The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 4 -- November 2005
Project Pericles ® Announcements
Project Pericles Events and Meetings: The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will host a luncheon and meeting of The Presidents' Council of Project Pericles in New York on December 1st.
Grant Opportunities: The Learn and Serve America grant competition, sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, is accepting applications for approximately $40 million to support projects that link community service with academic studies. Funds may be used to create curriculum materials; support training and technical assistance activities; and for subgrants to local partnerships. The higher education program deadline is February 28th. More.
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), which promotes research on the civic and political engagement of Americans between 15-25, seeks to fund research to help educators and policymakers improve civic outcomes for U.S. students of high-school age. CIRCLE welcomes proposals from academics, students, independent scholars, practitioners, and nonprofits. The deadline is December 15, 2005. More.
MTV and Youth Venture are offering Hope Venture Grants of up to $1,000 to support young people who want to launch a venture to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. More.
Call for Nominations: The New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) seeks nominations by December 14th for its annual Ernest A. Lynton Award for Faculty Professional Service and Academic Outreach. The award, which honors scholarly activity in which teaching, research, and service overlap and are mutually reinforcing, recognizes faculty members who connect their professional expertise and scholarship to community outreach.
National Office: Project Pericles announces the appointment of Jan R. Liss as its second Executive Director. Ms. Liss has extensive experience in senior leadership in management, planning and financial development for a wide range of academic/educational organizations, including The Aspen Institute, Consumers Union (Consumer Reports), The New York Public Library, The Brookings Institution, American Express, and The Portland Art Association. Dr. Karen E. Holt, the outgoing Executive Director, will continue to be involved with Project Pericles as a Program Counselor. Dillard University President Marvalene Hughes is holding Town Hall meetings throughout the country to update students and parents on the state of the University and its facilities following Hurricane Katrina, as well as Dillard's plans to hold Spring semester classes at Tulane University. More. All of us at Project Pericles wish Dillard the best in its recovery efforts.
Rhodes College President William E. Troutt is doing his part to extend and diversify students' international experiences as a member of the Commission on the Abraham Lincoln Study Abroad Fellowship Program, which recently submitted a report to Congress and President Bush. In advocating for federal support of study abroad programs, Troutt stated, "Two thirds of Americans studying abroad do so in Europe ... but students' interests in Europe also need to be matched by students' interests in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. ... Our lack of knowledge about Vietnam hurt us, our lack of knowledge about the Middle East plagues us today. Our lack of knowledge about China and India will undermine our future. In foreign affairs, national security, and commerce, what we don't know exacts a heavy toll." For more on the Report, click here.
Advocates in ActionEnvironmental Studies students in Macalester College's "Water and Power" course put the lie to the old adage that "everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it." Challenged by the Hurricane Katrina disaster, the students used their knowledge of river development to think about the past and future of the Mississippi delta. The result is a remarkable 43-page report "Exposing Hurricane Katrina: The Scope of an Unnatural Disaster," which examines the environmental history of New Orleans, media coverage of Katrina, relief efforts, and the political impact. Their work reflects ongoing campus activism and commitment at Macalester by the Campus Environmental Issues Committee and groups such as Environmental Funk! (E-Funk!), both of which address issues and practices related to Macalester's commitment to the Talloires Declaration. Occidental and Pitzer Colleges also signed the Declaration.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof praised the Swarthmore College-founded Genocide Intervention Fund in his October 9 column. For other media coverage of the GIF, click here.
Notable Program Activities: Campus, Classroom, Community
Campus: Here's another story from the Services Sabbatical Program at Elon University, previously featured as a Periclean Innovative Initiative. J.W. Thompson, an irrigation technician in Elon's landscaping department, recently traveled to Alabama with Friends Disaster Service to assist with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Thompson helped restore the Mowa Choctaw Friends Academy, a kindergarten north of Mobile -- clearing brush, repairing roof damage, and fixing up the school's basketball court. Thompson said it was gratifying to spend time with the children, many of whom live in poverty, and to bring a sense of normalcy back to their lives. This was the second of three relief visits Thompson plans to make this year; he used a portion of his Project Pericles service sabbatical in April to travel to western North Carolina to assist with Hurricane Ivan cleanup. More. Swarthmore College recently concluded its first Class Awareness Month, holding a variety of activities designed to initiate sustained dialogue on socioeconomic class issues, including an event with Alfred Lubrano, author of Limbo: Blue Collar Roots, White Collar Dreams. Wee Chua, '06, leader of the CAM committee, stated that she had struggled with class issues at Swarthmore, and wanted to created a sustained dialogue before she graduated. Swarthmore tries to promote class equality by making all student events free, but Chua noted that this contributes to a lack of dialogue on socioeconomic issues. As a result of CAM, Chua says, "People talked, which is exactly what we wanted." For more information, check out CAM's listserv here.
Looking for a fun way to encourage sound environmental practices? Consider the Swarthmore College Earthlust program "Storm the Dorms." For two days at the end of September, costume-wearing "earthlusters" roamed the dorms, bearing tips on how to lead more environmentally friendly lives (recycling, turning off idle computers), and handing out Teddy Grahams. For more about Earthlust and its activities, click here.
Through the Campus to Congress program, former U.S. Congressmen Jim Lloyd (D-Calif.) and Louis Frey Jr. (R-Fla.) visited Ursinus College on November 1st and 2nd, interacting with students, visiting classes, and offering insider perspectives of Congress. More.
Widener University graduate Linda A. Cartisano, Delaware County councilwoman and solicitor for the City of Chester, recently participated in Widener's "Project Pericles Presents Perspectives on Public Service," a non-partisan outreach program that brings to campus individuals who are currently serving or have recently served the public. Students, faculty, and staff attended the program, which featured information on Cartisano's path to public service, her experiences as an active participant in her community, and recollections of her undergraduate years during the Vietnam War.
Classroom:New England College sociology professors Dennis Kalob and Chris Dale taught the course "Grassroots Democracy" last spring -- off campus. The class convened once a week in Concord, the state capital, to better enable students to understand advocacy for change (letter writing, phone calls, fundraising, base-building, lobbying, picketing, civil disobedience, etc.), and to help students envision their place in that work. The offices of New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, a statewide grassroots organization, served as "class base" when students weren't visiting social justice organizations and offices of social change. Each student also had the chance to shadow a grassroots activist for a day. NEC intends to offer this course annually.
Through the Tishman Environmental Merit Scholars Program, students of the Eugene Lang College of The New School have an opportunity to spend a summer in Alaska working with national environmental organizations to protect the cultural heritage and natural resources of America's last great wilderness. Depending on their interests and backgrounds, students serve as full-time summer interns for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, the Alaska Conservation Alliance, or other Alaskan environmental groups. More.
The Common Intellectual Experience (CIE) core curriculum at Ursinus College recently was featured by The Chronicle of Higher Education in "Where a Geneticist Can Teach 'Gilgamesh': At Ursinus College, not only does every freshman have to take a liberal-arts course, but almost all professors have to teach it." The CIE is the building block for how Ursinus strives to create independence of thought and spirit, while fostering awareness of community connection and obligation. Subscribers to the Chronicle may read the full article here.
Under The Wagner Plan, Wagner College students put into practice what they are learning, and this "practical" side of liberal education is illustrated by Wagner's Learning Communities and Reflective Tutorials. Among the 22 Learning Communities offered in 2004 was "The Business of American Social Problems," taught by Business professor Dr. John Moran and Sociology professor Dr. Laura Martocci. This course examines the business environment, including legal, economic, and social policies surrounding issues such as defective products, false advertising, environmental regulation, and insider trading. Case studies are complemented by an exploration of the social implications involved, and a Reflective Tutorial synthesizes the various perspectives. For information on Wagner's first year learning communities, click here.
Community: Fifty years to the day, Bethune-Cookman College will commemorate Rosa Parks' act of civil disobedience at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 1. Plans include a choral performance of "We Shall Overcome," an account of the historic event, and a discussion about the legacy of Ms. Parks and the Voting Rights Act of 2007. Berea, Hendrix, and Swarthmore Colleges and Pace University have responded to B-CC's invitation to hold simultaneous commemorative events.
Hendrix College has received a continuation grant from the Lilly Foundation for its Vocations Initiative: A Call to Wholeness. Hendrix President J. Timothy Cloyd credits Call to Wholeness with having "a tremendous impact on the entire Hendrix community by creating a space for the thoughtful discernment of vocation and life calling." Peg Falls-Corbitt, professor of philosophy and director of the Vocations Initiative, said, "The Hendrix motto, 'unto the whole person,' is one that commits us to helping students integrate what academic study so often fragments: knowledge and practice, self-fulfillment and service, secular duties and faith commitments." For more information, click here or visit Hendrix's Lilly website.
As part of its commitment to design as a social practice, Parsons The New School for Design, created The Design Workshop, which collaborates with nonprofit organizations and public agencies working on urban issues such as green space, education, and recreational activities for children. "By bridging the gap between design theory and practice, and the classroom and community, The Design Workshop is an excellent example of Parsons' commitment to engaging its students in broader social issues," said Parsons Dean Paul Goldberger. "Through this collaborative studio, Parsons students gain a better understanding of the role of the architect in improving the social and physical conditions of New York City neighborhoods." This past year, Parsons students designed and built an arts venue for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Swing Space program, which works with building owners to make temporarily vacant space in the Financial District available to artists and small arts groups on a free or reduced-cost basis. More.
Macalester College is launching an Institute for Global Citizenship to encourage, promote, and support rigorous learning that prepares students for lives as effective and ethical "global citizen-leaders"; innovative scholarship that enriches the public and academic discourse on important issues of global significance; and meaningful service that enhances such learning and/or scholarship while enriching Macalester's many communities. The Institute, the result of more than two years of planning and discussion involving individuals from across the campus and beyond, will be headed by Dean Ahmed Samatar. Periclean Co-Program Directors Andrew Latham and Karin Trail-Johnson will become Associate Deans. Inaugural events and initial efforts of the Institute are expected to include distinguished speakers on the local, national, and trans-national dimensions of global citizenship; an annual conference focusing on students' work in the area of civic engagement; a visiting scholar; study-abroad ventures; opportunities for students and faculty to partner with community organizations; courses; and related endeavors. Through all of these initiatives, Macalester seeks to strengthen its commitment to preparing students for engaged citizenship and socially responsible leadership, and to forge work on internationalism, multiculturalism, and service into a more compelling, integrated, and intellectually powerful whole.
Last spring Swarthmore College set up the Swarthmore Language Bank, also known as the Translator Database Project, to match the interpretation and translation needs of non-profit agencies serving immigrants and refugees with the language resources and volunteer abilities of students. More than 200 students in 38 languages are currently signed up, and Modern Languages professors have committed to provide tutor and supporting translators and to review translations, if needed. An ongoing project of Swarthmore for Immigrants' Rights (SIR), the Language Bank is available for use by any nonprofit organization that works directly with immigrants and refugees. SIR, a Swarthmore student-run and -funded organization that engages in direct service by forming networks with local area immigrant advocacy groups, social service organizations, and other college groups,ko works to spread awareness and spark action in the campus community on immigrant issues in policy and legislation. For more, contact Bernadette Baird-Zars, '06.
There's a wonderful resource among our own group for those looking for ways to highlight their Project Pericles activities—check out Pace University's revised and updated website. It's fantastic! A recent survey by Call to Serve found that students have a strong interest in working in the federal government but lack knowledge about opportunities, suggesting the importance of informational campaigns. Among their findings:
Interest in working in the federal government is quite strong compared to past surveys, with over 30% of respondents reporting that they are extremely or very interested.
Good benefits, good pay, working on interesting issues, and job security top the list of items students say are major reasons they would want to work for the federal government.
A lack of knowledge of what careers are available was the top reason students cited for why they would not want to work for the federal government, followed by too much bureaucracy and not wanting to relocate.
Messages that students said would encourage them to consider federal government include emphasizing work-life balance and benefits such as student loan repayment and scholarship opportunities.
Students said that parents, the Internet, and professors are the most important sources for information on career options or when searching for an internship or job.
More.A literature review by William Talcott examines the role that universities have played in developing citizens. Referencing formative texts on the broad topic of citizenship and the historical development of modern universities in the United States, Talcott focuses primarily on major research universities, reasoning that these have had disproportionate cultural and institutional influence over the development of higher education as a whole. To download the review, click here.
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