Concordia's new director of Community Engagement aims to create more 'meaningful partnerships'

Dr. Lisa Twomey

Dr. Lisa Twomey, associate professor of Spanish, has been named Concordia College’s new director of Community Engagement. 

Twomey expressed her excitement about stepping up and accepting these new responsibilities. 

“This role will allow me to support students, faculty, and staff as we link our campus to the local, national, and international community in meaningful partnerships. Our mission and Core guiding principle of engaged citizenship call us to strengthen our commitment to the community in creative and innovative ways, always keeping the best interests of partners and students at the center,” she said. 

Twomey teaches her previous inquiry seminar, “In Search of Home: Immigrants and Refugees in our Community and Across the Globe,” in 2021.

As director, Twomey will be responsible for delivering community-based learning experiences for people across campus and helping students practice the skills necessary for engaged citizenship in an increasingly diverse student community. 

She and President Colin Irvine have already met with local nonprofit directors to consider new ways to partner.   

"I'd like the community to know that we are reliable partners that they can count on," she said. 

Lisa Twomey (far right), President Colin Irvine (far left), and other Concordia leaders meet with directors of local nonprofits.

Twomey first joined the faculty at Concordia College in 2004 teaching all levels of Spanish language, culture, film, and literature, as well as courses in the first-year experience and Master of Education in World Language Instruction programs. Her research interests are varied and include 20th-century Spanish literature, theories and practices of intercultural communicative competence and citizenship, world language teaching pedagogy, storytelling, and Ernest Hemingway’s relationship with Spain. 

Twomey loves creating opportunities for students to connect their learning to the world around them by pushing them beyond the proverbial four walls and into engaging experiences in the community.

She has taught an Inquiry Seminar at Concordia focusing on building relationships with local immigrants. First-year students in Twomey’s class partnered with English Language Learners at Moorhead’s Adult Basic Education (ABE). Everyone creates poetry and the ABE students learn English skills along the way. 

Twomey with her inquiry class and English Language Learners in Moorhead's Adult Basic Education program.

In 2023, students of the inquiry seminar gave presentations about their experiences and collaborative poetry during MLK day. Twomey was also nominated and received an Iowa & Minnesota Campus Compact Award for her community engagement through this class. 

“I am honored to lead this effort and continue to enhance our students’ education not only in the traditional classroom but also through relevant experiences beyond it.”

Twomey replaces Dr. Ken Foster who has served Concordia in various roles for almost 17 years.


Written by Alyssa Czernek '25