Elon senior Jenny Fukunaga is the 2016 Barnhill Civic Trailblazer.
Even before her first day of class at Elon University, our 2016 John H. Barnhill Civic TrailblazerJenny Fukunaga made a special effort to explore the local community. She traveled to Elon to take part in a summer program that lets incoming students spend a week volunteering in nearby Burlington and Alamance County.
“I am from Los Angeles and I knew going to school all the way across the country would be a big jump for me,” she says. “I knew I would get to know campus through regular orientation activities, but this was an opportunity for me to get out into the community and get to see what happens in Alamance County.”
The experience gave her a different perspective from that of her peers. Jenny was already seeing the campus as part of a wider community, and she has continued to seek and share this insight through her service, leadership, and research.
Jenny’s week of summer service was also her introduction to Elon’s Kernodle Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement. Jenny has been stand-out leader for the Kernodle Center ever since, joining Elon’s service-focused living-learning community her first year, and later mentoring community residents as a service-learning leader. As a junior, Jenny served as the student director of the service-learning community, and she prioritized the infusion of reflection and social justice into resident conversations. Now a senior, Jenny is one of the Kernodle Center’s three executive directors, responsible for coordinating leadership development and training for all 150 student leaders within the Elon Volunteers! program.
“I constantly learn from Jenny,” says Evan Small, assistant director of the Kernodle Center. “I have worked with a wide variety of student leaders, but Jenny stands above others in her passion, commitment to justice, and engagement in local issues. … She truly embodies our mindset of ‘students as colleagues.’”
A human services major, Jenny has also made community engagement a focus of her undergraduate research. Working with Dr. Bud Warner, Jenny has conducted focus groups with Elon students, faculty, and staff, and interviewed local civic leaders to investigate each group’s knowledge and perceptions of the other. Initial findings suggest some negative stereotypes held on both sides but also a lack of awareness among students at what the local area has to offer. According to Dr. Warner, the ongoing study points to a need for increased engagement in ways that create authentic, personal interactions.
As a student leader, Jenny has pushed other students out of their “campus bubble” comfort zone, but she has also made a conscious effort to “walk the walk” herself, going to community events and spreading the word of these opportunities among her network.
“I think it’s important being a resident of Alamance County – even though it is temporary – I can be an active member of the community and be involved and invested.”
Jenny and John Barnhill met recently to chat about community engagement.
It is fitting that the 2016 Barnhill Trailblazer is so involved with Elon Volunteers!, a student group that was founded by John H. Barnhill, whom the Trailblazer Award honors. Barnhill created the group while a student at Elon University. He later became the founding executive director of NC Campus Compact.
Beyond graduation, Jenny is exploring various service-related options including AmeriCorps, and she plans to pursue graduate studies in non-profit management, where she can keep learning how to help others engage and invest in communities.
For her efforts to better understand the university’s community context – and for her dedicated leadership in helping other students make local connections – NC Campus Compact is happy to recognize Jennifer Y. Fukunaga as the 2016 John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer.
North Carolina Campus Compact has honored 25 students selected by their campuses to receive a 2016 Community Impact Award. Eighteen of the recipients were recognized at the CSNAP Student Conference held recently at UNC Asheville.
The annual CSNAP Student Conference brought more than 160 students, faculty, staff, and community advocates together for a day of reflection and learning. True to its name, the event touched on topics related to “Citizenship, Service, Networking, And Partnerships” in 14 morning workshop sessions and an afternoon “social change showcase” featuring eight organizations that mobilize college students to address community issues. This year’s conference was hosted by UNC Asheville, and 23 NC campuses were represented by participants.
UNCA Chancellor Mary Grant welcomes students to CSNAP. Photo: Amy Jessee.
UNC Asheville’s chancellor Mary Grant welcomed participants to the Saturday session, reaffirming her long-time commitment to the Campus Compact network and especially to the “public purposes of higher education.” Chancellor Grant – who serves on the NC Campus Compact board and is vice-chair of the board of national Campus Compact – also shared examples of how UNCA is making an impact in communities and she praised students for making a difference across the state.
NC Campus Compact executive director Leslie Garvin introduced the conference theme – “Believe There is Good in the World” – which contained a hidden message – “Be The Good.” She also led students to reflect on a short poem by modernist poet William Carlos Williams: “Election Day.”
Students led most of the morning workshops. Among the sessions which generated buzz: a workshop on “white fragility” presented by Warren Wilson College students; a session on motivating volunteers presented by an Elon University junior; and a session on college access for immigrant and refugee families presented by Guilford College students.
Students are honored for their community engagement work. Photo: Peter Lorenz
Before the afternoon session began, students even found time to perform the mannequin challenge! View the video.
Participants also responded to a call from Chancellor Grant to assist volunteer firefighters who were combating wildfires throughout the day in western NC. An impromptu collection netted $275, which went to purchase snacks that were delivered by UNCA staff to the fire fighters later that afternoon.
The afternoon sessions included presentations by the Rachel Carson Council, the Campus Kitchens Project, NCPIRG Education Fund, the Sustained Dialogue Institute, Design for Change USA, Movement of Youth, .
“I found this CSNAP conference was encouraging and a great refresher in motivating me to do more in my community,” said Trevor McKenzie, a first-time participant from Wingate University.
Erick Jenkins, a junior from East Carolina, said he most appreciated the chance to meet other like-minded student leaders: “It’s one of the best programs I’ve been a part of. CSNAP gives students a chance to meet other students that have the betterment of their institution in mind.”
On Friday evening, participants networked, shared a meal and enjoyed a performance by Asheville musician Jonathon Santos, who interspersed original songs with exercises designed to help audience members craft their own “personal poetic mission statements.”
CSNAP is the longest-running student service conference in North Carolina. 2016 marked the 24th iteration of the event, which was first organized in 1993 by North Carolina Campus Volunteers, an organization that preceded and later merged with North Carolina Campus Compact. The conference was re-named “CSNAP” in 2012. See a list of past conferences.
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In the wake of this week’s election, national Campus Compact has reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening democracy. Dr. Andrew Seligsohn, president of national Campus Compact, argues that we must “fortify the institutions in our society committed to openness, diversity, human dignity, and truth.” In a recent blog post, Dr. Seligsohn recalls the history of own family’s struggle for democracy and humane values, and concludes:
“All of us who work every day to ensure that higher education rises to the challenge of its public purposes now must gather our own strength in our own ways. Then we must get back to work with even greater focus, clarity, and energy.”
Finally, Nancy Thomas, director of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, along with her colleague Adam Gismondi, wrote a prescient piece just before the election urging campuses to be ready on November 9th to make the election a teachable moment. Thomas and Gismondi assert the election must not be the end of civic engagement and call for “a learning agenda, not just a voting agenda.”
We’ve compiled resources and suggestions to help our engaged campuses support students’ civic participation before and after the election.
GOTV & VOTER EDUCATION
NC Early Voting ends Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. Students can register and vote during early voting. Please encourage your students to early vote by providing them info about the nearest early voting site, required documentation (especially for 1st time voters in a county), and non-partisan candidate guides (see below). Find NC voter resources here: ncvoter.org
Uber just announced that they have teamed up with Google to launch a special in-app feature on November 8th to help users locate their polling location and seamlessly request a ride. Additionally, new users can use the promo code “VOTETODAY” to get $20 off their first ride. You can find out more information about Uber’s Election Day feature here: https://newsroom.uber.com/vote/.
Voter Assistance Hotline: During Early Voting period or on Election Day, anyone can call 888-OUR-VOTE (888-687-8683 – the Democracy NC line), or 866-OUR VOTE (the national hotline).
If you are hosting an election watch event, consider building in opportunities throughout the evening for students to talk and express feelings. You might even take periodic “time-outs” from the broadcast to have these conversations. Check out CEEP’s classroom conversations guide or the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) guide to Facilitating Political Discussions. Invite political science faculty or others to facilitate.
“What will we do on November 9th?” a Campus Compact blog post from staff of Tuft’s Institute on Democracy & Higher Education – considers the role our campuses can play in affirming civil discourse, furthering civic learning, and fostering civic engagement regardless of the election’s outcome. Among the post-election actions they suggest:
Sending email from Chancellor/President/SGA affirming campus commitment to civility and respect, unity, and continued civic engagement
Hosting civic conversations (like Deliberative Dialogue, open space, or other methods) to process feelings and issues
Civics 101 or advocacy workshops (like this Civics 101 program from League of Women Voters of Mecklenburg County) to help students understand democratic participation doesn’t end with election – we should continue to make our voice heard and hold elected officials accountable.
Plan a de-brief with your campus election engagement team to discuss next steps and structures for institutionalizing future election engagement work. Who will continue the work and what shape will it take? What issues will be explored?
NC Campus Compact and other partners will host a statewide lessons learned online de-brief in mid-December. Details coming soon.
On Feb. 25, NC Campus Compact will again sponsor a “Pathways to Civic Leadership” training geared for college students, in partnership with NC Institute of Political Leadership. Details to come here.
The latest edition of Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement is now available online.
This election season reminds us that for our country to operate at its potential, we must build partnerships across partisan lines, between differing world views, and among diverse populations. We have plenty of such positive examples, role models, and programs operating in communities across the country as detailed in the articles and book reviews in this issue. In both domestic and international arenas, our featured scholars recognize that dialogue, problem solving, and collaborative goal-setting set the stage for ethical and effective high-impact programs.
The open access, peer-reviewed journal is hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and edited by UNCG’s Dr. Spoma Jovanovic. The fall 2016 edition isavailable online here.
List of Articles:
“Host Community Voices and Community Experiences: Tanzanian Perspectives on a Teacher Education International Service-Learning Project”
by Michelle J. Searle (Queens University) and Marianne A. Larsen (University of Western Ontario)
“Documenting the Community Impact of Service-Learning Coursework: Theoretical and Practical Considerations”
by Jennifer H. James and Kimberly Logan (University of Georgia)
“Exploring the Community Impact of Service-Learning Project Teams”
by Brent J Goertzen and Justin Greenleaf (Fort Hays State University) and Danielle Dougherty (Wichita State University Foundation)
“Expanding the Dimensions of Best Practice in CBL”
by Helen Rosenberg, Debra Karp, and Dirk Baldwin (University of Wisconsin – Parkside)
Engaging in social partnerships: Democratic practices for campus-community partnerships
review by Stephen Bloch-Schulman (Elon University)
Liberating service learning and the rest of higher education civic engagement
review by Kate Johnson (Appalachian State University) and Brooke Millsaps (Warren Wilson College)
Publicly engaged scholars: Next generation engagement and the future of higher education
review by E. Gale Greenlee (UNC-Chapel Hill)
Working side by side: Creating alternative breaks as catalysts for global learning, student leadership, and social change
review by Kristina Snader (UNC Greensboro)
Partnerships continues to accept manuscripts on a rolling basis that examine the processes and outcomes of partnerships that define service-learning and civic engagement projects and programs. Visit the Call for Manuscripts to learn more.
Three North Carolina universities – NC Central University, Pfeiffer University, and UNC Greensboro – have been awarded grants as part of the MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project, which provides funding for service projects that work toward alleviating hunger and supporting veterans. These schools, all members of North Carolina Campus Compact, are among 40 colleges and universities across the U.S. that will be part of the project, which is funded by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by Iowa Campus Compact (IACC).
The 2016-17 grant recipients include:
American University Center for Community Engagement & Service
University of South Carolina Leadership and service center
West Virginia University
Western Illinois University- Quad Cities
Youngstown State University
The purpose of the MLK Day Community Partnership Project is to mobilize college students, community members and community organizations to observe MLK Day not as “day off,” but as a “day on.” Grants range from $1,000 to $3,000.
Last year, the project recruited 39,281 volunteers throughout the U.S. 10,175 veterans were served and 189,276 pounds of food were distributed to Americans in need. Seven NC schools contributed to these efforts for the 2016 MLK Day Community Partnership Project, including NCCU, UNCG, and Pfeiffer.
“Iowa Campus Compact is excited and thrilled to fund these MLK Day of Service projects that value civic learning on the same level as community impact,” says Justin Ellis, assistant director of IACC and manager of the MLK Day of Service grants.
IACC was awarded a federal grant to manage the MLK Day Community Partnership Project in 2015.
The MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and supported by four other State Campus Compact partners: Campus Compact of the Mountain West, New York Campus Compact, North Carolina Campus Compact, and Wisconsin Campus Compact.
For more information about North Carolina Campus Compact’s work supporting MLK Day, visit this page.
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