How is the focus and practice of higher education community engagement changing as scholars and community members work to “more intentionally embody structures of inclusion, participation, and deliberation?” The new special issue of our online, peer-reviewed journal Partnerships explores this question.
In their introduction to the issue guest editors Brandon Kliewer (Kansas State University) and Judith Ramaley (Senior Scholar, AAC&U) write:
“Each of these articles provides a framework or case studies of how community engagement practice is challenging assumptions about who participates, how people participate, the purpose of participation, and why broader participation is deemed important… . Institutional structures that once consistently conferred status to those considered worthy of creating and receiving knowledge are being rethought. The transformation this collection represents does not merely illustrate a democratization of knowledge, but signals a shift in how the involvement of more diverse perspectives and patterns of involvement are effectively putting new knowledge to use in interesting ways.”
“Rust to Green: Praxis as University-Community Placemaking” by Paula Horrigan (Cornell University)
“Towards Productive Disagreement: Deliberative, Democratic Processes in Community Engagement and Service-Learning” by Kathryn Elizabeth Yankura Swacha (Purdue University)
“Collectivizing our Impact: Engagement Departments and Academic Change” by Kevin Kecskes (Portland State University)
“Governing Academic Civic Engagement: Lessons and Challenges from Four Engaged Campuses” by Jennifer Dugan (Randolph College)
Partnerships accepts manuscripts on a rolling basis. The journal seeks work that examines the processes and outcomes of partnerships that define service-learning and civic engagement projects and programs. Visit the Call for Manuscripts to learn more.
On November 6-7, more than 85 student leaders and staff from 22 colleges and universities in the North Carolina Campus Compact network traveled to UNC Pembroke for the 2015 CSNAP Student Conference. The event featured a special, day-long training in the practice of “sustained dialogue,” which opened students up to role language and listening can play in building relationships and, by extension, strong teams, partnerships, and organizations.
This local culture was a focus of a Friday evening gathering that saw participants enjoy foods like chicken bog and black-eyed peas and hear from a community storyteller and singer. Students also toured the campus and the CARE Resource Center, a project managed by the university’s Office of Community and Civic Engagement. The CARE Resource Center includes a food pantry and clothing closet open to students, staff, and community members. In conjunction with the CSNAP event, the pantry’s shelves had just been re-stocked thanks to a donation from the Food Lion Feeds program.
The Saturday event kicked off with a performance by two of the Southern Sun Singers who played and sang songs of gathering and celebration.
“We are so excited to be at UNCP,” said NC Campus Compact executive director Leslie Garvin in her opening remarks. “UNCP is a great example of what we mean by an ‘engaged campus.’ It uses its resources, especially the energy and expertise of students, faculty and staff, to work with and serve the broader community.”
The morning and afternoon sessions featured an introduction to the principles of sustained dialogue, a process for transforming conflictual relationships developed by U.S. diplomats who worked in Middle East peace negotiations in the 1970s. Today this process is used by student groups that are part of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network to address issues around race, identity and community change.
Sustained dialogue facilitators introduced students to different modes of communication and decision-making, contrasting debate and discussion- modes marked by win/lose dynamics – with dialogue – where participants seek to listen and understand in order to build relationships. In small groups and pairs, students completed a series of activities that let them explore concepts like personal and social identity, inclusive language, and strong questions.
UNC Greensboro student Joe Diodato reflected on his CSNAP experience in this blog post.
Meredith Casper, assistant director for training and leadership development at DukeEngage, was one of the staff members who attended the event. For her, CSNAP was a chance to learn about sustained dialogue and explore some of these broader issues.
Aaron Marshall created a scholarship so that one Community Impact honoree could take part in an alternative break service trip.
“Sustained dialogue has always had a great reputation on our campus but I had never seen their training in action, so I was curious about that. Also with some of the tensions that are rising all over higher ed, this seemed a really good training to be participating in right now.”
During the lunchtime awards ceremony, 21 students were recognized as Community Impact Award winners. Also honored were Queens University of Charlotte senior Kate Gatterdam, who was recognized as the 2015 John Barnhill Civic Trailblazer for creating pathways for student community engagement at her school, and UNC Pembroke senior Madison Wilcox, who received a $250 Marshall Alternative Service Experience Scholarship to support her participation in an alternative break trip.
For more information about the CSNAP Student Conference, visit the CSNAP main page.
North Carolina Campus Compact is pleased to recognize 21 outstanding student service leaders in our network. This year’s Community Impact Award winners join more than 200 students recognized since the the first class of Impact Award winners in 2006. These students are selected by their campus for the honor and are invited to attend and be recognized at the CSNAP Student Conference, held annually in early November.
The 2015 Community Impact Award winners are:
Appalachian State University: Kelsey Trevethan
Kelsey is a senior from Clayton majoring in Special Education. Read more.
Central Piedmont Community College: Wylena Jones
Wylena is a second-year nursing student from Charlotte. Read more.
Duke University: Sarah Du
Sarah is a senior from Sammamish, Washington majoring in Public Policy. Read more.
East Carolina University: Brettelyn Knell
Brettelyn is a senior from Perry, Maryland majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Read more.
Elon University: Noah Sakin
Noah is a senior from Baltimore, Maryland majoring in Human Services. Read more.
Fayetteville Sate University: Joel Cook
Joal is a senior from Fayetteville majoring in History and Intelligence Studies. Read more.
Guilford College: Ben Randazzo
Ben is a senior from Brooklyn, New York majoring in Justice Policy Studies. Read more.
High Point University: Christen Cothran
Christen is a senior from Rural Hall majoring in Elementary Education. Read more.
North Carolina Central University: Peyton Lambert
Peyton is a senior from Charlotte majoring in Psychology. Read more.
North Carolina State University: Brian Iezzi
Brian is a senior from Gastonia majoring in Textile Engineering. Read more. Read more.
Pfeiffer University: Jessica Greene
Jessica is a senior form Shelby majoring in Elementary Education.
Queens University of Charlotte: Sally Van Cleve
Sally is a junior Spanish major from Jacksonville, Florida. Read more.
UNC Asheville: Anja Mayr
Anja is a junior from Charlotte majoring in Psychology and Health and Wellness Promotion. Read more.
UNC Chapel Hill: José Cisneros
José is a junior History major from Snow Hill. Read more.
UNC Charlotte: Angelica “Rose” Brown
Rose is a junior from Kings Mountain majoring in Psychology and Business. Read more.
UNC Greensboro: Elisven “Levi” Saavedra
Levi is a junior Nutrition and Dietetics major from Mebane.
Queens University of Charlotte student Kate Gatterdam is the 2015 recipient of the John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award, presented annually to one student in the state who has created innovative service projects and whose leadership inspires others to serve.
When she graduates in May, Gatterdam will take with her dynamic leadership skills, a commitment to collaboration, and a passion for improving the health and lives of children. And she’ll leave behind a path of engagement for others to travel, a path that includes successful campus-wide service programs and an active student leadership team.
Elected as a sophomore to chair the school’s first campus-wide “Up til Dawn” fundraiser benefitting the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Gatterdam worked for over a year on the campaign. She directed a team of ten student leaders who engaged more than 150 Queens volunteers.
“I’m a biochemistry major,” Gatterdam explains, “and this cause connects to health, medicine, research and service – so it was really appealing to me.”
The Up til Dawn event ultimately raised $26,000 for childhood cancer research, making Queens the leading St. Jude fundraising school in the southeast. The event and the team were also recognized by the student body with Student Life awards for “best event” and “best student organization.” Since new student leaders took over this fall, the campaign has already raised $9,000 toward its 2016 goal.
“Through Kate’s leadership St. Jude Up til Dawn has become part of the Queens University life-blood,” says St. Jude representative Amy McKinney. “Throughout my career I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of students. While every person is special, Kate is certainly a stand-out.”
Gatterdam also helped expand the school’s annual “Sleep for a Cause” event which raises awareness of homelessness and collects food donations for local shelters. The 2014 event brought in 5,000 pounds of food, nearly doubling the prior year’s total.
A Dowd Presidential Scholar and member of the Student Alumni Council, Gatterdam got her start in service at Queens as a student-athlete, volunteering with her lacrosse teammates at nearby Sedgefield Elementary. The experience working in the media center of the Title I school led her to become more involved with the Center for Active Citizenship, a relatively new campus unit that supported the award-winning partnership.
Gatterdam later became a two-term chair of the Center’s student advisory board. She believes the group should act as “stewards of service on our campus,” so she doubled board membership and encouraged regular participation in the group’s Saturday service workdays.
The Bexley, Ohio native credits her mother – “a fourth-generation Rotarian” – with instilling an ethic of service. As a child she took part in Rotary service events throughout her hometown.
While her post-grad plans include a research year and, hopefully, graduate school in pharmacology, Gatterdam says she will keep her focus on helping others.
“I want to be involved with making medicine more affordable and accessible to those who can’t afford it.”
Created in 2011, the Barnhill Award is named for John H. Barnhill, who founded innovative service programs while a student at Elon University and who later became the founding executive director of North Carolina Campus Compact. Gatterdam is the sixth student to receive the award.
Gatterdam will be honored at the Compact’s annual CSNAP student conference, held this year on November 7 at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. The event will convene nearly 100 students and staff from more than 20 campuses in the network. In addition to awards and networking opportunities, the conference will include training on cultural competency, community engagement, and the “sustained dialogue” leadership process.
North Carolina Campus Compact, the state affiliate of the national Campus Compact organization, builds the capacity of colleges and universities to produce civically-engaged graduates and strengthen communities. Started in 2002 and hosted by Elon University, the statewide network includes 36 public, private, and community colleges and universities. Queens University of Charlotte has been part of the network since 2009.
Western Carolina University alumnus Aaron Marshall saysalternative breaks helped shape his undergraduate experience and his future plans. Now, the 2014 Barnhill Civic Trailblazer and former Community Impact Award winner is paying it forward by creating the Marshall Alternative Service Experience Scholarship.
“I was able to step out of my comfort zone and perform acts of direct service away from the typical university setting,” Marshall recalls. “For me, this was an extremely gratifying and transformative experience.”
Marshall attended his first alternative break as a freshman; by graduation, he had been on nine break trips as a participant or leader, and found his passion responding to disasters and working with military veterans through the organization Team Rubicon. Marshall also helped lay the groundwork for a staff position to manage the expanding break program at Western’s Center for Service-Learning.
Wake Tech students re-building in News Orleans on an alternative break in 2013.
The Marshall Alternative Service Experience (ASE) Scholarship supports the participation of one student in an alternative break program in which the student takes a leadership role. Funding (up to $250) must be used for a program in the current or upcoming academic year. Only Community Impact Award winners may apply, and preference is given to applicants who receive federal financial aid or are active duty military, reserves, veterans or their dependent.
North Carolina Campus Compact administers the scholarship and manages the application and selection process. The first recipient of the new scholarship will announced at the network’s 2015 CSNAP Student Conference, to be held November 7 at UNC Pembroke.
The Compact has supported the development of alternative break programs at member schools in the past, most recently with a 2013 institute on alternative breaks. Our AmeriCorps VISTA members have also supported alternative break programs, with a special emphasis on “staycation” breaks which focus on service in the local community. One of our favorite examples was organized last spring at East Carolina University by then-VISTA Hannah Paek. ECU students spent their nights in the Greenville Community Shelter and their days doing service throughout the city. A student called the experience “humbling, passionate, and empowering.”
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Retired U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal headlined a North Carolina Campus Compact Presidents Forum for the state’s top education leaders focused on the concept of creating a year-of-service experience for young adults.
Ret. U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal speaks at the 2015 NC Campus Compact Presidents Forum.
Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal asks three questions when he advocates for a “year of service” in which young people help their communities by joining programs such as Teach for America, AmeriCorps and the College Advising Corps: “Should we?” “Can we?” “Must we?”
If the answer to those three questions is “yes,” McChrystal says, then higher education, corporate and political leaders would be shortsighted if they allowed the logistics and cost of creating a national service corps stop them from doing so. McCrystal believes an expectation of national service among young people would make the United States a better place by linking young people of all backgrounds with a common experience “bigger than themselves.”
“Why am I so committed about this? I look around the world – I got the opportunity to go around the world, usually to places that aren’t doing very well – and I see what happens when societies fragment,” McChrystal said on Sept. 30 at Elon University. “In reality, they would all benefit from working together, and yet they don’t. They don’t know each other. They don’t connect. They don’t have common bonds.”
McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces in Afghanistan and the former commander of the nation’s premier military counterterrorism task force, Joint Special Operations Command, visited Elon’s campus as the plenary speaker for the 5th annual North Carolina Campus Compact Presidents Forum.
McChrystal currently serves as chair of the Franklin Project at the Aspen Institute. The project aspires to create a 21st century national service corps that acts as a counterpart to military service in the United States. Its goal is to foster 1 million civilian service opportunities that will provide every American between the ages of 18 and 28 the opportunity to complete a fully paid, full-time year of service in organizations.
To realize this vision, the Franklin Project engages Americans from the private sector, higher education, government, the military, the faith community, and philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to develop innovative policy ideas and to build momentum around advancing a new vision of civilian service.
“I’m going to ask you as thought leaders, which you are, as opinion leaders, as practical leaders of organizations, find a way to unite,” McChrystal said. “Right now this movement has all these people agreeing, but they’re not coming together and connecting.
“And avoid the temptation to take too incremental steps. The reality is if you take small enough steps, you never really get there.”
McChrystal’s address and his closing charge to college presidents and administrators bookended a day that also included panel discussions with insights and advice from alumni of service programs, and from corporate and philanthropic leaders who pointed to the very real benefits for their own organizations because of service opportunities for young people.
The forum’s theme of “Creating a Culture for #ServiceYear in North Carolina” sparked ideas and discussion on ways service can be incorporated into higher education. Concepts range from pre-college gap years, to mid-college time off, to a year of service after graduation. Leaders put forward ideas for engaging students, generating campus support for service opportunities and seeking the financial support to implement those endeavors.
“I think #ServiceYear is the best idea I’ve heard of in a decade,” Elon University President Leo M. Lambert said in his welcoming remarks. “It has huge promise for our nation as a whole and for a rising generation of young leaders. #ServiceYear can help us solve big problems and renew America’s can-do spirit.
“Every college represented in this room today is committed to high-impact learning practices, like study abroad, and we’re proud of the fact that our institutions are preparing the global citizens that the world needs. Aside form sending our students into venerable programs like the Peace Corps and Teach for America and Fulbright, and sending them to do great service all over the world, #ServiceYear reminds me constantly that there is a place for young people right here in our state, right here in our local communities, where they can make an untold, important difference.”
For example, Lambert said, Elon University is dedicating efforts to strengthening early childhood education in Alamance County through a new yearlong service program that will place four 2016 graduates into Title I schools to help with literacy tutoring. That follows a new fellowship program started last spring for recent Elon graduates to assist local agencies with public health projects.
From left: Elon University President Leo M. Lambert; Duke University President Richard Brodhead; Davidson College President Carol Quillen; College of William & Mary President Taylor Reveley; and North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson.
A presidential panel of Duke University’s Richard Brodhead, Davidson College’s Carol Quillen, the College of William and Mary’s Taylor Reveley and North Carolina State University’s Randy Woodson showcased successful service programs on the panelists’ four respective campuses.
“It’s good for a university to become known as a place that values this and sees it as integral to education, rather than a pastime,” Brodhead said. “We need to train people to think that their education is about equipping them to be the solver of problems.”
North Carolina philanthropic and business perspectives emerged in a panel discussion between LabCorp CEO Dave King; Kristy Teskey, executive director of the John M. Belk Endowment; Nancy Cable, president of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation; and Tom Brinkley, executive director of Elon’s Student Professional Development Center.
Taking part in a service year builds skills that businesses value, panelists agreed. Conflict resolution. Confidence in communication. Listening. TIme management. Adaptability.
“The service year appears to us to meet the test of good philanthropy,” Cable said. “It’s an alluring and vitally important idea to invest in.”
Wake Forest University President Nathan Hatch introduced McChrystal on Wednesday morning and described the four components of a “kind of puzzle” that must be arranged for success service initiatives to take hold: a passion from young people, a society with needs, organizations with the capacity to mentor those who serve, and financing to make everything possible.
“Transforming our communities and our graduates is a tall order,” Hatch said, “but I believe we can make important strides here today.”
McChrystal was quick to praise colleges and universities for the service opportunities they already offer. However, he said, that’s not going to be enough to shift American culture.
“A lot of colleges have service built in. … That’s good, but I don’t think it’s enough. A person has to have a 12-month experience, full time, and it needs to be paid,” McChrystal said. “I don’t want other programs to suffer, but in some cases, we talk about service and it’s not really inconvenient and it’s not very hard. We convince people it’s more service than it actually is.
“I’m trying to get into people’s minds and hearts. Citizenship must be a very big commitment.”
Leslie Garvin, executive director of NC Campus Compact, introduces panel of service year alums.
Leslie Garvin, executive director of North Carolina Campus Compact, introduced a panel of #ServiceYear alumni. The panel included moderator Drew Stelljes of the College of William and Mary, Tabitha Blackwell of Campbell University (AmeriCorps), Patti Baynes of North Carolina State University (College Advising Corps), Jarrod Lowery of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke (U.S. Marine Corps), and Sara Pasquinelli ’10 of Elon University (Teach for America).
Since 2002, North Carolina Campus Compact has supported college and university presidents and chancellors in their efforts to engage the civic mission of higher education. The national Campus Compact, whose president, Andrew Seligsohn, was also in attendance at the forum, includes 1,200 presidents and chancellors leading civic engagement initiatives on their campuses.
This mini-grant project is focused on service that alleviates hunger and/or supports veterans. All state and national Campus Compact member institutions are eligible to apply for mini-grants ranging from $500 to $2,000 to support MLK Day of Service projects.
North Carolina Campus Compact will administer the mini-grant process for state and national Campus Compact schools in the 10-state southern region, including: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Interested applicants can view RFP details and the application on the program’s website. Applications are due by 1 AM EST on Saturday, October 31, 2015 (midnight CST on Friday, October 30.) Applicants will be notified no later than Monday, November 15, 2015.
Iowa Campus Compact, the lead agency on the grant, will host two technical assistance webinars for interested applicants. Attendance is strongly encouraged. Both webinars will be recorded and made available on the program website shortly after. The webinar dates, times and registration links are:
11 AM EST (10 AM CST) on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 (Register)
11 AM EST (10 AM CST) on Wednesday, October 21, 2015 (Register)
The purpose of the MLK Day Community Partnership Project is to mobilize college students, community members, and community organizations to observe MLK Day not as “day off” but a “day on.” Colleges and universities will plan service projects to support community-based organizations working to mitigate food insecurity. These volunteers may collect donations for food banks, help establish community gardens, package meals for donation, and more. Mini-grantees may also support veterans by connecting them with community or campus services, or working with community organizations that serve veterans.
Southern region grants are available in three amounts, with each level corresponding to an expected number of volunteers. Applicants from the southern region should include the grant level for which you are applying in the Project Description section of the application, as well as on the project budget.
$500 = minimum of 50 volunteers
$1000 = minimum of 100 volunteers
$2000 = minimum of 150 volunteers
NC Campus Compact has years of experience managing MLK Day of Service mini-grant programs. From 2012-2014, our compact served as the Southern Cluster Region Lead — under Wisconsin Campus Compact — to provide $40,000 in CNCS funding to 36 campuses in 10 states. During these years, grantees mobilized more than 13,500 volunteers to complete 637 service projects.
Between 2008-2011, NC Campus Compact – working with other national partners – managed a $300,000 CNCS grant to support MLK Day of Service events. Through this grant, NC Campus Compact engaged over 56,000 volunteers from campuses representing 38 states plus the District of Columbia.
During these grant cycles, NC Campus Compact created two toolkits for campuses planning MLK Day service, including a toolkit for implementing the “MLK Challenge” approach developed in North Carolina by Appalachian State University.