Denise Fairchild, President & CEO, Emerald Cities Collaborative

5:30 p.m.
Opening Reception (wine & cheese)

6:30 p.m.
Dinner on Your Own

Friday, June 7

7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

7:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.
Breakfast and Breakfast Breakout Sessions

9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Plenary SessionA Defense of Higher Education and its Civic Mission
The liberal arts and the civic mission of higher education are under attack in this time of economic crisis and political polarization. In several states, policies are pending to raise tuition for majors that do not lead directly to jobs. We should not be offended by this kind of critique. We charge a lot of money for tuition, and citizens are entitled to ask what we produce for it. But we can proudly and forthrightly make the case for the civic mission of the higher education. The purpose of the liberal arts is to prepare people for responsible citizenship, and the best forms of civic engagement are intellectually challenging; they are the liberal arts in action. Research shows that civic education at the college level makes people into better workers. And engaged universities address many serious public problems, including unemployment, that matter to citizens and policymakers.
Presenter: Peter Levine, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs and Director of CIRCLE, Tisch College/CIRCLE, Tufts University

10:45 a.m. – Noon
Program Session I: Featured Sessions

Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on Your Own

1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Program Session II

2:55 p.m. – 3:25 p.m.
Poster Session

3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Program Session III: Lightning Rounds

3:45 p.m. - 5 p.m.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, But a Video is Worth a Thousand Stories: A Two-Day Film Workshop

(students only; RSVP required)

5 p.m.
Dinner on Your Own 

5 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
ADP National Student Advisory Council Information Session

5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. 
ADP/TDC Student Mixer (students only)  


Saturday, June 8

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Breakfast on Your Own

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.
Plenary Session: ADP/TDC Student Panel
Meet the winners of the ADP/TDC Student Video contest and hear them reflect about their own civic learning and engagement as well as suggest how our campuses can better foster learning environments that encourage all students to be the informed, engaged citizens our communities need.
Moderator: Verdis Robinson, Instructor of History and African-American Studies, Monroe Community College (N.Y.)
Presenters: Bianca Brown, Western Kentucky University; Justin Machelski, Delta College (Mich.); Quinta Tangoh, Cuyahoga Community College (Ohio); and Rachel Wintz, University of Alaska Anchorage 

10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Program Session IV

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Campus & Friends Showcase and Lunch

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Program Session V & Roundtables

2:45 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Program Session VI

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Closing Plenary: Post-Traditional Undergraduates and the Copernican Moment: New Models of Engaged Learning for the New Majority Student
It has become a commonplace in our current educational discussions that the higher education sector in the U.S. is living a moment of dramatic disruption and change. One key aspect of this new "Copernican moment" is the emergence of non-traditional adult students fitting education into complex lives of work, community and family -- as the new majority of undergraduates. How do we offer great, engaged education to these students? How do these post-traditionals serve as a laboratory for positive change as we live through the current disruptions?
Presenter: David Scobey, Executive Dean, The New School for Public Engagement (N.Y.)

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Closing Dinner and Reception at The Tavern
1949 Market St. Denver, CO 80202


Sunday, June 9

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Global Engagement Scholars Meeting and Breakfast (Private)
Molly Brown

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
ADP Implementation Committee Meeting and Breakfast (by invitation)

9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
TDC Steering Committee Meeting and Breakfast (by invitation)
Gold Coin


Fees top

Registration Fee includes all program sessions and materials; wine and cheese reception on Thursday evening; breakfast on Friday; and lunch and a closing reception on Saturday.

Individual Fee: $545
Register as an individual if only one person from your ADP/TDC campus is attending.

Team Member Registration Fee: $485
If more than one person from your ADP/TDC campus is attending the meeting, you may use the Team Member Registration Fee.

Student Registration Fee: $395
Registration rate for full-time undergraduate and graduate students at AASCU/ADP/TDC colleges and universities.

Non-Member Registration Fee: $625
Register as a non-member if you or your organization are not AASCU/ADP/TDC campus members.

Registration Information top

How to Register
Please select among the three options below:

Express Online Registration
NOTE: Please click this LOGIN HELP if you have trouble using the online registration form.

Register via the downloadable registration form, to be mailed or faxed in.
Download Form (doc)

You may also contact Felicia Durham at (202) 478-4673 to register for this meeting.

Not sure if your campus is a member of ADP or TDC? Click on the below links and find out!
APD Members (Visit www.aascu.org/programs/adp/participantsbystate/)
TDC Members (Visit thedemocracycommitment.org/tdc-membership/member-institutions/)

Accommodations top

Denver Marriott City Center
1701 California Street
Denver, Colorado 80202

Phone: 303-297-1300
Toll-free: 800-228-9290
Fax: 303-293-3736

Hotel accommodations for the 2013 ADP/TDC National Meeting can be booked directly with the hotel by calling toll-free 877-303-0104 and referring to the group rate for the ADP/TDC Annual Meeting (please use the acronyms for the group name).

You may also reserve your room online here   

Room Rate

The special conference rate is $169 (single/double/triple/quad) plus 14.85% tax (current tax rate may change). To obtain this rate, you must call the hotel by May 14, 2013.

Check-in at the hotel is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at Noon.
High-speed internet is available in your guest room at $12.95 a day. There is free wireless internet in hotel’s public areas.
Valet parking fee: $29/day

Overflow Hotel

If the Denver Marriott City Center is sold out, we have more rooms one block away at the Residence Inn.  

You may reserve your room at the $169 conference rate by using the below links.  This hotel provides a complimentary hot breakfast buffet. The reduced room rate available until Tuesday, May 21.

Note:  All rooms have a bed and a sleeper sofa.  It is recommended that you get the one-bedroom suite if you are doubling up. 

Book Studio Queen at Residence Inn Denver City Center for $169 per night  

Book One Bedroom Suite at Residence Inn Denver City Center for $169 per night  

Cancellation & Refund Policytop

Cancellation Fee: $150
If you must cancel your registration, you will receive a full refund if the cancellation is before 5 p.m. EST on Friday, May 31. There will be a $150 cancellation fee after that date. Special circumstances will be handled on an individual basis. Guest meals should be cancelled by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, May 31 for a full refund; no refund is available after that date.


  • Felicia DurhamStaff Associate, Academic Leadership and Changedurhamf@aascu.org(202) 478-4673

Program Partner

New York Times in College

Exhibit Sponsor

Give Gab

Lyon Software