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New issue of Partnerships Journal now available

Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement is North Carolina Campus Compact’s peer-reviewed, online journal, hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

The fall 2017 issue includes articles on how service-learning has progressed since its inception and how the practice could make greater impact in the future. Our featured article “The Neoliberal Starfish Conspiracy” by Randy Stoecker, author of the 2016 book, Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement, provides follow-up to his controversial argument that we need to invert how service-learning is considered in order to maximize community impact. Other articles in this issue likewise consider how to improve partnership outcomes through graduate level programming and, from scholars at UNC Pembroke, a case study of a specialty course in public relations. We also feature two book reviews of Using Action Inquiry in Engaged Research: An Organizing Guide and Where’s the Wisdom in Service-Learning?  We hope you find these readings relevant to your teaching and research.

The journal is free and available online here.

Vol. 8, No. 2 (2017) CONTENTS

Randy Stoecker (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Marnie Lawler McDonough, Laurie Marks, Leslie Harris (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
George B. Harrison, Emilia Noelle Bak (UNC Pembroke)
Hollyce “Sherry” Giles (Guilford College)
Leslie A. Garvin (North Carolina Campus Compact)
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ALL IN Challenge recognizes NC campuses for 2016 voter participation

Last week in Washington, D.C., the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge hosted its first-ever awards ceremony to recognize colleges and universities that achieved high student voter participation in 2016. In all, more than 30 awards were announced, including the Highest Voting Rate for University of Missouri – Saint Louis and the Most Improved Voting Rate for Northwestern University. ALL IN also recognized high-performing campuses with a Gold Seal (70+% voting rate), Silver Seal (60-69%), and Bronze Seal (50-59%).

Campuses were recognized based on their student voting rates as measured by the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). Campuses that take part in NSLVE are not required to share their results, and individual campus voting rates are not made public by NSLVE researchers.  However, campuses that choose to participate in the ALL IN Challenge do agree to enroll in the study and to share their NSLVE results. Over 1,000 colleges and universities are currently enrolled in NSLVE, including 24 in North Carolina. About 300 campuses take part in the ALL IN Challenge.

Congratulations to the following campuses in NC that were recognized by ALL IN:

Silver Seal
Meredith College

Bronze Seal
North Carolina State University
Queens University of Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Read more about the ALL IN awards ceremony.

 

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NC College Voter Summit challenges campuses to engage students in democracy

More than 60 students and staff representing 14 colleges and universities gathered last week for the 2nd annual NC College Voter Summit. Hosted by Elon University, the event was a chance to explore how higher education institutions can support students’ civic learning and voting, with a special focus on the 2017 municipal elections. Three plenary and ten breakout sessions featured state and national experts on a variety of topics, including: how campuses can work with county boards of elections, how citizens can engage with local governments, NC voter eligibility rules, gerrymandering 101, ways to “get out the vote,” and more.

The featured presentation — “Educating for the Democracy We Want, Not the One We Have” — was given by Dr. Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University. Dr. Thomas directs the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE, pronounced “N-solve”), the first objective measure of college student voting, which draws on a database of more than 1,000 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. Campuses may join the study for free; each then receives a report detailing student voter registration and turnout rates.

Nancy Thomas, director of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education

Dr. Thomas shared highlights from a new IDHE report of 2016 voting, Democracy Counts, plus a special analysis of data from the 24 North Carolina colleges and universities that participate in NSLVE. Though voter registration and voting rates for students in the study increased nationwide since 2012, North Carolina rates of student registration and voting fell. In 2012, NC’s student registration rate was 70.9%; in 2016, the rate was just 65.7%. Similarly, a 2012 NC student voting rate of 48.8% dropped to 46.4% in 2016. While turnout fell among most demographic groups, the drop was particularly striking for African-American students in NC: from 61% in 2012 to 46% in 2016. This mirrors a national finding of decreased turnout at HBCUs. (View the full presentation here.)

New NSLVE data on college student voting

Drawing on research into a group of campuses that “outperformed” their expected voting rates in 2012, Dr. Thomas suggested ways campuses can boost civic participation broadly. These strategies include: focusing on diversity and equity, empowering students in institutional decision-making, and fostering “pervasive political discussions.”

A post-lunch panel discussion focused on the broader civic context in North Carolina in 2017. Panelists were Dr. David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College; Professor Ted Shaw, director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights at the UNC School of Law; and Dr. Rick Morse, associate professor at UNC’s School of Government.

Meredith College professor David McLennan

UNC School of Law professor Ted Shaw

McLennan opened the discussion by pointing out that young people’s trust in institutions is at historic lows, and he noted the number of “unaffiliated” voters has now passed the number of registered Republicans in North Carolina. Professor Shaw recalled his work with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund fighting for majority-minority districts, and he discussed current legal battles over racial and partisan gerrymandering. Dr. Morse made a case for college students to care about local elections this year. Among his reasons: local governments deal with any issue students care about (environment, poverty, animal welfare, policing); one vote really counts because turnout in local elections is shockingly low (10% or less); and local impacts — through housing, transportation, infrastructure — can be immediate and concrete, while changes at other levels of government may be further removed from students’ daily life.

An afternoon plenary featured ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry’s and a presentation about student engagement in Charlotte. UNCC Professor Mark Sanders outlined the university’s “49er Democracy Experience” to illustrate how his campus is seeking to cultivate student engagement locally. Amy Chiou, a community organizer with #WTFwevote (“We’re the future. We Vote), shared her strategy of engaging fellow Charlotteans with election-related events that are “fun & smart.”

North Carolina’s local elections are taking place across the state this fall.  Many municipalities will hold primary elections on October 10, and early voting for these primaries is going on now. The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is October 13. Election day is Tuesday, November 7. Citizens can use the online Voter Tools provided by the NC State Board of Elections to check their registration status or see a sample ballot.

Sponsors and supporters of the NC College Voter Summit were: the Campus Election Engagement Project, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Elon University’s Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, Elon University Leadership Fellow Gabrielle Vance, Young Invincibles, NCPIRG Education Fund, Western Carolina University Center for Service-Learning, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Catering.

For more information about the summit, view the event program here.

To check out the conversation on Twitter, view #votesum17.

A number of presentations and handouts are collected in a shared drive here.

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Wake Tech awarded grant from Campus Compact’s Fund for Positive Engagement

Wake Technical Community College has been awarded a $5,000 grant from national Campus Compact. The Compact’s Fund for Positive Engagement seeks to catalyze efforts to bring people together across lines of difference.

Wake Tech is one of 40 institutions across the country to receive the funding, and the only one in North Carolina. The grant competition generated nearly 300 proposals.

“We have been hearing from our member colleges and universities that students and community members cannot hold conversations with people of differing views,” said Andrew Seligsohn, president of Campus Compact. “We wanted to create an incentive for colleges and universities to come up with creative responses to that challenge.”

Wake Tech won for a project designed to foster “emotional intelligence,” or EI – the ability to understand emotions and use that understanding to improve relationships and problem-solving. A group of Wake Tech faculty and staff will undergo an intensive, two-day training in EI and then offer fall workshops on campus. Their goal is to reach 100 participants, some of whom will be able to put their EI skills into practice in a discussion series in the spring. The series will be videotaped to show how EI training can impact civil dialogue. The team will also create an online reflection forum for students, faculty, and staff to share their experiences in applying EI.

The team includes Emily Moore, head of Wake Tech’s Communication & Theatre Department; Rebecca Neagle, Chief Campus Officer; Elizabeth Lewis, Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences; and Brittany Hochstaetter, associate professor of Communication.

Moore says the group saw EI as a tool that could address the deterioration of civility: “We want to help people share differing opinions in a way that’s productive.”

Proposals were judged based on the strength of the idea, its practicality, and the degree to which it will be possible to measure success, among other criteria. Students in Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellows program assisted in reviewing proposals.

Wake Technical Community College has been a member of Campus Compact and of North Carolina Campus Compact, the state affiliate, since 2009.

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Meet the new NC Afterschool Corps

It’s back to school time for North Carolina students, and our new AmeriCorps VISTA members are thinking about what happens after the school day ends. The NC Afterschool Corps is a new project that places AmeriCorps VISTA members with afterschool programs to build organizational capacity and strengthen a partnership between a local college and an afterschool provider.

The 2017 -2018 cohort currently includes 10 Afterschool Corps members serving with campuses and community non-profits. Over the course of their year of service, Corps members will work to increase volunteer involvement and cash or in-kind resources, support development of Design for Change programming and other enriching curricula, and raise community awareness through Lights on Afterschool and other events. The cohort also includes 1 member hosted by UNC Pembroke who is working in the area of disaster relief and recovery.

VISTA members (L-R): Sheppard, Maupin, Jimenez, Baker, Nickel, Bryant, Castillo, Lowe, Thuma, and Bell. V for VISTA at the Afterschool Corps orientation.

Meet the Afterschool Corps

Brian Bryant
Host Site: BUMP: The Triangle (Durham)

My name is Brian M. Bryant. I am from Fayetteville, NC and I graduated from Morehouse College (B.A., Religion, minor Spanish) and Duke Divinity School (M.Div.). I am a singer-songwriter, bodybuilder and music lover. During my undergrad tenure, I participated in the Morehouse College Glee Club and Morehouse-Spelman String Quartet. I wanted to be a VISTA to help combat poverty and empower our youth through music. I am looking forward to learning more about how music and songwriting can empower youth in a non-profit organization.

Christopher Baker
Host Site: William Peace University (Raleigh)

I am entering my second year as a VISTA at WPU. I’m excited to expand our program to a new site, and bring new students on to help with the schools here in Raleigh.

Faith Lowe
Host Site: Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater High Point (High Point)

I am Faith Lowe from Madison, North Carolina. I graduated from High Point University in 2017 with a double degree in Psychology and Criminal Justice. I will be a VISTA for the Boys and Girls Clubs in High Point North Carolina. I had interned at the Boys and Girls Club in High Point during my time at HPU and thought it would be a good chance to continue working there as well as continue to work in the High Point Community.

Jessica Maupin
Host Site: Davidson College (Davidson)

My name is Jessica Maupin and my hometown is Richmond, KY. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern Kentucky University and am a certified yoga instructor. I have a strong interest in nature and love being outdoors as much as possible. I will be working with The Center for Civic Engagement at Davidson College and the Ada Jenkins Center to help grow and improve after school programming for low income children and families. I’m very excited to start my assignment and learn about the needs of the families and children that these programs serve.

Jessica Nickel
Host Site: East Carolina University (Greenville)

Originally from Muncie, Indiana, I am excited to be relocating down south! I recently graduated from Ball State University with a Master’s in Sociology, and I am excited to put my knowledge to good use. I have always loved working with nonprofit organizations- especially those geared towards children and education. For this position, I will be doing work similar to my previous experiences by partnering East Carolina University’s Pirate Pals with the local Boys and Girls Clubs.

Jessie Thuma
Host Site: High Point Leap (High Point)

My name is Jessie Thuma and I am serving as the Development Coordinator for High Point Leap. I am from Boston, MA, and I just graduated from the University of Virginia this past May with a B.S. in Environmental Science and a second major in Women and Gender Studies. I spent the last year and a half of school studying the effect of sea level rise and habitat loss on native bees for my senior thesis, and plan to go back to graduate school to continue my research. I worked with America READS in college and really wanted to be part of a similar education and enrichment effort during my AmeriCorps service, which brought me to NC Campus Compact. In my free time I love cooking, reading, and being outside any chance I get. This year I am really looking forward to putting on some big fundraising events for the High Point community with Leap and to working with the wonderful staff at my host site!

Katherin Castillo
Host Site: Duke University (Durham)

My name is Katherin Castillo and I was born and raised in a small town called Mount Airy. I am a recent graduate of Appalachian State University. My bachelors degree is in Criminal Justice. During my years at ASU, I loved to volunteer in any type of community event. As I searched for my next step in life after graduation, I wanted to find something that would involve community outreach. This led me to apply to become an AmeriCorps member! I am excited to meet new people and help make a difference in Durham! For fun, I love to hike and hang out with friends.

Nastaha Kinto
Host Site: Lumbee Tribe (Pembroke)

I earned an M.A.Ed. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a specialty in Addictions from UNC Pembroke in Pembroke, NC. In graduate school, I was one of the founding members of a Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) at UNCP. I also served as President of the student organization “Be Brave” that was created as an extension of the CRC. As a VISTA for the Lumbee Tribe Boys & Girls Club, I will work to increase volunteer involvement and financial resources for all seven club sites. I will also work with Lumbee leaders to design a curriculum that teaches Lumbee history and culture to Native youth. I am a mother of three sons and a daughter-in-law. For fun, I like going to football games, gardening and painting.

Natalie Sheppard
Host Site: UNC Asheville (Asheville)

My name is Natalie Sheppard, and I’m new to the VISTA program. I will be working through UNCA. I have a B.A. in Communications, with a journalism emphasis. What has appealed to me the most about becoming a part of the VISTA program, are the amazing opportunities to meet other people and do great service. In my free time I enjoy sushi and listening to music.

Sandra Jimenez Guillermo
Host Site: Pfeiffer University (Misenheimer)

I will be working as a VISTA at Pfeiffer University. I graduated from Pfeiffer in May with a bachelor’s in General Biology. I am originally from California but raised in NC. While at Pfeiffer, I have been heavily involved in service opportunities and events, including Angel Tree, Student Government Association, ProGrads, and Francis Center. The thing that appeal to me the most about working with NC Campus Compact was that they gave me the opportunity to work with Pfeiffer. Also, coming from a low income family, they allow me to work with kids who are in the same position that I was in. Part of my job will be to expand and give learning opportunities to these children.

Ashleigh Bell
Disaster Relief and Recovery AmeriCorps VISTA

Host Site: UNC Pembroke (Pembroke)

I graduated this past May with my Masters of Social Work degree from UNC Pembroke, where I also received my Bachelors of Social Work. I am from Robeson County. I began my year of service at UNC Pembroke in February with the office of community and civic engagement focusing on disaster relief and community resilience. I was encouraged to apply by a friend. Once I found out the position was community outreach and working with the CCE office, where I have worked before, I was eager to join. I enjoy being involved with community, reading, being with family & friends and working out. I am looking forward to learning more about my community and how UNCP and Robeson County can better prepare for disasters and recovery. Among the projects I’m managing is a “Disaster Preparedness & Relief Fair” on Saturday, September 9th located at Pembroke Town Park. This event is also in honor of 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. Learn more about the fair here.

Afterschool Corps members will help sites implement enrichment lessons based on Design for Change curriculum.

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How can your campus support student voting and democratic engagement?

Check out these upcoming webinars and events for campuses looking to support student democratic engagement:

Events!

Constitution Day
September 17

Officially “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” Constitution Day is a federal holiday that commemorates the signing of the Constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787. A 2005 law requires each educational institution that receives federal funds to hold a educational program on the U.S. Constitution for students on September 17th! Because the 17th falls on a Sunday this year, schools may hold the program on the preceding Friday or Monday. Learn more.

National Voter Registration Day
September 26

A national holiday celebrating our democracy, first observed in 2012. Held on the fourth Tuesday of September. Endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). It is further supported by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED). Get free stuff for your event when you sign-up as a partner.

NC College Voter Summit
September 29 at Elon University
Register by September 18!

A one-day event for student leaders and campus administrators leading non-partisan student voter and civic engagement efforts at NC colleges and universities. Featured speaker is Dr. Nancy Thomas of the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education. Breakout sessions led by the NC Board of Elections, Campus Vote Project, and more. Free but space is limited. Learn more.

National Conference on Citizenship
October 19-20 in Washington, D.C.
Register before Sept. 1 for early bird rates.

With the goal of strengthening civic life in America, this working convening will focus on civic life, civic health, and civic renewal through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion. A limited number of scholarships for students are available!

Engaged Campus Institute
November 3-4 in Washington, D.C.
Apply by September 15!

AASCU’s American Democracy Project (ADP) and the NASPA Lead Initiative organized this two-day institute to give teams from colleges and universities interested in strategic planning of their civic learning and democratic engagement efforts the opportunity to come together.

Webinars!

Understanding and Using your NSLVE Data
Wednesday, August 23 |  2:00 PM EST  |  60 minutes

The National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) is the first and only nonpartisan study of individual and institution-level data on college student voting. More than 1,000 campuses are participating and will receive their data this summer from the 2016 presidential election. Reports will also include comparison data from the 2012 presidential election.

Hold a Successful Voter Registration Event
Thursday, August 24 | 2:00 PM EST

How to hold a successful voter registration drive on National Voter Registration Day 2017. We’ll be joined by staff from NYC Votes (that’s the New York City Campaign Finance Board’s voter outreach program). From Nonprofit Votes.

Developing a Democratic Engagement Action Plan
Monday, September 11 |  2:00 PM EST  |  60 minutes

Part of the All In Challenge Webinar Series. In order to increase democratic engagement on on college and university campuses, planning needs to be intentional and activities should be documented. One promising way in which this can be accomplished is through the process of action planning.

CEEP Webinar Series: Creating a Campus Climate to Support Political Learning
Register now via this interest form.
Series of monthly webinars begins September 12.

Campuses will compile teams and participate in monthly webinars and group feedback sessions to assess their institution’s campus climate regarding its friendliness toward political learning and engagement activities. Teams will conduct an abbreviated self-assessment about what on-campus factors matter most that support engagement. Each month, campus teams will have activities that move them toward creating a plan they can begin implementing the Spring of 2018 and into the 2018-2019 school year. Free to participate.

Other Resources and Kudos!

Scholars Strategy Network

The Scholars Strategy Network seeks to improve public policy and strengthen democracy by organizing scholars working in America’s colleges and universities, and connecting scholars and their research to policymakers, citizens associations, and the media. The network has a Research Triangle Chapter, with scholars from Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, and NC State.

NCPIRG wins grant to support student voting at 7 NC campuses

Congrats to NCPIRG, recipient of one of seven recently awarded Students Learn Students Vote coalition grants. NCPIRG will work with seven campuses in North Carolina in 2017 to engage students in local elections, to create democratic engagement action plans, build campus wide coalitions, and help with implementation of engagement efforts. Campuses include: North Carolina Central University; Durham Technical CC; North Carolina A&T State University; Guilford Technical College; Shaw University; Wake Technical CC; & North Carolina State University.

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UNCW’s Lee and WCU’s Wall-Bassett named Engaged Faculty Scholars for 2017-18

NC Campus Compact is happy to announce the selection of our 2017-2018 Engaged Faculty Scholars: Dr. Jacquelyn Lee, an assistant professor of social work at UNC Wilmington, and Dr. Elizabeth Wall-Bassett, an associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Western Carolina University. Lee and Wall-Bassett are the third cohort of NC faculty members to fill the Engaged Scholars role.

As Engaged Faculty Scholars, Lee and Wall-Bassett will receive support from the Compact and from their respective institutions as they undertake a research or administrative project designed to deepen the scholarship of campus-community engagement at their school. They will also serve as consultants to another campus in the network that is seeking to expand academic service-learning.

Dr. Beth Wall-Bassett (Photo: WCU)

For her project at Western Carolina, Dr. Wall-Bassett will lead the planning and implementation of a “faculty community engagement development institute.” The institute will involve 10 faculty participants in a year-long program related to the practice of service-learning and community engagement (SLCE). Through the institute and a review/ revision of the SLCE course designation process, Wall-Bassett aims to increase the number of designated SLCE courses at WCU. She will also evaluate the institute to inform future training, and she will research faculty perceptions of SLCE in order to aid in the development of peer review tools for improved SL course design. In addition to involving WCU faculty, Wall-Bassett will open the program to interested UNC Asheville faculty.

In recommending Wall-Bassett for the program, Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences Douglas Keskula points to her “successful track record across her career in the area of service-learning.”

In her application, Wall-Bassett described how she has learned by making service-learning a feature of her teaching:

Since 2008, I have actively incorporated SLCE concepts in my interdisciplinary and Nutrition courses, [and] helped other faculty and students understand SLCE key concepts through successful application and scholarship with local and overseas partners… . I have learned the value of group dynamics, the importance of developing capacities to work together, the power of mutually beneficial partnerships, and the need to create innovative research and educational projects.

Dr. Jacquelyn Lee. (Photo: UNCW)

At UNC Wilmington, Dr. Lee will also focus her efforts on faculty learning through the development of a “civic engagement collaborative” — a community of faculty committed to positively influencing society through civic engagement, with a focus on pedagogy and scholarship. Dr. Lee expects the group will meet regularly for professional development, support and consultation, and collaboration on shared projects, including planning for a conference on applied learning that UNCW will host and undertaking an interdisciplinary, applied learning project focused on social justice next spring.

Dr. Stacey Kolomer, director of UNCW’s School of Social Work, recommended Lee for the Engaged Faculty Scholars program, noting that “her service has been very strong in the college, across UNCW, and in the larger community” and that she “always reflects on how projects can benefit community partners and students.”

In her application, Dr. Lee drew parallels between the practice of social work and the pedagogy of service-learning:

Just as social workers co-create spaces that facilitate the empowerment of individuals and communities through acknowledging strengths, increasing access to resources, removing barriers, advocacy, and respecting the dignity and worth of all people, educators and their allies can do the same to encourage the empowerment of students. In my view, the integration of civic and community engagement is curricular manifestation of empowerment-in-action, as these pedagogical practices champion the capacity of students and build the skills necessary for them to make meaningful contributions to the world.

Each Engaged Faculty Scholar will receive a stipend of $1500, travel reimbursement for consultation visits to the partner institution, and a professional development budget to their participation in a conference or professional meeting. Both UNCW and WCU agreed to provide a match of cash, course release, or other resources and recognition. The scholars also agree to present their projects at the network’s annual PACE Conference and other venues.

The Engaged Faculty Scholars program began in 2015-2016 with Dr. Annie Jonas of Warren Wilson College and Dr. Ashley Oliphant of Pfeiffer University. In 2016-2017, Dr. Maggie Commins of Queens University of Charlotte and Dr. Cara Kozma of High Point University were selected.

The Scholars application opens in March and closes mid-May. Learn more about the program and past recipients.

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