Community Development Society

News and Information

Caitlin Bletscher

Add as friend Message author Subscribe to updates from author Subscribe via RSS
Caitlin Bletscher has not set their biography yet

CDS Call for Board Nominations

Dear CDS Members,
As Vice Chair of Operations for CDS, I have the pleasure of working with the Board during a time of transition and the anticipated celebration during our 50th anniversary conference in Columbia, Missouri. Earlier this year, the Board of Directors adopted updated bylaws meant to guide our organization, which include changes to the board size and staggered terms of service. The Nominations Committee is currently seeking nominations for two (2) board members and two (2) officers.
As per the Bylaws (February 2019): "The affairs of CDS shall be managed and controlled by a Board of Directors which shall be composed of six (6) elected Directors and five (5) elected Officers (see Article 6 of these bylaws). The Board of Directors shall have all of the powers and be subject to all of the limitations provided by the "General Not For Profit Corporation Law" of the State of Missouri, as amended, and these bylaws."
The elected Directors shall serve three (3) year terms which shall be staggered to prevent a majority turnover in Board membership at any given time. Directors shall perform all fiduciary duties as defined in the adopted CDS Policies and Operational Guidelines, as may be amended by action of the Board of Directors from time to time. Directors shall take office immediately following the Annual Meeting of CDS occurring after their election and shall serve as such until their successor is elected, qualified, and installed at the Annual Meeting of CDS. No Director shall be eligible for election to more than two (2) consecutive terms.
The Secretary shall be elected by the Voting Members of CDS to a three (3) year term and shall not be elected to more than two (2) consecutive terms in the same office. The Secretary shall: (a) document and manage the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the general membership of CDS and all meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee; (b) oversee the Executive Director's fulfillment of all notices and reports in accordance with the provisions of these bylaws, and the requirements of law; (c) oversee the Executive Director's maintenance of the CDS corporate records; (d) oversee the Nominations Committee in fulfilling its duties; (e) certify resolutions and corporate  documents; and, (f) perform all duties and exercise such other authority as may be delegated or assigned to them by majority vote of the Board of Director
The Vice Chair of Operations shall be elected by the Voting Members of CDS to a one (1) year term with full disclosure that the position succeeds to Vice Chair of Programs and then to Chair with confirmation by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Directors as constituted, with the candidate recused from the vote. The Vice Chair of Operations shall work closely with the Executive Committee, the Executive Director, and Committees in directing the operations of CDS. The Vice Chair of Operations shall: (a) chair the Membership Committee; (b) function as a Board of Directors liaison to Committees; (c) function as the board liaison to the Executive Director; and (d) perform all the duties and exercise such other authority as may be delegated or assigned to them by the majority vote of the Board of Director.
Any CDS member in good standing may run for the Board of Directors or an officer position. Members may check the status of their membership here or by contacting the Vice Chair of Operations. Self-nominations are highly encouraged, though members may nominate colleagues by contacting the Vice Chair of Operations. Members nominated by a colleague will be contacted and may accept or reject the nomination. 
Nominations are open now through Friday, May 10, 2019. Nominations should be submitted via this Google Form. The nominations committee is responsible for vetting candidates and will conclude this process and recommend a slate of candidates to the Board of Directors during the scheduled board meeting on Friday, May 17, 2019.

When completing the nomination form, each candidate must submit a picture (headshots in color are preferred), a PDF of a current CV or resume, and brief responses to questions related to current and past activities within CDS, practice or experience in the field of community development, and ideas for the future of CDS.

Electronic voting will open at 8:00 AM Central time onMonday, May 20, 2019 and close at 5:00 PM Central time on Friday, June 7, 2019. All candidates will be notified of the election results, which will be announced to the membership at the Annual International Conference.

Please don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have. I look forward to receiving your nominations.


Kyle Patrick Williams

Vice Chair of Operations
Community Development Society
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
18487 Hits

CD Practice Editor Position

The Community Development Society (CDS) is seeking a qualified, proactive, and creative candidate for the volunteer position of Editor of the Community Development (CD) Practice publication, effective immediately.


Check out the CD Practice Editor position description for more information!

Community Development Practice: The Community Development (CD) Practice is an online-only, peer-reviewed publication of the Community Development Society. It presents innovative approaches, tools, and techniques that can be readily applied by community engaged researchers, community development practitioners, applied researchers and pracademics. The purpose of Community Development Practice is to describe and promote appropriate and useful tools, resources and practice(s) for all aspects of community development. Readers of Community Development Practice papers should be able to take lessons from, adapt, and/or use the tools, resources and practice(s) described. All presented tools, resources and practice(s) must be grounded in community development (or other related fields) theories, frameworks and/or methods that have a demonstrated record of positive impact in/for communities. We especially welcome submissions focused on innovations in practice. 

Community Development Practice focuses much more on the “how” of strategy and implementation, including key ingredients for success and pitfalls to avoid. Community Development Practice submissions should be aligned with the Community Development Society’s Principles of Good Practice (provided) and should clearly document methodology, data-driven results, success stories, resources and/or lessons learned. Citations of research and resources are expected in every manuscript. Successful submissions and published manuscripts should also reference the Community Development Society Principles of Good Practice.


Please email Communication Committee Co-Chairs, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you!

368 Hits

Meet our CDS Board Members

Meet our CDS Board Members

Caitlin Bletscher, CDS Secretary

WSU Bletscher.headshot

Caitlin Bletscher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development in the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences at Washington State University. She teaches courses in communication and leadership, global issues, systems thinking, global citizenship, and community leadership. Prior to her time in academia, she spent several years working with internationally displaced and migrant populations in the domestic and international fields among nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and university outreach.

Caitlin was first introduced to the Community Development Society through a colleague at the University of Florida, who shared his expertise and passion for international extension, civic engagement, and post-disaster community development. During her PhD program, she was the recipient of a student CDS scholarship to present her research on the role of Cooperative Extension among the integration of refugee resettlement in Dubuque, Iowa. Since Dubuque, Caitlin has attended each CDS Annual Conference and continues her involvement and dedication to the Society by serving as the Secretary of the Board of Directors.

She believes that community development is built from a complex foundation of social capital – the networks, bonds, bridges, and links within a community provide educators, researchers, and practitioners with a map of how to best navigate its systems, relationships, and assets. For her, the most important part of community development is accompaniment and empowerment, conversations about equity, and the necessity of ensuring that everyone has a voice and seat at the table.

377 Hits

NSS + NEES 2019 - Call for Proposals!

NSS NEES 2019 Proposals Open
Hosted by the University of Florida IFAS Extension and the Southern Rural Development Center in partnership with USDA-NIFA, this joint national conference will be held April 16-19, 2019 at The Westshore Grand in Tampa, Florida.  
NSS+NEES 2019 will bring leading sustainability and energy educators and practitioners together to showcase land grant university Extension and research program successes, share challenges, and identify opportunities to strengthen our collective impacts.  Extension professionals, researchers, graduate students, formal and informal educators, practitioners, and community partners are invited to participate.
Submit online today at this link, and thank you for sharing this opportunity with your sustainability and energy colleagues and partners.  We hope to see you in Tampa next April!
The NSS+NEES Planning Team, on behalf of the National Network for Sustainable Living Education and the National Extension Energy Initiative.
730 Hits

New CD Practice Journal - Issue 22: The Pursuit of the Future of Community Development

The Pursuit of the Future of Community Development

Please check out the latest issue of the Community Development Practice journal, Issue 22, located here!

Does the future happen or do we bring it about? As Community Development Society’s 50th Anniversary approaches, we as community development professionals must address how we bring about better futures for our communities. In today’s communities, there remain great opportunities to be discovered and great opportunities to be created by community development professionals. We must pursue the future, not wait for it to come to us.

This twenty-second issue of Community Development Practice provides approaches, insights, and tools that can help us bring about better futures for our communities. It is easy for us to be divided, to turn on each other, and to hoard resources. The articles in this issue challenge us to come together and invite others into our community development work. As a community of community development professionals, we need to come together and invite others into our work. Diversity, inclusion, innovation, and entrepreneurialism are needed as we, together, pursue the future of community development.

I hope you enjoy this issue, and please consider submitting your future work to Community Development Practice. I wish you all a productive and community-filled summer.

~Community Development Practice Editor

421 Hits

CDS Annual Conference: Call for Mentors!

Dear CDS Members,
We had an overwhelming response from our new CDS members and students to our  CDS Mentoring Program during our annual conference in Detroit! This program is a great opportunity to continue to build our organization, collaborate on scholarhip, and enhance your network!
The CDS Annual Conference still needs more mentors to accompany two mentees while in Detroit - to introduce them to scholars in the field, share their own passion for community development, and answer any questions they may have as they navigate the conference and our organization. 
Please consider volunteering to be a CDS Mentor during our annual conference!
Please let CDS Secretary, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., know if you are interested in serving as a CDS mentor during our annual conference!
Thank you, CDS members, for your ongoing investment in our organization - see you in Detroit!
386 Hits

2018 CDS Elections

Attention Current CDS Members!

Please check your email for information about the 2018 CDS Elections! Voting for the 2018 CDS Elections for positions on the CDS Board of Directors closes on Friday, June 8 at 5:00pm (ESD). Your participation and engagement in this voting process is truly valued and appreciated.

Questions about the process or didn't receive your election ballot? - please contact the CDS Secretary for more information.

Thank you for your involvement in making a difference in CDS!

555 Hits

CDS Vanguard Editor Position

Interested in networking with our CDS members and community development practitioners? Looking for a while to strengthen your professional portfolio and apply your creativity through marketing and communications?


Consider applying for the CDS Vanguard Editor position!


The CDS Vanguard is a monthly publication distributed to CDS members and nonmembers, including updates from the Board of Directors, organizational announcements, external resources for educators and practitioners, potential funding sources, and more! In this 10-hour/month position, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with CDS leadership and the CDS Communications Committee, exercise your creativity in marketing and communication strategies, and enhance our presence among community development practitioners worldwide!


Questions? Please see the CDS Vanguard Editor position, or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., CDS Secretary, for more information.

516 Hits

CDS Update from the Board of Directors

Dear CDS Members,

Early this spring, two Board of Directors positions unexpectedly became open due to the resignations of both Dr. Bryan Hains (former President) and Dr. Craig Talmage (former Vice President of Operations). We thank them for their service.

Following policy and procedure, Dr. Cindy Banyai, former Vice President of Programs, is now serving as President. We thank Dr. Banyai for her willingness to immediately take on this new role.

We want to reassure the members that the Board is continuing to meet regularly and its committees are functioning as usual, and the conference is on track to be a success this July in Detroit.  As we find ourselves amidst this transition, we embrace what the season of springs brings to us -- rebirth, regeneration and renewal -- and in this spirit -- we explore new possibilities together.

We look forward to seeing you in Detroit! We see this conference as a collaborative opportunity to welcome your ideas, share insights and collectively move forward on a new path seeped in tradition and rich with new potential. We also have much to plan in celebration of our society's upcoming 50th year anniversary! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We welcome your input.


CDS Board of Directors

513 Hits

WCDC2018: World Community Development Conference

Community Development Towards 2030: Our Analysis, Our Actions

Join the IACD's 65th anniversary conference celebrating community development from around the world! 

The World Community Development Conference (WCDC) 2018 will be held at Maynooth University, in partnership with the IACD and Community Work Ireland, in Kildare, Ireland on June 24-27. This conference will provide a unique opportunity for practitioners, participants, academics, policy makers, funders, and other stakeholders to share perspectives on current contexts and challenges for community work.

With over 200 workshop speakers, join our community development colleagues, practitioners, and educators from around the globe in a collaborative discussion on participation, power, and progress! Register now to join the conversation about the future of community development!

Don't miss this wonderful gathering of community development experts from around the world! For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the IACD website.

Come join the global conversation of community development!

675 Hits

Community Development Educators: Addressing ‘Wicked’ Issues and Systems Thinking

It is not a novel concept that today’s community development practitioners must address some of the most complex, ‘wicked’ problems facing our world. Due to today’s globalization, challenges within our communities are becoming increasingly complex and interconnected. Such ‘wicked’ challenges are not evil in nature, but have been coined to represent their complexity and uniqueness, without clear definition of their problem, solution, or final resolution (Rittel & Webber, 1973).

In order to best prepare tomorrow’s researchers, practitioners, and educators for such problems, our education and development must address the concept of wicked issues through a systemic lens.

I have recently been working with university students to instill similar paradigms that encourage systems thinking when engaging with wicked community development issues. Through this Global Issues course, students are exposed to various activities, exercises, discussions, and resources that allow them to develop such worldviews.

I would love to share a fantastic resource I came across with the CDS community. At the start of this new year, I was introduced to Tom Wujec’s Wicked Problem Solving toolkit, where participants engage in an exercise of diagram creation, problem solving, and critical reflection. Through the simple task of drawing how to make toast, participants begin to shift their perspective in how they first address issues within their community.  If you’re looking for an excellent exercise to introduce systems thinking and wicked issues through an experiential learning exercise, I would highly encourage you to watch Tom Wujec’s TED Talk and present this participatory activity for a group that you currently work with!

804 Hits
Powered by EasyBlog for Joomla!