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10th Anniversary



Engaged Faculty Scholars lead service-learning institute at DCCC

On April 21, NC Campus Compact’s Engaged Faculty Scholars led a service-learning institute for 14 faculty members of Davidson County Community College. As part of their fellowship, Dr. Maggie Commins (Queens University of Charlotte) and Dr. Cara Kozma (High Point University) have been working with Davidson County CC for months, consulting with administrators on strategies for supporting service-learning at the college.

The half-day curriculum was adapted from Engaged Faculty Institute Curriculum, originally authored by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and recently updated by California Campus Compact and Campus Compact of the Mountain West.

Drs. Commins and Kozma led a service-learning institute for DCCC faculty on April 21.

The half-day session focused on an introduction to service-learning theory and practice, cultural competence, and developing strategies for designing and implementing service-learning courses.


In addition to their work with DCCC, Commins and Kozma are undertaking projects to deepen or expand community engagement on their respective campuses. Commins is using her fellowship to support the integration of 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 to incorporate engagement. At High Point University, Kozma is researching how students’ socioeconomic backgrounds affect individual learning outcomes in service-learning courses.

The Compact is seeking applications from faculty members at network campuses who wish to serve as Engaged Faculty Scholars in 2017-2018. The application deadline is May 12.

Selected scholars receive a $1500 stipend, as well as access to professional development funds to support their participation in a community engagement conference.

Learn more and apply.

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New edition of online journal Partnerships now available

Partnerships Logo_P onlyThe Spring 2017 edition of Partnerships: A Journal of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (Volume 8, No. 1) is now available online.

This spring 2017 issue of Partnerships offers new perspectives and research on enduring matters for service-learning scholars and practitioners. The three articles tackle distinct areas of concern: co-curricular service to complement academic service-learning, international service-learning, and curriculum development. The books reviewed in this issue confront the “why” of our engaged work, even as we regularly strive to disseminate the best possible practices within engaged scholarship.

The open access, peer-reviewed journal is hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and edited by UNCG’s Dr. Spoma Jovanovic. The Spring 2017 edition is available online here.

List of Articles:

Creating Intentional Paths to Citizenship: An Analysis of Participation in Student Organizations (Julianne Gassman, Jennifer M. Beck, Jonathan Klein)

Developing Compassionate and Socially Responsible Global Citizens through Interdisciplinary, International Service-Learning (Sara Fry, Aileen Hale, Kelli Soll, Christopher Bower, Adiya Jaffari)

Bringing innovation theory to practice in a program model for collaborative knowledge building: The Curriculum Fellows Program (Laura Barbas-Rhoden, Beate Brunow, Sydnie Mick)

Book Reviews:

The political classroom: Evidence and ethics in democratic education (reviewed by Vincent Russell)

Public participation for 21st century democracy (reviewed by Jeanette Musselwhite)

Engaged research and practice: Higher education and the pursuit of the public good (reviewed by Kathleen E. Edwards)

Partnerships continues to accept manuscripts on a rolling basis. The journal seeks articles examining the processes and outcomes of partnerships in the context of service-learning and civic engagement. Visit the Call for Manuscripts to learn more.

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Eleven NC students named Newman Civic Fellows

The Newman Civic Fellows programs recognizes outstanding student leaders from across the Campus Compact network.

The Newman Civic Fellows programs recognizes outstanding student leaders from across the Campus Compact network.

National Campus Compact, a Boston-based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education, has announced the 273 students who will make up the organization’s 2017 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. The national group includes 11 students from North Carolina colleges and universities.

The Newman Civic Fellowship is a one-year fellowship for community-committed college students from Campus Compact member institutions. The fellowship honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders and a tireless advocate for civic engagement in higher education.

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows from North Carolina are:

East Carolina University – Erick Jenkins
Elon University – Amy Belfer
High Point University – Jasmyn Alexander
Meredith College – Kirby Jones
North Carolina Central University – Tyler Walker
North Carolina State University – Ashle Page
Pfeiffer University – Mandee Schaub
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke – Natural Breeden
UNC Charlotte – Erica Cherian
University of North Carolina Asheville – Shannon Bodeau
Western Carolina University – Joanna Woodson

In the spirit of Dr. Newman’s leadership, Campus Compact member presidents and chancellors are annually invited to nominate one community-committed student from their institution for the fellowship. These nominees are individuals who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country and abroad.

The 2017 Newman Civic Fellows will be the first cohort to benefit from a completely re-designed fellowship experience emphasizing personal, professional, and civic growth. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides a variety of learning and networking opportunities, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The fellowship also provides students with access to exclusive scholarship and post-graduate opportunities.

“The cultivation of community-committed leaders has never been more crucial,” said Campus Compact president Andrew Seligsohn. “We rebuilt the Newman Civic Fellowship experience because our country needs more people who know how to bring communities together for positive change. We are thrilled to welcome this group of 273 exemplary students as the first cohort to participate in this new model.”

The Newman Civic Fellowship is supported by the KPMG Foundation and Newman’s Own Foundation.

Congrats to all of the amazing Newman Civic Fellows from our North Carolina network!

Learn about the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows from North Carolina.


About Campus Compact:
Campus Compact is a nonprofit coalition of more than 1000 colleges and universities— representing some 6 million students—committed to the public purposes of higher education. As the only national association dedicated to this mission, Campus Compact is a leader in building community engagement into campus and academic life.  For more information, visit or follow @Campus_Compact on Twitter.

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The present – and future – of alternative breaks

March is spring break time — a perfect time to invite our network to this year’s Civic Engagement Administrator Conference: “The Future of Alternative Breaks.” Held June 6-7 at Elon University, this year’s CEAC (we pronounce it “See-ack”) will offer keynote and breakout sessions that push the boundaries of the alternative service trip model. The call for workshop proposals is open now through April 21. Topics of interest include:

  • Pre-trip orientation/preparation and post-trip re-entry/transition
  • Building sustainable/reciprocal community partnerships
  • Student leadership models and training
  • Reflection tools & tips
  • Co-curricular and academic/credit-based models
  • Assessment
  • Research and Theory
  • Equity and Inclusion

Workshop contacts will be notified in early May. Conference registration is $75/pp ($100/pp if from a non-member campus). Registration is open now through May 19. Though CEAC is typically geared for faculty and staff, student leaders of alternative break programs are also welcome this year.

CEAC participants enjoy learning from each other and hearing about exciting programs taking place in our state and beyond. Here are some alternative service trips highlighted recently in our network:

Students take on service, learning during vacation – ECU students, led by AmeriCorps VISTA members, live and serve at local homeless shelter over break.

APPLES leads alumna to an alternative route – alternative breaks program provides UNC Chapel Hill grad with unique experiences that lead to career in science education.

ECU Students lend helping hand with alternative spring break – students travel to Carteret County to help NC Coastal Federation with oyster habitat restoration.

Duke University Students Spend Spring Break in Fresno Installing Solar Panels – Duke students work with a local agency that installs solar panels for low-income homeowners.


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Engaged Faculty Scholars program supports research, collaboration

The Engaged Faculty Scholars program supports two NC faculty members for one year as they work to deepen the practice of community engagement at their own campus and support the development of community-engaged teaching at another school in the network.  We are currently accepting applications from faculty ready to take on this role in the 2017-18 academic year.

Our current Engaged Faculty Scholars — Dr. Maggie Commins of Queens University and Dr. Cara Kozma of High Point University — are more than half-way through their term. Both are carrying out individual research and working together to support faculty service-learning practice at Davidson County Community College.

But the work of these scholars doesn’t end when their term of service concludes. Our inaugural team of faculty scholars – Dr. Annie Jonas of Warren Wilson College and Dr. Ashley Oliphant of Pfeiffer University – recently shared updates that illustrate how projects begun during their year as Engaged Scholars continue to shape engagement on their campus.

Dr. Jonas offered this update:

My project for the Engaged Scholars year focused on exploring how civic identity could be launched through an intentional focus on it in the First Year Seminar. In summer 2016, I trained First Year instructors on the concept of civic identity and the developmental aspects of civic identity development. I worked with instructors during the course to evaluate how this was happening throughout the semester and to explore how to better nurture and develop the knowledge, skills, values and collective action that comprise civic identity. During the fall semester, I also collected data about how First Year students were responding to this intentional emphasis and collected data about faculty perspectives on teaching through this lens. I received a semester sabbatical this spring to analyze that data and write about the results. I am excited to share some of this knowledge at the Gulf South Summit and am working on a journal article to share results and possible implications. This research will impact my work with First Year students and instructors in future semesters. Over the past year, my focus on the developmental aspects of civic identity has expanded to impact the college more broadly. Civic identity is now included as a core outcome within our college’s new general education program and forms the basis for development of the college’s Civic Action Plan.

Dr. Jonas (center) joined Warren Wilson College students participating in a national day of service on MLK day. (Photos by Chris Polydoroff)

Dr. Jonas (center) joined Warren Wilson College students participating in a national day of service on MLK day. (Photos by Chris Polydoroff)

Dr. Oliphant shared this report:

My Engaged Faculty Scholar experience yielded the FUSE (First-year Undergraduate Service Experience) program. In its pilot year, the FUSE program has engaged every freshman student in group service twice. In Fall 2016, the Pfeiffer Journey first-year seminar professors participated with their students in service opportunities organized through the Francis Center for Servant Leadership. Activities in September included harvesting food in the university’s Hunger Relief Garden, preparing and serving that food at The Community Table, and serving in a Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief workday in eastern NC. In January, Pfeiffer used its Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service grant from NC/CC to facilitate seven days of service, with activities including moving the Hunger Relief Garden across campus and more than doubling its size. Following the service activities in both semesters, students worked with their first-year writing professors to compose graded written reflections of the experiences for their portfolios. As the program moves beyond the pilot and into its first full year beginning in 2017, Francis Center administrators plan to focus the issue area for FUSE service on hunger relief. The activities in the pilot year made it possible to expand the garden space so that it would have the capacity to host larger groups. Additionally, officials with campus dining services have agreed to use some of the food grown in the campus garden to prepare dining hall meals. As well, dining services has been donating excess food from the cafeteria to the Francis Center’s food recovery program. This recovered food and the produce from the university’s garden are now being used to serve low-income residents at local soup kitchens. Now that all of these programs are working simultaneously, first-year students have the opportunity to work in a variety of ways to help Pfeiffer fight local hunger.


Benefits of the program to selected Scholars include:

  • Financial stipend of $1500
  • Up to $500 travel reimbursement for visiting the partner institution (the mileage reimbursement rate is .555 per mile)
  • Up to $500 for professional development (e.g. conference or training attendance support)
  • At least one free civic engagement publication

Colleges and universities are also encouraged to provide a match of cash, course release, and/or other resources and recognition.

Applications to be a 2017-18 Engaged Faculty Scholar are due on May 12.
Learn more and apply.

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AmeriCorps Week honors those who serve

This week we are celebrating AmeriCorps Week and honoring the one million individuals who’ve served as AmeriCorps members since the program’s founding in 1994. We are especially grateful for our 14 current AmeriCorps VISTA members and more than 200 alumni of our program, who have made lasting contributions to the field of campus-community engagement in North Carolina – from supporting a Campus Kitchen project or campus food pantry, to coordinating an MLK Day of Service event, to breaking ground on a community garden, to brokering a new service-learning class. Our VISTAs have also strengthened non-profit organizations like Feast Down East, Community Empowerment Fund, and the Partnership for Appalachian Girls Education (PAGE) that first began as student or faculty projects. Our VISTA project has even helped seed new VISTA projects, at Virginia Tech and now at Wake Forest University.

Along the way, our VISTAs have embodied commitment to the greater good, inspiring thousands of college students with their focus on poverty, social justice, and improving communities. And our alums have gone on to work in higher education, non-profits, or the private sector with a deeper understanding of challenges facing the most vulnerable and a greater sense of their personal efficacy to make change.

Like military service members, all VISTA member take an oath of service to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” VISTA members also commit to the ideals expressed in the AmeriCorps pledge:

I will get things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.


To learn more about the work and life of an AmeriCorps VISTA, check out this selection of blog posts written by past VISTA members:

George Barrett, VISTA, Marian Cheek Jackson Center (2014-15): Little did I know this house would become my home – ” If I have learned anything in my few months, it is that COMMUNITY is a dynamic and complex web that cannot not be packaged in a neat and calculated elevator speech. … Every day is different. Every day is active. Every day is community.”

Natasha Vos, VISTA, Wake Forest University (2014-16): Foodie? – “Fresh and healthy food should not be a luxury afforded to those living in the right part of the city with the most money. If you care where the ingredients in your food come from and how they were prepared, then you should also care about where they end up.”

Devin Corrigan, VISTA, UNC Greensboro (2013-14): Looking Back while Moving Forward: Reflections from an “organized” VISTA — “Bad days will happen. Things go wrong. Buses cancel two days before the big event. You drop the ball on a project. It’s important to build your safety net before you are falling.”

Shifra Sered, VISTA, East Carolina University (2013-14): Let’s Talk Taboo: My experiences with race and poverty as a NC Campus Compact VISTA – “I believe that AmeriCorps does important and necessary work that, on an individual level, can make all the difference in someone’s life. I believe it should continue to provide volunteers to strengthen non-profits and engage with communities. However, I also believe that the work of AmeriCorps is not done in a vacuum and must take into consideration the ways structural inequalities work in our communities, in our organizations and within AmeriCorps itself.”


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