November kicked off with the annual Project Pericles Program Directors' Conference on the beautiful campuses of Occidental College and Pitzer College in southern California. This two day conference was a special opportunity for Periclean schools to share information about program development and activities, meet and network with fellow Pericleans, discuss current and future opportunities for collaborations, and inject new insights and ideas for future initiatives.
The first day of the conference took place at Occidental College. A highlight for everyone was a panel organized by Maria Avila, the Program Director at Occidental College. Maria's panel, "The Community Organizing Approach to Institutionalizing Civic Engagement," featured students, faculty, alumni and community members who had participated in civic engagement programs at Occidental.
The second day of the conference, hosted by Pitzer College, began with a discussion organized by Amara Geffen, the Program Director at Allegheny College. Amara' discussion, "Civic Engagement, Curriculum, and Community: Engaging Faculty," highlighted the partnership between Allegheny College and the town of Meadeville, Pennsylvania that has resulted in a number of exciting economic revitalization projects, including "Read Between the Signs", a 1200' x 9' sculptural relief made of discarded road signs and featuring solar- and wind-powered kinetic components.
Pitzer students and faculty also led a discussion on study abroad programs and community service projects at Pitzer that was organized by Program Director, Tessa Hicks .
At the end of the conference, David Scobey, the Program Director at Bates College, led a discussion on public scholarship based on the report, "Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life."
A Program Director who attended the conference said that she "enjoyed getting a personal window into the work of the host schools (Occidental and Pitzer) and hearing the voices of students, community members and faculty there."
Project Pericles wants to thank everybody who helped make this conference such a success.