Elon University Home

Elon Periclean Scholars

A lot of snow and strategy

After missing a class session due to inclement weather, we’re back on track. The first order of business was discussing our new website! Designed by Kelsey Lane, it features information about the general Periclean program as well as information on our class mission. It’s a great start to what will most likely become the center of the Periclean Class of 2017’s online presence. Dr. Thomas Arcaro came by our class to talk about several items, the first of which being a website for the Periclean Foundation as a whole that is being developed as well, which will allow us to stay connected to the program long after we graduate. He discussed the direness of the drought in Namibia; the already incredibly dry nation’s vital grain crop (Mahangu) is struggling with the lack of rain, leaving many desperate for food. Dr. Arcaro also updated us on the class of 2018 and reminded us of the Lumen Prize.

Networking became the focus as we discussed where to go next. We are looking for as much information as possible from people that live in Namibia and have experience with the issues that the nation faces. It is important that we act in an effective and meaningful way, and we can only do this with the aid of our Namibian counterparts. Official methods of communication were established as well as a committee for contacting and establishing relationships with partners.

We have some cultural events coming up for some class-wide bonding scheduled by the social committee. We are also working hard to spread the word about the application process for the class of 2018, with a new pamphlet design and t-shirts on the way. Besides that, we’re continuing to work and get more information for our possible project. Despite the snow we are still going strong!

-Susan Reynolds and David May

Posted in Class of 2017-Namibia | Leave a comment


We are currently working toward completing various initiatives that will hopefully benefit our class, our partners, and the country of Honduras. We have split up into three different committees to discuss our various initiatives. We are supporting LUPE (check out their Facebook https://es-la.facebook.com/lupenc) by attending Spanish classes led by Suyapa. We hope to create lesson plans to help local women learn basic English. We are also hoping to spread the word about Fairness Alamance, which is a really great initiative (to learn more: https://fairnessalamancenc.wordpress.com/about/). We are excited to further support and continue to work with our partners!!

Posted in Class of 2016: Honduras, Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

ESL Classes: New opportunities with LUPE

Our partnership with LUPE (Latinos Unidos Promoviendo Esperanza) is evolving in exciting ways.  Last semester, the 2016’s forged connections with this organization, which seeks to sustain human dignity, community growth, and equity in Alamance County, with a focus on Latino families.  Our primary role with LUPE took shape through our assistance with Spanish classes provided for Latino children each Saturday morning.  Continuing with the theme of promoting self-determination through bilingualism, one of our classmates, Casey, saw an additional window of opportunity in our relationship with the mothers who bring their children to class each week: teaching ESL classes.  Many of the Latina mothers of LUPE are eager to develop their basic English skills, and, in order to continue with our goals of knowledge-building, community development, and empowerment, the 2016’s have decided to take on this new role.  Each Saturday morning we will be holding an English workshop with the mothers, teaching them about sentence structure, common phrases, and basic vocabulary.  This will not only be a great opportunity for us to make stronger connections with the Latino Community of Alamance County, but also a way for us to engage in a mutual learning community where we can be both teachers and students in our relationship with the women.  Besides, it is a great way for our Spanish speakers to work on their language skills!

On Saturday, Abby and I had the pleasure of teaching one of the first ESL classes, which went very well.  As the speaking level of the women ranges from basic to low-intermediate, we choose to focus on the topics that are most desired by the women, collectively.  For many, the fear that the outside community may be taking advantage of the language barrier is the greatest motivation to learn English.  For this reason, some possible ideas for topics include language in the supermarket, sentence structure, and money vocabulary, so that they can assert themselves if they have been shortchanged by a cashier.  We look forward to our continued partnership with LUPE and the future of the ESL classes.  All 2016’s–regardless of their Spanish level–will have the ability to participate, and we hope to use funds to purchase teaching/learning materials, dictionaries, etc. to make these classes as beneficial to the women as possible. Chao and have a wonderful week, Pericleans!


Posted in Class of 2016: Honduras, Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

Update on Class of ’08 partner Schools for Chiapas

Schools for Chiapas and the Class of 2008

The Class of 2008 choose Mexico as their country of focus (note:  that was back at the beginning of the program when Classes choose both their country of interest and the issue(s) upon which to focus) and began their search for partners.  Since many of the ’08’s were eduction majors the name “Schools for Chiapas” seemed a good fit as they searched the Internet and so they contacted the founder, Peter Brown.  This initial, tentative contact back in 2006 led to what is now one of the longest and productive partnerships in Periclean Scholars history.  By invitation from Schools for Chiapas a small Elon/Periclean Scholar film team traveled to Chiapas (southern Mexican state; one of the poorest regions of the country) in the winter of 2006 and then a Class travel experience was taken in December/January of 2007-08.  This travel included eight members of the Class of 2008, Dr. Bird Stasz from Elon’s School ofIMG_1595 Education and Dr. Tom Arcaro, director.

Initial plans for work to rehabilitate a derelict school in the town of San Andres (near San Cristobal de las Casas) fell through because of political tensions, so the Class adapted and agreed to paint a new school in the small village of Suytic, not far from San Andres.  After much discussion it was decided by the local Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) Junta that the school should be painted and that a mural would be done on the main outside walls of the school.  Peter Brown was very familiar with the work of muralist Gustavo Chavez Pavon and Pavon had previously worked with the EZLN (otherwise referred to as the  Zapatistas), but this was the first time Schools for Chiapas and Pavon had collaborated on a project.
IMG_1630Using video footage from both the first and second travel to Chiapas, Tesla Mellage, ’08, worked with her Class on a documentary called Painting Without Permission that focuses on the Periclean experience of working with Schools for Chiapas, the EZLN and the people of Suytic.  Not inconsequentially, Suytic is the birthplace of one of the most respected leaders of the EZLN, Comandante Ramona (d. 2006), a woman small in stature but a giant in terms of vision and leadership.  This documentary, after being thoroughly vetted by the EZLN, was mass produced and has been distributed throughout the United States and in Mexico and is still featured and available on the Schools for Chiapas web site.

The Periclean Foundation (formerly know as the Periclean Scholars Alumni Association, PSAA) has continuously supported Schools for Chiapas since 2008, making yearly donations to support their work in Chiapas.

Screenshot 2015-02-25 10.19.45

Click on image to enlarge.

The present
On May 2, 2014,  José Luis Solís López  now know as Compañero Galeano, a teacher, was killed defending a Zapatista autonomous school in Realidad, Chiapas, also know as Caracole 1, a home to the Zapatista movement.  The response to this assassination by the EZLN was measured and gained wide international support.  Tom Arcaro, Director, the Periclean Scholars at Elon University, and Kevin Trapani, founder and CEO of the Redwoods Group (which endowed the PSAA) are
among thousands of signers from around the globe to the “An Attack on Us All” campaign.

One outcome of this campaign was to raise funds to build a new -and bigger- school in Realidad in recent months.  Schools for Chiapas has been asked to bring together muralist Pavon and his team to paint a spectacular mural on this newly completed school and to help organize art and activism workshops.  Peter Brown has asked the Periclean Foundation for support on this project and, after corresponding with 2008 alums, is has been decided that the Periclean Foundation will make a meaningful contribution to support the purchase of paint and supplies to make the mural a reality.

Updates on this project will be presented in future blog posts here and on the Schools for Chiapas web site.


Posted in Class of 2008: Mexico, Director -Tom Arcaro, Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

Fall 2014 Resume for the Class of 2017

Periclean Scholars Class of 2017 Resume

Mission Statement
We, the Periclean Scholars Class of 2017 at Elon University with a focus on Namibia, are still working on a class mission statement.  As individuals, we are creating personal mission statements, but understand that even those, will be revisited and updated as we grow, both as individuals, and as a cohort.  We have much to learn, much to do, and will put forth our best efforts.

Toxic Charity
Soul of a Citizen
Letters Left Unset by “J”
Various Namibian Newspapers
– The Daily Namibian,
– The Namibian Sun,
– The Informante,
– The Caprivi Vision
Discussion Forum and News Forum pertaining to articles from previous listed sources
A Measure of Our Humanity- Class of 2006
Various Documentaries on YouTube supplied by Carol

Class Activities
Created the class syllabus
For the “Good of the Group
Wrote blog posts
Discussion Board (Moodle) – Current Events
News Forum (Moodle) – Current Events
Created the elevator speech for the Celebrating Pericleans gathering
Group Projects/Presentation
– Culture
– Government/Politics/International Relations
– Infrastructure/Economy
– Education
– Health
– Geography/Environment
Information was put on Moodle documents
Conceptualized the framework for committees and roles in class
Created Committees
– Steering Committee
– Committee on Committees
– Fundraising and Grants
– Alumni Relations
– Media Communications and Marketing
– Events
– Social
Research a few potential partners
– Hydroponics
– Community partner ideas from Duke
Discussion of possible project ideas in small groups in class
Created/designed a class t-shirt

Guest Speakers
Dr. Tom Arcaro: Director of Project Pericles
– Discussed the Periclean Program, the class of 2006 in Namibia, and allowed our class to ask questions about both of these things

Anita Isaacs: Namibian Partner of Project Pericles
– Q&A on previous Namibian class and on current issues and situation in Namibia

Jamie Smedsmo: Peace Corp Volunteer
– Shared her experience being part of the Peace Corps in Namibia and what she thought were important issues

Dr. Lucinda Adams: Faculty member of School of Communications, and member of the Lumen Scholar Committee
Sarah Vaughn: Student recipient of the Lumen Scholar prize
– Discussed what being a Lumen Scholar is, and the application process

Heidi Frontani: Class of 2010 Mentor, Geography Professor, Interim Director of AAAF Studies
– Discussed the experiences of her class
– Offered information and advice on the African/African American Studies program

Samantha White: Periclean Scholars Class of 2006
– Spoke to our class on what she is doing now and how Periclean has affected her decisions
– She talked about where she is now, what her experiences have been, and advice she had to give us.

Aisha Mitchell: Periclean Scholars Class of 2012 & Assistant Director of Corporate and Employee Relations for the College of Arts & Sciences
– Spoke on the progress and stages her class went through each year and offered us advice on how to -approach the semester
– Discussed her time as a Periclean and how it impacted her life path

Ronda Kosusko: Student Professional Development Center Career Specialist
Administered MyPlan for assessment of our individual personality types/characteristics
– We divided into groups based on each letter
– Came up with qualities/things we needed from the class

Aiden Dyer, Drew Dimos, Caroline James, Kerrianne Durkin:  2016 Periclean Scholars
– Engaged in a discussion on how to strengthen the mentor/mentee relationship and offered advice on how to continue our first year as Pericleans
– Asked them questions and they gave us some tips and ideas on how to run this class effectively.

Stephanie Carroll: Periclean Scholars Class of 2015
– One of the Student Advisory Group for 2017; offered advice on ways to approach our project and also answered any questions we had

Steve Mencarini: Director for the Center for Leadership
– Discussed various meanings of the word/action of “leader” and “leadership”; gave some of us a headache

Field Trip to the Challenge Course
Team building and getting to know one another through different activities
Posted in discussion board

Periclean Cards- Raised $70.00

Pan-Periclean Activities
Organizational Fair
Celebrating Periclean Scholars
Restavek Week (Class of 2015)
Freedom Foundation Benefit Concert
Panel on Human Trafficking
Poverty, Social Injustice, and Migration in Central America Panel (Class of 2016)
Homecoming Tailgate
Monthly Munchies
Reading Day Open House
Education of potential members about Periclean

Other Activities
Discussion of possible project ideas in small groups in class
“Good of the Group” discussions at the beginning of class, relating to possible partners, reactions, etc.|
Got to know other Pericleans through going to social events and getting meals together
Conceptualized the framework for committees and roles in class

Goals for next semester
Begin planning various fundraising methods

Global Citizenship
Continue to discover what it means to be a global citizen
Deepen understanding of Namibia
Commit to attend 2 cultural events
Continue to read/watch movies about Namibia

Get in touch with alumni

Periclean Mindset
Strengthen group unity
Get to know classmates better (weekly lunches and coffee dates)
Keep a “Periclean” mindset while abroad (i.e. don’t forget about Periclean)
Take risks and be open minded to all opportunities
Begin planning Pan-Periclean Events
Work on planning induction for the class of 2018
Create personal as well as class mission statements

Enhanced Knowledge
Read Letters Left Unsent by the end of the spring
Read Toxic Charity in its entirety
Read more of Soul of a Citizen
Read the blog more often
Read more books that relate to community development
Read articles weekly

Moving Forward
Gain insight from citizens and professors on Namibia past and present
Have a basis for a project
Find more ideas for a class project
Establish an area of focus for our class project

Identify potential partners and contacts
Based on both research and findings from our search for partners and contacts target an issue we would like to tackle
Find organizations that are doing work in Namibia or would like to pursue it with us
Reach out to potential contacts in Namibia and see if they have any potential projects we can assist with
Build better relationships with potential charities
Contacts/partners- It is really important to start to make contact with people in Namibia and North Carolina and learn about what organizations are already doing. Maybe from this we will be able to begin to pick a project based off of the work that potential partners are already doing.

Posted in Class of 2017-Namibia, Class Résumés | Leave a comment

2017s: Week 2

After getting settled into the spring semester, we are excited about where we are headed as Pericleans! The newest addition to our classroom dynamic is  committees. Our committees are: events, grant-writing, alumni relations, social media, steering committee, social, and the “committee on committees.” We started out class giving brief updates on the work all the committees are doing. While we have yet to make significant progress on anything because the semester has just begun, we had plenty of great ideas to share.

A few committee highlights include:

  • Planning for the 2018 Induction Ceremony
  • Brainstorming ways to connect with alumni, including the creation of a Periclean LinkedIn account
  • Methods of advertising Periclean, particularly to first-year students
  • Creating a weekly update email
  • Creating a list of relevant cultural events to attend
  • Developing a mentor/mentee program between the 2017 and 2018 classes

We finished up our class by discussing a possible focus for our group. At the end of last semester, it seemed as if the general consensus was to work with child headed households and see if we could create a project from there. However, after brainstorming in small groups, it seems as though we are collectively leaning towards looking for a target community or region in Namibia before making other decisions.

Overall, we are extremely happy with the progress that we have made in only two weeks. The division of committees is an organized and helpful addition to our classroom environment. Stay updated for more progress on our project ideas and future fundraising events!

Posted in Class of 2017-Namibia | Leave a comment

2016’s: balls are rolling.

p1 p3

  • Revisions to the syllabus were made adding a more focused writing component for the semester to be done with accountability partners.
  • Accountability duos will be responsible for posting weekly news report on the Facebook account.
  • Who are our partners (LUPE, H4HC, Honduras Summit, and Business Summit) and what do those relationships look like?
  • Broke into groups to define those partnerships and make clear initiatives for each partnership.
  • Will be finalizing and reporting to the group next week. Balls are rolling.
  • Great ideas and vibes were flowing:)
Posted in Class of 2016: Honduras, Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

Back at it! Class of 2016

We are so happy to welcome back our Pericleans who were abroad in the fall! We had members studying all over the world such as London, England, Montpellier, France, and Ecuador. We also had some students participating in Semester at Sea who visited over 10 countries. Before our first official meeting, we spent time together sharing stories, photos, and of course, pizza.

The spring semester is looking to be very busy and important for the Class of 2016! During our first meeting, we covered a range of different topics, but focused mostly on moving forward with our partners. Our focus is not one large project, but multiple small projects where we can make a more sustainable change. We talked over many details pertaining to our partners and took a serious look at good things that were done last semester, and things that need to be improved for the future.

With the majority of our Pericleans back on campus, we are energized and ready to work this semester. We finished our meeting by saying goodbye to one of our classmates, Arianna Brown, who is headed to New Zealand this semester! Good luck Arianna!

Posted in Class of 2016: Honduras, Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment

Welcome Back!

The Periclean Scholars Class of 2017 is back and better than ever!  Over Winter Term, our cohort traveled to all corners of the globe, from India to Australia to Ethiopia.  But now we have returned and are ready to continue our initiative to address global issues, especially in our region of focus, Namibia.

We began the first day of our spring semester by catching up with our classmates, as many of us had not seen each other for 2 months! Then, we discussed pressing matters, including our syllabus and the induction for the Class of 2018 Pericleans.  After a few words of motivation from our mentor Carol Smith, we broke into committees to further go over the syllabus and our goals for the semester, both personally and on the overall class level.

To end our first day back together, we rejoined as a group, making some final points to close out the period.  We have quite of few goals for this semester, including hosting our first fundraisers, deciding on an issue of focus, and starting to establish relationships with local partners.  The Periclean Scholars Class of 2017 has rejoined and is refreshed, ready to get rolling with our work this semester.


Posted in Class of 2017-Namibia | Leave a comment

Welcome back for a busy spring semester!

Welcome back for a busy spring semester!

All Pericleans,

I hope that your Winter Term was productive, engaging and that you were able to get some good family time in over the breaks since the end of Fall term.  I suspect you share my enthusiasm to get the current semester started and to move forward on all things Periclean.

Here are some updates and reminders:

1.  The Mentors are scheduled to meet on Tuesdays every fortnight beginning next week.  Pass on to your Mentor any ideas/concerns, etc.

2.   Steering Committee will meet also every other week on Thursdays at 4:00 inn Global Commons 210 beginning Thursday, February 12th.  Please make sure that your Class has two representatives that can attend Steering Committee.  This spring there will be some important work happening on the Steering Committee and I am looking forward to a productive semester!Pericleanlogohaiti

3.  The Induction Ceremony for the Class of 2018 is scheduled for 4:30PM Thursday, April 16th.  Please mark your calendars now.  Kevin Trapani, CEO and founder of the Redwoods Group will be our featured speaker.  In line with past tradition, each Class will have one or two representatives that will give a short charge to the incoming Class.  The Class of 2017 is organizing this event and someone from that Class will need the name(s) of your speaker in the coming weeks.

4.  Each Class needs to have a syllabus in to me no later than Friday, February 20th.  Associate Director and 2016 Mentor April Post and I are working on template syllabi for all Periclean Classes and will get a draft out to all Mentors by the end of the week.  Attached is a very early draft that you are welcome to use as a starting point for your Class discussion.  In short, in addition to basic information on reading, research and writing assignments, all syllabi need to list anticipated learning outcomes and these should reflect select AAC&U VALUE Rubrics relevant to Periclean.

5.  Keep in mind as you consider drop/add and/ long term academic career planning that beginning Winter term 2016 GST445 “Global Partnership Through Service” will be offered by your Mentor.  This class satisfies one of your advanced studies requirements.  This Class may or may not include a travel component depending upon Elon and State Department travel restrictions related to your country of focus.  [See below for the course description.  This is a recommended, not required  course for all Pericleans.]

6.  As with past semesters please make sure that someone in your Class is responsible for posting on our blog each week an update (with photos, if possible, even if it is “just” a short of your Class in session) on the blog.  These weekly updates are, cumulatively, your Class resume which needs to be posted at the end of each semester.

Please know that my door (GC 210) is always open and you are welcome to stop by and chat or share some ideas/concerns about our program.



Tom Arcaro


GST 445                     Global Partnership Through Service                                                 4 s.h.

This course serves as a capstone experience for students in the Periclean Scholars program, focusing on development in a country or region that has been chosen prior to the course by the students. The goals of the course are to collaborate effectively in order to continue to learn about a variety of aspects about this country or region. These will include: politics, culture, history, language, social issues, and the country’s relations within the larger world.  Students in this class will continue to develop partnerships in the country or region of choice in order to work toward improvements on an issue affecting the people of this area.  An overarching theme of this course is to require the students to demonstrate command of the theoretical and methodological tool sets that they have learned in prior courses, includinggeneral studies courses, classes in their major, and all prior Periclean classes to communicate these perspectives to their cohort, and to effectively use these skills to meaningfully contribute to the various class projects and goals. Students will also be discussing issues related to grant writing, humanitarian aid, and sustainable program development. This course is writing intensive. Open to senior Periclean Scholars (or others with permission).



Posted in Partners-All Classes | Leave a comment