Note from the director
Welcome to this first edition of The Periclean Scholars e-newsletter. Our plan is to send these out quarterly in November, February, May and August, serving as way way to inform our entire Periclean community about current Class activities and also about the Periclean Foundation and alumni updates. Please let us know what you think about this first edition and what we can do to better serve your needs.
A huge thanks to Chase Blackburn, ’18 and Megan Griffin, ’16 for putting this edition together and for doing the interviews with alumni Amber Camp King, ’06 and Todd Ruffner, ’08. Also a big thanks to Morgan Spoon, Pericles Project Assistant for her critical support.
I have many important and exciting updates:
Travel to countries of focus
A first for the program: all three current Classes are in the planning stages of traveling to their respective countries of focus.
- ‘18’s Under the leadership of Mentor Dr. Steve Braye and accompanied by associate director and Class of 2019 Mentor Dr. Mat Gendle, the ‘18’s are planning a May/June trip to Zambia. I will join this group for a few days at the end of their travel in Ndola and help with some assessment of the impact of the Class of 2009 who visited Zambia with Dr. Braye their senior year.
- ‘17’s Mentor Dr. Carol Smith and I will travel to Namibia this June and the Class is working on a grant proposal that could
fund some of the Pericleans to join us as we move forward plans for the ‘17’s working trip to Namibia in January of 2017. We hope to meet with partners old and new and to lay the groundwork for sustaining our work there.
- ‘16’s Three members of the Class of 2016 will travel to Honduras for a short visit this coming January and will work to further deepen our partnerships there and to vet the partner they will support beyond graduation. The rest of the Class will remain on campus and work on plans for the People-Planet-Profit conference to be held on campus this spring. The ‘16’s will all be taking COR 445, a course for senior Pericleans that satisfies their upper level COR requirement. Mentor Professor April Post is currently working with the Class to flesh out the details of the syllabus.
Pan-Periclean initiatives, current projects and tentative plans
The Steering Committee and the Mentors meet on alternate weeks, and both groups have been working on to deepen the program in many ways.
- The original editors of our Periclean handbook Mapping Our Success, Sam Lubliner, Kelsey Davis and Erin Luther, are working on a more comprehensive second edition of the book. This new edition will be passed out at our April Induction Ceremony to all of the members of the new Class. Peter Levine of Tufts University, a national expert in the field of engaged learning, has agreed to write a foreword for our book.
- As mentioned above, the Class of 2016 will lead the way this Winter Term in piloting COR 445 “Global Partnerships Through Service.” This course was approved by the University Curriculum Committee last year and marks an important step in further deepening the academic component of our program. This 4 semester hour class is designed so that Pericleans can take the course either on campus or in their country of focus.
- Mat Gendle, ’19, and Professor April Post, ’16 have done important work toward standardizing our syllabi. They have taken care to leave significant room for each Class to create their own pathways while at the same time structuring in consistent academic benchmarks.
- The Mentors agreed in meetings before the semester started that each Periclean year would have an overarching theme, with Sophomore year dedicated to writing letters related to their country of focus to political, social, and organizational leaders, Junior year is focused on grant writing, and Senior year on research and professional presentation. All Classes, of course, can do any of these themes, but there will be an effort to task each Class with emphasizing their year’s theme.
- In light of the above note on theme years I am thrilled to announce that we have partnered yet again with the Redwoods Group Foundation (RGF) and have two members of the Class of 2017 doing a paid internship with RGF vetting proposals. The plan is to have 1-2 members of the Junior Class take advantage of these internships every year.
- This year we have begun to weave the internationally recognized Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS)into Periclean syllabi, and the Steering Committee and Mentors are working to revisit our Periclean Pledge and add significant depth to our Pledge items in a way that mimics the CHS.
- This fall our program will initiate an Periclean Scholars Advisory Board. Associate director Dr. Mat Gendle has outlined the structure and function of the body and a more formal announcement will be made later this fall. One main function of this body will be to review proposals from current Classes requesting access to pan-Periclean funds.
- Perhaps the most important update is that the Mentors and I are making plans to present to the University Curriculum Committee a proposal to make Periclean Scholars into a minor. The name of the minor is yet to be decided but it likely will be something along the lines of “Global development and partnerships.” 18 credit hours would come from Periclean Scholars classes and there will be a menu of related courses from which to choose (e.g., SOC 370 ”Being and Becoming a Global Citizen”) to bring the minor up to from 22-24 hours. Details are being discussed currently.
As you can see from the above, our program continues to evolve and deepen, and this is due to the efforts of a hard working Steering Committee, great work-study students, and Mentors who show an extraordinarily high level of dedication.
I have more updates and thoughts to add but I’ll close for now. Look for additional news items on our blog, in shorter emails, or in the next newsletter.
All the best for a great Thanksgiving Break!