Faculty & Staff


10th Anniversary



Commins and Kozma named Engaged Faculty Scholars for 2016-17

(L-R) Dr. Margaret Commins of Queens University of Charlotte and Dr. Cara Kozma of High Point University are the 2016-17 Engaged Faculty Scholars.

Dr. Margaret Commins of Queens University of Charlotte (L) and Dr. Cara Kozma of High Point University (R) are the 2016-17 Engaged Faculty Scholars.

This month two faculty members in the North Carolina Campus Compact network will begin one-year terms as Engaged Faculty Scholars. Dr. Margaret Commins, an associate professor of political science at Queens University of Charlotte, and Dr. Cara Kozma, an assistant professor of English at High Point University, will be the Compact’s Engaged Faculty Scholars for the 2016 – 2017 academic year.

In this role, both Commins and Kozma will lead a project to deepen the scholarship of campus-community engagement at their own institution, and they will serve as consultants to another campus in the network seeking to expand academic service-learning.

“Faculty who have a track-record of successful service-learning and community-based scholarship make great ambassadors for engaged teaching and learning,” says Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Compact. “Our intent is to provide support for Dr. Commins and Dr. Kozma to further their own projects, while we leverage their expertise and enthusiasm to strengthen the network.”

At Queens University, Maggie Commins is associate professor of political science and co-chair of the university’s Academic Civic Engagement Task Force. She promotes civic engagement by bringing students into the Charlotte community to conduct election exit polls, collect voter opinion surveys, and design community forums on political issues. As a scholar of US/Latin American Relations, she has a particular interest in refugee and immigration issues, and her policy courses engage students in service with immigrant communities in Charlotte.

During her Engaged Faculty Scholars term, Dr. Commins will support fellow faculty members as they integrate service learning or civic engagement components in accordance with the university’s new general education curriculum, “Queens Advantage.” The curriculum requires new “learning communities” at the 300 level incorporate such components. In partnership with Queens’ Center for Advancement of Faculty Excellence and the co-curricular Center for Active Citizenship, Commins will promote the use of service-learning as a teaching pedagogy and deliver professional development for faculty teaching these courses.

Dr. Lynn Morton, Queens’s provost and vice-president of Academic Affairs, says the university’s senior leadership team has made enhancing service-learning and civic engagement a “top ten” initiative, and Commins has the “knowledge, drive, enthusiasm, and common sense to lead us to the next steps.”

At High Point University, Cara Kozma is an assistant professor of English and the assistant director of the service learning (SL) program. She offers training and development for faculty teaching SL, oversees the annual assessment of SL courses, and co-directs a community writing center. She teaches SL courses in writing and literature ranging from freshman to senior level, and many of her classes are connected to her interests in community writing and community publishing.

As an Engaged Faculty Scholar, Dr. Kozma will research the impact of service-learning on students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Studies find that SL classes often make students more tolerant and less prone to stereotyping; however, very little research has been done on how students’ socioeconomic backgrounds affect the learning gains of individual students. In addition to her faculty position, Kozma is assistant director of HPU’s SL program, and she hopes her findings can provide insight into how the program can improve.

Rev. Dr. Joe Blosser, director of HPU’s expanding SL program, says the experience Kozma has gained from being “on the ground floor” of HPU’s SL program development will make her “a huge asset to campuses that are just beginning the work toward institutionalization of service-learning.”

North Carolina Campus Compact’s Engaged Faculty Scholars receive a stipend of $1500, travel reimbursement for consultation visits to the partner institution, and a professional development budget. The scholar’s institution is encouraged to provide a match of cash, course release, or other resources and recognition. The scholars present their projects at the network’s annual PACE Conference and other venues.

For more information about the program, please contact Leslie Garvin.

Also posted in Engagement Matters Blog | Comments Off on Commins and Kozma named Engaged Faculty Scholars for 2016-17

Elon’s “Village” project expands to partner with more schools, families

Elon University’s “It Takes a Village” project, a literacy program that assists students who struggle with reading, has received a five-year grant from Oak Foundation totaling $1,015,100. The grant is the largest in the program’s history and supports a recent expansion of the program to provide after-school tutoring at five Alamance-Burlington School System schools.

“This generous support from Oak Foundation will have an immediate impact on the lives of hundreds of children in our community, setting them on the path to success,” said Elon University President Leo M. Lambert. “Helping children learn to read is the single most important factor in their early education. This funding provides critical support for a program that is making a huge difference in our community.”

The “It Takes a Village” project uses a collaborative approach to address reading difficulties faced by many students. That collaboration involves the active participation of Elon’s School of Education, Elon students, faculty and staff, in-service teachers, various community partners and most important, parents and other family members. Launched in 2008, the Village Project began as an after-school reading/tutoring project designed to connect Elon’s School of Education students with youngsters who find reading daunting. In the beginning, tutoring sessions took place on Elon’s campus. The program later moved to May Memorial Library in downtown Burlington, N.C., then to the Burlington School campus, and last February, the program began providing services at Newlin, Haw River, Eastlawn and Andrews elementary schools and Graham Middle School.

Over the years, the Elon project has added additional learning opportunities, including Science in the Village, Music in the Village, and Summer in the Village. The Village Project has also worked with Alamance Community College to support parents and families associated with the project who wish to improve their English language skills. This is the third grant Oak Foundation has made to Elon University, supporting the Village Project’s early development and the replication of the Village model nationally at three other U.S. colleges and internationally in Jamaica.

“We are happy to support “It Takes a Village” Project at Elon University, with its emphasis on student literacy development, parental engagement and community partnership,” said Millie Brobston, Oak Foundation’s programme officer for special interest grants.

Jean Rattigan-Rohr is Elon University's executive director of community partnerships, director of the Center for Access and Success and founder of the Village Project.

Jean Rattigan-Rohr is Elon University’s executive director of community partnerships.

“With this Oak Foundation grant, we will continue to build strong community partnerships and serve even more students,” said Village Project founder and director Jean Rattigan-Rohr, who serves as Elon’s executive director of community partnerships and director of the university’s Center for Access and Success. “I can’t wait to see how the Village continues to deepen and broaden its services with this support. We have aggressive goals to increase reading proficiency for children and expand parents’ understanding of ways to support their children’s academic development and also increase their own English language skills.”

Established in 1983, Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa, India and North America, the foundation has made more than 3,600 grants to non-profit organizations in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

This post is re-posted from Elon University News Services article by Dan Anderson:

Also posted in Engagement Matters Blog | Comments Off on Elon’s “Village” project expands to partner with more schools, families

AASCU recognizes UNC Charlotte Provost for leadership of civic engagement


Dr. Lorden and the 2015 Plater Award recipient, Dr. Michael Vaughan of Weber State University (Utah). Photo by Amy Rankin.

Congratulations to UNC Charlotte‘s Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, for being the 2016 recipient of the William M. Plater Award for Leadership in Civic Engagement. The national award is presented by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, as part of the American Democracy Project. Lorden was honored for championing a deeper commitment to civic engagement on campus and in the community. Her initiatives include curricular reform, faculty development, innovative civic research initiatives, and community collaborations.

“Dr. Lorden’s thoughtful, deliberative approach to education, research and community engagement has had a tremendous impact on the long-term vitality of the Charlotte community and has raised the quality of intellectual life in the region,” says UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois. The award is named after William M. Plater, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis’ (IUPUI) chief academic officer from 1987 through 2006.

Lorden was recognized on June 2 at the 2016 ADP/TDC/NASPA Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE) in Indianapolis.

Lorden joined UNC Charlotte as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs in 2003. As a catalyst for civic engagement and service learning at UNC Charlotte, Lorden provided leadership that has resulted in the University’s receiving multiple honors for its civic engagement efforts from Pathways to Achieving Civic Engagement (PACE), the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Charlotte Chamber, and North Carolina Campus Compact.

Lorden also supported the creation of a standing, cross-divisional Civic Engagement Council to provide oversight and leadership to the university’s civic and community engagement work. Among the many civic engagement initiatives she helped develop is the 49er Democracy Experience, a campus-wide, non-partisan effort to engage students in elections and civic life.

Portions of this post were taken from this UNCC news release and from an AASCU news release.

Also posted in Engagement Matters Blog | Comments Off on AASCU recognizes UNC Charlotte Provost for leadership of civic engagement

Latest edition of Partnerships Journal now available!

Partnerships Logo_P onlyThe Spring 2016 edition of Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement is now available. North Carolina Campus Compact’s peer-reviewed, online journal is hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and edited by UNCG’s Spoma Jovanovic.

The latest issue offers a wealth of resources for new as well as seasoned service-learning faculty and staff. The articles provide insight into community partner needs, faculty dispositions necessary for successful programming, and ways to address food insecurity on our campuses through community partnerships. In addition, this issue features four book reviews that cover a large swath of topics suitable for faculty development as well as student learning. Partnerships is free and available online here.

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.

A sampling of this issue’s contents:

Alexa N Darby, Frances Ward-Johnson, Tammy Cobb (Elon University)

Kim Buch, Sean Langley, Tamara Johnson, Nakiel Coleman (UNC Charlotte)
Noah Borrero, Julie Reed
Plus reviews of John Dewey’s Experience and Education, Harry Boyte’s Democracy’s Education: Public Work, Citizenship, and the Future of Colleges and Universities, LeRoux & Feeney’s Nonprofit Organizations and Civil Society in the U.S., and more.
Also posted in Engagement Matters Blog | Comments Off on Latest edition of Partnerships Journal now available!

Facing Project comes to 5 campuses in NC

The Facing ProjectThis fall five NC Campus Compact member schools will begin work on a “facing project,” examining a community issue through the collection and sharing of individual stories.

Their efforts will be supported by The Facing Project, a national nonprofit that works to “connect people through stories to strengthen communities.” NC Campus Compact partnered with the Facing Project to select the schools through a competitive application process.

Schools chose a topic relevant to their local community and campus, and preference was given to campuses that sought to focus on issues related to poverty or diversity. The participating schools and the issues they will face are:

  • Guilford College: Greensboro, NC – Facing Immigration: Refugee Stories
  • UNC Asheville: Asheville, NC – Facing Affordable Housing
  • UNC Wilmington: Navassa, NC – Facing Community Change
  • Western Piedmont Community College: Burke County, NC – Facing Immigration
  • Winston-Salem State University: Forsyth County, NC – Facing Health Disparities

The Facing Project approach shares the stories of local people through the talent of local writers and actors. Writers interview community members who are facing the issue and capture their stories in the first-person. The accounts are then compiled as a book and brought to life on stage through a community theatre event.

The Facing Project will provide each participating campus a package of materials and services, including a toolkit, training, expert consultation, editing, and web hosting for the final project. The package is valued at $1,500.

Davidson College, also an NC Campus Compact member campus, completed its own facing project, Facing Perfectionism, in 2015.

The Facing Project was co-founded by Indiana Campus Compact Executive Director J.R. Jamison, along with New York Times bestselling author Kelsey Timmerman. Since its founding in 2012, The Facing Project has worked with 30 communities in eight states and two countries and has been hailed by The Huffington Post as one of three oral history projects to watch.

Also posted in Engagement Matters Blog | Comments Off on Facing Project comes to 5 campuses in NC

Introducing the 2016 Election Engagement Fellows

North Carolina Campus Compact, in partnership with the national Campus Election Engagement Project, is working to support non-partisan election engagement activities at campuses throughout our network. We have worked with CEEP in past election seasons, including in 2012 and 2014. Our new initiative began last summer, when the Compact joined a coalition of state and national non-partisan organizations working to promote student voting in North Carolina. Our work this spring has included providing professional development on student voter engagement for campus faculty and staff during our January network meetings, disseminating election-related information and resources relevant to building campus-wide efforts, and teaming up with the Institute of Political Leadership to deliver workshops for students interested in politics and public service.

4fellows_webWe are especially excited about our Election Engagement Fellows Program, which currently supports 12 student leaders on 12 campuses. These EE Fellows will lead non-partisan voter engagement activities and assist the campus in developing institutional supports for future election engagement. In designing the fellowship, we consulted with staff of the national CEEP organization, the national Campus Vote Project, and the Andrew Goodman Foundation, whose Vote Everywhere Ambassadors do similar work at schools nationwide, including at four NC schools. We also learned from Common Cause NC, which coordinates a Democracy Fellows program at HBCU’s across the state. Funding for the program is providing by CEEP and by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation through its “Strengthening Democracy” initiative.

NC Campus Compact looks forward to supporting these student leaders as they work to engage fellow students and build campus supports for continued civic engagement!

ThomasGwebAppalachian State University
Fellow: Thomas Gallagher
Advisor: Kate Johnson

Thomas is a rising senior from Durham, NC majoring in political science. Thomas is also ImpACT Team Co-Chair in the ACT (Appalachian and the Community Together) Office and a former orientation and alternative break leader.

Greene headshot.cropCentral Piedmont Community College, Cato Campus
Fellow: Nicholas Greene
Advisor: David Mahatha

Nicholas is a second year student from Trenton, New Jersey who is Co-Chair of Student Government Senate at Cato Campus.


Tatum image.cropDurham Technical Community College
Fellow: Nicole Tatum
Advisor: Erin Riney

Nicole is a Nursing student from Durham, NC. She is president of the Gamma Beta Phi honor society and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and she will serve as the NC/DTCC College Debate Delegate this summer.


Martinez_headshotGuilford College
Fellow: Patricia Martinez
Advisor: James Shields

Patricia is a rising sophomore from Oakland, California majoring in justice & policy studies. She is a Bonner Scholar and a student leader of the Prison Education Initiative and has served as a poll worker in California.

Cox photo.cropMeredith College
Fellow: Ann Cox
Advisor: Dr. David McLennan

Ann is a rising junior from Hillsborough, NC majoring in international studies. She is president of the college’s history & politics club and was a leader of the non-partisan Meredith Votes program in 2014. In past elections, she has been a campaign volunteer and poll monitor.

Nelson.webQueens University of Charlotte
Fellow: Margaret Nelson
Advisor: Dr. Maggie Commins

Margaret is  a rising senior from Ahoskie, NC majoring in political science and sociology. She has been an orientation leader, and SGA representative, and led campus voter engagement efforts in 2014 through her work with Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

Maynard_headshotUNC Asheville
Fellow: Rachel Maynard
Advisor: Dr. Ashley Moraguez

Rachel is a rising junior from King, NC majoring in political science. She is a leader of the recently formed political science club on her campus and an SGA representative.


Gouani headshot.cropUNC Greensboro
Fellow: Sydney Gouani
Advisor: Kristina Snader

Sydney is a rising senior social work major from Charlotte, NC. She is also a Civic Engagement Fellow in UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service-Learning, and she is a part-time AmeriCorps member with NC Literacy Corps.

Pegram_Harrison-232x300UNC Pembroke
Fellow: Harrison Pegram
Advisor: Dalton Hoffer

Harrison is a rising sophomore from Greensboro, NC majoring in business administration. He is an engagement guide in the Office of Community and Civic Engagement, an SGA senator, and a leader in his fraternity.

Wilson_headshotUNC Wilmington
Fellow: Elise Wilson
Advisor: Brianna Nichols

Elise is a senior from Norfolk, Virginia, who is studying History and Pre-Law. She is an engagement guide with the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement where she focuses on voter engagement and education equality.

Tazzit_headshot.cropWake Technical Community College
Fellow: Safaa Tazzit
Advisor: Luanne Burns

Safaa is a rising second year student from Raleigh, NC majoring in computer and electrical engineering. She is an SGA Senator, a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and an active community volunteer through the Office of Volunteerism and Leadership.

Lederer_headshot.webWarren Wilson College
Fellow: Matt Lederer
Advisor: Cathy Kramer

Matt is a rising junior from Denver, Colorado majoring in political science and history. Matt has been active in Student Government since his first year at WWC and recently was part of a team that re-wrote the SGA Constitution. He is an active member of the voter engagement issue team.

For more information about the Election Engagement Fellows program, contact NC Campus Compact Assistant Director Chad Fogleman.

Also posted in Campus Election Engagement Project | Comments Off on Introducing the 2016 Election Engagement Fellows

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 building 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.

Also posted in Engagement Matters Blog | Comments Off on Fourteen VISTA host sites planned for 2016-17