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Warren Wilson College professor honored for outstanding civic engagement

Dr. Annie Jonas of Warren Wilson College has received North Carolina Campus Compact’s 2018 Engaged Faculty Award.

Photo courtesy of Warren Wilson College.

The statewide award recognizes an outstanding faculty member in the NC Campus Compact network who demonstrates excellence in community-based teaching, research, and scholarship; leadership of campus-wide efforts; and development of strong partnerships with the community.

The faculty award was created in 2006 as the Robert Sigmon Service-Learning Award and was re-named this year.

Jonas has been a professor of education at Warren Wilson College since 2005 and chair of the education department since 2011. Her teaching – which integrates community-based experience and service – has influenced many future teachers and enhanced education for countless young people. Her “Educational Psychology” course, for example, has been in partnership with a local K-8 charter school for sixteen semesters.

The community-based learning in her courses makes a lasting impression. A former student who is now a teacher said she “vividly remember[s] working with a local middle school science teacher and his students to craft my first ever lesson on genetics.”

She continued: “Without Annie’s passion for community engagement, and the powerful, formative experiences she enabled me to have, I would not be the same educator that I am today.”

Dr. Annie Jonas of Warren Wilson College received the 2018 Engaged Faculty Award. Photo by Andrew Krech.

Over the years, Jonas has also become a faculty leader of community engagement. She was a participant in the college’s Service Learning Fellows program, then served as the Faculty Liaison to the Service Learning Program. She is now Director of Faculty Community Engagement. She leads faculty workshops on experiential education and service-learning, advises and consults with colleagues, and distributes her knowledge by presenting research at conferences like PACE and the Gulf South Summit. She also serves as associate editor for the Journal of Experiential Education.

In 2015, Jonas was selected as an “Engaged Faculty Scholar” by North Carolina Campus Compact, one of two faculty members chosen for the program’s inaugural term. In this role, Jonas explored developmental aspects of “civic identity” and how the school’s first year seminar might intentionally foster this growth.

Dr. Jonas and UNC Greensboro Chancellor Frank Gilliam, who presented the award on behalf of the Compact’s Executive Board. Photo by Andrew Krech.

Building on this work, Jonas and other colleagues defined civic identity as a learning outcome for the first year seminar course in the fall of 2016. The group then conceived a developmental model of civic identity, and support for the concept spread. In fall of 2017, the college Cabinet approved civic identity as the primary educational outcome for all Warren Wilson College students, which speaks to Jonas’s institutional leadership.

“Without hesitation, I attribute much of this success to Annie,” writes a colleague. “Her research and understanding of civic identity, skilled listening, consideration of various perspectives, and ability to synthesize feedback allowed for this success.”

Jonas earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Guilford College, a master of education and a secondary teaching certificate from Harvard University, and her doctorate in education from Western Carolina University. Before her career in higher education, she was the executive director of a wilderness experience program for low-income kids, director of the Project POWER AmeriCorps program in Buncombe County, and a public school teacher in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

The Compact recognized Jonas at its annual Presidents Forum, hosted by Meredith College in Raleigh on February 9. More than 30 presidents and chancellors attended the one-day event, along with other college and university administrators. She was also recognized at the network’s PACE Conference at Elon University on February 14. The conference convened 200 faculty, staff, students, and community partners from over 30 campuses across the Southeast.

Jonas is the first faculty member from Warren Wilson College to receive the network’s faculty award.

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Davidson College president receives 2018 Lambert Engaged Leader Award

Davidson College President Carol Quillen (photo courtesy of Davidson College)

North Carolina Campus Compact, a network of colleges and universities committed to civic and community engagement, has honored Davidson College President Carol Quillen with the 2018 Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader Award.

The award is named for Elon University President Leo M. Lambert, who helped found the civic engagement network in 2002 and served as its first Executive Board Chair. Lambert has led Elon University since 1999.

The Lambert Award is presented each year to one college or university president or chancellor in North Carolina for leadership that fosters student engagement and impacts the community. The honoree is chosen by fellow campus leaders whose institutions are part of the Compact.

Quillen is the seventh president or chancellor to receive the Lambert Award, which was first presented in 2012.

Since 2011 when she became Davidson College’s eighteenth president, Quillen has championed Davidson’s civic mission and focused on preparing students to lead and innovate in the service of something larger than themselves.

Quillen’s support for collaborative research has given Davidson students opportunities to produce new knowledge, whether working with faculty in the classroom or entrepreneurs in the community.  A new graduation requirement approved in 2016 has students taking at least one course that explores justice, equality, and community. Major gifts from the Duke Endowment are enhancing inclusive pedagogy and interdisciplinary learning.

Quillen has helped create immersive, community-based experiences like the Education Scholars, a summer program for students seeking to drive change in Charlotte’s K-12 education system. Another program — the Davidson Impact Fellows – pairs recent graduates with local nonprofit agencies to address critical social issues. In 2014, Quillen saw the launch of the Davidson College Advising Corps, a partnership with the National College Advising Corps to place Davidson graduates as college mentors at under-resourced schools.

Nationally, Quillen has become a spokesperson for access and affordability in higher education. She served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans in 2014-2015. She has continued to strengthen the Davidson Trust, which allows the college to practice need-blind admission and meet 100 percent of demonstrated need for all students through a combination of grants and campus employment. In 2016, Davidson became a founding member of the American Talent Initiative (ATI), one of 30 distinguished colleges and universities seeking to expand the number of talented low- and moderate-income students at America’s top-performing institutions.

Quillen grew up in New Castle, Delaware. She earned a bachelor’s in American history from the University of Chicago, and received a Ph.D. in European history from Princeton University. She came to Davidson from Rice University, where she served as vice president for international and interdisciplinary initiatives.

Davidson College joined North Carolina Campus Compact in 2007, and Quillen served on the organization’s Executive Board from 2011 to 2017.

Presidents Lambert and Quillen (photo by Andrew Krech)

The Compact recognized Quillen at its annual Presidents Forum, hosted by Meredith College in Raleigh on February 9. More than 25 presidents and chancellors  attended the one-day event, along with other college and university administrators.

The forum included keynote remarks by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, president of the American Association of Colleges & Universities, and Dr. Matthew Hartley, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. Attendees also took part in a facilitated discussion – led by Meredith College political scientist Dr. David McClennan and retired NC Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr – that examined the role of campuses in fostering free speech and civility.

The 2018 Lambert Engaged Leader Award is sponsored by the Piedmont Service Group. The forum is sponsored in part by Aramark.

North Carolina Campus Compact is a statewide coalition of 37 public, private, and community colleges and universities that share a commitment to civic and community engagement. The network was founded in 2002 and is hosted by Elon University. North Carolina Campus Compact is an affiliate of the national Campus Compact organization, which claims 1,000 member schools representing nearly 2 million college students.

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NC Afterschool Corps reflection: Finding Appreciation in Service

Katherin is placed at Duke’s Community Service Center, which is celebrating its 40th year.

Guest Post by Katherin Castillo

Hello everyone! My name is Katherin Castillo and I am currently the Afterschool Corps VISTA for Duke University’s Community Service Center for the 2017-2018 year. It is hard to believe that I have been in this position for the past five months! Time has really flown by. This semester I have been working with America Reads America Counts, which is a program that focuses on tutoring students in K-8 in Math and Literacy. However, a big component of my role as well is coordinating the Learning Juntos program.

Learning Juntos is a program that focuses on educating parents on resources that can be utilized to help their child succeed in school. These sessions are in Spanish and facilitated by Duke student volunteers. We are currently serving 2 sites, George Watts Elementary and Club Blvd Elementary. However with all of this in mind, if I have to express this past semester with one word, that word would be: “appreciation.”

According to Oxford Dictionaries, appreciation is defined as “recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.” With this being said, I have learned to appreciate that this position has challenged me to overcome obstacles that have come my way. I have learned to appreciate the skills that I am learning and utilizing each and every day. I have learned to appreciate the volunteers, students, staff, and parents who have an interest in bettering their community. In late July, I honestly did not know what to expect at my service site. I am from Mt. Airy, a small town in western North Carolina, so the thought of doing community work in a city frightened me. The thought of having to work with community organizations, schools in the Durham public school system, and students and staff from Duke University was very nerve-wracking as well. However, I am a strong believer that if you put your mind to a certain goal or objective, then you will be able to accomplish it!

A Learning Juntos session.

The first few weeks, I was set to learn the ropes of both programs. I got a grasp of the history, the events hosted, and the partnerships that were formed with local programs. I entered my service year right when the program was in its most important stage of recruiting students and preparing for training. I interviewed students for America Reads America Counts but also set out to find students to interview for Learning Juntos. I reached out to local student groups and waited to hear a response. To be honest, I had to send out multiple reminders! However, I now have around 10 passionate Duke students dedicated to working with the Latino community in Durham. Both sites have around 5-12 parents show up to the sessions and all parents seem to be engaged in the material presented. I am very happy to see the parents return to the workshops each month! One of my favorite parts about my service year is building the relationships with the Duke students and families! Moments like these remind me why I decided to take on the NC Afterschool Corps position at Duke University.

“Gracias, es muy bueno saber que alguien le interesa trabajar para nosotras las mamas que hablamos español.”

This statement was made by one of the mothers in the LJ session. This quote translates to: “Thank you, it is very good to know that someone is interested in working for us moms who speak Spanish.” A comment such as this one goes a long way! It allows me to continue with my dedication to the program and overall, it allows me to appreciate those around me who have worked hard to make amazing programs like this continue. I am excited to continue my service at Duke for the next 6 months!

ARE YOU A GRADUATE OR GRADUATING SENIOR who’s ready to support the important work of afterschool programs in NC while strengthening connections between colleges and communities?
Consider A YEAR OF SERVICE with the NC AFTERSCHOOL CORPS, an AmeriCorps VISTA program sponsored by NC Campus Compact! Learn more.

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2017 Year in Review (15th Anniversary Edition!)

2017 was a milestone year for North Carolina Campus Compact: we celebrated the 15th anniversary of our network, gained new member campuses, partnered to bring the Gulf South Summit to NC, and led Compact Nation in the number of campuses completing a Civic Action Plan. Our Year in Review shares these highlights and more.

Video celebrates NC Campus Compact’s 15th Anniversary

Our 15th anniversary video featured President Leo Lambert, the founding president of our Compact, along with current and former students sharing why civic and community engagement matters to them.

Special Events: NC Presidents Forum, Social Change Forum, and Gulf South Summit

The NC Presidents Forum (February 8) was hosted by Chancellor Harold Martin, Sr. of NC A&T State University. With a keynote by Lumina Foundaton President & CEO Jamie Merisotis and remarks by Dr. Alicia Dowd of Penn State’s Center for the Study of Higher Education, the forum was a space for campus leaders to consider new ideas about talent development and equity.

Our Social Change Forum (February 14), held in collaboration with Duke University’s Office of Civic Engagement, Office of Service-Learning, and the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative, brought together campus leaders from the fields of community engagement and social entrepreneurship to explore what the University of Michigan’s Dr. David Scobey called their “common ground and creative tensions.”

Participants discusses their views of community engagement and social innovation at the Social Change Forum.

NC Campus Compact was also a partner in the Gulf South Summit, hosted by UNC Greensboro (March 22-24). Gulf South is one of the Southeast’s longest-running independent conferences on service-learning. More than 350 faculty and staff members attended and several individuals from NC were recognized with Summit awards.

In addition to these special events, the Compact coordinated its annual events: a Community Engagement Administrators Conference focusing on alternative breaks (June 7); our annual CSNAP Student Conference (November 17-18) hosted by Winston-Salem State University, the first HBCU to host CSNAP; and of course our January and August network meetings.

Special Announcement: HPU and Qubein offer challenge gift to create a Compact endowment

During the 2017 NC Presidents Forum, High Point University President Nido R. Qubein made a surprise announcement: High Point University would make a challenge gift of $200,000 to North Carolina Campus Compact! The gift will go toward creating an endowment to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the network. Look for our one-time fundraising appeal coming in 2018!

Joining our network: Elizabeth City State University and Wayne Community College

In 2017 our network grew to 37 campuses with the addition of Wayne Community College and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). Wayne Community College (Goldsboro, NC) joined under the leadership of President Thomas A. Walker, Jr., who assumed the top post at Wayne CC in September 2016 after serving as the president of the Grand Island campus of Central Community College in Nebraska. ECSU joined the under the leadership of Chancellor Thomas E.H. Conway, Jr., who formerly served as vice chancellor and chief of staff at Fayetteville State before coming to ECSU in January 2016.

Recognizing Civic and Community Engagement Champions!

Each year the Compact honors outstanding individuals whose commitment to civic and community engagement make a difference on campuses and in communities.

(L-R): HPU President Nido Qubein, Duke’s Dr. David Malone, Durham Tech President William Ingram, Elon’s Dr. Smith Jackson, Compact ED Leslie Garvin

In 2017, we honored Dr. William Ingram, President of Durham Technical Community College, with the Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader AwardDr. David Malone of Duke University, with the Robert L. Sigmon Service-Learning Award; and Dr. Smith Jackson, Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students at Elon University, with the Civic Engagement Professional of the Year Award. All were honored at the NC Presidents Forum.

We also selected two faculty members to serve as our 2017-2018 Engaged Faculty Scholars: Dr. Jacquelyn Lee (above, at left), an assistant professor of social work at UNC Wilmington, and Dr. Elizabeth Wall-Bassett (above, at right), an associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Western Carolina University. Lee and Wall-Bassett are the third cohort of NC faculty members to fill the Engaged Scholars role.

This fall, we honored outstanding students, including Brian Wuertz, a senior at Warren Wilson College, who received the 2017 John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award (at left, pictured with John Barnhill). We also recognized twenty-three impressive student leaders, who were selected by their campuses to receive our Community Impact Award.

Seventeen Community Impact Award recipients were recognized at the CSNAP Student Conference.

Building partnerships with the NC Afterschool Corps

This year marked the first year of our re-designed AmeriCorps VISTA program focusing on serving children and families in the afterschool space by strengthening campus-community partnerships. The NC Afterschool Corps currently includes 11 members, including our VISTA Leader, who are working with a variety of campus and community-based programs. In addition to building afterschool program capacity through volunteer mobilization and resource development, Corps members are enriching programming by integrating Design for Change lessons.

Growing voter engagement and strengthening democracy

Dr. Nancy Thomas of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education delivered keynote remarks at the 2017 NC College Voter Summit.

We sought to maintain the momentum of our 2016 voter engagement work by continuing to support campus efforts to strengthen democratic engagement. We shared relevant resources, including information about the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (which your campus should join if it hasn’t already!). We also hosted our second annual NC College Voter Summit, which brought state and national experts to Elon for a full day of learning, with a special emphasis on local elections.

NC answers national call to Civic Action

In 2016, national Campus Compact asked member presidents and chancellors to renew their commitments to the Compact’s founding principles by signing on to the 30th Anniversary Action Statement. To date, 29 NC presidents and chancellors (nearly 80% of our North Carolina network!) have signed on to the statement, committing their institutions to creating a Civic Action Plan that puts those principles into practice. In 2017, eleven campuses submitted a plan, more than any other state in the national Campus Compact network!

New Mission and Strategic Planning Process

Led by executive director Leslie Garvin, our North Carolina network completed a strategic planning process to refine our mission and guide future programming. We owe a debt of thanks to the twenty-five members of our Strategic Plan Advisory Committee who gave their time and best thinking to this effort. We will share the plan with the broader network in 2018.

Looking Ahead….

In 2018, we will continue to support our member campuses as they deepen their civic and community engagement. Our NC Presidents Forum (invitation only, hosted by President Jo Allen of Meredith College, February 9) features an exciting agenda that includes Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U); and Dr. Matthew Hartley, co-author of Knowledge for Social Change: Bacon, Dewey, and the Revolutionary Transformation of Research Universities in the Twenty-First Century. Plus, presidents will discuss the role campuses must play in promoting free speech and civility.

Our 2018 Civic Engagement Institute (for member campuses only, February 13 at Elon University) will explore strategies for “Promoting Civility and Problem Solving through Deliberative Pedagogy.” Our annual PACE Conference (register now, February 14 at Elon University), will feature a slate of workshops led by faculty and staff experts from the region, plus keynote remarks by Dr. Nick Longo, co-author of notable works in the community engagement field, including Publicly Engaged Scholars (2016) and Students as Colleagues (2006).

This summer, we will have a special Civic Engagement Administrators Conference (June 12). Assessment guru Anne Weiss of Indiana Campus Compact will help us focus on: “Planning for Data Collection on Civic and Community Engagement Activities.”

We are look forward to new and improved monthly digest newsletter, website, and social media efforts; another NC College Voter Summit next fall; the 2018 CSNAP Student Conference (location coming soon!), and more.

Happy New Year!

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Warren Wilson College student honored as Barnhill Civic Trailblazer

2017 Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Brian Wuertz (Photo by Reggie Tidwell)

Warren Wilson College senior Brian Wuertz is the 2017 recipient of the John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award. The annual award is presented by North Carolina Campus Compact to one student in the state who fostered innovative service partnerships and whose leadership inspires others to serve.

An Asheville native, Wuertz learned early of Warren Wilson’s community service ethos: his third-grade class was visited by the Eco-Team, a group of Warren Wilson students who taught ecology lessons. The experience of dissecting owl pellets and investigating local ecosystems alongside college students made an impression: when it came time for him to choose a college, Brian chose Warren Wilson. And when he arrived as a first year student looking for a service opportunity, he chose the Eco-Team.

At the time, the Eco-Team was on hiatus, but Brian and other students revitalized the project. Brian became the student coordinator, building new relationships with local schools, updating the curriculum, and training volunteers. The team now includes about a dozen dedicated volunteers who serve some 300 children across four elementary schools each year, team-teaching an 8-week series of hands-on environmental education lessons that emphasize local ecology and wildlife.

Brian’s favorite part of the program is building relationships. Because the Eco-Team works in the same classroom for several weeks, Brian says, “We know the third graders’ names. It’s not a one-time thing. We come each week, and they are looking forward to seeing us.”

Brian’s service work reflects his academic interests – he is a biology and biochemistry major, who conducted field research on the eastern spotted skunk for the NC Wildlife Commission. He presented the research last summer at the Wildlife Society’s national conference, and he is turning the project into a hands-on science curriculum for seventh graders. But his service is not about the science, really. “Environmental education is important to me, but it’s more than that. The big picture is preparing the next group of young people to be civically engaged, to empower them.”

During his first two years at the college, Brian also worked with a partner agency – Community Action Opportunities – on the INSULATE program, which sends Wilson students into the community to weatherize the homes of low-income neighbors.

Wuertz addressing students at CSNAP Conference. Photo by Kenny Brock.

One of the experiences that has been most meaningful for him is serving as a Big Brother every week. As a science major, Brian says, “It’s kind of hard to never take a class or lab between 2:30 and 5:00 on Tuesday afternoons,” but he credits professors who have given him the flexibility to be committed to the relationship with his “little.”

“It’s taught me a lot about challenges different children face,” Brian says. “And it’s shown me the biggest thing kids need is a consistently positive force, to communicate a consistently positive view of them. That’s really informed how I interact with everybody.”

In her nomination letter, Dr. Liesl Erb, professor of conservation biology, calls Brian “one of Western North Carolina’s treasures” who “infuses a steadfast dedication to the greater good in all he does.”  She recounts a recent presentation Brian made to a gathering of 200 seventh-graders in Sylva. “At the conclusion of the event,” Erb writes, “teachers approached us to share that they had overheard students exclaiming, ‘Spotted skunks are cool!’ and “I want to do work like him!’”

Wuertz with John Barnhill. Photo by Kenny Brock.

Created in 2011, the Barnhill Award is named for John H. Barnhill, who founded innovative service programs while a student at Elon University and who later became the founding executive director of North Carolina Campus Compact. Wuertz is the eighth student to receive the award.

Wuertz was honored at the Compact’s annual CSNAP student conference, held this year on November 18 at Winston-Salem State University. The event convened more than 230 students and staff from 28 campuses in the network. In addition to awards and networking opportunities, the conference included student-led workshops on diverse community engagement topics and featured four “change makers” from the Winston-Salem community.

At the CSNAP Conference, Wuertz and fellow WWC student Christian Perry led a workshop sharing the Eco-Team program model. Photo by Kenny Brock.

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Community Impact Award recognizes NC students for outstanding service

Each year, NC Campus Compact recognizes a group of outstanding student servant-leaders with our Community Impact Award. Each campus may select one student to receive the award. This year, 23 students were named by their campus as Community Impact Award recipients, joining more than 250 college students recognized by the network since the award was first presented in 2006. Seventeen of those students were recognized during an awards ceremony at the CSNAP Student Conference.

Congratulations to all these outstanding students!

Appalachian State University
Victoria Redmon

Victoria Redmon stands out for her work with ASU’s Alternative Service Experience (ASE) program, where she has served as a peer leader, executive board member, and now as chairperson. In this role, she oversees some 35 break programs engaging over 400 students, faculty, and staff, training leaders and raising funds. With her upbeat personality and focus on community-driven service, Victoria has motivated many trip participants to become ASE peer leaders themselves. She’s deepened her own learning as a Break Away Citizenship School Summer Site Leader, and she’s also dedicated herself to the local community, serving for three years as a Girls on the Run Coach. Read more about Victoria.

Central Piedmont Community College
Tida Bayo

Tida is deeply involved in the life of the CPCC community as a member of Rotaract, Phi Theta Kappa, the African Student Association, and the executive board of the Student Government Association. Perhaps most important is her role with CPCC’s Central campus emergency food pantry. Selected last spring as a student coordinator for the pantry’s first semester, Tida was the only student coordinator to be re-hired this fall. A skilled organizer, she manages pantry inventory, coordinates deliveries with pantry suppliers, and provides referrals to students who need more support.

Duke University
Snehan Sharma

Snehan has dedicated himself to working with and for vulnerable people in the Durham community. Shortly after coming to Duke, he got involved with the Kenan Refugee Project, first as a tutor and mentor of refugee youth in Durham through the MASTERY program, then as a Kenan Summer Fellow, then as a member of the Citizenship Lab project to support youth civic participation. With the Community Empowerment Fund (CEF), he advocated for affordable and accessible housing in Durham, including organizing the city’s first Mayor’s Landlord Roundtable during a summer with DukeEngage-Durham.
READ MORE: Duke University senior honored for community service

East Carolina University
Sylveonna Holmes   

Since the moment Sylveonna Holmes arrived at ECU, she has committed herself to leadership and service. She has been part of many programs, including LeaderShape, alternative break experiences, and national days of service. A junior majoring in communications and leadership studies, Sylveonna supports fellow students as a Peer Career Leader and as an ECU Leads Mentor, where she works with first-year students to develop their competencies for social change leadership. As a coordinator for the Pirate PALS youth club, she supports youth in Pitt County by recruiting and training college students to lead local tutoring, reading buddy, and mentoring activities.

Elon University
Amy Mullan

At Elon, Amy Mullan has made addressing hunger a key goal of her service and scholarship. As the Student Director of Elon’s Campus Kitchen Project, Amy guides 15 student leaders working to fight hunger through direct service and advocacy. Last year, her team collected nearly 7,000 pounds of food and prepared over 9,000 meals for Alamance County residents. She previously served as one of the first Farm and Garden Coordinators for the project, helping to quadruple the farm’s yield. With a faculty mentor, Amy has worked for two years on a hunger-related research project, “Newcomers and Nursing: Infant-feeding beliefs and practices of resettled refugee and asylum seekers in North Carolina.”
READ MORE: Elon senior Amy Mullan honored with Community Impact Award

Fayetteville State University
Alicia Williams

Alicia has been a leader in community and campus service during her time at FSU. As a certified peer health educator, wellness ambassador, orientation leader, and member of the national Pan-Hellenic Council, Alicia has worked for the physical and emotional health of her peers. As volunteer coordinator for the university’s Campus Kitchen Project and a co-chairperson for the 2018 Fayetteville-Cumberland County CROP Hunger Walk, she has fought hunger and improved nutrition in the community. Last semester, Alicia won a grant from Youth Service America to boost a food backpack program at a local elementary school.

Guilford College
Isabel Gutierrez

Isabel is an active campus leader who has made a difference at Guilford and in Greensboro. For children in the community, she’s been a STEM teaching assistant in a local middle school and an ESOL teacher at the Oakwood Community Center. For the past two years, Isabel has organized the college’s Festival de Niños, a fun, on-campus celebration for kids involved in community tutoring and mentorship programs. For her peers at Guilford, she promotes service-learning as the Project Community coordinator, serves on the Bonner Advisory Board and Student Government, and is a member of Hispanos Unidos de Guilford.

High Point University
Danasia Eubanks

Danasia is an incredible student leader who manages to be both efficient and caring. As the YWCA’s Justice Coordinator, she has worked with the City of High Point’s Human Relations commission, Library, Museum, and other community organizations to host “Front Porch” conversations on race and justice issues. As a Bonner Leader Intern, she focuses on program and partnership development, networking with the seven partners sites and with different parts of the HPU administration. She is passionate about social justice and is working to organize a series of campus dialogues across difference.

NC State University
Tin Phan

Through his service, Tin demonstrates a commitment to partnership and a caring for children at home and around the world. In his hometown of Charlotte, he co-created the Savio Football Club, a soccer club for refugee children, by partnering with his parent’s refugee community and a local missionary organization. When he founded NCSU’s chapter of Operation Smile — an international organization providing repair surgeries for children with cleft palate — he grew membership by reaching out to his Goodnight Scholars and Honors communities. As the co-chair of the LEGO Brick Build event, Tin built a strong partnership with the Raleigh Boys & Girls Clubs.

North Carolina A&T State University
Tylik McMillan

Tylik is an activist and campus leader. As a National Youth Leader for the National Action Network, he works to advance the modern civil rights agenda. As chair of the Black Caucus for the College Democrats of North Carolina, he represents concerns of African American students. As the director of outreach for the Brunswick County (Virginia) Democratic Committee, he worked to increase voting among millenials. At NC A&T, Tylik also serves as Attorney General of the Student Government Association and head of the Judicial Committee, as well as a resident assistant.

North Carolina Central University
Neils Barringer

Neils exemplifies the power of connecting academic learning and service. A foods and nutrition major with a concentration in dietetics, Neils focuses her service on food-related projects and agencies. As the volunteer manager of NC Central’s campus food pantry, Neils coordinates student volunteers, raises resources from community partners and alumni, and promotes a project that serves over 100 individuals each month. She’s organized hunger-related lectures and documentary screenings as the secretary of the Student Nutrition Association, and she’s also volunteered with the Interfaith Food Shuttle as a Cooking Matters event host.

Pfeiffer University
Mandee Schaub       

Mandee grows food for the body and the spirit at Pfeiffer University. As Pfeiffer’s community garden coordinator, she’s worked to engage external groups so Pfeiffer students can volunteer alongside community members during garden workdays. As a Worship Team leader, Mandee coordinates chapel services and associated activities. Finally, in leading the Angel Tree project, she directs a team of students who collect and distribute holiday gifts and plan a holiday party for 80 local children.

Queens University of Charlotte
Isabel Perez

During the 2016 election, Isabel was instrumental helping Queens be named a “Voter Friendly Campus,” ensuring her peers were registered to vote and walking them to the polls. Isabel also serves as the Vice President of the Call to Action Club, where she partners with other clubs and with faculty and staff on various social action issues on campus and in the community. Isabel has also served as a pen pal and afterschool tutor with local Sedgefield Elementary.

UNC Asheville
Kayla Taylor

Kayla is an advocate for students at UNCA and beyond. Her on-campus service includes representing peers as an SGA senator and working as an RA for a social justice-focused living-learning community called L.E.A.D. As the director of community engagement for the Student Organization Council, Kayla serves as a liaison between local agencies and student groups to facilitate service and partnerships. As an Ignite NC Fellow, she has worked to raise awareness of DACA and advocated for sanctuary for undocumented students.

UNC Charlotte
Neariah Mandisa-Drummond

As a member of UNCC’s first class of Bonner Leaders, Neariah has made a commitment to community engagement. As an intern with Friendship Trays, a local “meals-on-wheels” program, Neariah helps with all aspects of the work, including food prep and delivery. She has completed the Certified Leader program with UNCC’s Center for Leadership Development, and she serves as the student representative on UNCC’s Civic Action Planning Group. Recently, Neariah worked with a team of students to organize an event that brought Charlotte law enforcement to campus for a trust-building dialogue with students.

UNC Greensboro
Tiaira Moragne

During her four years at UNCG, Tiaira has held leadership positions with several student organizations like UNCG’s NAACP Chapter, the Neo Black Society, Sisters with a Vision, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority; and with university departments including Intercultural Engagement, Leadership and Service-Learning, and the Dean of Students Office.  Among the numerous community and campus initiatives she has supported is the Raise ‘Em Up Mentoring program, which connects more than 80 UNCG students with local middle schoolers. She also helped coordinate three Civil Rights Pilgrimages over the past three alternative fall breaks.

UNC Pembroke
Harrison Pegram

Harrison is an emerging leader at UNC Pembroke who engages his peers in voting and service. Working with a team of students in 2016, Harrison created the non-partisan UNCP Votes! project, which registered 200 students, garnered 600 voting pledges, and held 11 voter engagement events. As an intern with the Town of Pembroke, he developed a marketing packet to attract new business. As a student leader in the office for community and civic engagement, Harrison has expanded UNCP’s number of community partnerships, managed the online UNCP Serve volunteer system, and led an alternative fall break trip.

UNC Wilmington
Jocabed Aragon

Jocabed’s service supports Hispanic and Latinx communities on and off-campus. As a work study students at UNCW’s Centro Hispano, Jocabed helps her peers connect with resources and opportunities. As a mentor with Centro Hispano’s MI CASA project and with the Embajadores program, she supports local Latinx high schoolers and promotes college access. She seeks to build bridges across race and culture in her work with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and in her art. A film studies major, Jocabed documents Centro Hispano programs and recently had a film featured in the 2017 WilmFilm Chick Flick Film Festival. Last summer, she completed an internship with a social justice institute in Oakland, California.
READ MORE: UNCW Student Wins North Carolina Campus Compact Community Impact Award

UNC-Chapel Hill
Jessica Mencia

Jessica stands out among engaged Carolina students as a strong voice for the rights of immigrants and victims of domestic violence. She also displays an impressive commitment to connecting her public policy studies and her community service. As a mentor with the NC Scholars’ Latinx Initiative, Jessica serves local youth. As co-chair for Students United for Immigrant Equality, Jessica directed an inter-organizational call to UNC administration in support of undocumented students. In her work with the Compass Center for Women and Families, she established relationships with local cosmetologists to equip them with resources to support clients experiencing domestic violence.

Wake Forest University
Jenny Mai

During her time at Wake Forest University, Jenny has demonstrated a commitment to partnering for social justice, particularly in the realms of gender, sexuality, and race. As the Director of the annual Branches Social Justice Retreat, Jenny has built coalitions with various identity centers on campus, such as the Intercultural, LGBTQ, and Women’s Centers. In the community, she served as an intern at a local soup kitchen and homeless shelter, Samaritan Ministries, and managed a project that cultivated relationships between millennials, religious communities, and the agency. She has also led alternative breaks and edits a student publication focusing on social justice.

Wayne Community College
Aziah Morales

Since she enrolled at Wayne Community College after graduating early from high school, Aziah has made the most of her experience as a student leader and volunteer. She has worked with dozens of community agencies and campus groups. First as the Student Government Association’s special populations chair and now as SGA president, Aziah has made community service a priority, organizing hurricane relief efforts, donation drives for local non-profits, and events, including a campus lunch and learn for Rare Disease Day.
READ MORE: Morales Presented Community Impact Award

Western Carolina University
Fiona Buchanan 

Fiona has been a major force in Western Carolina’s focus on student voting and civic engagement. As an Andrew Goodman Foundation Ambassador and a team leader for the Student Democracy Coalition, she has helped institutionalize non-partisan voter engagement efforts even as she works to engage her peers. Prior to joining the coalition, she worked on several political campaigns and with local party organizations. She has also served as president of the Anthropology Club and as a Social Media Ambassador for the university. Read more about Fiona.

Winston-Salem State University
Jeri Craddock

Jeri provides key leadership in helping students address “real world” issues on and off-campus. She champions increased student access and utilization of mental health resources and advocates for WSSU student engagement with middle and high school students. Recently she supported a research project to implement a WSSU Counseling Center app. She also worked as an intern for the Initiative for Just and Sustainable Communities (IJSC), leading activities with community partners to address educational equity and criminal justice practices. For these efforts, Jeri was recognized as the Southeastern Region Miss Phi Beta Sigma.

View more photos. Photo credit: Kenny Brock.

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#CSNAP17 challenges students to be change agents

On November 18, more than 230 college students from 28 colleges and universities gathered for the 2017 CSNAP Student Conference, hosted by Winston-Salem State University. The event marked its 25th year convening North Carolina students to network and share ideas related to community service, volunteerism, and civic engagement.

#CSNAP17 attendees enjoyed a full day of learning, including hearing from several local “change agents” representing different “civic pathways” to making social change. Rebecca Byer, founder of a Winston-Salem glass blowing studio called the Olio, shared the story of how she became a social entrepreneur. Marcus Hill shared his work as a community organizer with the Forsyth Community Food Consortium. The day ended with remarks by Khaetlyn Grindell — Warren Wilson alum and former CSNAP attendee — who spoke about philanthropy and her work as a fellow with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Following a welcome by WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson, the conference’s opening plenary gave students a chance to explore their civic pathway using the “Social Change Wheel.” Breakout sessions featured twenty-four student-led workshops on a variety of social issues and community service program models. A few examples:

  • Students from Wake Forest University’s Campus Kitchen Project led a workshop describing a new cooking class for kids;
  • UNC Charlotte’s “Not In My City Project” shared local efforts to combat human trafficking;
  • Students from Western Carolina highlighted their campaign to advocate for online voter registration in NC;
  • UNC Pembroke students and staff delivered a workshop on event planning & marketing 101.

During a lunch-time awards ceremony, some students were recognized for outstanding community service. Twenty-three students received the Community Impact Award, which recognizes one student from each member campus. Brian Wuertz, a senior from Warren Wilson College, received the John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award, which recognizes one undergrad student in the state. Wuertz was honored for his commitment to environmentalism and service, including leadership of the Eco-Team, a student group that delivers environmental education lessons in local elementary schools. Two NC State University students — Asia King and Fri Momin — also received a special award — the Marshall Alternative Break Scholarship. Given by Aaron Marshall, a young alumnus of Western Carolina University and a former Trailblazer Award winner, the scholarship provides $250 to support a student’s participation in an “alternative break” experience.

The conference program includes workshop descriptions and award-winner profiles.

The conference kick-off on Friday night was designed to showcase the host campus Winston-Salem State University. The evening featured performances by a WSSU staff member in the role of university founder Simon Atkins; the Burke Singers, a student a cappella group; and drumming by the Healing Force, a local family of singers, storytellers and musicians who perform in the West African tradition. WSSU’s SGA president Javonty Hunter emceed the evening, and Miss WSSU Jordan Reaves delivered remarks on the role of black colleges in the community.

The CSNAP conference — which stands for “Citizenship, Service, Networking, And Partnerships” — started in 1993 as a regional conference organized by a group of community-minded college students called the “NC Campus Volunteers Coalition.” The conference is traditionally held in early November and is hosted each year by a different campus in the NC Campus Compact network. The host campus for the 2018 will be announced next spring.

(Photos by Kenny Brock)

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