About GCE

The Global and Community Engagement (GCE) initiative is made up of a multi-disciplinary team that is working to develop a collection of transformative programs and resources that empowers individuals and organizations to create positive change in the world. Our area serves as a dynamic bridge, connecting passionate changemakers from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and geographical locations, fostering collaboration and collective impact. By uniting people with shared values and goals, we strive to create a more inclusive, sustainable, and harmonious world.


The Global and Community Engagement initiative was created in part from what was once D80.  D80 programs had existed since 1996 to work on solutions for prosperity with partnering communities around the world. More than a twenty faculty and 500 students have contributed their efforts to make D80 a success.

The D80 Center was dedicated to prosperity by design, and aimed to assist the most vulnerable 80% of humanity in meeting their basic needs for food, water, shelter, sanitation, waste disposal, energy, income, and education. During their years at Michigan Tech, D80 participants learned to view the challenges and opportunities facing humanity via a multi-disciplinary perspective. With extensive opportunities on campus and in economically developing communities, participants acquired the skills, knowledge, and attitude necessary to make a positive impact in the lives of the world's most under-served, while becoming leaders in their chosen fields. Through this engagement, the D80 Center helped to make better professionals and citizens. Over time, the efforts have evolved into what we now know as Global and Community Engagement (GCE) initiatives.

Our Mission

Within GCE, our mission is to break down barriers and build meaningful connections that transcend borders. We believe that when individuals come together, driven by a common purpose, extraordinary things happen. Our purpose is to facilitate these meaningful connections, empowering people to collaborate, exchange ideas, and take action on pressing global issues. Through collective efforts, we aspire to leave a positive and lasting impact on communities worldwide.


GCE aims to educate students, faculty, staff, and partners who see the needs that exist in the world and feel empowered to address them. It will combine the expertise of all of the participating departments and programs; collaborate for education, research, and service; and actively work towards bi-directional knowledge transfer with partner communities. GCE will provide opportunities for service-oriented local, national, and international involvement to university students of all disciplines and all educational levels, from first-year undergraduates to doctoral candidates, as well as all interested university staff and faculty.

GCE programs will encourage service, creativity and innovation, leadership, social justice, global thinking, and knowledge creation.

Why encourage global and community learning?

  • Help students build transferable skills, such as holistic and interdisciplinary learning and problem solving
  • Develop big thinkers about public and global issues students will engage with for the long term (e.g., climate change, democracy, social justice)
  • Retention and recruitment: improve numbers and attract more diverse students

Moving Forward

  • Grow scholarships and external support for students to study away and engage in community-based learning
  • Offer a diverse, affordable, and high quality suite of short and long term programs for global and community-engaged learning in the US and abroad connected to general education and majors
  • Enable half of Michigan Tech students to complete a global or community-engaged learning experience as part of their degree program. Options will be clearly mapped for any students in any major to participate
  • Establish a Center for Global and Community Engagement in Pavlis College to serve all of Campus
  • Work with administrators to communicate the value of global learning and community engagement
  • Support excellence in health, safety, and risk management for study away programming
Students on an immersion trip in a classroom
Students presenting at D80 16
Students on an immersion trip holding a PHC Banner
Students working on a project during D80 2017
Students volunteering in a classroom on an immersion trip