Teams from sixteen UNC system campuses presented their solutions to various social challenges at the 2014 UNC Social Entrepreneurship Conference at NC A&T State University on February 28th. The conference, sponsored by Wells Fargo with additional support from Lincoln Financial Group and Jennifer and Kevin Trapani, brought together more than 400 students, faculty and community members for a day to discuss how they could identify important social challenges, then take a business-oriented approach to solving them. Along the way, students practiced critical thinking skills and clear written and oral communication.
The competition involved 26 undergraduate teams and 14 graduate student teams who presented detailed business plans and five minute oral presentations to small groups of judges. Undergraduate teams outlined their ideas to solve a community challenge that was not being addressed and propose a solution. Graduate student teams worked with North Carolina nonprofits to advise them on how the nonprofits might expand services to new areas or generate revenue for their work. The team from UNCP, an NC Campus Compact member institution, edged out NCA&T and Appalachian State to win the graduate competition. UNCP’s team worked with the STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise, a business incubator in a former textile mill in Star, NC, to design a new retail shop the nonprofit could use to support local artists. UNCP MBA students Lewis Adams of Lilesville and Daniel Bougt of Stockholm Sweden shared the $5000 prize, and plan to use the money to begin implementing some of their ideas.
The team from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, the youngest team in the competition, finished just ahead of UNC Charlotte and Fayetteville State with a new mobile app called “Freshspire,” that brings together grocers, consumers and food banks. The app would notify low-income individuals when a grocery is about to mark down fresh produce, ensuring that they can get healthy food at an affordable price. The two plan to use the $3000 first prize to develop the app and start signing up grocery stores.
The competition also included a keynote address from Tom Szaky, who started his recycling company company, TerraCycle, as a college sophomore.
“As a public university, we need to remember our obligation to serve our communities, our state, our nation and our world,” said Tom Ross, UNC President, at the conference. “We desperately need new ways of thinking, new approaches to old problems. We need to produce graduates who see themselves as responsible for creating the future – and who know they have the knowledge and capacity to make it happen.”
- This excerpt is modified from an article in the March 2014 issue of UNC@Work: Engagement & Economic Transformation.
On April 2nd the Campus Compact Board of Directors announced that Dr. Andrew Seligsohn has been appointed the next president of the organization, effective June 2014. He succeeds Maureen F. Curley who is retiring after serving in the role since 2006. Seligsohn currently serves as Associate Chancellor for Civic Engagement and Strategic Planning at Rutgers University–Camden.
“On behalf of everyone involved with Campus Compact, I am delighted to welcome Dr. Andrew Seligsohn as our 5th president. Campus Compact was founded in 1985 with the intent to encourage and support service learning and community involvement among our nation’s college and university students. Today, the concepts of service learning and student involvement are a way of life on most campuses,” stated Dr. James B. Dworkin, Chancellor of Purdue University North Central and chair of the Campus Compact Board of Directors. “Dr. Seligsohn’s accomplishments as a faculty member and administrator confirm that he is the perfect choice to lead Campus Compact as it looks forward to implementing a new strategic plan. His work at Rutgers–Camden has given him the essential experience to understand Campus Compact’s pivotol role and help it to have an even stronger impact on higher education through civic engagement in the years to come.”
As Associate Chancellor for Civic Engagement at Rutgers–Camden, Seligsohn oversaw the comprehensive leveraging of resources to positively impact and integrate students and faculty with the community. The programs that have been implemented under his leadership align closely with the strategic priorities of the Compact. During his time at Rutgers-Camden, he has worked with Camden City Public Schools to create the Rutgers North Camden Schools Partnership – an afternoon and summer program which serves hundreds of students across three public schools in Camden, NJ. Additionally, he has worked across the campus to develop a framework for enhancing the impact of the school’s civic engagement efforts in a focused manner.
His leadership at Rutgers–Camden was also integral in advancing college access and success for under-represented students by creating a home in the Office of Civic Engagement for the Hill Family Center for College Access and the Rutgers Future Scholars. Both programs provide support for first-generation students as they prepare for, apply to, and embark on post-secondary educational opportunities.
“Andrew is a remarkable leader in the civic engagement field. He articulates a clear and inspiring vision for universities, our students and our community partners. Campus Compact is fortunate to have found another gifted president to guide us around our national and statewide goals,” remarked Dr. Richard Guarasci, President of Wagner College and incoming Campus Compact board chair.
Additionally at Rutgers–Camden, he has advanced the campus’ strategic planning efforts. His commitment to open dialogue has positioned the school to complete a solid blueprint for its future.
Prior to Rutgers–Camden, Seligsohn was the Director of Civic Engagement Learning at Princeton University. He also served as a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at Hartwick College from 2001-2007, where he earned tenure and promotion to the rank of associate professor.
Seligsohn holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Williams College. He also serves on the board of directors for several community organizations in the Trenton and Camden, NJ areas.
UNC Wilmington Chancellor Gary Miller Joins National Campus Compact Board
In March 2014, Dr. Gary Miller, UNC Wilmington Chancellor and current NC Campus Compact Executive Board member, was appointed to the national Campus Compact Board of Directors. His term will begin July 1, 2014. Dr. Miller is the fourth chancellor and seventh leader of UNC WIlmington. Dr. Miller incorporates his own learning experiences as a student at the College of William and Mary with his decades of service in higher education as a faculty member at Mississippi State University, Weber State University and the University of Mississippi; a dean at the University of the Pacific; and the provost and vice president of academic affairs and research at Wichita State University.
At UNCW, Dr. Miller is building upon a legacy of nationally recognized academic and research programs while instituting a strategic vision around three key values: a love of place, the journey of learning, and the power of innovation. Dr. Miller is also promoting diversity, community partnerships, and entrepreneurship as ways for the university to “invent the future.”
Dr. Miller, a Virginia native, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the College of William and Mary and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Mississippi State University. He is an ecologist who has written more than 40 articles and essays about research and higher education, edited a scientific journal, and co-authored the fourth edition of Ecology, one of the most widely used scientific textbooks on the subject.
Dr. Miller serves on the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) Committee for Economic and Workforce Development. He also participated as a member of the task force that developed the student learning outcomes component of the Voluntary System of Accountability, a joint project of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and AASCU. He is a member of the National College and University Advisory Council of the Educational Testing Service. In October of 2012, Dr. Miller was invited to the White House to participate in a forum, The Innovative and Entrepreneurial University: Higher Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Focus, hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
He is married to Georgia Nix Miller. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Nido Qubein is Next NC Campus Compact Executive Board Chair
In February 2014 NC Campus Compact announced that Dr. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University, will become the new Executive Board Chair, effective July 1, 2014. Read more here.
April 1st marked the second annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service. Nationwide 1,760 mayors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico united in support of national service. Thirty North Carolina mayors participated, which is a large increase from last year. A full list can be found here. Together, these mayors represent more than 110 million Americans, or one-third of the U.S. population. These mayors carried a common message: National Service Works for America.We at North Carolina Campus Compact were honored to participate in several of these events alongside such a diverse and vibrant group of AmeriCorps programs.
Dr. Lisa Keyne, Executive Director of NC Campus Compact, joined the Honorable U.S. Congressman David Price, Burlington Mayor Ronnie Wall; Gibsonville Mayor Len Williams; and Mr. Frank DiSilvestro, State Program Specialist with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to recognize the commitment to service of the Alamance County RSVP Volunteers and local AmeriCorps members. The celebration was held in conjunction with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the newly renovated Crump Village Education Resource Center, a community center that will provide educational space for residents of the Burlington Housing Authority as well as the broader community. BHA is also a key community partner of Elon University, and many Elon students support youth programming at Crump Village.
VISTA Camille Smith with a signed proclamation of support from Raleigh Mayor MacFarlane.
VISTA Jacob Lerner participated in an event in Chapel Hill with Mayor Mark Kleinshmidt and members of the NC Literacy Corps. VISTA Camille Smith participated in an event in Raleigh with Mayor Nancy MacFarlane. VISTA Anna Donze participated in an event in Winston-Salem with Mayor Allen Joines, and VISTAs Bevelyn Ukah, Devin Corrigan, and Carla Davis participated in an event in Greensboro with Mayor Nancy Vaughn. Each Mayor issued a proclamation of support to National Service and spoke of the importance of AmeriCorps initiatives happening throughout the city, and in many cases, throughout the State. VISTA Leader Carla Davis recounts her Greensboro event experience: “The feeling of community in the room was palpable as AmeriCorps members shared their service experiences and projects.”
VISTA Anna Donze with other AmeriCorps members & Winston-Salem’s Mayor Joines.
North Carolina Campus Compact is dedicated to leveraging higher education resources to support community organizations, and to create well-rounded programs that address K-12 education, hunger and homelessness, and food security. And we, with other AmeriCorps organizations, are working toward a common goal for North Carolina: to enhance the quality of life for its citizens. Currently the Opportunity Index ranks North Carolina 37th in the nation, but when we can align with local government, the speed at which this this goal can become a reality increases.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, leads the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. CNCS’ partners include, the National League of Cities, Cities of Service, and Mayor Scott Smith of Mesa, Ariz., president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. CNCS annually engages more than five million people in service at more than 60,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other sponsored programs, and we are glad to be even a small part of those numbers.
“We are thrilled by the extraordinary turnout of mayors from across the country for this bipartisan nationwide recognition of the impact of national service,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “It is a testament to the dedication and effectiveness of all those who serve in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps that mayors representing more than one-third of Americans are joining in this effort. I commend Mayor Coleman, Mayor Smith, and other mayors across the country for participating in this recognition effort and for working with us to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”
Thanks to all of our North Carolina Mayors for recognizing the work that North Carolina Campus Compact and our national service members are doing to “fight poverty with the power of higher education.” Check out our Twitter feed for more Mayors Day pics and tweets @NCCampusCompact.
Spring break gives students a break from the classroom, but for those who choose an alternative break, learning and service continues. Over the past month, many of our “engaged campuses” organized such service experiences near and far. NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTAs (and former VISTAs) helped lead some of these trips, which give college students a chance to visit new places or immerse themselves in issues closer to home. Each alternative spring break (ASB) trip built on the VISTA’s primary project focus: k-12 education, economic opportunity, or food security.
UNCP students serve with a Philadelphia non-profit.
VISTA Dalton Hoffer co-led a trip to the national historic city of Philadelphia for a packed week of activities and service opportunities. The group served four different community organizations in the area: Philabundance Food Bank, Jewish Relief Agency, Philadelphia Reads, and Cradles to Crayons. These agencies allowed them to learn how Philadelphia is working on improving its literacy rate and interacting with volunteers. The students then took that knowledge back to Robeson County which also holds a low literacy statistic. Six of the 9 participating students are mentors in the Brave Impact Mentoring Program Dalton helped create. Focusing on leadership and citizenship, Dalton said the trip “allowed [the mentors] to work with and see how other partners utilize volunteers and interact with students” and led to conversations about how to bring that work back to Robeson county and inspire a sense of pride in that work throughout the community. Check out Dalton’s video recap of UNCP’s trip.
Wake Forest’s service “staycation” continued volunteer service at a key community partner.
VISTA Anna Donze at Wake Forest University focused her trip in the community by hosting a service Staycation at her community partner site, El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services. Typically the site struggles during WFU’s Spring Break as it loses the majority of its volunteer tutors for a week. The 7 WFU students on the trip served as tutors for the duration of the week, played with and supervised the elementary students during their free time and volunteered in the garden. One WFU student said of the experience, “We are helping nurture, mentor, and guide our next generation of youth. We are putting our heads together to care for the young people that will impact this world in years to come.” They also designed and led a “Vocab Bowl” for the students to practice some vocabulary words that they may not use in the classroom, as the majority of the students speak only Spanish at home. Anna not only helped coordinate the trip, but also took note of the week’s highlights to incorporate them next year for Staycation round two.
Duke students “Dive Into Durham”
VISTA Takira Dale with the Duke Community Service Center also stayed close to home to host her Dive into Durham ASB trip. During this 5 day service experience, Takira and her supervisor, Assistant Director of CSC Programs Domonique Redmond, led 10 students working with various community agencies including Duke Gardens, Urban Ministries of Durham, the Durham Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Genesis Home, Lakewood Community Garden, and the West End Mobile Market. These agencies are committed to fighting hunger and homelessness in Durham, and align with Takira’s primary food security project through the Community Service Center. After the service events, Takira led reflection discussions and panels, and created a contact list for these student volunteers to stay engaged in the community throughout their undergraduate career and into their futures. She said of the week, “One interesting aspect of this ASB was experiencing the wide variety of people working on solving issues of homelessness, hunger and poverty. All these organizations may have different methods but most are surprisingly interconnected.”
WCU students conducted food assessment surveys for Lower Ninth Ward Food coaliton.
VISTA Willie Jones also focused on food security and homelessness for his ASB, a complement to his primary project at Western Carolina University where he is establishing a volunteer gleaning program and reinvigorating the campus garden. Willie and his supervisor Dr. Lane Perry, Director of the Center for Service Learning, led a group of 17 students to New Orleans to work with Green Light, The Green Project, and Lower Nine, all organizations who’s focuses are to alleviate hunger and homelessness. Willie says, “This was the first time WCU has traveled to NOLA and the first time [WCU] has worked with any of these partners.” The Center for Service Learning is currently developing a system that will allow the university to have multiple alternative break locations that can be rotated out on a yearly or bi-yearly basis. “This way,” Willie says, “the university will be able to maintain the relationship they built with these communities.” Willie served as the food insecurity and gardening expert for the group.
ECU breakers maintain a rain garden at an elementary school.
VISTA Shifra Sered co-chaperoned a group of 9 East Carolina University students on their ASB trip to Carteret County, North Carolina, where they stayed at Camp Albemarle; ECU’s long-time ASB host. The group served primarily at NC Coastal Federation, but also served with Habitat for Humanity and the Hope Mission soup kitchen. “By living in an intentional community and learning to rely on one another for support,” Shifra said, “we were able to delve into service and educational experiences that challenged us to evaluate and articulate our values surrounding community, inequality, social responsibility and environmental justice.” The group immersed themselves in the experience in part by limiting their food budget to the current food stamp allocation, and by adopting the sustainable lifestyle practices they learned through their service. Shifra designed and facilitated educational and reflection activities for the students as well. She says that after the trip, “We charged all of the student participants…to design and implement a sustainability project back at ECU…[which will hopefully] lead to a student-run sustainability club on campus.”
VISTA Bevelyn Ukah and her supervisor James Shields, led a group of Guilford College Bonner Leaders to Charleston, South Carolina and St. Helena Island to learn about the history and contemporary realities of the Gulla Geechie nation, specifically as they relate to race and class relations in the area. The goal of this trip was to give the students the practice working in teams to analyze poverty and diversity using place-based critical thinking.
NC Campus Compact’s very own Office Manager, Rene Summers, also co-led a group of 9 Elon University students on a mission trip all the way to St. James Jamaica to serve with an organization called Mustard Seed Communities, which serves children with special needs. The group spent part of their trip with the children and the other part completing projects ranging from light construction work, painting, farming and landscaping alongside the community and MSC staff. Rene and the group arrived safely back in Elon this week, but they will continue to hold meetings to reflect on their experiences.
At Wake Technical Community College, Mariel Steinbeiser (former VISTA and current Assistant Coordinator of the Office of Volunteerism and Leadership) organized a trip to New York City where WTCC students partnered with Youth Service Opportunity Project (YSOP) to serve and learn about hunger and homelessness in New York. Read about their experience on their trip blog.
All of these campuses have been planning their trips for months. Though each of project may seem different, the goal of all is to engage students in a deeper conversation with and understanding of their communities. Whether the groups went North to Philly, South to NOLA, stayed in the state, or stayed right in their neighborhood, NC Campus Compact VISTAs are shifting the conversation these students are having and preparing the next generation of leaders and community organizers.
One student from from Takira Dale’s Dive into Durham aptly sums up the ASB mindset: “Volunteering is so easy and refreshing, we should do it more often…I have no good reason to not be doing more.”
On March 18th national Campus Compact announced the 2014 Newman Civic Fellows Award recipients. College and university presidents from 36 states – all members of Campus Compact – nominated 197 promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community to be Newman Civic Fellows. In North Carolina, eight students were selected.
“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central. The award is generously sponsored by the KPMG Foundation.
Each year, the Newman Civic Fellows Award honors inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. Through service, research, and advocacy, the Fellows are making the most of their college experiences to understand themselves, the root causes of social issues, and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change.
The 2014 North Carolina Newman Civic Fellows (read their bio by clicking on each name) :
This is an accomplished group. Western Carolina’s Aaron Marshall was honored by NC Campus Compact at the annual CSNAP Student Conference last fall as a Community Impact Student Award Winner. Aaron is a leader in Western’s alternative breaks program, participating in 10 trips during his time at WCU and working to market and evaluate break service.
At Elon, Omolayo Ojo is a top academic performer and a leader in community service, coordinating student volunteers in work with a local non-profit that serves immigrants. Omolayo’s passion for the work stems from her own childhood experience immigrating to the U.S. from Nigeria. Among her accomplishments are launching a program that enables Elon students to teach citizenship classes.
Aaron, Omolayo, and other Newman Fellows receive a certificate of recognition and the chance to leverage an even greater capacity for service and change through online networking. National Campus Compact maintains an exclusive online community especially for Fellows where they can share ideas and materials to further their work.
“Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference,” explains Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. “He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and this new group of Newman Civic Fellows would have inspired him. They are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.”
Learn more about the Newman Fellows award here. To learn more about the statewide awards North Carolina Campus Compact presents to students, faculty, and administrators visit our Awards Page.
Leslie Garvin (far left) was part of the IMPACT conference national planning committee.
Last month, the 30th annual IMPACT Conference was held at Valparaiso University in Indiana. IMPACT is historically the largest national gathering of student leaders, administrators, faculty, and nonprofit staff committed to engaging students in service, activism, and other socially responsible work. NC Campus Compact’s Associate Director Leslie Garvin was there, along with attendees from several NC member campuses. Leslie also served on the conference planning committee, and she shared her IMPACT experience in a recent interview.
Why did you attend the IMPACT Conference?
I believe IMPACT has played a critical role in the development of the national movement to promote higher education community engagement. The conference began as a project of an organization called the Campus Outreach Opportunity League (COOL), which was founded in 1984 and was one of the first national organizations to promote and support college student involvement in thoughtful community service and civic engagement. The COOL Conference started with just a few hundred students at Harvard, and grew to bring together over 1,000 students each year. The event helped spark a nationwide movement which included the creation of organizations such as Campus Compact (started in 1985) and Youth Service America (started in 1986). Though leadership of the conference has changed hands over the years, it has continued to be a premier event. In 2007, a national planning committee of higher education and non-profit leaders took over IMPACT, and I joined this group in 2013.
As Campus Compact is part of this movement, I think it is valuable for us to promote and support the IMPACT conference. Additionally, I was attending to get ideas on how we can enhance and improve our annual CSNAP Student Conference here in North Carolina.
Was this your first trip to IMPACT?
In 2006, NC Campus Compact rented a bus and drove 18 students from four campuses to Nashville to attend what was then calledthe COOL Conference. We called it the “Cool Bus Trip.” The conference was at Vanderbilt University that year. The conference felt very similar in terms of content but definitely wasn’t as cold as the event in Indiana: we received 4 inches of snow this year! I would love to attend the conference in LA (February 19-22, 2015) but unfortunately, NC Campus Compact’s annual statewide conferences (CEI and PACE) are the same week.
Besides the snow, what was one session or experience during this year’s conference that stuck with you?
As it was the 30th anniversary of the first conference, it was especially inspiring to hear a rousing speech from Wayne Meisel – the Harvard grad who founded the COOL network – inspiring students to lead engagement efforts. He applauded the institutionalization of civic engagement on campuses (i.e. offices, structures, resources) but wanted the students not to get comfortable but to continue to advocate and seek radical and creative solutions to the major issues confronting our world.
Did you meet up with anyone from our NC Campus Compact member campuses?
It was exciting to connect with several students who attended CSNAP last fall, including three of our Community Impact Award Winners: Evan Long from UNC Pembroke, Shady Kimzey from Appalachian State, and Jodie Geddes from Guilford College, all of whom were also workshop presenters. Chris Criqui, also from Appalachian State, led a workshop on App State’s Hunger Games. Jodie was also scheduled to serve on a student panel during the Sunday morning plenary session, but unfortunately, due to inclement weather, she and the Guilford College team had to head back to NC. I also was able to connect with students from Warren Wilson College, John McCaul and Delilah Scott, who led an interesting session on the impact of SNAP benefit cuts and the response on social media.
Finally, a former NC Campus Compact VISTA and former community engagement administrator at ECU Jessica Gagne Cloutier facilitated a workshop. She works at Keene State College in New Hampshire now.
What was the topic at IMPACT that everyone was talking about?
There seemed to be energy around how to translate engagement experiences into professional development. How are these experiences helping students prepare for careers and how do they recognize and communicate those skills to potential employers?
Anything else from your IMPACT experience that you want to share with our campuses in NC?
Just to remember that they are part of a vast nationwide movement of colleges and universities who are committed to community engagement. On those days when civic engagement administrators or student leaders feel isolated and alone, it is important to remember this fact.
Please visit our position listing on my.americorps.gov when you are ready to create your AmeriCorps application and begin our application process.
NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA members work with community agencies and college campuses to develop a partnership that addresses local needs in one of three areas: education (especially K-12 success or access to post-secondary education), economic opportunity (especially housing or financial literacy), or healthy futures (especially food security). The specific nature and objectives of the project vary depending on host site. Most VISTA members share work time between campus and community partner offices, and thereby gain experience in both non-profit and higher education arenas.
Assess community and agency needs and identify assets
Recruit and train volunteers
Develop data systems to manage people and performance
Create policies and procedures that increase agency effectiveness
Support citizen and student leadership and participation in service
Seek new resources through fund-raising and grant-writing
Facilitate service-learning placements, community-based research, and co-curricular opportunities that support communities
Promote AmeriCorps, VISTA, and national service
Program Benefits include: Living Allowance, Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend, Health Coverage, Relocation Allowance, Training, Childcare assistance if eligible
Applicants must be:
U.S. Citizen or lawful permanent resident
College graduate (or Bachelors degree expected by May 2014)
Strong candidates will have:
passion for the VISTA mission of fighting poverty and strengthening communities
strong interest and experience in community service
experience working with volunteers, especially college students
proven leadership and project management skills
proven networking, communication, and organization skills
ability to work with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds
ability to work independently and as part of a team
ability to engage others
Help fight poverty by harnessing the power of higher education! Apply today to join the NC Campus Compact VISTA team!