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10th Anniversary



Fourteen VISTA host sites planned for 2016-17

vista logoNC Campus Compact plans to place VISTA members at 14 campus and community host sites in the coming project year: August 2016 – July 2017.  NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA members support the Compact’s mission of community engagement and the VISTA mission of fighting poverty by buidling campus-community partnerships that serve low-income people. We look forward to supporting the good work of the following 14 organizations in the coming year.

Community Empowerment Fund
in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC
Focus area: Economic Opportunity

The Community Empowerment Fund (CEF) cultivates opportunities, assets, and communities that support the alleviation of homelessness and poverty. CEF is a student-led nonprofit organization based at UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University. CEF’s structure is based on the realization of a dual mission: empowering members to sustain transitions out of homelessness and developing student leadership. At CEF the VISTA will help address the need for 1) relationship- based support that leads to greater economic opportunity for individuals experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness; 2) access to financial services for low-income households, and; 3) a broader, more tightly-woven social safety net for poor households in North Carolina. The goal of this project is to increase the capacity and effectiveness of CEF’s Advocate Program

Duke University Community Service Center
in partnership with Durham Public Schools
Durham, NC
Focus Area: Education

The Duke Community Service Center (CSC) serves as a clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities available to Duke students and employees. The VISTA will help the Duke Community Service Center (CSC) further deepen relationships with partner schools and community agencies through a new program – Partners in Print (Print Pals). Print Pals is a family literacy program aimed at Latino parents and children here in Durham area. The program will provide a supportive environment where parents can discover how to help their children learn to read. Print Pal mentors will conduct evening workshops with parents and children, grades Kindergarten-2nd. The VISTA will also coordinate Print Pals sessions and volunteers, as well as complementary CSC events and programs that align with the Partners in Print Program, including National Make a Difference Day, Dive Into Durham alternative spring break, and Dr. Seuss Day.

Degrees Matter
in partnership with
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, NC
Focus Area: Education

Degrees Matter! is a collaborative initiative working to find and assist the more than 67,000 residents of Guilford County who have some college but have yet to complete a degree or certification. Degrees Matter! is leading the effort to reach the community-wide goal of adding, by 2025, 40,000 new degree holders in the county. The VISTA placement will focus on outreach and partnership development by increasing connections to key constituencies and organizations, including childcare and early education providers, faith-based groups, and agencies providing services to low-income individuals.

East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

Two VISTA members will be hosted by ECU’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement (formerly the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center). In addition to the campus and community-based work below, these members will support campus and community-wide day of service events, including MLK Day of Service.

in partnership with West Greenville community agencies
Focus Area: Education

This VISTA project will capitalize on the strengths of ECU and the west Greenville community, specifically Third Street and Lucille W. Gorham Inter-Generational Community Centers. The VISTA will build the capacity for both centers to address community needs related to education and youth development for K-8 low-income youth and families and strengthen the west Greenville community partnerships and community as a whole.

in partnership with Greenville Harvest
Focus Area: Healthy Futures

VISTA will work to build relationships and help support reciprocal benefits among the Greenville community, specifically through Greenville Harvest partners, a local network of community gardens and affiliated agencies. The VISTA will support collaboration and partnership development among network partners, including the university. The VISTA will plan and deploy community engagement activities centered on healthy lifestyles and healthy communities.

Feast Down East
in partnership with UNC Wilmington
Wilmington, NC
Focus Area: Healthy Futures

Feast Down East (FDE) is a university affiliated non-profit with a mission to join institutions, community-based agencies, farmers, and businesses to support, coordinate and expand the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of local foods. The VISTA placement supports FDE’s Food Sovereignty Program, which brings fresh, local produce via weekly fresh markets and produce boxes to four Wilmington Housing Authority neighborhoods. In addition to bringing fresh produce to these identified food deserts, the Food Sovereignty program engages resident leaders and UNCW volunteers in the operation and promotion of the markets, supports nutrition/garden programs for both adults and children. The VISTA will continue to oversee and improve the markets, train resident leaders and volunteers, and work with partner organizations including the WHA to plan for sustainability.

Guilford College
in partnership with the Guilford College Farm
Greensboro, NC
Focus Area: Healthy Futures

In Guilford County, 89,000 people do not have enough food to eat and 30 percent of them are children. In May 2011, the USDA designated 15 census tracts in Guilford County as “food deserts.” Nine are in the city of Greensboro and six are in High Point. Food deserts are census tracts where at least 33 percent of residents live more than one mile from a full-service grocery store and more than 20 percent of residents live below the poverty line. The Bonner Center at Guilford College works with community partners in every food desert in Greensboro. The immigrant and refugee community is especially hard hit. The VISTA will work with students and community partners to facilitate collaborative efforts to increase access to healthy food in the city’s food deserts.

High Point University
High Point, NC

Three VISTAs will be hosted by High Point University’s Service Learning Program, which is home to the Bonner Leaders Program. In addition to their community-based work described below, the VISTAs will help develop trainings and supports for Bonner students who also serve with local agencies. The VISTA will also help energize campus and community members to participate in the MLK Day of Service.

in partnership with West End Ministries
Focus Area: Healthy Futures

This VISTA’s work will take place on campus and in the community with West End Ministries (WEM), a non-profit agency that provides services such as emergency assistance and adult life skill classes. The VISTA will improve WEM’s volunteer coordination and training systems to support the agency’s emergency assistance program. The VISTA will also help make healthy food more available to WEM clients by developing a community garden with local stakeholders.

in partnership with Washington St. Project
Focus Area(s): Healthy Futures, Education

Two VISTA members will work with the Washington St. Project, emphasizing local food security and youth development. One VISTA will create and execute a neighborhood food plan, including a needs analysis and asset mapping to increase resident access to healthy foods through community gardening and a fresh market. The second VISTA will work to grow local afterschool enrichment programs, including a community writing center, and to increase other educational programs for residents.

Hospitality House of Boone
in partnership with Appalachian State University
Boone, NC
Focus Area: Economic Opportunity

Hospitality House of Boone serves people at-risk of or experiencing homelessness in Watauga County. The goal of the VISTA project is to strengthen the Welcome Home Thriftique store, which provides an earned income funding source for Hospitality House, acts as a resource for services to meet client needs and serves as a job skills training site for residents and outreach clients. The VISTA will lead all aspects of Thriftique operation, including volunteer management, and will continue development of a job skills training program. To carry out these activities, the VISTA will also collaborate with the ASU ACT Office.

Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History
in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

The Jackson Center is a community-based advocacy organization serving historically African-American and low-income neighborhoods in Chapel Hill through public history, civic media, and community action. The center will host two VISTAs to support its work.

Focus Area: Economic Opportunity

The Community Organizing and Advocacy VISTA will support the development of Jackson Center programs that serve the housing and economic needs of local low-income residents. Key activities include the maintenance and expansion of service partnerships with university units (including the Communications Studies department), enhancement of community programs to serve housing needs, volunteer recruitment and coordination, database maintenance, and the development of new neighborhood advocacy networks to pair long-term residents with students and community advocates.

Focus area: Education

The Education VISTA will strengthen ongoing partnerships with 6 area schools to implement “Learning Here and Now Across Generations” — a curriculum aligned with NC course of study standards to focus on civil rights, oral history, and cross-generational education– designed to engage and support learning of at-risk students. The VISTA will connect with university experts and develop a cadre of resident educators.

North Carolina Wesleyan College
in partnership with Peacemakers
Rocky Mount, NC
Focus Area: Education

North Carolina Wesleyan College has a special commitment to the Rocky Mount area and to eastern North Carolina. The VISTA will focus on improving educational and behavioral outcomes for at-risk students in low-achieving schools by formally connecting North Carolina Wesleyan College to Peacemakers. This organization contains four structured educational programs in need of volunteer support in order to carry out its mission, part of which is to provide an affirming environment where low-income elementary and middle school students receive tutoring and other academic enrichment services at no charge.

In addition to this direct work with Peacemaker’s the VISTA will enhance volunteer recruitment efforts to engage NCWC students, faculty and staff into education-related community service projects that may be available with other organizations by creating a database of opportunities and a service placement process for groups and individuals. The VISTA will also create effective recruitment materials and strategies by first hosting campus focus groups and researching best practices.

S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation
in partnership with Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem, NC
Focus Area: Economic Opportunity

The Simon Green Atkins Community Development Corporation (Atkins CDC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization created by Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) in 1998 and named after its founder. The mission is to be a catalyst for community economic development and to create community engagement opportunities for the WSSU faculty and students. The CDC is supported by a full-time staff of three and an advisory board of local community members, businesses, and University faculty and staff.

The VISTA project will provide the Host’s primary community-based outreach working daily on increasing community engagement with the guidance and support of faculty, students and stakeholders from the partner organization. The CDC staff will supervise and provide resources for the work of the VISTA including necessary training to be successful. Two primary objectives are to convene neighborhood associations and stakeholders as a “congress” working toward common goals such as training to build capacity and membership of associations, establishing a merchants association, facilitating a community-wide event such as a community day featuring health, safety, and employment information and a community-wide clean up event.

in partnership with BackPack Beginnings
Greensboro, NC
Focus Area: Healthy Futures

At UNC-Greensboro, the VISTA member will be hosted by the Office and Leadership and Service-Learning, which serves as a catalyst for the development of experiential curricular and co-curricular leadership and service-learning initiatives. The VISTA will focus on food insecurity and access to healthy food in Guilford County by supporting a developing partnership with Backpack Beginnings, by supporting an emerging on-campus Food Security Network, and by increasing awareness of food security issues on campus and in the community.

Western Carolina University
in partnership with The Community Table
Cullowhee, NC
Focus Area: Healthy Futures

The goal for this VISTA project is to strengthen relationships between WCU, the Community Table, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Program (ASAP) and the Local Food and Farm to School Education Program; to build capacity at the Community Table and ASAP/LFFSEP, and to raise awareness about food insecurity in Western NC. The project aims to provide the Community Table and ASAP/LFFSEP with the food resources necessary to meet customers’ needs, to train and manage volunteers, and to enhance publicity and outreach efforts. The project is also intended to increase awareness of food insecurity issues on campus and in the wider community.

William Peace University
in partnership with Hope Charter
Raleigh, NC
Focus Area: Education

Currently Hope Charter does not have interventions outside of what our classroom teachers can offer. In an attempt to increase EOG test scores we would like to implement a program in which volunteers would assist with providing leveled interventions for struggling learners. The VISTA will be charged with working closely with WPU staff, faculty, and students to build initiatives for Hope and to communicate between the service-site and WPU. This position will provide both education about service-learning and the connections and an added resource for faculty interested in building service learning into coursework. Through VISTA we’ll be working towards closing the achievement gap and increasing test scores at Hope.

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Five NC students recognized as 2016 Newman Civic Fellows

NatCClogoNational Campus Compact has announced the 218 students chosen to receive the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Award, including 5 fellows from North Carolina colleges and universities.

This award honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and a tireless advocate for the civic engagement of higher education.

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to celebrate such an extraordinary group of students,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “We are seeing a resurgence in student interest in acting to create lasting social change, and this year’s Newman Civic Fellows exemplify that commitment.”

In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors were encouraged to nominate undergraduate or graduate students who are proven leaders with both the motivation and ability to make substantial contributions toward public problem solving for this special recognition.

The five students from North Carolina schools to be recognized are:

Campus Compact 2016 Newman Civic Fellows will represent their higher education institution in a national group of student leaders. These students will receive an award certificate and an invitation to join the Newman Civic Fellows online network. They will also be featured prominently on the Campus Compact national website and, in many cases, invited to participate in state-specific activities.

Support for the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Award comes from the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Congratulations to our North Carolina Newman Civic Fellows and thanks for your work across our state!

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Alternative spring break is a renewing experience for Marshall Scholarship recipient

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Madison Wilcox, a senior at UNC Pembroke, received the 2015 Marshall Scholarship.

Special Guest Post by Madison Wilcox

Some think that week long service trips don’t accomplish much and that it’s just putting a Band-Aid on a much bigger problem. I knew this wasn’t true because I have seen just a small act of kindness go a much longer way. Through small acts of service, Alternative Break Programs like the ones at UNC Pembroke make an impact by restoring hope. I knew I wanted to be a part of this mission by participating on one of these trips. Because of the Marshall Alternative Break Scholarship, I was able to serve in New Orleans, Louisiana and Montgomery, Alabama during my spring break. After this trip, I came to realize that restoring hope is necessary for recovery and renewal.

The city of New Orleans flag features the fleur de lis.

Everywhere you look in New Orleans, you’re sure to see the Fleur di Lis. This is also easily recognized as the symbol for the New Orleans Saints. This symbol was originally used to signify French royalty and luxury. However, after Hurricane Katrina, the Fleur di Lis adapted a new significance: renewal and restoration. Experiencing New Orleans through various museums and speaking with the locals, some who were receiving service and some providing service, I began to realize just how much the meaning of this symbol was ingrained into the lives of the people in this ever-onward city.

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The UNCP alternative break team at a therapeutic riding center outside of New Orleans.

I was able to participate in interviewing and selecting our team for the trip. With our dream team, we spent 4 service days in New Orleans and 1 service day in Alabama. While in New Orleans, our group worked for two days with Green Light New Orleans, a nonprofit that works to promote sustainability. We installed free LED lightbulbs that last 10-20 years, which will save money and use energy efficiently. While part of our group changed light bulbs, the rest of us advertised throughout entire neighborhoods to promote this free service. During our second day at Green Light, we planted vegetable gardens for people who had expressed interest in learning how to live more sustainably by growing their own food. Our third scheduled site was a Therapeutic Horse Riding Center. This facility provides therapy to people of all ages who have varying disabilities. The center has to operate off of donations so our group was able to get several items organized for various fundraisers as well as clean up the horse arena. On our way out of NOLA, we decided to visit Villalobos Rescue Center where the show “Pitbulls and Parolees” is filmed. During our visit we volunteered to walk the dogs – definitely a neat, spontaneous experience! When we finally made it to Alabama, we spent an afternoon at the Boys and Girls Club. I met some awesome kids who shared a lot about their personal lives with me. It was quite eye opening as well as exhausting.

Projects and facilities like Green Light New Orleans, the Therapeutic Riding Center, Villalobos Rescue Center and the Boys and Girls Club all provide hope and restoration in some form. Hope for the future of our environment and restoration for the damage done; Hope for people who have a disability and restoration to their bodies so that they are able to walk; Hope for abused dogs and restoration of a meaningful life for parolees. Each of these facilities need volunteers to function. They need people to step up who are willing to do small, unglamorous tasks to take their mission to fruition. I will never be able to describe the way I experienced hope, renewal and restoration through the people of both of these cities, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be a small part of their work.

Madison Wilcox, a senior at UNC Pembroke, is from Fairmont, NC. She participated in an Alternative Spring Break trip in March with a group of 8 other students and 2 staff members. Madison’s trip was supported by a $250 Marshall Alternative Service Experience Scholarship, the first such award gifted by former NC Campus Compact student award winner Aaron Marshall. The Marshall Scholarship is a competitive award for students who are identified by their campus as a Community Impact Award winner. Please contact Assistant Director Chad Fogleman with questions about the Community Impact Award or the Marshall ASE Scholarship.

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Compact partners with NC DPI for “Give Five, Read Five”

For the past three years, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s Give Five –Read Five campaign has given students more than 946,000 new and gently used books to take home to read over the summer and keep as their very own. North Carolina Campus Compact is excited to be a new partner for this statewide initiative.

Give Five – Read Five has grown in ways I could have never imagined since we first launched the effort in 2013,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. “More impressive than the total number of books collected is the overwhelming enthusiasm and joy I have seen among principals, teachers, students and supporters as young learners get to select their very own books to take home at the end of the school year.”

Atkinson launched the first Give Five – Read Five campaign in 2013 as research from Harvard revealed that reading just five books over the summer can reduce students’ learning loss.  As a part of this effort, districts, schools, businesses, nonprofits, churches and other community partners conduct local book drives from April to early June. Books from these local drives are then distributed to students to provide them with quality reading material over the summer.

North Carolina Campus Compact has promoted the campaign within its network of engaged campuses, working to mobilize college and universities to support the book drive effort. For some campuses, this may entail creating new partnerships with local public K-12 schools; others may use the Give Five – Read Five campaign as an opportunity to expand or focus work with existing partners. In addition to support the campaign with book donation drives or reading festivals, colleges and universities could also create summer reading buddy programs to pair higher education students with young readers.

In 2016, DPI will expand its partnership with myON, a division of Capstone.  Through the myON partnerships, students will have access to thousands of digital book titles that can be downloaded for free through the myON Reader online literacy tool.

Teachers, principals and others report book collection totals to DPI by June 17. The top four schools that collect the most books receive a free one-year schoolwide license to online literacy tools provided by campaign partners Achieve3000, Reading Horizons and myON. Other Give Five – Read Five partners and supporters include MetaMetrics, the North Carolina Campus Compact, Book Harvest and Communities and Schools of North Carolina.

Last year, Winding Springs Elementary (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) placed among the top schools in the state by collecting 10,549 books in its 2015 Give Five-Read Five campaign. The school received a one-year school license to myON Reader in recognition of this accomplishment.

Through this year’s new partnership with myON, students at every grade level in participating schools, not just the winning schools, can use the myON Reader tool over the summer to download free books well-matched to their reading levels and personal interests. The tool also can track how many pages and hours students spend reading and measure students’ literacy growth. Districts are required to register with myON to ensure students in all schools have access to the tool. Visit to learn more about this component of the 2016 campaign.

For last year’s book collection totals by school and resources to help schools and community partners conduct book drives, visit


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CEA Conference Call for Proposals, due April 22

PACE 2015 029.webWe are currently seeking workshop proposals for our Civic Engagement Administrator Conference to be
held on Tuesday, June 7, at Elon University. The deadline to submit a workshop proposal is Friday, April 22. The CEA Conference is an event of, by, and for the faculty and staff who lead and support civic and community engagement activities.

Proposals are encouraged in the following categories:

1. Program Management and Sustainability – highlighting best practices and lessons learned in how to effectively establish, sustain, institutionalize, manage, and/or assess community engagement programs, centers, and initiatives.

2. Engagement Innovation – highlighting programs, initiatives, and projects that are unique, but with potential to be replicated at other institutions. These case studies can fall anywhere along the community engagement continuum from co-curricular volunteerism, academic service-learning, social entrepreneurship, political/electoral engagement, philanthropy, advocacy, policy development, etc.

3. Community Partnership Development – focusing on establishing, strengthening, and deepening relationships with community partners.

4. Student Leadership and Development – showcasing programs, models, initiatives, and strategies that develop and train students involved in the broad range of community engagement pathways.

5. Faculty Development – exploring issues related to faculty engagement in community engagement pedagogy and practice such as professional development and training, learning communities, service-learning development, community-based research, promotion and tenure, etc.

6. Research and Theory – focusing on research and scholarship that deepens understanding of community engagement, practice, trends, and innovations.

Review the full Call for Proposals and access the online submission form. Deadline to submit proposal is April 22.

Registration for this event is now open. Cost is $70/pp (includes breakfast and lunch), for both participants and presenters. REGISTER HERE.



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William Peace University is newest Compact member

William Peace University has joined North Carolina Campus Compact, signaling its commitment to the “public purposes” of higher education.

Located in downtown Raleigh, William Peace University (WPU) enrolls over 1,000 full-time and continuing education students and is nationally recognized for its internship placement rate and its success graduating low-income, minority students.

WPU becomes the fourth school to join NC Campus Compact network this year, along with Wingate University, Winston-Salem State University, and Guilford Technical Community College. The statewide Compact now includes 36 public, private, and community colleges and universities.

As a member institution, WPU can access resources and professional development for faculty, staff, and students who are leading civic and community engagement programs. Such programs develop student citizenship and build strong communities through practices like academic service-learning, community-based research, student volunteerism, and campus-community partnerships.

William Peace University is led by President Brian C. Ralph, who was selected at the school’s 11th president in July 2015, after serving as a vice president at Queens University of Charlotte for more than 10 years.

North Carolina Campus Compact is one of 34 state and regional affiliates of the national Campus Compact network, headquartered in Boston and comprised of more than 1,000 schools. The national group was founded in 1985 by the presidents of Brown, Georgetown, and Stanford universities and the president of the Education Commission of the States. The founding leaders sought to “challenge higher education to re-examine its public purposes and its commitments to the democratic ideal.”

Campus Compact is a “presidential membership organization” in which a school’s president or chancellor joins on behalf of the campus; and all faculty, staff, and students can take advantage of network resources and events. Schools renew their membership annually.

Each year more than 500 individuals participate in North Carolina Campus Compact events and trainings, and nearly 2,000 subscribers access the group’s monthly e-newsletters and its online, peer-reviewed journal, Partnerships.  To support engagement at member campuses, the organization manages a faculty fellows program, a campus election engagement initiative, and an AmeriCorps VISTA program. The North Carolina office is hosted by Elon University.

Peace College was a member of the North Carolina Campus Compact from the network’s founding in 2002 through 2011. In 2011, Peace College became William Peace University and fully transitioned to a co-educational program.

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2016 Engagement Awards honor campus leaders who connect with community

North Carolina Campus Compact has honored one university head, one faculty member, and two campus administrators with its 2016 engagement awards. East Carolina University Chancellor Steve Ballard received the 2016 Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader Award; Western Carolina University Associate Professor Patricia Bricker was recognized with the Robert L. Sigmon Service-Learning Award; and Warren Wilson College’s Dean of Service Cathy Kramer along with Pfeiffer University’s Kelly Misiak were named Civic Engagement Professionals of the Year in the “Sustainer” and “Emerging Leader” categories, respectively.

All four recipients were recognized at the network’s awards ceremony on February 10, held at High Point University in conjunction with the 2016 PACE Conference and the NC Presidents Forum. More than 250 faculty, staff, students, and community partners attended the events.

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ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard received the 2016 Lambert Engaged Leader Award.

Lambert Award winner Chancellor Steve Ballard has led East Carolina University since 2004, making him the longest-serving chancellor in the UNC System. Under Dr. Ballard’s leadership, East Carolina has been an engine of economic development in the region and forged deep partnerships with under-served communities.

For example, Ballard oversaw the opening of a new School of Dental Medicine at ECU, including the creation of a network of 10 “community service learning centers” that bring dental care to rural areas across the state. On the local level, he helped launch the Inter-Generational Community Center in 2007 to provide provide youth and community development programs in the west Greenville neighborhood.

During Ballard’s tenure, ECU has been nationally recognized for its engagement. The university was named an “Innovation and Economic Prosperity University” by the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities in 2015, and has twice received the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s community engagement classification. For its support of veterans and military families, ECU received the Department of Defense Freedom Award in 2010.

Ballard credited the ECU team's community engagement efforts.

Ballard credited the ECU team’s community engagement efforts.

Read more about Chancellor Ballard’s engaged leadership at ECU.

The Robert L. Sigmon Service-Learning Award, which recognizes one faculty member in the state, goes to Dr. Patricia Bricker of Western Carolina University.

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WCU Chancellor David Belcher presented Dr. Bricker with the 2016 Sigmon Service-Learning Award.

An associate professor of science education and the associate director of the School of Teaching and Learning at WCU, Bricker has worked for fifteen years to educate pre-service teachers and school children in the region. Much of her community engagement and service-learning efforts focus on environmental education and healthy eating.

In 2009, she helped found the Local Food and Farm to School Education Project – also known as “Growing Minds @WCU.” The project is a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary partnership that provides both a training ground for pre-service teachers and a hands-on, farm to school experience for local kids.

One student says of Dr. Bricker: “The opportunity to learn from her has taught me so much about what it means to be a servant leader.”

Read more about Dr. Bricker’s community engagement and service-learning work.

The Civic Engagement Professional of the Year Award recognizes a staff person in the network for efforts to institutionalize a campus-wide vision of service, support the engagement of faculty and students, and develop campus-community partnerships.

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Warren Wilson’s Cathy Kramer, 2016 Civic Engagement “Sustainer” Professional of the Year.

Cathy Kramer of Warren Wilson College is honored as a “Sustainer,” having more than five years of work in higher education community engagement. When she took on the Dean of Service role in 2010, Kramer led a re-design of the college’s long-time service requirement from a “time-on-task” approach to one centered on student development.

This new model helps students progress through stages of engagement that include direct service and reflection, investigation of a complex issue, collaboration with a community partner, and planning for continued engagement beyond graduation.

In a letter supporting her nomination for the award, Warren Wilson President Steven Solnick says Kramer has “elevated the community engagement conversation among all of the college constituencies and raised the level of expectation of and for quality community-engaged work.”

Prior to becoming Dean of Service, Kramer was Dean of Students at Warren Wilson. She is an active participant in the Bonner Foundation’s national High Impact Initiative. Since the college was divided into two precincts in 2012 redistricting, Kramer has also been a key supporter of student voter engagement, working with local election officials to advocate for student voting rights.

Read more about Kramer’s work here. 

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Kelly Misiak (left) and Pfeiffer University President Colleen Perry Keith.

Winner of the Civic Engagement “Emerging Leader” Professional of the Year Award, Kelly Misiak is director of the Service Scholars program at Pfeiffer University’s Francis Center for Servant Leadership.

Since coming to Pfeiffer in 2014, Misiak has expanded service opportunities to address local hunger, engaged more students in Francis Center programs, and coordinated high-quality alternative service break trips.

“In just a couple of years,” says one nominator, “she has become the face of service and volunteerism at Pfeiffer.”

Misiak’s impact comes in part from her focus on hunger. She brokered a new partnership with the national Food Recovery Network and Pfeiffer’s campus dining services, and she led the creation of a new on-campus garden. Last year, the programs yielded more than 1,000 pounds of food, which was distributed to families through meals hosted by local non-profit partners.

Read more about Misiak’s work here.

The call for nominations for the 2017 Engagement Awards will be released in September.

North Carolina Campus Compact, the state affiliate of the national Campus Compact organization, builds the capacity of colleges and universities to educate engaged students and strengthen communities. Started in 2002 and hosted by Elon University, the statewide network includes 36 public, private, and community colleges and universities.

View a slideshow of the awards ceremony and PACE Conference.

(Photos in this post by Scott Mutherbaugh / Perfecta Visuals.)

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