A black and white photo of a crowd looking at a large building, their backs to the camera
2020 Global & Community Engagement Virtual Conference:

The Pursuit of Social Equality and Representation

Photo from "Department Store, Ulaanbaatar, 2017," by keynote speaker Meghan Kirkwood.

See Kirkwood's photography portfolio.

Global and Community Engagement Conference

80% of the Earth's inhabitants are not considered by designers of infrastructure, goods, and services.

The Global and Community Engagement Conference (formerly D80) is a dialogue and celebration of our efforts to solve issues that confront the world's poorest 80%. Together we are creating a better future.

The Michigan Tech campus hosts this annual conference every fall to give a platform to the voices of university students serving communities-in-need, both domestically and abroad. Our conferences highlight service and research work done by students from Michigan Tech and elsewhere, and are open to anybody interested in development, design, and discovery for the poorest 80% of humanity. The public is always welcome.

2020 program

D80 is reformatting for 2020. Rather than our one-day in-person conference, there will be opportunities to learn and discuss throughout the fall, an art exhibit, a self-guided walking tour, and multiple opportunities to interact with our keynote speaker.


See our interviews

The Importance of Community Discovery and Obligation: Strategies for Successful Project, Service Learning and Global Experiences

Wednesday, September 30; 6 p.m.
Register for this session

When do you immerse yourself fully into a service learning project or global experience? When do you maintain a respectful distance? How do you respect the culture of the community you're engaging with? This session is designed for student leaders who want to learn strategies to understand their roles and thoughtfully prepare for engagement opportunities.  

The Pursuit of Social Equity and Representation: Impactful Classroom and Student Engagement with Keynote Speaker Meghan Kirkwood

Friday, October 2; noon-1 p.m.
Register for this session

During a time of national and global uncertainty, it’s important to explore how our interactions with students impact their Michigan Tech experiences. Dr. Kirkwood will discuss the value of presenting diverse narratives in while remaining mindful of the unique viewpoints of our students.

Join us for this campus-wide lunch and learn via Zoom with Dr. Meghan Kirkwood. The public is also welcome.

Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood

Monday, September 28 through Saturday, November 14; Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Hero City: Documentary Photography by Meghan Kirkwood features a collection of silver gelatin and inkjet photographs made as part of a documentary project about modern Mongolia and its capital city, Ulaanbaatar. Kirkwood’s images of modern Mongolia capture the unique and storied history of its capital city, and its transition through economic and cultural change – and the rich and thriving culture that animates this young Asian nation.

The gallery exhibit takes place across five campus buildings, culminating in the Rozsa gallery, A-Space. Visitors are encouraged to take a walking tour to view the works of art. A map of the walking tour will be available soon.

Keynote Speaker 

Meghan Kirkwood headshot
Keynote speaker Dr. Meghan Kirkwood

Meghan L. E. Kirkwood is an Assistant Professor of Visual Art at Washington University in St. Louis where she teaches Photography. She earned a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design in Photography before completing her M.F.A. in Studio Art at Tulane University. She has received numerous fellowships, including funding to participate in artist residencies through the National Parks Service, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Lakeside Lab (Iowa). Kirkwood’s photography has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa.

Kirkwood’s photography interests concentrate on landscape photography and the ways artistic representations of land help generate and sustain values and attitudes toward the natural environment. In tandem with her studio practice, Kirkwood also researches in the fields of African art and the history of photography. She holds an MA in Art History from the University of Kansas, where she researched African monuments designed and built by North Koreans, and a PhD in Art History from the University of Florida. Her dissertation examines the uses of landscape imagery by contemporary South African photographers.

Kirkwood is a native New Englander, and has lived in and worked in various states in the South and Midwest. She has also lived abroad for extended periods in Argentina, Germany, and South Africa. When not photographing or traveling, Kirkwood trains for and competes in marathons.


In collaboration with Visual and Performing Arts and the Pavlis Honors College, this conference and Meghan Kirkwood's visit are partially funded/sponsored by the Visiting Professor Program which is funded by a grant to the Office of the Provost from the State of Michigan's King-Chavez-Parks Initiative.