Dumke Center Spotlight: How to Get Involved

woman standing in front of a bulletin board

May 4, 2022

By Maddie Hayes 

Wondering how to make a difference in your community, on campus, and beyond? The Katherine W. Dumke Center for Civic Engagement at Westminster College can help you get involved. 

 “The main benefit of being connected to the Dumke Center is finding a community within Westminster and to the broader community. It helps you connect and find your place on campus and within the broader Salt Lake City community” says Mackenzie Harris-Bledsoe (‘MACL ’21, ’17), a Westminster alum and the former program director at the Dumke Center.

According to Mackenzie, there are several ways to get involved: 

  1. You can work at the Dumke Center. You can apply to work as a student employee. Working at the Dumke Center involves assisting with programing and putting on events. There is an existing partnership with Promise South Salt Lake and a program called Walkways to Westminster is part of that partnership. 
  2. You can apply for a grant through the Dumke Center for a nonprofit that interests you. If you have an interest in a particular organization, the Dumke Center will help support you in funding that work. View a map of nonprofits.
  3. You can attend Dumke Center events. Even if you’re not working at the Dumke Center or working for a local nonprofit, you can still be involved in Days of Service in the fall and spring, give to the Holiday Helper Drive, or collect books for the Black History book drive. See the event calendar. 

If you’re thinking about how to get involved, Mackenzie suggests, “thinking about if there’s a specific passion within the community that you’re interested in. If it’s more broad, then maybe start as a student employee within the Dumke Center to start to draw out those passions.”  

  • Mackenzie outlines the steps to engagement at the Dumke Center: 
  • Identify an issue: What is your passion? What do you want to work on? 
  • Research that issue: Is it part of a larger issue? 
  • Take action: Create a project and become a volunteer in an organization.
  • Reflect: Think about the good, the bad, the uncomfortable, and what could have been done better. 

Intrigued? Meet Nicole Klonizos (‘23), lead mentor in Walkways to Westminster. Nicole has been working at the Dumke Center since her first year at Westminster. Working at the Dumke Center, Nicole became engaged with Walkways to Westminster. She also found herself tutoring math at Millcreek Elementary with United Way and tutoring English at Esperanza Elementary. Nicole also mentors seniors at the Utah International Charter School by helping students with college applications and scholarships. One of her mentees is now a first-year student at Westminster! Nicole says she likes having a center on campus where students can get civically engaged, hyping how easy and accessible it is.

Nicole's involvement at the Dumke Center was what caused her to change her major from psychology to elementary education. Her goal is to become an elementary school teacher in a local public school. 

 “I love being in a team that is as committed to those values as I am,” Nicole says. “It’s how I feel about the Dumke Center in general— it’s a commitment to changing the world.” 

She says her college experience would have been completely different without the Dumke Center. Aside from making friends with different majors and interests, Nicole was able to discover her ideal career path based on her experience with Walkways. 

No matter your interest and no matter your experience, there is a place for you at the Dumke Center to harness your passions and make an impact within your community.