A Gathering for Courage and Renewal


It’s a challenging time at the university and in our busy professional lives; it is easy lose touch with that which is most important to us. Many faculty and staff seem to struggle with questions such as, “How can I possibly accomplish all that I am juggling? Why, or for what purpose am I engaged in this work, anyway?” Seldom, however, do we ask the questions: “Who am I in this role at the university? How can I be renewed as I work with and relate to others? How can I discover my strengths and work toward the common good at the university?” On April 5th and 6th, the Office of Teaching and Learning, the Morgridge College of Education, and the Faculty Senate, will host an array of interactive sessions exploring the challenges and opportunities faculty, staff, and students face as they build and try to sustain life-giving spaces in the academy.  Highlights of the two days include:

  • Discovering an inner capacity to lead a more authentic, meaningful and resilient life, renewing the commitment to positive action and courage to act with integrity here at the university and beyond.
  • Engaging in collegial conversations that form the foundation for the clarity and courage to re-connect with the longings and passions that brought us here, including a practical examination of the Peer-To-Peer conversations for DU faculty anchoring the recently passed DU Faculty Development document developed in response the national push for post-tenure review.
  • Celebrating of the 20th anniversary of Parker Palmer’s influential teaching text, Courage to Teach, featuring a video-chat with Parker and a panel of six individuals (students, faculty, and community members) who were and continue to be impacted by his scholarship; and
  • Exploring Leadership to discern deep change which comes not from an administrative mandate, but one that arises in the energized space between caring and thoughtful colleagues; learn principles and practices for deeper listening and wholehearted decision-making; and engage in mutual attentiveness to the new and unexpected creative work and broad inquiry at the heart of our university mission.

The two-days will be hosted by Kate Willink, DU Faculty Senate President, and Paul Michalec, Clinical Professor in the Morgridge College of Education.  Individual sessions will be led by Rick Jackson and Diana Chapman Walsh, two experts on Courage & Renewal as well as, leadership, and holistic approaches to faculty development.

Through events, training, and other resources, the non-profit Center for Courage & Renewal changes the world from the inside out, helping people discover the courage to act and lead with integrity. The Center reaches teachers, clergy, health care workers, nonprofit and business leaders, and anyone who wants to reconnect who they are with what they do. Founded by Parker J. Palmer, the Center has a global network of 300 facilitators, working with more than 5,000 people every year through its programs.

Session Facilitators


Rick Jackson, Co-Founder and Senior Fellow of the Center for Courage & Renewal. Rick teaches, consults and speaks with leaders, non-profit organizations and philanthropies on a range of topics, including identity and integrity, youth and community development, and strategies to foster long-term positive cultural  change. He earned a B.A. in history from St. Olaf College; a Master of Arts in religion and social ethics from Yale University Divinity School; and a Master of Divinity from United Theological Seminary. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, he was an executive with the YMCA for 25-years.

Diana Chapman Walsh, Ph.D., President emerita of Wellesley College, led the college from 1993 through 2007. She currently serves on the governing boards of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (as a life member of the Corporation, and a member of the Executive Committee), and the Kaiser Family Foundation. She recently completed service on the boards of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, which she chaired, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the Mind and Life Institute. She was a director of the State Street Corporation (1999-2007) and a trustee of Amherst College (1998-2010, now trustee emerita.) She is the recipient of eight honorary doctoral degrees, most recently from Amherst College (2013), Washington University in St. Louis (2014) and Rhodes College (2016).

Before assuming the Wellesley presidency, she was the Norman Professor of Public Health and chair of the department of health and social behavior at Harvard School of Public Health, and, prior to that, Professor of Public Health at Boston University and associate director of its Health Policy Institute. She published widely on social factors affecting the health of populations. As president of Wellesley College, Diana evolved a distinctive style of reflective leadership rooted in a network of resilient partnerships and anchored in the belief that trustworthy leadership starts from within.

A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future at Clark University, Diana writes, speaks, and consults on higher education and leadership, and the crisis of climate change.

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