Community and Economic Engagement Network

The Community and Economic Engagement Network's (CEE) core mission is to support network members in promoting new and innovative, internal, and external collaborations to help advance local and regional communities and economies and extend the reach of campus communities.

The network represents university outreach and engagement, inclusive of community, economic, and workforce development. It focuses on the role that universities can play in the advancement of initiatives that positively impact the quality of life in our communities and economies at the national, regional, and local levels, recognizing that some elements of this work often begins in the pre-K - 12 environment and continues through post-workforce years. CEE supports the mutual exchange of intellectual resources and expertise between the university and its broader external communities, including government agencies, businesses and industry, non-profit organizations, community groups, schools, and other educational institutions.

Who Should Join?

The Community and Economic Engagement Network serves all sorts of professionals, and the following individuals may find value in the conversations and connections:

  • Deans 
  • Provosts
  • Administrators
  • Directors
  • Managers
  • Program Coordinators
  • Financial Officers
  • Strategic Partnerships Executives
  • Local Economic/Community Leaders
  • Vice Presidents
  • Workforce Development Specialists
  • Human Resource Staff
  • ...and all other interested UPCEA Members!

Join the Discussion

Log in to CORe, UPCEA's member community and online networking space where you can ask, answer or search for questions on relevant topics. Get advice, answers and ideas from your colleagues online via CORe, UPCEA's professional networking platform.

Your membership gives you full access to:

  • Active conversations, and the chance to ask your questions in real time
  • Robust search of conversation archive
  • A diverse resource library
  • UPCEA's entire member directory
  • Exclusive member content -- including benchmarking studies, conference session slides, and webinar recordings

UPCEA Engagement Award 

The UPCEA Engagement Award recognizes an outstanding mutually-beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources between a member institution and one or more external constituents such as local communities, corporations, government organizations, or associations. The recognized partnership will demonstrate a knowledge partnership that has resulted in a measurable and sustainable shared impact in areas such as economic development, community development, workforce training, or capacity building.

This award will be bestowed annually at the UPCEA Annual Conference to one of the recipients of the regional Engagement Award. Each UPCEA Region will select an Engagement Award recipient annually. All regional recipients are nominated for the association award by regional leadership. The recipient of the national award will be given to the most outstanding regional award recipient. The Community and Economic Engagement Network will recognize all regional recipients at the UPCEA Annual Conference and award recipients (university and partner representatives) will be invited to present in a concurrent session at the annual conference.

Attend Network Events

The CEE Network curates webinars and coffee chats throughout the year, on a number of topics related to the work of the Network. Check out the event page linked below and keep an eye out for our upcoming events.

Today, the field of professional, continuing, online education is characterized by engagement in very complex, highly specialized areas of practice. UPCEA’s eight Networks are designed to serve professionals practicing in the key areas that define this vibrant and growing sector of higher education.


Networks are open to any UPCEA Member. Members can join any one (or multiple) of these networks by logging in to their profile, going down to My Networks + Committees then click "Browse Networks + Committees". Select the network you would like to join, and click "Join this Network/Committee".

Volunteer and grow as a leader, presenter, or mentor.

Take an active role in your membership! Members are encouraged to serve as volunteer leaders. There are many ways to get involved! Click below and let us know how you'd like to volunteer with UPCEA.

Have a question about the Network? Ask a volunteer leader!

UPCEA Network Leadership is composed of UPCEA members who serve in these roles. Below you can find a current listing of this year's network leadership team. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, click here.

2022-2023

Leadership Team

George Calderaro

CHAIR

Columbia University
[email protected]

Denise Lauritano

CHAIR-ELECT

University of British Columbia
[email protected]

Laurel Hogue

PAST CHAIR

University of Central Missouri
[email protected]

Sam Larson

VICE CHAIR, ANNUAL CONFERENCE & SPECIAL EVENTS

Michigan State University
[email protected]

Andrea Tessier

VICE CHAIR, AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Penn State University
[email protected]

Kimberly Love

VICE CHAIR, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

Weber State University
[email protected]

Hilary Culbertson

VICE CHAIR, COMMUNICATIONS

UNC-Chapel Hill
[email protected]

Carolyn Callaghan

VICE CHAIR, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Western Carolina University
[email protected]

R Dean Claud

VICE CHAIR, AT-LARGE

Old Dominion University
[email protected]

Ursula Bechert

VICE CHAIR, AT-LARGE

University of Pennsylvania
[email protected]

Gale Spak

VICE CHAIR, AT-LARGE

New Jersey Institute of Technology (Retired)
[email protected]

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Get Involved with UPCEA

Professional development isn't just about attending sessions. Get involved with UPCEA to meet members from other institutions, share the great work your institution is doing, and hone your own skills. From submitting a session proposal for a conference or an article for a publication to serving as a volunteer on a conference planning committee, there are as many ways to engage with us!

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Awards of Excellence

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.