Elon University Home

Elon Periclean Scholars

Insights on the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone from a long time Periclean Scholars partner

Insights on the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone from a long time Periclean Scholars partner Dr. Lucy Steinitz

 Sierra Leone Up Close and Personal. December12, 2014

Dr. Lucy Steinitz in 2003.

Dr. Lucy Steinitz in 2003.

Dr. Lucy Steinitz, co-founder of Catholic AIDS Action in Namibia in 1998, was the first partner with which the Class of 2006 connected back in  2003.  She was a the main point of contact between our Pericleans, students, faculty and administration at the University and Namibia and the Polytechnic of Namibia, the US Embassy in Windhoek, and many HIV/AIDS activists and experts that made the Future Leaders Summit on HIV/AIDS in January 2006 such a success (including coverage by CNN-International).

For five years she and I co-taught a summer session online course “The Global Impact of HIV/AIDS” and she remains a wonderful asset to and friend of the program.  I am honored to call her a friend and colleague.
The linked diary are Lucy’s reflections from her recent visit to Sierra Leone on a fact-finding mission with Catholic Relief Services.
Her pictures and word shed critical light on many of the questions around the Ebola crisis.
To open the file, simply click.

USA Diary 004 – Sierra Leone Up Close and Personal. December12, 2014

Posted in Class of 2006: Namibia, Director -Tom Arcaro, Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

A Wonderful Closing to Fall 2014

This was an exciting last day of class both in terms of planning and reflection!! First, we are still waiting to hear back from Karen on behalf of Hope for Honduran Children regarding our decision to partner in a capacity that does not include taking on the Transition Home in Casa Noble. After thoughtful discussion we have decided it is not our most feasible option and instead are still brainstorming our contributions to the partnership, in addition to ongoing Pen Pal correspondence and being English language friends. English language friends is a sustainable idea since we are already fundraising for English classes for the boys, we might as well also enable them to practice and allow us to see how they are progressing as we work together. We filmed a Christmas/Holiday video to send back to the boys of Casa Noble, which we recorded in Spanish and are in talks about trying to find a way to send our pen pal letters at more frequent intervals.

Transition Home Happy Holidays!

Also, this week we heard a report back from the group who had a Skype call with Maggie about our future work with Summit in Honduras. Maggie was very positive and encourages more email correspondence between our organizations. In terms of a partnership, Maggie was enthusiastic that instead of beginning new, large-scale projects it would be better for us to focus on smaller, existing projects to make them more sustainable, perhaps an art project or something along those lines. We are excited to increase communications in the near future and cement a project soon early next semester.
Our third partner is LUPE and after our dinner meeting at Mex/Am we have already begun brainstorming how to work between our groups as well as encourage community outreach efforts through involvement of other members in the Elon and Alamance community. First, Olga, a member of LUPE, has a 15 year old daughter named Jacqueline that is very adamant about needing tutors for various classes, including math, biology, and chemistry. Jenna is working with the Education and Teaching departments on campus to hopefully being an ASL class where students can volunteer to tutor beyond middle school, and now into high schools of need. After break we plan to continue working on this educational betterment initiative and are excited after the very positive feedback we received from members of LUPE.
In terms of the CSR Summit for next year, rather than the Fall we feel it will be most feasible if instead it takes place Spring 2016, so we can first focus on implementing and planning with our partners and by the time the Summit comes to fruition the entire class will be back together. Also, we will return to class in the spring with SMART goals drafted over Winter Break and will determine candidates for the 3 Pan-Periclean committees.
Lastly, we were lucky enough to hear about Savannah and Caroline’s abroad experience in Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. They shed some light on the very interesting political and cultural climate in those Central American regions with eye-opening first-hand accounts and provocative questions about the gaps in our US education system, in terms of education about our government’s past involvement in warfare and mass atrocity. They compelled us to understand the differences in relationship between citizens and their authority, the mixed feelings of indigenous peoples with a colorful history and pattern of violence and variety of framing various issues have received throughout history. Looking into the Sandino-era reign in Nicaragua and the CAFTA agreements would really aid in a well-informed discussion about Central America and US relations. Thank you everyone for your hard work this semester and have an incredibly restful Winter Vacation!!

Posted in Class of 2016: Honduras | Leave a comment

Periclean Scholars Class of 2015 Resume

Periclean Scholars Class of 2015

Elon, North Carolina ● periclean2015.wordpress.com

Mission Statement 

We, the Periclean Scholars Class of 2015 at Elon University, strive to empower individuals and communities, in both North Carolina and Haiti, by providing opportunity and hope through the exchange of knowledge and resources. We will develop mutually beneficial partnerships, locally and internationally, in the hopes of promoting social justice and human dignity, focusing on the Haitian restavek community. While remaining conscious of cultural differences, we aim to raise awareness about modern day child slavery and human trafficking. In doing so, we aspire to encourage healthy and autonomous lifestyles for those affected by these issues.

 

Partners

Restavek Freedom Foundation (RFF), Burlington, NC

  • Collaborate to establish a $100,000 endowment to support educational opportunities for girls in the Transitional Home.
  • Hosted Executive Director Joan Conn, Board VP Christine Buchholz, Transitional Home Director Adeline Bien-Aime, Child Advocate Roslyn Phillips, and Exhibit Coordinator Natalie Hagan at Elon

 

Alamance for Freedom, Burlington, NC

  • Establish an semester-long internship opportunity for Elon students
  • Attend quarterly Coalition meetings

 

Events

Stand Up for Freedom: Human Trafficking and Restavek Education Week     October 2014

  • Facilitated documentary screening of Not My Life and discussion with Elon students
  • Hosted local representatives for panel on human trafficking
  • Alexis Keyworth, North Carolina Coalition Against Human Trafficking
  • Jeremy Coleman, Burlington Police Department
  • Rachel Parker, Anti-Human Trafficking Specialist from World Relief High Point
  • Liz Leon, Program Director of Alamance for Freedom
  • Meredith Edwards, Assistant District Attorney of Alamance County
  • Produced a benefit concert with performances by a capella groups, Gospel Choir, & independent student artists
  • Hosted a presentation by Adeline Bien-Aime, Director of RFF’s transitional home in Haiti
  • Showcased student research focused on human trafficking and modern slavery
  • Collaborated with RFF to display “A Day in the Life of a Restavek” exhibit

 

Walk for Freedom                                                                                             November 2013

  • Presented stories of trafficked children both in Haiti and the US to educate Elon students about the importance of the issue

 

Lecture given by representative from the Gray Haven Project                      November 2013

  • Sponsored and supported representative from a human trafficking organization in Richmond, VA to educate Elon students about the issue domestically

 

Resurrection Dance Theater                                                                       November 2013

  • Sponsored performance of a Haitian dance organization made up of children who have come out of domestic servitude in Haiti in order to raise awareness on campus

 

Celebrating Periclean Scholars                                                                       October 2013

  • Organized speakers and food for a Pan-Periclean event

 

Periclean Scholars Class of 2015

Elon, North Carolina ● periclean2015.wordpress.com

 

Periclean Induction for Class of 2016                                                               April 2013

  • Organized induction event with speakers and food
  • Served as mentors for the Class of 2016

 

Speakers Hosted        

  • Representatives from the Restavek Freedom Foundation
  • Liz Leon: Alamance County for Freedom
  • Representative from the Elon University Office for Advancement
  • Elizabeth Conrad: Previous Peace Corps worker stationed in Haiti
  • Jaimie Metellus: Elon student from Haiti
  • Courtney Latta: Periclean alumna who has worked extensively in Haiti

 

Education      

  • Attended events through the Haiti Lab at Duke University
  • Traveled to Mount Olive, NC: a Haitian community in western North Carolina
  • Gave extensive presentations based on research on Haitian history/culture and current issues
  • Read and discussed Haiti: After the Earthquake (Paul Farmer, 2011) and Little Princes (Connor Grennan, 2011)

 

Fundraising

  • Organized off-campus benefit concert to raise approximately $300 dollars for the endowment
  • Made, sold, and delivered grilled cheese in Monthly Munchies fundraiser events
  • Collaborated with the Sport and Event Management department to organize an off-campus casino night as a fundraiser
  • Raised over $250 to support a Haitian college student who serves as a translator in Haiti
  • Sold Periclean discount cards
  • Connected Elon students to fundraising efforts of girls in Restavek Freedom Foundation

 

Publications               

  • Maintain Periclean 2015 blog that regularly reports our progress
  • Regularly contribute to the Periclean newsletter

 

Future Plans

                                 In the coming semester, the class hopes to:

  • Continue to extensively fundraise for the endowment for the Restavek Freedom Foundation Transitional Home
  • Publish white papers and news articles about the issues of human trafficking and restavek
  • Write and submit grant proposals for funding the endowment
  • Host speakers, show films, and/or organize campus-wide events to further educate students about human trafficking and restavek
  • Write a newsletter for our supporters about our most recent work
  • Update and add to the Class website
  • Work with a Haitian organization to create graduation stoles for the Class
Posted in Class of 2015: Haiti, Class Résumés | Leave a comment

Wrapping Up the Semester: Class of 2017

The Class of 2017 has wrapped the semester with lots of reflection and team bonding. On our second-to-last day of class, we were blessed with beautiful weather and our lovely mentor, Carol, brought in a parachute. We spent the remainder of class outside and used this opportunity to de-stress and have some fun while playing games to get to know each other a little better. Our last day of class consisted of a version of speed dating, where we had short conversations with many of our classmates to find out some fun facts and explore things we had in common. Seeing as we started off the semester by going to the Challenge Course and initially getting to know one another, it seemed only fitting to end the semester with group bonding. A large portion of our semester was dedicated to learning how to work with each other and exploring how we can be effective as a team during our next two years together. These last few days of class made us realize how much we have grown as a group and how much more comfortable we feel around one another, which is crucial for effective teamwork.

For our final exam, we were given two reflection papers to write. The first was a series of questions, in which we had to think critically about what we have learned from Periclean this semester and how the experience has impacted us. For the second paper, we were asked to respond to three questions pertaining to our experience so far as Periclean Scholars: What? So what? Now what? We were then asked to provide an overall reflection of the semester. During our final exam period on Friday, December 5th, we discussed our answers to these questions and talked about what we hope to accomplish next semester. This in-depth reflection was a wonderful note to end the semester on. The Class of 2017 has had such a wonderful experience our first semester as Periclean Scholars, and we are excited to see what we will accomplish in the semesters to come!

Posted in Class of 2017-Namibia | Leave a comment

A Week of Reflection for the 2017s

 

This has been a week filled with questions, answers, confusion, and steps forward. Coming to the end of the semester is a great point of reflection for our class as we look at how far we’ve come and how much work and potential we still have in our future. On Monday, the class took some time to look back on the semester. We did this through constructing personal and class resumes. Additionally, we created personal and class mission statements and goals. By writing this individually and then coming together and pooling our ideas, we plan to brainstorm and make a cohesive and descriptive sum total of our progression. From guest speakers, planning, organizing, bonding, researching, discussing, imagining, and creating, we dove right in this semester. We also spent sometime this week reflecting on potential organizations that match important causes in Namibia. As a class, child-headed households and sustainable agriculture are issues that were mentioned multiple times. As we discuss more potential organizations and causes, we are coming closer to a clearer vision of what our project will become.

We are finding that understanding one another is a large part of working together as an effective and successful team. As part of our homework for the next week, our class is assigned to get lunch, coffee or just hang out with someone we get to know better. Hopefully with a better understanding of where people are coming from we will be able to identify strengths and move forward gracefully. I think it’s safe to say that we all look forward to a time when we can easily identify our own skills as well as one another’s. We understand that this level of understanding comes with time; afterall, Picasso did not paint the Mona Lisa in one day!

On Wednesday we had the special privilege of engaging and discussing with Steve Mencarini. A visitor from Elon’s LEAD center, we discussed what it means to be a leader and the different types of leading. By stating hypotheticals and discussing how we felt about them, our class learned a lot. Most importantly, we learned how different everyone’s definition of leadership is. That points us to questions like: How does this affect our class? What is my definition of leadership? What kind of leader do I want to be? Mr. Mencarini did an excellent job of pushing our minds in the right direction as we start to grapple with leadership and what it means to us in the context of the Periclean classroom. At the end of the session he looked at Carol and said: “I think I broke them into a million pieces”. Carol responded and said “No, I think they are thinking and their wheels are still turning”. This interaction is almost representative of our stage in our Periclean experience. Our wheels are turning and turning and we’re so ready for the next semester to get the wagon moving!

Cayley Gosnell & Samantha Lubliner

Posted in Class of 2017-Namibia | Leave a comment

Celebrate Periclean

Once a year, Pericleans and mentors of all classes come together in an event aptly named Celebrate Periclean. It’s a wonderful opportunity for each cohort to share victories, discoveries, advice, and challenges they’ve faced in the past year. The 17’s playfully described the trials and tribulations of the first semester as Pericleans, while the rest of the audience laughed along and empathized with each frustration. The 16’s shared their recent endeavors into appropriately vetting partners and proudly relayed the successes of their recently hosted Periclean in Residence program. Finally, the 15’s, now a seasoned cohort of bright and hardworking students, sympathized with all the road blocks the other classes had faced while still managing to inspire. In their final year, they have come together and recently hosted an amazing week dedicated to raising awareness for their cause in Haiti, human trafficking, known there as Restavek. While the three classes represent three very different stages of the Periclean experience, many of the speeches rang true with similar themes of hard work, frustration, passion, humility, and curiosity.

No one better knew these experiences than Samantha White, our keynote speaker for the evening. A 2006 alumna of both Elon and the Periclean Scholars program, she truly embodies what it means to be a Periclean in the years following graduation as she went on to work for the Global Health Corps and implement amazing projects in Malawi. Now, she works for the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation in Seattle,  and it was an incredible honor to listen to her charming and personable advice. She shared perhaps her most salient anecdote when she urged us to “find our pig.” This all made sense when she explained that this came from a story about a woman who had a yard full of pigs that she loved and defended no matter the criticism she received from the community. In other words, Samantha reminded us that we need to cling to our passions. It may not always make sense, and there may be others who don’t agree with us, but so long as we pursue that passion, we can do amazing things.

Sam and her pig

Sam and her pig

As a Periclean herself, she must have known how much we needed to hear that message. It can feel at times that every opportunity eventually turns into a dead end, or that our efforts to create a project often stagnate. However, we must remind ourselves that we joined this program due to our passion for service and global citizenship. The 15’s inspired us to know that no matter how tough the middle years may be, we will emerge with an amazing contribution and a mind filled with new, invaluable knowledge. Soon enough, the 17’s will be up on that stage themselves relating their successes to a new and nervous cohort of 19’s.

From all those involved in the Periclean Scholars program, I want to relate a huge thank you to anyone who had a hand in making this a beautiful and successful evening that truly did celebrate Periclean.

Posted in Partners-All Classes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Class of 2017: Week in Review

 

The sophomore class is registered and excited to start a second semester! It is hard to believe that we are already a semester into the program! To start of this week, a panel of students from the class of 2016 came to speak to us about their experiences so that we can learn from them. They reflected a lot on the process that they chose to pick their project as well as what they thought they did was really effective in bringing them to the place that they are today.

We also came to the conclusion that we need to start recruiting for the next class of Pericleans.  In addition, we decided to start planning the Induction Ceremony early on. Thanks to the resources from the class of 2016, we should have a template as to how it should be run. We also discussed expanding the mentorship program as the broader we make the mentorship program, the more effective it will be.

After reflecting on a proposal that was made last week, we decided to divide up into different committees to do more specialized work to help ease the decision making and research process. On day two we were able to split up into committees.

We broke apart into groups and discussed potential topic ideas and began to search for potential partners in Namibia and North Carolina. Though we are nowhere near making a decision on a topic, we were able to bounce ideas off of one another and do research about potential partners in Namibia and North Carolina.

Posted in Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

Great story about ’15’s ‘Stand Up for Freedom Week’ in Pendulum

Great story about Stand Up for Freedom Week in Pendulum

From the Pendulum story about the ’15’s benefit concert at West End:

thumb“West End Terrace was transformed into a scene out of “Pitch Perfect” during Stand up for Freedom Week, hosted by the Periclean Scholars Class of 2015. The concert featured Elon University’s a cappella groups, gospel choir and Limelight Music Group artists. Proceeds went to the Restavek Freedom Foundation, whose mission is to end Haiti’s widespread practice of child slavery.”

 

Here is Georgia Lee, ’15, pitching the concert at College Coffee:

Posted in Class of 2015: Haiti, Director -Tom Arcaro, Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

This Week: Class of 2017

This week was a combination of classmate presentations and listening to a guest speaker. Overall it was a pretty good example of the various things that we are trying to combine, a basic understanding of the different components of Namibia both contemporarily and historically, as well as forming a solid group dynamic with which we can be both effective and efficient.

On Monday two committees presented: Public Health, and Agriculture, Environment, and Geography. The Public Health group’s presentation started with the hot topic of ebola and the preventative methods that the government and health officials are taking. Moving throughout the presentation topics discussed included prevalent diseases, malnutrition, sanitation, access to clean water, maternal and infant mortality, HIV/Aids, mental health, and challenges with access to care to infrastructure. The Agriculture, Environment, and Geography group also presented on a wide variety of issues in Namibia. The presentation started with geography, giving the class an idea of the various deserts, regions, and national parks. Next came a brief description of the climate with which came a discussion on the rain and dry seasons and the impact that drought can have on farming and community health. Part of the obstacle that is rainfall led the group to explain the effects of climate change on agricultural yields. The Agriculture, Environment, and Geography ended with the important topic of wildlife conservation.

By gaining a basic understanding of public health, agriculture, environment, and geography our class will be able to begin generating focus or project ideas in a more informed way. With those two presentations came the conclusion of our presentations of various aspects of Namibia. We look forward to possibly forming new committees to move forward with.

Today, our steering committee started class off with a presentation on what they think our next steps should be. They brought up the idea of having seven different committees, which are as follows: committees on committees, fundraising/grants, alumni relations, media/communications, steering, events, and executive. The executive committee would be a group of the “leaders” of each of the other six committees with our mentor as the head of the executive committee. The steering committee had also talked to one of the 2016s that responded with some positive feedback with what has worked for them. He suggested a vibe watcher (making sure no one gets too heated), a facilitator, an agenda setter, and a secretary.   To conclude their presentation, they gave us a handout and we decided as a class that we would use this committee system as base and further discuss the changes needed in the system.

On Monday, at the very end of class, Carol had us take a personality test from the MyPlan website. Rhonda Kosusko came in today to help us understand our results. She explained what each letter meant and gave us countless handouts about each type of personality. She then divided us into groups of four or five, and had us discuss what we thought was important for people to bring to a group. From the activity, we were able to learn the people value different things, and we all need to be respectful to that. At the end of the class period, Carol had us divide into two groups; one group was the extroverts, and one was the introverts, and then continued to divide with the last three categories. We soon learned that everyone is different, and we can use these differences to our advantage. All in all, the week was successful because we learned more about Namibia, and we learned more about each other.

Elan Schappler and Madi Kennard

Posted in Class of 2017-Namibia | Leave a comment

This week: Class of 2016

This week in class we reached the overwhelming feeling that we are more than half way through the semester, and still have so much we want to do. We spent a lot of our time talking about LUPE, what our potential role can be on Saturdays when we go to help out during the Spanish classes, and what our role could be on a larger scale. We are really excited about the prospect of making an impact with a domestic partner, and are continuing to learn more about the organization. We are hoping to have a dinner with the LUPE board, where we will have the opportunity to talk to the board members and to listen to hear more about their goals and hopes for the organization. April went to the board meeting last week, and reported back to us during class with some of what she had heard. It sounds like the organization really wants to grow, as they are seeking funds to create a youth center, purchase a bus or van that would help with transportation to and from classes, and are looking to fund more events. Additionally, they are hoping to learn more about getting IDs for undocumented immigrants, which is supposed to be put in place in Alamance County in January. For now, our goals are to really get to know the members, so some of the class is hoping to attend their “Day of the Dead celebration this Saturday at City Park.

We are currently waiting to hear back from Hope for Honduran Children and Summit in Honduras with the results of our Partnership Review Questionnaire. We are anxiously awaiting their answers, so that we can begin to take steps towards determining what our role can be in working with both organizations. Until we get these back, we are focusing on some other tasks, as our progress with them is dependent on receiving the questionnaire back.

We spent a lot of the class talking about some of our goals for the end of the semester, and hearing about Arianna’s planning for a Summit at Elon next fall. She has come up with some really great ideas about different events that can be held, with an overall goal of bringing an event to Elon’s campus that is more universally appealing, bridging the Business school power/interest with that of humanities and human rights advocacy and sustainability. She is hoping that we can bring in some representatives from companies and businesses that can speak about their experiences working in a sustainable company. By the end of the semester, we hope to have researched companies and come up with a list of potential representatives. Additionally, we really hope to solidify what our goals will be in working with our domestic and Honduran partners. We are making strides in both of these areas, and are hopeful that we will end the semester with an idea of what our project should be.

We look forward to seeing everyone at Celebrate Periclean!

Posted in Class of 2016: Honduras | Leave a comment