For Students, Faculty, and Staff: MyU One Stop

Sara Axtell


Community-Campus Health Liaison,

Public Engagement Faculty Development Liaison with the Office for Public Engagement,

Urban Research Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC) Community Liaison

388 McNH
1985 Buford Ave
St Paul, MN 55108

Tel: 612-625-0252

Fax: 612-625-4227

Download CV Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Interest

Community Engagement
Interfacing of different cultural knowledge systems, particularly indigenous and traditional knowledge systems with modern Western knowledge
Community Health
Truth and reconciliation as a strategy for healing relationships between communities and institutions
European American cultural identity

How my work relates to multiculturalism

Much of my work is about helping faculty and community organizations to develop mutually beneficial, authentic collaborations. This work often brings up questions about how to share intellectual authority, and how to best bring together academic knowledge (which for the most part is based in modern Western knowledge systems) and the knowledge systems that are held in cultural communities. For me as a European American, this has necessitated deep cultural self-study, so that I have a better understanding of the damaging cultural patterns, as well as the cultural resources, that I have inherited. I am indebted to elders at the Cultural Wellness Center for guiding me in this study. For more in-depth discussion, please see my comments from the conference--Overcoming Racism: Recognizing and challenging the legacies that oppress us.


Faculty-at-Large, Cultural Wellness Center
Ph.D., Psychology of Learning, University of Minnesota
B.S., Special Education, Illinois State University

Teaching & Learning

FSoS 5150: Special Topics in Family Social Science

PubH 6066: Building Communities, Increasing Health: Preparing for Community Health Work


Here are some community initiatives and organizations Sara is involved in:

Community School Connections Project
Community School Connections (CSC) is a network in Minneapolis-St Paul Twin Cities area, made up of school district staff, community leaders, and staff from the University of Minnesota. Over the years, we have collected materials that schools and community organizations can share with parents and families to help them navigate the school system and support their children’s learning. These materials can be explored by language or by topic.

Ending Youth Violence Roundtable
The Ending Youth Violence Roundtable meets monthly at the Phyllis Wheatley Community Center in North Minneapolis to help coordinate efforts for ending youth violence. Current priorities include increasing opportunities for youth recreation, and developing more opportunities for building positive relationships between young people and police officers. To read what young people and youth workers have to say about their perspectives on violence in their community, download the report “Understanding Youth Violence in North Minneapolis.

Healing Roots
Healing Roots is a community of people of European descent who are studying our culture and history to become agents of change in creating a healthy society for people of all cultural heritages. We seek to develop a sense of collective responsibility, which can lead to productive action. For information on classes and events, go to

Board appointments:
2006-present Board of Directors, North American Water Office
2005-present Board of Directors and Faculty-at-Large, Cultural Wellness Center


  1. Axtell, S., Avery, M., &  Westra, B.  (2010).  Incorporating Cultural Competence Content Into Graduate Nursing Curricula Through Community—University Collaboration. J Transcult Nurs, April 2010; vol. 21, 2: pp. 183-191.

  2. Seanhk-Ka, S. & Axtell, S. (2007). Sharing Intellectual Authority. Partnership Perspectives, 4(1), 78-85.

  3. Baum, K. & Axtell, S. (2005). Trends in North American Medical Education. Keio Journal of Medicine, 54(1): 22-28.

  4. Champaneria, M. & Axtell, S. (2004). Cultural Competence Training in U.S. Medical Schools. Student Journal of American Medical Association, 291(17),2142.

  5. See CV for more publications.