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Military Engagement Initiatives

Colorado College's Commitment to Military Engagement

to en·gage (v): 1. to occupy one’s attention or efforts 2. to commit to one another as by pledge or promise 3. to entangle or interlock 4. to enter into conflict with

Our Town

In addition to housing Colorado College, the Colorado Springs area is also home to several prominent military bases and commands, including Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, Shriever Air Force Base, the United States Air Force Academy, United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).  Over 25% of the Colorado Springs workforce is employed in the defense industry (Pikes Peak Quality of Life Indicators, 2011).

Our Core Values

Colorado College's core values emphasize cultivating a sense of place as well as cultivating an engaged social responsibility at the local, national, and global levels. 

Our Inquiry

These core values prompt us to examine the ways in which the Colorado Springs community and surrounding region shape, and are shaped by, the military installations and military service members that call this their home.  We are also moved to ask ourselves where this regional experience sits in a broader social, cultural, and historical context.

Our Initiatives

Through a wide range of collaborative community-based research projects and community-based learning courses, Colorado College engages in deep, rigorous inquiry about war, resilience, military service, and civilian-military relations.  The Collaborative for Community Engagement is proud to support these many initiatives. 


Community-Based Research Projects


Soldier-Family Wellness Project (2008-present)

The Soldier-Family Wellness Project involves students, staff, faculty, and community partners in collaborative inquiry about the implications of deployment for our local troops, their families, and their communities. The project seeks to understand how the Colorado Springs community contends with the reintegration challenges posed by multiple deployments, and how Army culture shapes soldiers’ and families’ coping with stress tied to deployment. This project began in 2008 as an ethnographic study based on a collaboration between Sarah Hautzinger at Colorado College and Jean Scandlyn at the University of Colorado at Denver, and has since expanded to include CBL coursework, student internships, and student theses.  Click here to read the project blog.


Gender, Sexuality and Religion in the Military

Economics professor Jim Parco writes extensively about the role of religion in the military, LGBT issues in the military, and the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.  Click here for links to his articles.


Military Stigmatization Research Study

This emerging research program examines the stereotypes facing military service members in the Colorado Springs community, and the implications those stereotypes may have for social, psychological, and occupational functioning.  Emily Chan serves as the principal investigator at Colorado College.


Community-Based Learning Programs 


Colorado College / Air Force Academy Intercampus Dialogue Project 

Funded by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, the CC/USAFA Intercampus Dialogue Project seeks to build academic and co-curricular connections between students at these geographically close but all too often academically and socially isolated campuses.  Developed out of a partnership between the Political Science programs at both campuses, the project has expanded to build connections between students across the humanities, social, and natural sciences.


Veterans Remember

An annual Veterans Day occurrence, Veterans Remember is an opportunity for the local community to come together at CC to reflect upon our nation's wars and their human impact.  A range of programming, from veterans circles to art displays, sets the stage for healing, exploration, fellowship, and understanding.  Veteran alumni, staff, faculty, students, and community members all play a pivotal role in the development and implementation of this event.


Other Ways to Engage in Military Engagement Issues Locally

If you are interested in connecting with any of these programs, please contact the CCE!

Rocky Mountain Human Services' Veterans' Program

Community-Based Learning Coursework


In Spring 2012, students in Jennifer Clare's Comparative Literature course, entitled, "Literature of the Warrior," developed partnerships with active and deployed service members to examine literary themes of mutual interest.  Paired with a servicemember to examine the extent to which lived military experience maps on to literary depictions of war, students deepened their academic understanding of narratives of war. 


In Summer 2012, Jessica Copeland's Psychology/General Studies course, entitled, "Psychology of War," partnered with local service members and veterans to examine the mechanisms that facilitate military training, and to dialogue about the ways in which war affects individuals who experience it.



Related Coursework 


Student theses and research papers on war