Special participation

Chancellor Manuel Clemente
Chancellor Magnus of Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon, Portugal

He was born in Torres Vedras and after finishing secondary school he attended the Faculty of Letters in Lisbon where he graduated in History. After graduating in History he entered the Major Seminary of Olivais in 1973 and, in 1979, he graduated in Theology from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, obtaining a doctorate in Historical Theology in 1992.
He was ordained priest on the 29th June 1979. He was a member of the Formation Team of the Major Seminary of Olivais, where he served as Vice-Rector from 1989 to 1997 and Rector from 1997 to 2005. In 1999 he received the Episcopal nomination for Auxiliary of the Patriarchate of Lisbon, with the title of Pinhel and, in 2000, Episcopal Ordination. He is appointed Bishop of Porto in 2007 and, in 2013, takes office as 17th Patriarch of Lisbon. He is created Cardinal Presbyter of the Holy Roman Church, by Pope Francis, in 2015, with the title of Saint Anthony of the Portuguese in the Field of Mars.
He is the author of books and studies on topics in the areas of History, Theology and Pastoral, published in specialty editions and magazines, and has already been awarded several distinctions and prizes.

Bp. José Ornelas Carvalho
Bishop of Setubal and President of the Episcopal Conference of Portugal

He is, since 2020, President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference. and Bishop of Setúbal. In 2015 he was appointed, by Pope Francis, Bishop of the Diocese of Setúbal.
Born on the Island of Madeira, and wishing to be a missionary, he asked to enter the Missionary College of the Congregation of the Priests of the Heart of Jesus (Dehonians) in Funchal, and then continued his studies at the Missionary Institute in Coimbra. He finished his Degree in Theology at the Catholic University of Portugal. He specialized in Biblical Sciences in Rome and Jerusalem and concluded the Canonical Licentiate at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. He was ordained a priest on 9 August 1981.
He prepared for his doctorate in Rome and Germany (1992-1996), obtaining a doctorate in Biblical Theology at the Catholic University of Portugal in 1997 where he resumed his teaching activities until 2003.
In his Congregation he was a formator in the Seminary of Alfragide in parallel with his teaching activity and assumed other posts within the Portuguese Province of the

Organising institutions

María Nieves Tapia
Director of CLAYSS, Argentina

Founder and director of the Latin American Center for Service-Learning (CLAYSS, www.clayss.org). Between 1997 and 2009, she initiated and coordinated the national service-learning programmes of the Argentine Ministry of Education, “School and Community” (1997-2001) and Solidarity Education (2003-2010), as well as the Solidarity Schools Programme of Buenos Aires City (2002-2003). A graduate in History, in 2019 she was appointed member of the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES). She is a founding member of the Board of the International Association for Research in Service-Learning (2005). She has been invited to lecture at universities and organisations on the five continents, and has served on the juries of numerous national and international educational awards, including the Presidential Award “Escuelas Solidarias” in Argentina and the “MacJannet” Global Prize for Global Citizenship. She is the author of numerous books and articles in Spanish, English, Portuguese and Italian.

Isabel Capeloa Gil
Rector of Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal

President of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) and Rector of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), where she previously served as Vice Rector for Research and Internationalization (2012-2016) and was Dean of the School of Human Sciences (2005-2012). She received her PhD in Germanic Studies from that university, where she also serves as Professor of Cultural Studies in the School of Human Sciences. In addition, she is an honorary fellow of the IGRS, School of Advanced Study (University of London) and serves as a visiting professor at the University of San Jose (Macau).

María Rosa Tapia photo

María Rosa Tapia
Coodinator of UNISERVITATE, Argentina

Coordinator of Higher Education at CLAYSS and the Uniservitate Programme. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, a certificate in Instructional Technology and Design (San Diego State University), and a Specialization and Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). Member of CLAYSS since its foundation in 2002, she has served as Coordinator of the Volunteer Programme for Youth in Latin America and the Caribbean “PaSo Joven,” of the Distance Education Area and of the Solidarity Schools Support Programme. She has taught courses and workshops on service-learning for educational institutions and CSOs in Latin America and the Caribbean, the United States, Spain, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kenya and South Africa. She is in charge of teacher training in Social Educational Practices at the Academic Affairs Office of the University of Buenos Aires and is a professor of Learning and Technology at the “Raúl Scalabrini Ortíz” National University of San Isidro.


Invited institutions

Alexandre Palma
Director de CITER, UCP, Portugal

Alexandre Palma is a theologian, catholic priest and university professor.
He was born in Lisbon in 1978 and ordained priest in 2006. After beginning his studies in engineering, he graduated in theology from Universidade Católica Portuguesa (2005), where he also completed his master’s degree (2008). He later resided in Rome, where he received a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (2013). Since returning to Lisbon, he has taught at Universidade Católica Portuguesa where he is an assistant professor and a researcher at the CITER – Research Center for Theology and Religion Studies (he is currently CITER’s director). His research focuses on theological epistemology, the question of God, Christology, theology of religions and theology of space.

Ana Oliveira
Universidade Católica Portuguesa Portugal

PhD in Social Work from the Portuguese Catholic University. She is currently a pedagogical coordinator in the Master in Social Work and an assistant professor of the Faculty of Human Sciences of the Portuguese Catholic University. Coordinates the Post-Graduation of Evaluation in Programs and Social Projects, of Artistic Practices and Social Inclusion and Management of Projects in Cooperation for Development. Researcher at the Católica Research Center for Psychological, Family and Social Wellbeing, her areas of publication and research are in the areas of social innovation and social intervention, intervention with families and youth, theories for practice in Social Work and social and intercultural mediation. Consultant in the areas of planning, management and evaluation of programs and projects, territorial strategic planning, leadership and team management. Her publishing areas are located in the intervention areas with young people, in Social Work theories and practices, and in social and intercultural mediation, where the following books stand out:“The Strength Theory – A referential for practice in social intervention” (2016), “The Turn of the Arrow: positive factors in the lives of young people at risk” (2010) and “Sociocultural Mediation in Portugal: a puzzle under construction ” (2005).  

Anthony Vinciguerra

Graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA). The majority of Mr. Vinciguerra’s studies have focused on addressing issues of religion, poverty and sustainable development – both in Christian and Interfaith contexts.

Mr. Vinciguerra served for 14 years at St. Thomas University (Miami, FL) as the coordinator of their Center for Community Engagement. The Center functions as the primary support unit for engaged scholarship at the university, integrating Catholic social thought across the curriculum while leveraging university teaching and research into both regional and international social concerns.

Mr. Vinciguerra is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Theology and Education at Boston College, with a focus on the intersection of theological ethics and engaged scholarship in Catholic higher education. While studying at BC, he serves as visiting scholar for the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, as well as director of the Archdiocese of Miami/Port-de-Paix, Haiti, Global Solidarity Partnership – a collaboration that leverages university teaching and research into long-term social and economic development projects in Miami’s sister-diocese of Port-de-Paix, Haiti.  

Chantal Jouannet Valderrama
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Chile

Psychologist from the Universidad de la Frontera and Master in Educational Policy from the Universidad Alberto Hurtado de Chile. She was Coordinator of the Christian Humanist Education Curriculum at the Catholic University of Temuco between 2004 and 2007. Between 2007-2009 she was a professional at Puentes UC, linking academic resources with municipalities in the Metropolitan Region.
Between 2009 and 2012 she coordinated the UC Service Learning Program, leading the work of the national network and transmitting the methodology to different educational institutions. From 2012 – 2019 she is Deputy Director of the Centre for Teacher Development UC. Since 2020 she has been the director of the centre, leading the implementation of online classes for undergraduate and master’s degrees, as well as the training of university professors.
National leader of the Service Learning Methodology, implementing workshops and giving conferences for educational institutions in Chile, Latin America and Europe. She also advises different educational institutions. Member of the national network of Service Learning and of “The Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship”. She has presented at national and international seminars on the methodology and has published in several educational journals.

Daniela Gargantini
AUSJAL (Asociación de Universidades Confiadas a la Compañía de Jesús en América Latina), Universidad Católica de Córdoba, Argentina

PhD in Architecture, researcher-teacher at the Catholic University of Cordoba (Argentina) and regional coordinator of the University Social Responsibility Network (RSU) of the Association of Jesuit Universities of Latin America (AUSJAL).
Researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research of Argentina and member of the Experimental Centre for Affordable Housing. She coordinates the Socio-housing Service, where she develops service-learning initiatives for urban-housing improvement in vulnerable settlements.
He has published articles and taught courses on USR in several countries, among which his contributions to the “Policies and System of Self-Assessment of USR”, the “Compendium of Significant Experiences of USR” and the “Diploma of USR” of AUSJAL stand out.

Enrique Ochoa
Executive Director of CLAYSS, Argentina

BA in Political Science (University of Buenos Aires-UBA), with a postgraduate degree in International Relations and Negotiations (University of San Andrés and FLACSO Argentina). He studied at the University of Bologna (Representation in Buenos Aires) and won a scholarship for the Workshop for Young Latin-American Leaders in “Leadership, Democracy and Social Development” of the Inter-American Development Bank (Washington D.C headquarters).
He has 15 years of experience as a consultant to the Ministry of Education of Argentina, specializing in the promotion of service-learning projects. He provided support to the service-learning institutionalization processes as an external consultant at several Latin American Universities.
He builds up his career as a professor at the School of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), in the Programme of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences of CIEE-FLACSO and as a visiting professor in various chairs of public and private Universities.
Since the creation of CLAYSS, he has been in charge of the International Relations of the organization, and the coordination of training activities and support for Higher Education Institutions.

James Arthur
The Jubilee Center for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

He is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. James is also Chair of the Society for Educational Studies, and was Head of the School of Education 2010-2015 and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor 2015-2019. He was previously Editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies for ten years and holds numerous honorary titles in the academe, including Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow and Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Oxford. James was made an Officer of the British Empire by the Queen in 2018. He has written widely on the relationship between theory and practice in education, particularly the links between character, virtues, citizenship, religion and education. His recent book is The Formation of Character in Education: From Aristotle to the 21st century. James established the Jubilee Centre in 2012, and the Centre has grown in size, scope, and impact since its launch at the House of Lords in May 2012. Recently James was a visiting fellow at the Angelicum University in Rome and has written his seventh book on the Christian Formation of Character  

James Kielsmeier
Founder NYLC, USA

Founder and former CEO of the National Youth Leadership Council. He is co- author of two books and more than 30 articles, and has lectured widely on youth and education issues.

He holds a Ph.D. in education from the University of Colorado, a M.A. in international relations from American University in Washington, D.C., and a B.S. in Zoology from Wheaton College (IL).

Recognitions include:
– Honorary Dr. of Laws, Concordia University, St. Paul;
– The George Norlin Award for lifetime achievement, University of Colorado
– The Kurt Hahn Award, Association of Experiential Education.  

José Ivo Follmann
University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil

PhD in Sociology (UCL-Belgium). Master of Social Sciences (PUCSP-Brazil)). Bachelor of Social Sciences (UFRGS-Brazil). Professor of the Post-Graduate Program in Social Sciences, University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS). Jesuit priest. Director of the National Observatory of Socio- environmental Justice Luciano Mendes de Almeida (OLMA). Leader of the Research Group: “Trans-disciplinarity, Integral Ecology and Socio-Environmental Justice”. Other themes:
Sociology of Religions, Identities, Trans-disciplinarity, Ethnic-Racial Relations. 

Judith Pete photo

Judith Pete
Tangaza University College, Nairobi, Kenya

Professor at Tangaza University College (TUC), in Nairobi, Kenya, where she heads the Community Engagement programme. She has served in Academic, Regional, Non-Governmental and Faith-Based Organizations in different Managerial and Leadership Capacities since 2005. She currently coordinates the Service-Learning Regional Hub for Africa. She has acquired extensive experience as a University Educator, as well in Community Development and Research. 

Karen Venter
University of the Free State, South Africa

Karen Venter heads the Service-Learning Division within the Directorate of Community Engagement, at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Having a MA in Higher Education Studies, with specialisation in the field of community engaged service-learning, she is responsible for the institutionalisation of engaged scholarship and glocal networking to advance higher education engagement. Karen has presented various national and international conference papers and workshops, co-published journal articles and book chapters. Through applying Appreciative Inquiry as strength-based action research methodology, her doctorate research focuses on using an integrated service-learning praxis approach to flourish professional learning and development of all partners in community-university research partnerships. This approach integrates the functions of teaching-learning, research, and community engagement, as well as theory and practice, across disciplines and societal sectors, to deliver the praxis of an engaged scholarship. 

Mercy Pushpalatha photo

Mercy Pushpalatha
United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia

Since 2018 she has been working as a programme consultant for the United Board, South Asia programmes. She previously served as Principal and Secretary of Lady Doak College, Madurai, India. During her tenure as principal, Dr. Mercy and her colleagues introduced Life Frontier Engagement–a community-based action research and experiential learning initiative–into the curriculum for all third-year students. Prior to becoming principal, she was a member of the chemistry faculty at Lady Doak College for more than three decades. Dr. Mercy received her MSc and MPhil in Chemistry from Madurai Kamaraj University and PhD from Alagappa University, Karaikudi. She is a peer team member in National Assessment and Accreditation Council and a member in the society of Lead Like Jesus, India. She is also a director of the Lady Doak College Foundation, Inc., USA, as a nominee from CUAC. 

Michelle Sterk Barrett
College of the Holy Cross, USA

Dr. Michelle Sterk Barrett is the Director of the J.D. Power Center for Liberal Arts in the World at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. She has been engaged with Catholic higher education for nearly 30 years—primarily with the Donelan Office of Community-Based Learning at Holy Cross and the PULSE Program for Service-Learning at Boston College. Michelle earned her B.A. in psychology at Villanova University and her M.A. in higher education administration at Boston College. She completed her Ph.D. in higher education at the University of Massachusetts-Boston where her award-winning dissertation focused on the spiritual growth of undergraduates through service-learning. She has been highly involved in the in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU) network by participating in the Ignatian Colleagues Program, serving on visiting teams in the mission priority examen process, and serving as the Chair of the AJCU service-learning professionals network.  

Rita Paiva e Pona
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal

Rita Paiva e Pona is Advisor of the Rectory for Social Responsibility and Coordinator of the Social Responsibility Office of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, contributing to the development of a social responsibility project with the aim of involving the different stakeholders in a common and sustainable strategy. With a degree in Foreign Languages by Universidade Católica Portuguesa, she complemented her academic training in the areas of Management, Coaching and Social Entrepreneurship. Passionate about people and teamwork, she is keen on building bridges and bringing together common objectives. She lives and works with the goal of leaving the world better than she found it.

Br Tom Kearney
Tangaza University College, Kenya

Br. Tom Kearney, is australian and have lived in Africa since 1995. He has ministry experience as a community based counsellor, as a formator, a lecturer, and an administrator at Tangaza University College, as well as the District Leader of the Christian Brothers in East Africa. His involvement in these ministries and his background in Psychology and Spirituality studies, has made him aware of the personal issues and dynamics of the struggle through life and the various unjust social arrangements, which have kept people in their social situations. His working with these people, especially those at the margins, has created an awareness of the need to have a developed Spirituality which is able to take account of the realities of life – relationship to the world, to the people in the world, to self and to God – and to be able to reconcile these with Christian beliefs. He discovered the need to have well integrated leaders in ministry who would be able to work with their people to transform society as the way to address the undesirable inequalities.

Xus Martín García
GREM, Universidad de Barcelona, España

Xus Martín is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education of the University of Barcelona; member of the GREM (Grup de Recerca en Educación Moral) and coordinator of the Master’s Degree “Education in values and citizenship”. Her lines of research focus on education in values, service learning and young people at risk of exclusion.
Her publications include: Projects with soul. Project work with community service (Graó, 2016); Educarse es de valientes. Aprendizaje servicio con adolescentes en riesgo de exclusión (Octaedro, 2018) and “Una pedagogía a favor de la inclusión” (Revista de Educación Social, 2020).


Luis Arocha
Uniservitate-CLAYSS, Argentina

He holds a Master’s degree in Education and a Degree in Psychology. Specialist in Leadership, management and educational innovation. Specialist in Logotherapy, affective-sexual education and emotional education.
He is the Coordinator of Regional Nodes of the Uniservitate Programme (CLAYSS/Porticus). He is General Director of the Maria de Guadalupe Educational Group Foundation (Buenos Aires, Argentina). He also works as a teacher in the Department of Education of the Catholic University of Argentina in the Teacher Training Courses of Initial and Primary Education.

Luísa Mota Ribeiro
Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal

Assistant Professor in Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP), at the Faculty of Education and Psychology, and member of the Research Centre for Human Development. She completed her PhD in Educational Sciences – Educational Psychology. She teaches psychological intervention in educational settings and community psychology. Her research interests include student involvement and self-regulated learning, classroom questioning, teacher and student’s perceptions of teaching and learning, and education of vulnerable children and adolescents. She has been a member of nationally and internationally funded projects on promoting youth involvement and social engagement and on citizenship education. Since 2020 she is responsible in UCP, together with Carmo Themudo from the Unit for the Development of the Person, for CApS Project – Catholic University and Service Learning: Innovation and Social Responsibility, aiming at implementing and institutionalizing Service Learning in UCP, stimulating pedagogical innovation and social responsibility.

Marian Aláez
University of Deusto, Spain

Marian Aláez is a lecturer at the University of Deusto. She holds a PhD in Economics and Business Studies, and her teaching activity is carried out in the Faculty of Law, where she teaches Introduction to Economics in the Degree in Law and Strategic Management in the Economics Speciality. She has been a member of the Identity and Mission Committee and of the University’s Teaching Innovation Team. In the Faculty of Law, she has been Vice-Dean of Students and Identity and Mission and Quality Manager. Her research focuses on business and innovation in education. 

Mariano García
Uniservitate-CLAYSS, Argentina

He is a member of the Spirituality and Research Team of Uniservitate, coordinator of the educational ministry of the Santa Rosa de Lima Institute and professor of Religion at the San Luis Institute in Buenos Aires. He was a national coordinator for the Episcopal Conference of Argentina (2015-2018) and was summoned by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops as a consultant for the International Seminar on the Condition of Youth (Rome 2017) and as an auditor for the Synod of Bishops “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment” (Rome 2018).

Marlon de Luna Era
De La Salle University, Philippines

Dr. Marlon de Luna Era, an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology Behavioral Sciences Department, De La Salle University,Manila, Philippines. He has an M.S. in Human Settlements Development, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand Ph.D on Development Studies at De La Salle University. Dr. Era has extensive teaching and professional experiences in disaster resilience, solid waste management, service-learning, gender and local governance. Dr. Era had worked with the Department of Social Welfare and Development as Social Welfare Program Specialist, Program Associate of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), Thailand ;Operations Manager of the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR). At present, he is Board Member of the Philippine Sociological Society; Executive Vice President of the Solid Waste Management Association of the Philippines (SWAPP), President, Local Governance Training and Research Institution-Philippine Network , Chairperson, VOICE Philippines and Regional Trustee for Southeast Asia, International Association for Community Development (IACD)

Yolanda Ruiz Ordoñez
Catholic University of Valencia, Spain

She has a degree in Psychology, a diploma in Religious Sciences and a PhD in Philosophy and Educational Sciences. For more than 20 years she has been working at the Catholic University of Valencia San Vicente Mártir as a lecturer in various subjects and in several master’s degrees. She has held various academic posts. Currently, she continues her teaching work in the Faculty of Psychology, co-directs the master’s degree in Helping Relationships and Counselling and is director of the ScholasOccurrentes Open Chair. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Pontifical Scholas Occurrentes Foundation. She participates in national and international conferences and seminars, contributing with papers and presentations on her research on Service-Learning. She is the author of several articles on school coexistence, intrinsic motivation in the development of vocational work and Service-Learning. She has been applying this methodology in the classroom for more than 10 years. She has given several courses on Service-Learning. She is a member of the State Network of Service-Learning and the Association of University Service-Learning and the group promoting Service-Learning in the Valencian Community.