February 2007 newsletter
The Periclean Progress
Volume 3, Issue 6 – February 2007
The Periclean Progress is a publication of Project Pericles, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.
Last month more than 45 representatives from 17 Pericleans were in New Orleans to attend the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) annual meeting. I was pleased to moderate a panel on one of our signature programs: "Project Pericles: Debating for Democracy (D4D) - - Mobilizing Students as Policy Advocates". The panelists -- Project Pericles Program Directors Tom Arcaro (Elon University), Marcine Pickron- Davis, (Widener University) and Lori Weintrob (Wagner College) and Bates College sophomore Jake Nudel -- presented our progress on this ambitious program where students research aspects of an issue and develop and advocate their opinions to educate the community and effect change. We focused on how college students contribute to the informed development of policy and civic activism on local and national levels to reinvigorate participatory democracy. You'll read more about the work of D4D in our upcoming meetings section below.
President Marvalene Hughes of Dillard University gave a rousing opening plenary about rebuilding after Katrina. I had the opportunity to visit with her, Executive Vice President Walter Strong and Provost Emily Moore in their temporary administrative headquarters to discuss the strides that Dillardhas taken toward recovery and current problems and objectives. Dillard's strength and commitment to their students, faculty and community is contagious. The Periclean spirit is very much alive at Dillard as, with limited resources and unlimited vision and energy, they continue to provide students with an outstanding civically engaged education.
Jan R. Liss, Executive Director
National Office Announcements
Debating for Democracy (D4D) Student Forum, March 10 - 11, 2007: D4D, a signature program of Project Pericles, provides a learning and advocacy experience that encourages students to research and develop thoughtful opinions and advocate them effectively. Students from the six Pilot Periclean Schools (Bates College, Bethune-Cookman College, Elon University, Pace University, Wagner College,and Widener University) will come together to present their research and progress on the topics they have been addressing this year which include immigration, voting rights, and privacy rights surrounding online social networking websites. The forum is being generously hosted by Wagner College on Staten Island and will provide students with the opportunity to think critically, build relationships, and contribute to the informed development of policy on local and national levels. Mark Hanis, a Swarthmore alum and founder of the Genocide Intervention Network,will facilitate a session on how to change policy through research, dialogue, and action.
Periclean Schools in Action
Elon University students travel to Honduras, for a sixteen-day service trip: In January, students from Elon's 2007 Periclean Scholars Class travelled to Honduras culminating their three years of work to help an underserved hospital build a kitchen and to perform other service work in the community. The students had raised more than $6,000 to construct a new kitchen for serving pediatric patients in the Mario Catarino Rivas Hospital in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Their efforts were rewarded when the new kitchen opened on January 18. The kitchen enables students from the Centro Universidad Region del Norte to prepare daily supplementary meals for an average of 100 children in the emergency room and the cancer, neurosurgery and general wards of the hospital.
Student Natasha Christensen and faculty members Jim Brown, Professor of History, and Raquel Cortés, visiting international faculty, participated in the opening along with the directors of the hospital. In accepting the keys to the new facility from Dr. Brown, Dr. Juan Carlos Zúñiga, director of the hospital, expressed his deep gratitude for the project, calling it a model for others to follow.
The students also spent ten days working in Nuevo Paraiso, a community for orphaned, abandoned and abused children, and Flor Azul, a rural community and farm for 80 abandoned and abused teen-aged boys. The students donated $1,250 to purchase school uniforms and bicycles so eleven boys from Flor Azul can go to high school. To read more about their trip visit this website.
Hendrix College initiates Pericles blog to broaden conversations about important topics on campus: A central goal of Project Pericles at Hendrix is to encourage discourse among all community members (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and those in the surrounding central Arkansas community) on important issues of the day. The weekly Hendrix Forum stimulates thoughtful and passionate discussion among community members about current topics. Each week a faculty member selects a topic and facilitates the community meeting. To continue discussions that spark from the Forum and to start new discussions, Hendrix has established a blog for dialogue. When the Forum topic for the week is announced, bloggers David Wagner (Director of Student Activities), and students Chad Sardashtiand Sarah Hughes post to open up conversation.
Project Pericles Civic Engagement Courses (CEC) at Swarthmore College continue to encourage students to make a difference: This semester, Marjorie Murphy, Professor of History at Swarthmore College, is teaching "Social Movements in the Twentieth Century," a class which will end with a community-based learning project addressing labor rights. The course, which is intended to encourage social action, examines twentieth-century social movements and offers an understanding of how such movements evolved. After studying the intricacies of different social movements, students will be challenged to design their own.
Professor Murphy first taught this class in 2004, as part of Project Pericles' Civic Engagement Course initiative. "[The class] started as an initiative to integrate social activism into the curriculum," Murphy said in the February 8, 2007 issue of the Swarthmore online newspaper, The Phoenix. The class modeled the final project on workers' education. "We put together all the curricula of labor education programs in a binder so if anyone wanted to set up a program, they could." This year's project will focus on the environment. "The general rubric is environmentalism and within that rubric we're going to organize a project to make some kind of social change within the public sphere," Murphy said.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) chooses Wagner College to participate in the Core Commitments Leadership Consortium: Wagner College is among 18 institutions chosen to lead the first phase of a national initiative, Core Commitments: Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility. "The initiative seeks to embed personal and social responsibility objectives pervasively across the institution in both curricular and co-curricular experiences as key educational outcomes for all students." Wagner College "was selected both on the basis of work already accomplished in the spirit of Core Commitments and on an articulated plan to deepen and extend that work on the Wagner campus." Wagner will receive a $25,000 award and will match that to provide students with "progressively challenging educational experiences." For more information on the initiative, please visit their website.
Congratulations to Chatham College Periclean Program Director Allyson Lowe for being selected by the Fulbright Commission to participate in the 2007 Fulbright German Studies Seminar "Germany in a Changing Europe: Transatlantic Ties, Transatlantic Challenges."
Resources and Publications
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces Fresh Ideas: Improving the Health of Immigrant and Refugee Communities: The program aims to give immigrants and refugees the tools and support they need to improve and maintain their own health. Proposals must address ways for improving the health of immigrants and refugees by linking how social factors affect health outcomes. The next review deadline is April 13, 2007. Visit their websitefor complete program information.
Youth Service America: Red, White, And Green Climate Change Grant: This opportunity offers $500 to young people between the ages of 15 and 25 and to organizations that engage young people. Applicants are expected to develop and implement a service-learning project about climate change that engages their community, policy-makers and candidates running for election in 2007 and 2008. Projects are welcomed where youth work in partnership with adults (parents, coaches, teachers, youth leaders, etc.) but the projects should be youth-led, and must take place between May 1 and October 31, 2007. Selected grantees will share the outcomes and next steps of their service projects with each other and with climate change experts. They will present their recommendations to high-level policy-makers. The deadline for applications is March 7, 2007. For application information, visit their website.
Articles and Publications
Recently released, a new text, Living in Democracy, attempts to reverse the apathy and ignorance of young adults in relation to politics and government in the U.S. Allegheny College Professor of Political Science and former Project Pericles Program Director, Daniel M. Shea, is the lead author of the book.
President Ralph Hexter (Hampshire College) discusses his experience as "Being an 'Out' President" in the January 25th issue of Inside Higher Ed.
Dr. Robert Strandburg, Rhodes College Project Pericles Program Director and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for Undergraduate Research and Service, comments on the Carnegie Foundation's new classifications for civic engagement in the January 16, 2007 edition of the online Memphis paper, commercialappeal.com.
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"CLAIMING THE LEGACY OF PERICLES"®
Periclean Colleges & Universities
Allegheny College • Bates College • Berea College • Bethune-Cookman University • Carleton College • Chatham University • Dillard University • Drew University • Earlham College • Elon University • Goucher College • Hampshire College • Hendrix College • Macalester College • Morehouse College • New England College • The New School • Occidental College • Pace University • Pitzer College • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute • Rhodes College • St. Mary's College of Maryland • Spelman College • Swarthmore College • Ursinus College • Wagner College • Widener University • The College of Wooster
Executive Director: Jan R. Liss
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Chair: Eugene M. Lang
Chair: Brian Rosenberg, Macalester College
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