President Nido Qubein. Photo: High Point University
Last week before a group of fellow college and university presidents and chancellors, High Point University President Nido R. Qubein announced High Point University will make a challenge gift of $200,000 to support the work of North Carolina Campus Compact. The gift will go toward creating an endowment to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the network.
“Campus Compact is a catalyst for campus and community partnerships,” Qubein said. “HPU appreciates that through Campus Compact, universities can maximize their roles as anchor institutions in their cities and continuously enhance their communities. For years to come, this gift will allow campuses and communities in North Carolina to work together for the benefit of all.”
In announcing the gift, Dr. Qubein – who is the current chair of the Compact’s executive board – also spoke of his desire to honor the vision of Elon University President Leo M. Lambert, who founded the Compact in 2002. Dr. Lambert announced on February 13 his plan to step down as Elon’s president after 18 years of service.
“My thanks goes to Nido Qubein for his leadership of the Compact Board and for this generous challenge gift,” said President Lambert, “It was a great surprise and characteristic of President Qubein’s commitment to fostering civic engagement among North Carolina college and university students in communities across the Old North State.”
Members of the NC Campus Compact Executive Board (L-R): Chancellor David Belcher, Western Carolina; Leslie Garvin, NC Campus Compact; Chancellor Harold Martin, NC A&T State; President Leo Lambert, Elon; President Randy Parker, Guilford Tech; President Nido Qubein, High Point; President Andrew Seligsohn, Campus Compact (national); Dr. Smith Jackson, Elon. Photo: Andrew Krech.
North Carolina Campus Compact provides resources, recognition, and professional development to help faculty, staff, students, and administrators build the “engaged campus,” where student learning is connected to community life.
The Compact’s conferences and workshops serve almost 500 individuals each year; its online journal Partnershipsand monthly newsletter reach nearly 3,000 subscribers; and its grant programs – including an AmeriCorps VISTA program – support projects that mobilize campuses to the address community challenges. The Compact currently has 37 member schools, and its main office is hosted by Elon University.
“For 15 years we have helped build the capacity of NC colleges and universities to develop service-minded students who can positively impact the quality of life in their local communities,” says Compact Executive Director Leslie Garvin. “We are so grateful to HPU for this gift, and we’ll use it deepen and expand our reach in the future.”
The 2017 Presidents Forum included discussions with national experts like Jaime Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation and author of the recent book America Needs Talent, who shared ideas for how higher education in NC can create a 21st Century workforce. Read more about his remarks here.
Through MLK Day of Service grants and its AmeriCorps VISTA program, NC Campus Compact supported the efforts of several member campuses that sought to honor Dr. King’s legacy by fighting poverty and building the beloved community through service.
Three NC universities – NC Central University, Pfeiffer University, and UNC Greensboro – put federal grant funding to work in honor of MLK Day. Each school received up to $3000 in grant funding last fall as part of the MLK Day of Service Partnership Project, which is sponsored by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service and administered by Iowa Campus Compact.
At NC Central, hundreds of volunteers turned out on January 16 to volunteer on various projects. The celebration also honored NCCU’s late chancellor Dr. Debra Saunders-White, the first female chancellor of the school. The university partnered with the United Way of the Greater Triangle on the day of service and a series of service-related events, including the United Way’s Idea Generation Next: College Edition, a “pitch competition” where students shared ideas to address social issues in their local community.
At Pfeiffer University, a team of volunteers that included Pfeiffer President Colleen Perry Keith, NC Campus Compact Executive Director Leslie Garvin, and dozens of student volunteers put in a long day of work expanding the campus “hunger relief garden,” building new raised beds and unloading soil. Produce from the garden is donated to local hunger relief agencies in Stanly County.
Pfeiffer University students worked on MLK Day to expand the campus “hunger relief” garden.
Since UNC Greensboro’s spring classes began on Tuesday, January 17 and many students were off-campus on MLK Day, the school held its MLK service event on Saturday, January 21. At the event, 140 participants served a collective 360 hours and completed service projects for 11 community organizations, including the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market, the Servant Center, and Backpack Beginnings. AmeriCorps VISTA member Allison Heisel helped write the grant and plan and coordinate the projects, and she supervised service at Backpack Beginnings. Check out the event’s Storify page for great photos and videos of students talking about why they chose to serve.
Like Allison, other NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA members also supported MLK Day of Service events.
Hospitality House VISTA Ethan Flynn managed a team of 10 Appalachian State volunteers participating in the school’s annual MLK Day Challenge. Ethan’s team spent a collective 50 hours working at the Welcome Home Thiftique, cleaning, painting display pieces, organizing the inventory, and creating an attractive display in the front of the store.
At High Point University, the three-person VISTA team of Sami Paterno, Jenna Rosenbloom, and Brittaney McClure worked for weeks to plan and organize the school’s annual MLK Day of Service. The event brought together 550 volunteers to work on 35 service projects throughout the city, including local community gardens, West End Ministries, the Macedonia Family Resource Center, and partner groups in the Washington Street neighborhood. Highlights include raising more than $7,000 to carry out a meal-packing project with the local group Meals for Hope, and a visit from U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, who served alongside students. Read more about the event and view photos here, or check out the video below.
East Carolina University VISTA members Lizzie Shepard and Nicole Blyskal coordinated a day of service event that drew 250 student volunteers to serve with 15 organizations throughout Greenville, including the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, the Third Street Education Center, and Cultivate Greenville. Check out this story in the local newspaper that quotes Lizzie!
At William Peace University, VISTA member Christopher Baker organized service projects at several campus and community-based sites, including the North Raleigh Thrift Store, Oak City Outreach, and Stop Hunger Now! The event engaged 123 volunteers who contributed more than 550 hours of service, including 10,000 meals packaged with Stop Hunger Now! WPU students also took part in the United Way’s Idea Generation Next: College Edition pitch project.
Two students were recently named recipients of a Marshall Alternative Service Experience Scholarship: Yaqueline Yañez of William Peace University and DaQuane Cherry of Central Piedmont Community College.
Each student received a $250 award to help fund their participation in an upcoming alternative break service trip. Both Yañez and Cherry were recognized at the CSNAP Student Conference, held last month at UNC Asheville.
The alternative break scholarship is a gift of Aaron Marshall, who created the program in partnership with NC Campus Compact in 2015. Marshall is a graduate of Western Carolina University, where he took part in nine alternative break service trips. He was also a recipient of the Compact’s Community Impact Award and the 2014 Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award. Believing in the power of the alternative break experience as well as the associated leadership opportunities, Marshall created the scholarship to “pay it forward” so other college students could have similar experiences.
Marshall Scholarship recipients are selected from the pool of Community Impact Award winners. (Both Cherry and Yañez were Impact Award recipients for their respective schools this year.) Preference is given to students receiving federal financial aid or who are “military-affiliated.” The Compact will offer the program again in 2017, with plans to open the applicant pool to eligible CSNAP Conference participants.
Marshall is still involved in service as an active volunteer with the disaster relief organization Team Rubicon.
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Elon senior Jenny Fukunaga is the 2016 Barnhill Civic Trailblazer.
Even before her first day of class at Elon University, our 2016 John H. Barnhill Civic TrailblazerJenny Fukunaga made a special effort to explore the local community. She traveled to Elon to take part in a summer program that lets incoming students spend a week volunteering in nearby Burlington and Alamance County.
“I am from Los Angeles and I knew going to school all the way across the country would be a big jump for me,” she says. “I knew I would get to know campus through regular orientation activities, but this was an opportunity for me to get out into the community and get to see what happens in Alamance County.”
The experience gave her a different perspective from that of her peers. Jenny was already seeing the campus as part of a wider community, and she has continued to seek and share this insight through her service, leadership, and research.
Jenny’s week of summer service was also her introduction to Elon’s Kernodle Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement. Jenny has been stand-out leader for the Kernodle Center ever since, joining Elon’s service-focused living-learning community her first year, and later mentoring community residents as a service-learning leader. As a junior, Jenny served as the student director of the service-learning community, and she prioritized the infusion of reflection and social justice into resident conversations. Now a senior, Jenny is one of the Kernodle Center’s three executive directors, responsible for coordinating leadership development and training for all 150 student leaders within the Elon Volunteers! program.
“I constantly learn from Jenny,” says Evan Small, assistant director of the Kernodle Center. “I have worked with a wide variety of student leaders, but Jenny stands above others in her passion, commitment to justice, and engagement in local issues. … She truly embodies our mindset of ‘students as colleagues.’”
A human services major, Jenny has also made community engagement a focus of her undergraduate research. Working with Dr. Bud Warner, Jenny has conducted focus groups with Elon students, faculty, and staff, and interviewed local civic leaders to investigate each group’s knowledge and perceptions of the other. Initial findings suggest some negative stereotypes held on both sides but also a lack of awareness among students at what the local area has to offer. According to Dr. Warner, the ongoing study points to a need for increased engagement in ways that create authentic, personal interactions.
As a student leader, Jenny has pushed other students out of their “campus bubble” comfort zone, but she has also made a conscious effort to “walk the walk” herself, going to community events and spreading the word of these opportunities among her network.
“I think it’s important being a resident of Alamance County – even though it is temporary – I can be an active member of the community and be involved and invested.”
Jenny and John Barnhill met recently to chat about community engagement.
It is fitting that the 2016 Barnhill Trailblazer is so involved with Elon Volunteers!, a student group that was founded by John H. Barnhill, whom the Trailblazer Award honors. Barnhill created the group while a student at Elon University. He later became the founding executive director of NC Campus Compact.
Beyond graduation, Jenny is exploring various service-related options including AmeriCorps, and she plans to pursue graduate studies in non-profit management, where she can keep learning how to help others engage and invest in communities.
For her efforts to better understand the university’s community context – and for her dedicated leadership in helping other students make local connections – NC Campus Compact is happy to recognize Jennifer Y. Fukunaga as the 2016 John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer.
North Carolina Campus Compact has honored 25 students selected by their campuses to receive a 2016 Community Impact Award. Eighteen of the recipients were recognized at the CSNAP Student Conference held recently at UNC Asheville.
The annual CSNAP Student Conference brought more than 160 students, faculty, staff, and community advocates together for a day of reflection and learning. True to its name, the event touched on topics related to “Citizenship, Service, Networking, And Partnerships” in 14 morning workshop sessions and an afternoon “social change showcase” featuring eight organizations that mobilize college students to address community issues. This year’s conference was hosted by UNC Asheville, and 23 NC campuses were represented by participants.
UNCA Chancellor Mary Grant welcomes students to CSNAP. Photo: Amy Jessee.
UNC Asheville’s chancellor Mary Grant welcomed participants to the Saturday session, reaffirming her long-time commitment to the Campus Compact network and especially to the “public purposes of higher education.” Chancellor Grant – who serves on the NC Campus Compact board and is vice-chair of the board of national Campus Compact – also shared examples of how UNCA is making an impact in communities and she praised students for making a difference across the state.
NC Campus Compact executive director Leslie Garvin introduced the conference theme – “Believe There is Good in the World” – which contained a hidden message – “Be The Good.” She also led students to reflect on a short poem by modernist poet William Carlos Williams: “Election Day.”
Students led most of the morning workshops. Among the sessions which generated buzz: a workshop on “white fragility” presented by Warren Wilson College students; a session on motivating volunteers presented by an Elon University junior; and a session on college access for immigrant and refugee families presented by Guilford College students.
Students are honored for their community engagement work. Photo: Peter Lorenz
Before the afternoon session began, students even found time to perform the mannequin challenge! View the video.
Participants also responded to a call from Chancellor Grant to assist volunteer firefighters who were combating wildfires throughout the day in western NC. An impromptu collection netted $275, which went to purchase snacks that were delivered by UNCA staff to the fire fighters later that afternoon.
The afternoon sessions included presentations by the Rachel Carson Council, the Campus Kitchens Project, NCPIRG Education Fund, the Sustained Dialogue Institute, Design for Change USA, Movement of Youth, .
“I found this CSNAP conference was encouraging and a great refresher in motivating me to do more in my community,” said Trevor McKenzie, a first-time participant from Wingate University.
Erick Jenkins, a junior from East Carolina, said he most appreciated the chance to meet other like-minded student leaders: “It’s one of the best programs I’ve been a part of. CSNAP gives students a chance to meet other students that have the betterment of their institution in mind.”
On Friday evening, participants networked, shared a meal and enjoyed a performance by Asheville musician Jonathon Santos, who interspersed original songs with exercises designed to help audience members craft their own “personal poetic mission statements.”
CSNAP is the longest-running student service conference in North Carolina. 2016 marked the 24th iteration of the event, which was first organized in 1993 by North Carolina Campus Volunteers, an organization that preceded and later merged with North Carolina Campus Compact. The conference was re-named “CSNAP” in 2012. See a list of past conferences.
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In the wake of this week’s election, national Campus Compact has reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening democracy. Dr. Andrew Seligsohn, president of national Campus Compact, argues that we must “fortify the institutions in our society committed to openness, diversity, human dignity, and truth.” In a recent blog post, Dr. Seligsohn recalls the history of own family’s struggle for democracy and humane values, and concludes:
“All of us who work every day to ensure that higher education rises to the challenge of its public purposes now must gather our own strength in our own ways. Then we must get back to work with even greater focus, clarity, and energy.”
Finally, Nancy Thomas, director of Tufts University’s Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, along with her colleague Adam Gismondi, wrote a prescient piece just before the election urging campuses to be ready on November 9th to make the election a teachable moment. Thomas and Gismondi assert the election must not be the end of civic engagement and call for “a learning agenda, not just a voting agenda.”