Elon Periclean Scholars

16’s Class Notes 05/05/16

Week 12: 05/05/15

Submitted by: Dawson Nicholson (mnicholson3@elon.edu)

Absent: Anna, Erin R, Isabel, Juliana

  1. Announcements:


  • Review writing assignments in groups.
    Offer constructive feedback on the forms. Save these drafts and turn them in with your final draft due next week.

  • Updates from committees:


  1. LUPE: Grant they are working on this summer. ESL class materials are prepared. Have a class at the beginning of next semester about teaching English classes. Casey here over the summer and will help do classes. Kerianne and Christian might also be available for the summer. Will try to meet with LUPE before the end of the semester.
  2. H4HC: Waiting to hear from Bill Burress about the student coming to study abroad.
  3. Summit in Honduras: Skype every other week. Needs help with marketing. Doing assessment of current online status.
  4. Summit: going to start contacting businesses. Summer plans to work on a website. Add businesses to website.



  • Parking Lot
  • Should we move class next Tuesday so that people can participate in the rally at 4:30? → Yes going to the rally
  • Dinner for Finals: Savannah and Caroline Thursday May 14th 6pm, big nice room in Global

  • Announcements and discussion:


    1. Need someone to write the class resume from fall 2014 and spring 2015. Could be considered a writing project. Megan Griffin will work on with Christian.
    2. Plans for the final exam period on Thursday, 5/14, from 6-9. Supper from where? Who will organize? Oral reflection time. Will be held in Global room 20X beside our normal room.
    3. Update on Stoles
    4. Update on Admissions Scholarship meeting
    5. Next version of Mapping Our Success → cookies to gogo write up (Lexie has it YAY!)
    6. Need someone to go to steering committee 4-5 for Dawson: Ashley will go
    7. Lexie needs to know if we have an updated logo to put on our shirts (flags from 2016-2019’s)
    8. Suggestion for Summit: Kevin Trepani instead of Tesla. Or Dan Baum from the Redwoods Foundation.
    9. Please go ahead and order the t-shirts. But FIRST send the design to Tom Arcaro for approval.
      1. ALSO idea!-Get some additional t-shirts to use for fundraising or gifts. Jenna
    10. Get a “Mapping Our Success” book
    11. Class next week/Racial reconciliation rally (Abby)
    12. Matt Gendle is the new associate director
    13. ESL-Whiteboards- Erin L
    14. Need volunteers for ESL class
    15. Need a volunteer to go to meet Dr. Manring on Friday at 10 am



  • Assignments for week 15, 5/12/15 (FINAL CLASS) (Please let April know if you think we need to have other assignments added.)


    1. Due date for individual writing assignment that you chose. Bring all previous drafts and final version and clip together.Start wrapping up your projects for this semester. Have a plan for when you will get them all finished. Writing, reading, talking to people, etc.
    2. Start working on your final written reflection. Prompt is posted to Moodle and is due after finals electronically.
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Regarding Nepal and Balitmore

A Note from the Director:

First, Nepal.

In response to the humanitarian crisis in Nepal, *yes* we should all care and *yes* we should all act in a mindful and compassionate manner in reaction to this crisis.

If you have the impulse to donate money please do so only after you are certain that the organization to which you divert your funds is ready to receive and make effective use of these funds. My personal ‘go-to’ is MSF -Doctors Without Borders- but there are other very effective organizations.

Just as we all need to practice caveat emptor (buyer beware) we need to be equally vigilant in practicing caveat donator (giver beware).

That said, I am reminded of how Paul Farmer described the 2010 earthquake in Haiti as “acute on chronic.” Kathmandu is not Port-au-Prince, but there are many parallels. I argue that as Pericleans, chronic poverty and marginalization of the poor should be our constant, baseline focus. Our giving -best done in the context of partnerships- should be thoughtful, intelligent, well researched and proactive rather than emotional, media driven and reactive.


Just this (so far) about Baltimore

“Until the lion learns to speak tales of hunting will always favor the hunter.” (Ewe-mina/African proverb).  

My reaction to the recent events in Baltimore is much the same as with Ferguson and Staten Island.  I am saddened that the gap between what is and what ought to be regarding race relations in the United States is so wide and appears not to be narrowing.  As a sociologist I have a sense of the myriad underlying complexities, and I know that the media can do no justice to these, offering only one dimensional views that tend to reinforce rather than tear down stereotypes.  

As Pericleans we have a responsibility to lead informed discussions and help raise the level of discourse in our classes and indeed al over campus and beyond.  




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Class of ’17, April 28 Update

We are ecstatic at the progress our class has made in this past year.  Yes, we may have had a period where things were not getting done, but we are back and better than ever!  This past class, we had Dr. Moore speak to about Ecology Action and all things biointensive.   He has been farming and working with Ecology Action for a long time and is also the Vice President of the Ecology Action Board.  He was able to give us reasons on why biointensive is good: designed to develop organic matter, for diet based on water efficiency, for better water infiltration using deep soil preparation (x4 water stored in ground), for multicropping.

The fact that Namibia gets about 25+ inches of rain annually was brought up, but we have options.  We can educate, and find people to take on the project in Namibia.  There are many roles that go into the project, so even if some of us can’t be trained as an educator there will still be things to do.

After, we took a tentative vote, and it was vastly shown throughout our class that this would be our focus in Namibia. What do we do now as a class? We will work to make the end of this semester a fun but productive discussion on how we go about the next two years and beyond!!!

Peace, Love, Periclean

Maria & Devon

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Class of 2016, April 21st Update

We have been working hard with our partners H4HC, Summit in Honduras, and LUPE. A few students in our class have developed a curriculum to use for the LUPE classes to provide some structure and flow between weeks.

The Summit committee had another great skype session with Maggie about future projects and the (possible) trip to Honduras next winter term. Both Karen and Maggie are in agreement that it would be an enriching experience for our class to visit Honduras to see the work we are doing in person.

In addition, we’ve also been discussing the stole design and creation with Karen and the boys in H4HC. We hope to pay the boys to make and embroider them and get them before graduation next year.

We also wanted to congratulate the Class of 2018 on their acceptance and induction into the Periclean Scholars program! We are all looking forward to the great things your class will accomplish in the next three years.

Peace and love,

Jen Adams

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Class of ’17 update April 21

Congratulations again to the new class of Periclean Scholars that was inducted last Thursday! Our class is really excited to meet everyone and see what they accomplish in the next few years. This week, we continued our conversation about potential partnerships as we heard from Dr. Moore about Biointensive, a sustainable method of farming. Because this method functions on a small budget and needs minimal land, it will work well in Namibia. It involves deep soil preparation, composting, intensive planting, companion planting and has a high calorie yield. As a class, we are leaning towards sustainable farming (using the Biointensive method) as a project. Dr. Moore is a great resource, and we will really benefit from his wisdom in this area. At this point, we need to continue focusing on research and finding a partner in Namibia.

We concluded class by setting goals for next week, which include meeting with our accountability partners and our mentees. Several members of our class are also attending a presentation by Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank President and Co-founder in honor of Earth Day. This coincides with our project idea due to her focus on sustainability!

Peace Love Periclean

Shay & Courtney

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Periclean Scholars induct Class of 2018

Periclean Scholars induct Class of 2018

With a focus on Zambia, 32 freshmen will spend the next three years taking classes that culminate in a project of social change as part of a program aimed at developing in students a deep sense of global citizenship.

Professor Tom Arcaro addresses the Periclean Scholars Class of 2018 at an induction ceremony on April 16, 2015.

Elon University’s Periclean Scholars celebrated their newest members on April 16 when faculty leaders inducted students from the Class of 2018 into the program’s ranks.

Thirty-two freshmen representing a variety of majors were welcomed by Professor Steve Braye, a faculty member in the Department of English who will mentor the cohort as they focus their studies on the African nation of Zambia.

The Periclean Scholars program at Elon University is committed to raising the level of civic engagement and social responsibility of the entire university community and to developing students with a deep sense of global citizenship and commitment to the common good. Students who become part of the Periclean Scholars program take a series of courses culminating in a class project of global social change.

The ceremony included charges from representatives of each of the three standing classes of Periclean Scholars, comments

Dan Baum, executive director of the Redwoods Group Foundation addresses the Class of 2018

Dan Baum, executive director of the Redwoods Group Foundation addresses the Class of 2018

from founding director Professor Tom Arcaro, and inspiring words from special guest speaker Dan Baum, executive director of the Redwoods Group Foundation.

At the ceremony, Elon junior Morgan Abate from the Class of 2016 was announced as the Periclean of the Year. Abate, currently on a semester abroad in Ecuador, Skyped into the proceedings.

Among the members of the Class of 2018 is Chace Blackburn, sister to Taylor Blackburn, a member of the Periclean Scholars Class of 2011.

“In my memory this is the first time we have had a legacy inducted into the program,” Arcaro said.

Among the majors represented in the new cohort are biology, cinema and television arts, public health, business, strategic communications, human service studies, international studies, finance, exercise science, marketing, environmental studies, psychology and policy studies.

Inductees included the following students:

  • Andrew Adair
  • Mary Alice Allnutt
  • Matthew Balzano
  • Chace Blackburn
  • Lindsey Clemmer
  • Elizabeth Conley
  • Elliot Eisen
  • Sydney Epstein

    Flags  Zambia

    The flag of Zambia

  • Jamie Fleishman
  • Daniela Hernandez
  • Margaret “Meg” Hinote
  • Jordan Hunter
  • Mercedes Kent
  • Bethany Lake
  • Hanna Macaulay
  • Courtney McKelvey
  • Jenna Merchant
  • Katherine Milbradt
  • Sandra “Kate” Pearce
  • Samantha Perry
  • Kayla Pieri
  • Adrian “Ian” Pomeroy
  • Elizabeth Reeve
  • Tate Replogle
  • Madison Sirabella
  • Micaela Soucy
  • Sydney Spaulding
  • Rebecca Suprenant
  • Isabella “Max” Warburg
  • William Wetter
  • Abigail Williams
  • Madeline Yih
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Class of 2018, welcome to the Periclean family!

Today we had the honor of inducting the 13th class into Periclean Scholars. The class of 2018 will be focusing on Zambia for the next three years and they are lucky to have Dr. Steve Braye as their mentor. Dr. Braye also headed the class of 2009 and they too focused on Zambia. To start off the induction ceremony, Dr. Arcaro talked about Periclean Scholars and how meaningful the program is. One thing he told the class of 2018 that really stuck out was “what you do in these next three years is up to you.” Dr. Arcaro is completely right about this, it is exciting to know that we have a new class with new possibilities and we are sure that they will do incredible things. After Dr. Arcaro, Dan Baum, the executive director of the Redwoods Group Foundation, came up to speak. Mr. Baum went with the class of 2009 to Zambia to help implement their project and it caused such an impact that he became certified and started to lead habitat humanity trips to Zambia. Mr. Baum made a very important point that was good for the new class to hear right off the bat. He said “be prepared to work with people instead of working for them.” It is important to go into a community and find out what they actually need and then work along side them instead of going in and completing a service project as an outside group. We then had speakers from each current class come up and discuss what they have been doing. Each person spoke eloquently and had good words of advice for the new class. Following the class updates the Periclean of the Year Award was presented to Morgan Abate. Because Morgan is abroad everyone attending the ceremony got to skype her and watch the award be presented virtually. Finally, Dr. Braye said a few words and the class of 2018 was inducted. The best part of the night was when each member of the class of 2018 popped a balloon to find out who their mentor was.

Congratulations to the class of 2018! We cannot wait to see what you accomplish in your next 3 years together.

Peace, love, Periclean.

Haley and Dani

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Class April 14, 2015

This week, the majority of our class was spent presenting our findings on the organizations we are currently considering partnering with for our project in Namibia. Each group discussed the potential merits and disadvantages of each organization, as well as presented more background and financial information on the organizations. The presentations gave us a clearer sense of what we would and could do in Namibia. While we are still not exactly sure of what we want to do, or with whom, we are certainly getting a better sense of what we are interested in, and getting a taste of what it is like to vet organizations! We are also expecting a visit from Dr. Moore next class to talk about Grow Biointensive, one of the organizations we are looking at, which will continue to aid us in our decision making.

Towards the end of class we talked about the upcoming induction ceremony for the new class of Pericleans (class of ‘18), which our events committee has done a fabulous job putting together. We could not be more excited to welcome the new class, and are looking forward to the ceremony on Thursday!

Peace, Love, Periclean,

Anna and Kelsey

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Class 10

The past few weeks we have broken up into committees for the majority of our class. We have found that this is an efficient way to get work done for each initiative we have committed to. We are excited about the work we are doing with Summit in Honduras, Hope for Honduran Children and LUPE. We are also developing our plans for the business summit that will be held next spring. We are in the process of getting this event approved by Elon.

Members of our class had the pleasure of attending a LUPE board meeting this past week. This was very beneficial in further determining what LUPE is and how we can help them! We have decided to research grants in order to find funding for one of their specific needs. We would like to collaborate with LUPE in writing the grant in order for this to be a sustainable process. It would be advantageous for their organization to have grant writing skills that can regularly support their organization.


The Summit in Honduras committee was able to Skype with Maggie! They had a great conversation with her about potential ways we can help her organization. We are trying to focus on plans that we can achieve here, rather than projects that would require us to be in Honduras. We got very exciting news that one of the Hope for Honduran boys will be working with Summit. We are all very excited that our partners have formed a relationship that benefits individuals in Honduras!

Cookies to Go Go was a successful event again this year! We raised over $300.00! These funds will go toward providing children in Honduras with school supplies through Hope for Honduran Children.


We are all very excited to meet the new class of Pericleans at the Induction Ceremony on Thursday!

induction ceremony

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“Don’t raise money for the future – do something for the now”

“Don’t raise money for the future – do something for the now”

[Note:  This post is part of an ongoing discussion about what it means to be a humanitarian activist.  See here for another post by Morgan and here, here and here for posts by the director of the Periclean Scholars, Tom Arcaro.]

By Morgan Abate, ’16 (from Ecuador)

How do you feel, Elon? You’re posting photos of ElonTHON, of you standing and dancing for hours for those who cannot – namely those who are being treated at Duke University Children’s Hospital. I commend the organization for raising more than $180,000 – which translates to about $160 fundraised per dancer.

In my three years at Elon, I have never participated in ElonTHON. When I heard about it in the fall of 2012, I told myself I couldn’t do it because it was nothing like the real THON with which I grew up. Where I grew up, outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State University’s THON was part of the culture of the entire state.

When it came to choosing a college senior year of high school, you thought about attending Penn State mostly for THON. Students spend a whole year fundraising. They spend 46 hours on their feet. The money they raise goes to the families of the Four Diamonds Fund who cannot afford their children’s medical care.

Several weeks before Penn State’s THON, on Feb 2, 2013 at around 9 am, I got a call from my dad. In the two minute conversation we had, my life changed. My brother had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia the day before, and had been admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that morning.

Social media blew up. Everyone in my area knows my family (with four kids at different schools with different friends, everyone knew or had heard of my family), and the hashtag #prayersforMason was trending for a day in Philly. Next thing I knew, I had friends at Penn State texting me during THON, telling me they were dancing for my brother, dressed in orange.

That spring semester was the ultimate challenge for me. I couldn’t go home. My family’s life revolved around a hospital. My sister spent so many school nights at CHOP that she’d fall asleep in class. My brother was confined to a bed, Skyping into class and dealing with chemotherapy.

Now, part of the money that ElonTHON – any Dance Marathon for that matter – raises goes to research. Supposedly that research is looking for a cure to cancer or to at least improve treatments. Well, my mother is a pharmacist. Back in the early 1980s, she had an internship mixing chemo drugs. When my mom looked at the components of my brother’s chemo, she just laughed. The chemotherapy he was getting through an IV contained the same drugs that my mom had mixed three decades ago.

So that money goes to research, right? Meanwhile, Duke University researchers, who write grants to get money for their research, recently announced a potential breakthrough in the treatment of brain cancer.

It may sound harsh, but I’m not sure I agree with the idea that dancing and fundraising money will eventually lead to a cure. Scientists in labs and hospitals around the world receiving aid from governments will lead to the cure.

When the money goes to families who need to pay their bills, though, that’s a different story. It’s part of why I support Penn State’s THON so much. Their money goes to the here and now. On top of that, I know what it is to receive a little extra money when life is chaotic. All of the driving from Philly and back adds up in gas money. And to Johns Hopkins and back. Even the hotel we’d stay in Baltimore at had rates for Hopkins families. That makes a difference. Then there’s all of the food my brother and sister had to buy because my mom and other brother were at the hospital and my dad was out of town.

But there’s something better than fundraising and donating money.

Donate time. Donate blood. Donate bone marrow.

I saved my brother’s life because I sucked up my fear of needles. At the same time, there was no way I wouldn’t have done it. All the money in the world wouldn’t have helped him at the exact moment he needed it. But my bone marrow did. And he’s been in remission for almost two years now.

People need solutions now. Yes, the money might go to helping the masses in the future, but what about those now? Would you donate money if you heard a loved one was dying? Or would you take every test possible to see if you could donate something of yourself?

My sister has pushed past donating money, past this “slacktivism” if you want my view of it. Instead, she donates blood once a month and platelets every two weeks. She switched her career path from veterinary medicine to nursing. She volunteers at Children’s Hospital in Philly as a Bedside Buddy, a role in which she plays with and distracts kids to give the parents a much-deserved break. I remember music therapists coming to my brother’s room and me begging him to do it. Things like that are what make a difference in the now.

So go sign up for the blood drive at Elon. Volunteer at Duke Hospital. Write cards to the kids. Arrange a “Be the Match” event and register yourself. See if your dog can be a therapy dog. If you’ve done these things – great! But don’t just dance and raise money. There are kids suffering now who need a miracle, and you can give it to them.

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