Author page: TDC National Office

Student Opportunity Alert: Leadership & the American Presidency

Student Opportunity Alert: Leadership & the American Presidency

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute is one of TDC’s newest partners, and we’re thrilled that they have decided to offer scholarships dedicated to ADP and TDC students for their Leadership and the American Presidency program in Washington, DC.  This announcement will describe the program as well as the requirements and deadline for applications.  Be sure to take a closer look at their work and to share this opportunity with potentially interested students from across the political spectrum!

-Verdis Robinson, TDC National Director

Through the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute’s partnership with the American Association of State Colleges & Universities (AASCU), students from campuses associated with the American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment are eligible for dedicated scholarships for the Leadership and the American Presidency (LTAP) program in Washington, DC for undergraduate students.

Our organizations’ shared missions of cultivating citizen leaders who are engaged members of their communities, prompts us to award selected students from these campuses scholarships no less than $2500 and $4000 for the Summer and Fall terms, respectively.

For more information about this scholarship and partnership, please email ltap@reaganfoundation.org.

Summer Internship in Washington, DC: December 5th early application deadline

About the Program:

Undergraduate students can now experience Washington, DC like never before. Leadership and the American Presidency is a new immersive and experiential opportunity for students to spend the summer or semester in the nation’s capital. Co-sponsored by The Fund for American Studies, Leadership and the American Presidency is looking to cultivate the next generation of citizen leaders.

  • Real History: Examine some of the greatest leadership challenges in history from the perspective of the Presidency.
  • Real Leaders: Connect with some of the most thoughtful, well-regarded, and recognizable leaders of today!
  • Real World: We match you with an internship placement that is aligned with your skill set and interests.

Apply today!!!


About the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute:

The mission of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute is to complete President Reagan’s unfinished work and to preserve the timeless principles he championed: individual liberty, economic opportunity, global democracy and national pride. Specifically, the mission of the new Reagan Institute operating as an entity of the Foundation from both the Reagan Library in California as well as in Washington, D.C., is to move well beyond the Foundation’s mission to preserve the memory of our 40th President. The Reagan Institute proactively promotes his ideals, vision, and leadership example for the benefit of generations to come through youth education and academic alliances, scholarly work, and substantive, issue-driven forums.

For more information visit www.reaganfoundation.org/

Call for Proposals: 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting

Call for Proposals: 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting

Submit your proposal here by January 29, 2018.

The American Democracy Project (ADP), The Democracy Commitment (TDC), and NASPA Lead Initiative are committed to advancing the civic engagement movement in higher education. During this year’s Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (#CLDE18) Meeting in Anaheim, Ca. from June 6-9, 2018, our goal is to bring together our collective networks of faculty, student affairs professionals, senior campus administrators, students, and community partners to advance our work to ensure that students graduate from our colleges and universities–both public and private–prepared to be the informed, engaged citizens that our communities and our democracy need.

When submitting a proposal for this year’s convening the conference committee asks you to consider how to answer the four questions proposed in our emergent theory of change and how these threads and tags intersect with your work whether it be around assessment, political engagement, community partnerships, service-learning, dialogue and deliberation, and so forth.

This meeting is designed around our emergent theory of change which poses four important questions:

  1. Purpose: What are the key features of the thriving democracy we aspire to enact and support through our work?
  2. Learning Outcomes: What knowledge, skills, and dispositions do people need in order to help create and contribute to a thriving democracy?
  3. Pedagogy: How can we best foster the acquisition and development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a thriving democracy?
  4. Strategy: How can we build the institutional culture, infrastructure, and relationships needed to support learning that enables a thriving democracy?

The theory of change also suggests that campuses consider how best to construct campus cultures and contexts that foster:

  • Civic Ethos of campus: The infusion of democratic values into the customs and habits of everyday practices, structures, and interactions; the defining character of the institution and those in it that emphasizes open-mindedness, civility, the worth of each person, ethical behaviors, and concern for the well-being of others; a spirit of public-mindedness that influences the goals of the institution and its engagement with local and global communities.
  • Civic Literacy & Skill Building as a goal for every student: The cultivation of foundational knowledge about fundamental principles and debates about democracy expressed over time, both within the United States and in other countries; familiarity with several key historical struggles, campaigns, and social movements undertaken to achieve the full promise of democracy; the ability to think critically about complex issues and to seek and evaluate information about issues that have public consequences.
  • Civic Inquiry integrated within the majors and general education: The practice of inquiring about the civic dimensions and public consequences of a subject of study; the exploration of the impact of choices on different constituencies and entities, including the planet; the deliberate consideration of differing points of views; the ability to describe and analyze civic intellectual debates within one’s major or areas of study.
  • Civic Action as lifelong practice: The capacity and commitment both to participate constructively with diverse others and to work collectively to address common problems; the practice of working in a pluralistic society and world to improve the quality of people’s lives and the sustainability of the planet; the ability to analyze systems in order to plan and engage in public action; the moral and political courage to take risks to achieve a greater public good.
  • Civic Agency involves the capacities of citizens to work collaboratively across differences like partisan ideology, faith traditions, income, geography, race, and ethnicity to address common challenges, solve problems and create common ground; requires a set of individual skills, knowledge, and predispositions; also involves questions of institutional design, particularly how to constitute groups and institutions for sustainable collective action.

More details about the meeting can be found here: 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting.

Submit your Program Proposal by Jan. 29, 2018 by visiting here: 2018 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting and learn more about the #CLDE18 Meeting at the official meeting website. Registration will open in November 2017.

Hope and Strategy for a Thriving Democracy

Hope and Strategy for a Thriving Democracy

By David Hoffman, Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, Stephanie King, and Verdis Robinson

Let America be the dream that dreamers dreamed–
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above. …

O, let America be America again–
The land that never has been yet–
And yet must be–the land where every man is free.

–from Langston Hughes, “Let America Be America Again” (written in 1935)

It has been a challenging couple of years for people in higher education working to fulfill the promise of American democracy.

CLDE_06102017_27.JPG Participants at the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting grapple with

Participants in the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting grapple with higher education’s role in contributing to a thriving democracy. [Image credit: Greg Dohler]

Most of us have chosen our careers and commitments in part because of our profound optimism about the American experiment in self-governance. Our work with students in communities on campus and beyond reflects our belief that We, the People, appropriately oriented to our collective power, can work together across differences in background, experience, and perspective to promote the general welfare wisely and justly.Yet today our democracy is in crisis. New hostilities and old prejudices seem to be consuming the body politic. Confidence in our collective institutions and the nation’s overall direction has fallen precipitously. Higher education is under pressure to do more with less, and to focus student learning on workforce development and career preparation, potentially at the expense of civic learning and democratic engagement.

In the face of these pressures, it is tempting to yearn for simpler times, and to direct our work toward restoring what we sense has been lost. For decades, much civic learning and democratic engagement work in higher education, even the most innovative, has embedded a subtle retrospectivity: a longing for aspects of a partly mythic collective past. Higher education’s service-learning and nonpartisan political engagement initiatives have harkened back to a time when people spent more of their lives engaged in common activities rather than consuming content, and seemingly each other, through electronic screens. They have grasped for an elusive yesteryear of communal investments in projects and people, for the public good. With considerable success, educators supporting civic learning and democratic engagement have endeavored to regenerate the sense of empathy, shared responsibility, initiative, and courage celebrated in some Norman Rockwell paintings and in tales from the freedom movements of bygone days.

The four of us also feel that tug of nostalgia. Furthermore, we know that stories of democracy and civic agency from our collective past are vital cultural resources for anyone hoping to foster civic learning and democratic engagement today. Yet like one of the narrators of Langston Hughes’ Let America Be America Again, we recognize that even in better times, the promise of American democracy has never been completely fulfilled. Too many Americans have been kept at the margins. Even people not excluded from formal civic power by discriminatory laws and practices have been reduced to consumers and spectators of democracy by cultural conventions that have defined citizens simply as voters and volunteers, but only rarely as potential community-builders, civic professionals, innovators, and problem-solvers.

We believe higher education and its partners in communities across America need a vision of civic learning and democratic engagement for our time: oriented to the thriving democracy we have not yet achieved, but can build together. The influential 2012 report A Crucible Moment expressed such a vision in its call for weaving civic learning and democratic engagement into all of higher education’s work involving students. That call conceptualizes democratic engagement as a central practice in everyday life and relationships, not a particular set of activities undertaken on special occasions. It evokes John Dewey’s (1937) framing of democracy as a way of life that must be “enacted anew in every generation, in every year and day, in the living relations of person to person in all social forms and institutions.” In a similar vein, David Hoffman’s 2015 blog post Describing Transformative Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Practices proposed that in order to transcend the paradigm of marginal, episodic, celebratory, and scripted civic engagement programs, higher education’s civic work must become more integral, relational, organic, and generative.

At the 2016 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, participants built on these insights as they imagined how people experiencing a thriving democracy in the year 2046 might look back at the intervening 30 years of progress. More recently, at the 2017 CLDE Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, participants worked together to begin developing shared answers to four central questions facing higher education’s civic learning and democratic engagement movement:

  1. The Vision Question: What are the key features of the thriving democracy we aspire to enact and support through our work?
  2. The Learning Outcomes Question: What knowledge, skills, and dispositions do people need in order to help create and contribute to a thriving democracy?
  3. The Pedagogy Question: How can we best foster the acquisition and development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a thriving democracy?
  4. The Strategy Question: How can we build the institutional culture, infrastructure, and relationships needed to support learning that enables a thriving democracy?

CLDE_06102017_20.JPG

Answering the four central questions facing higher education’s civic learning and democratic engagement movement. [Image credit: Greg Dohler]

Those energetic conversations, and the ideas they generated, are a very promising early step in an inclusive process of reimagining our collective work to meet democracy’s needs. In the coming months, we will share thinking emerging from within our networks and invite broad participation in refining tentative answers to the four key questions. At the 2018 CLDE meeting in Anaheim, California from June 6-9, participants will continue to shape and begin to apply our shared answers.Langston Hughes concluded “Let America Be America Again” with this injunction:

We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain —
All, all the stretch of these great green states —
And make America again!

We believe higher education is well-positioned to contribute to the fulfillment of this charge by extending and deepening our support for students as co-creators of a thriving democracy.

What are your thoughts and hopes for this emerging work? What issues should our networks be sure to consider as this planning process unfolds? Please share your comments.

References:

Dewey, J. (1937). Education and social change.” Bulletin of the American Association of University Professors 23, 6, 472–4.

Hoffman, D. (2015, July 1). “Describing transformative civic learning and democratic engagement practices.” American Democracy Project (blog).

Hughes, L. (1994). “Let America be America again.” In A. Rampersad (Ed.), The collected poems of Langston Hughes (pp. 189-191). New York: Vintage. (Original work published in 1936).

National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (2012). A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities.


Authors:

David Hoffman is Assistant Director of Student Life for Civic Agency at the University of Maryland (MD) and an architect of UMBC’s BreakingGround initiative. His work is directed at fostering civic agency and democratic engagement through courses, co-curricular experiences and cultural practices on campus. His research explores students’ development as civic agents, highlighting the crucial role of experiences, environments, and relationships students perceive as “real” rather than synthetic or scripted. David is a member of Steering Committee for the American Democracy Project and the National Advisory Board for Imagining America. He is an alum of UCLA (BA), Harvard (JD, MPP) and UMBC (PhD).

Jennifer Domagal-Goldman is the national manager of AASCU’s American Democracy Project (ADP). She earned her doctorate in higher education from the Pennsylvania State University. She received her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester. Jennifer’s dissertation focused on how faculties learn to incorporate civic learning and engagement in their undergraduate teaching within their academic discipline. Jennifer holds an ex-officio position on the eJournal of Public Affairs’ editorial board.

Stephanie King is the Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Initiatives at NASPA where she directs the NASPA Lead Initiative.  She has worked in higher education since 2009 in the areas of student activities, orientation, residence life, and civic learning and democratic engagement. Stephanie earned her Master of Arts in Psychology at Chatham University and her B.S. in Biology from Walsh University. She has served as the Coordinator for Commuter, Evening and Weekend Programs at Walsh University, Administrative Assistant to the VP and Dean of Students for the Office of Student Affairs, the Coordinator of Student Affairs, and the Assistant Director of Residence Life and Student Affairs at Chatham University.

Verdis L. Robinson is the National Director of The Democracy Commitment after serving as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies at Monroe Community College (NY). Professionally, Verdis is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West.  Additionally, Verdis is the founder of the Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project that with his service-learning students created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the 1964 Race Riots, which has engaged over 400 members of Rochester community in dialogue and learning.  He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. and an M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.

Introducing the Inaugural TDC Civic Intern Team

Introducing the Inaugural TDC Civic Intern Team

The Inaugural TDC Civic Intern Team

This fall, The Democracy Commitment has started a student internship program to regionally engage campuses & students with the national office, and to further TDC’s mission and goals.  The new Civic Intern Team (CIT) welcomes six new interns into the fold as a group of motivated and engaged students studying at or affiliated with our member institutions to help promote regional civic engagement efforts and activities providing the national platform that they deserve. Through their efforts both behind the scenes and at the forefront of TDC, the CIT will help to publicize the civic power of democracy’s colleges more than ever before.  So, without further adieu, let’s meet the inaugural TDC Civic Intern Team.  

National Office Civic Intern

Grant Fishman serves as TDC’s intern for Fall 2017 assisting at the National Office in Washington, D.C., through The Washington Center internship program.  Along with his Internship, Grant pursues a BS in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE)  with a minor in Sociology at Suffolk University in downtown Boston. After growing up in Weston, Massachusetts, Grant attended a boarding school in Wilton, New Hampshire, before attending Suffolk and now lives in Concord, Massachusetts. At Suffolk, Grant represents the PPE Student Advisory Board as a Chair and assists in promoting the major within the University as well as contributing to projects and initiatives designed to further it. But while the Advisory Board plays a role in the success of the major, its primary focus is to ensure the success of PPE students and provide opportunities for young professionals. Civic engagement is essential in its mission and is a large part of what Grant has been working on at Suffolk these past few years. After graduating, Grant intends on pursuing a law degree in constitutional policy and continue on to pursue a career in public service.

National Graphic Design Intern 

Aaron Pallares, a native Houstonian and first generation American, made his way to Michigan for his love of snow. This scene of tranquility scene helped to provide an atmosphere of serenity and focus for his talents in graphic design, web design, and brand identity. Currently, as a student at Delta College, he aspires to one day become a digital marketer and brand ambassador.  Aaron Pallares has been married to his lovely wife, Jessica, for a decade. They create a wonderful team alongside their half-pint daughter, Zoe.

California-Based Regional Civic Intern

After being raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Nathan Bowman graduated high school and moved to California, where he received his Associate’s degree in liberal studies with an emphasis in behavioral sciences from College of Marin. Nathan is currently an undergraduate student at San Francisco State University pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology. While studying at College of Marin, Nathan was the President of the Student’s for Social Justice club where he developed an interest in ensuring that students become civically engaged in their community. Student’s for Social Justice allowed Nathan to attend the CLDE meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was featured as a speaker for multiple panels. At San Francisco State University, Nathan is representing a national-nonprofit called Net Impact which is a nonpartisan initiative to raise awareness about the national debt. Nathan has been inspired to help students develop an understanding of non-partisan issues within the United States. Civic engagement has become an essential role in Nathan’s academic career and he wishes to pursue a career in educating students about the importance of political issues. Further, it is his belief that the promotion of education is necessary for the developmental growth of young people, and it is his goal to assure that academia works towards enforcing diversity among students, faculty, administration, and staff.

Massachusetts-Based Regional Civic Intern

Eden Shaveet serves as a Massachusetts-based regional intern for The Democracy Commitment. Her responsibilities include managing the organization’s social media accounts and initiatives, as well as assisting in the coordination of the Student Voice Project. Along with her service to TDC, Eden serves as a Commonwealth Corps member with United Way Youth Venture as the Venture Retention and Engagement Innovator at Mount Wachusett Community College.  As a recent graduate of Mount Wachusett Community College and the Gateway to College program, Eden received her high school diploma and her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences in May of 2017. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Elms College and plans to continue her graduate studies upon her graduation in the Spring of 2019. As Valedictorian of her graduating class, Eden gave a speech advocating on behalf of alternative educational programming that was shared across the country by local news and the Gateway to College National Network.  She has since become a blogger and spokesperson for the Gateway to College program. In addition, Eden currently serves as the Vice President and Curriculum Designer of the Her Strength Foundation, whose mission is to promote reproductive health education for women and girls in developing countries. Eden’s curriculum was recently utilized in the Foundation’s first trip to Tanzania during August of 2017.Eden’s passions lie within the realm of educational advocacy and public policy, and is very excited to channel her abilities into furthering the mission of The Democracy Commitment.

Michigan-Based Regional Civic Intern

Angelo Kapp is a student at Delta College in Michigan and also attends Northwood University. Angelo served as a student intern at the CLDE16 in Indianapolis, IN. He is the former Vice President of Citizens In Action, a student-led club that promotes student civic engagement around campus and local communities. Angelo is a member on the advisory committee for Somos Hispanos, a PBS show about Hispanic people: how they live, the issues they face day to day, and the positive work they do to make a difference in the community. The show highlights people, culture, and events that help promote positive images of the Hispanic community.  He is pursuing a degree in Advertising and Marketing and is a member of DECA, Society of Hispanic Leaders, and the American Advertising Federation.

 

New Jersey-Based Regional Civic Intern

 

Cindy Nicole Aldana is currently a second year student at Raritan Valley Community College located in Central New Jersey. Cindy is currently working to receive an Associate’s degree in Communications and Political Science. At RVCC, she also serves as a Senator for the Student Government Association, President of Debate Club and also a member of the Feminist Coalition. After finishing her last year at RV, she plans to transfer and has a grocery of list of schools that she desires to. One of them being Georgetown due to their great academics and integrity, as well as their beautiful location. After finishing her Bachelor’s degree, she aspires to attend Law School in the hopes and aspiration to practice Constitutional Law. To which, practicing law will give her great experience for her ultimate career goal; to become an Elected Official. All these goals and aspirations developed due to her interactions and experiences a RVCC. Communicating with students on their concerns and needs sparked her interest in desiring to serve with a purpose bigger than herself.

 

We look forward to working with these engaged student citizens and stay tuned as they help The Democracy Commitment advance democracy and citizenship in our community colleges.

-Verdis Robinson, TDC National Director

“Developing a Democratic Engagement Action Plan” Webinar

“Developing a Democratic Engagement Action Plan” Webinar

REGISTER NOW

On Monday, September 11 at 2:00 pm EST, the All IN Campus Democracy Challenge will be hosting a webinar entitled, “Developing a Democratic Engagement Action Plan” as part of its ongoing series.

This one-hour webinar will stress the importance of action planning in the process of increasing democratic engagement on college and university campuses. “Action planning” is a way to help campus administrators, faculty, students, and community members focus ideas and decide what steps need to be taken to achieve institutional goals related to democratic engagement. The resulting action plan document will serve to increase efficiency and accountability, and make the vision for change concrete.

In the “Developing a Democratic Engagement Action Plan” webinar, speakers will share a set of new guidelines established by the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) Coalition intended to help navigate the writing of democratic engagement action plans, create action plans to increase student voting rates, aid students in forming the habits of active and informed citizenship and make democratic participation a core value on campus.

Speakers

Jennifer Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project
American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Stephanie Reynolds, Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and CLDE
NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

Verdis L. Robinson, National Director
The Democracy Commitment

Clarissa Unger, Civic Engagement Director
Young Invincibles

For questions or additional information please contact Catherine Fish at cat@civicnation.org.

REGISTER NOW

Meet the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting Planning Committee

Meet the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting Planning Committee

 

AASCU’s American Democracy Project, The Democracy Committee and the NASPA Lead Initiative are proud to announce its committee members for the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting in Anaheim, California. Below you’ll find out more about them and their contributions to spirit of civic engagement and learning in higher education.

Committee Leadership

Jennifer Domagal-Goldman directs AASCU’s American Democracy Project (ADP). She earned her doctorate in higher education from the Pennsylvania State University. She received her master’s degree in higher education and student affairs administration from the University of Vermont and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester. Jennifer’s dissertation focused on how faculties learn to incorporate civic learning and engagement in their undergraduate teaching within their academic discipline. Jennifer holds an ex-officio position on the eJournal of Public Affairs’ editorial board and sits on the boards of the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition.

Stephanie King is the Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Initiatives at NASPA where she directs the NASPA Lead Initiative.  She has worked in higher education since 2009 in the areas of student activities, orientation, residence life, and civic learning and democratic engagement. Stephanie earned her Master of Arts in Psychology at Chatham University and her B.S. in Biology from Walsh University. She has served as the Coordinator for Commuter, Evening and Weekend Programs at Walsh University, Administrative Assistant to the VP and Dean of Students for the Office of Student Affairs, the Coordinator of Student Affairs, and the Assistant Director of Residence Life and Student Affairs at Chatham University.

 

Verdis L. Robinson is the National Director of The Democracy Commitment after serving as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies at Monroe Community College (NY). Professionally, Verdis is a fellow of the Aspen Institute’s Faculty Seminar on Citizenship and the American and Global Polity, and the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Faculty Seminar on Rethinking Black Freedom Studies: The Jim Crow North and West.  Additionally, Verdis is the founder of the Rochester Neighborhood Oral History Project that with his service-learning students created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the 1964 Race Riots, which has engaged over 400 members of Rochester community in dialogue and learning.  He holds a B.M. in Voice Performance from Boston University, a B.S. and an M.A. in History from SUNY College at Brockport, and an M.A. in African-American Studies from SUNY University at Buffalo.

Committee Members

Melissa Baker-Boosamra is the Associate Director of Student Life for Civic Engagement and Assessment at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) (Mich.). In her role she directs the work of the GVSU Community Service Learning Center and is responsible for coordinating assessment efforts throughout the Office of Student Life. Prior to this role, Melissa served as the founding Program Director for Cook Library Scholars program, a college pipeline program for students from first generation immigrant families in Grand Rapids, MI. Melissa also served as a faculty member in the GVSU Brooks College where she developed and implemented a number of innovative courses, including Global Citizenship, an international service learning course, which led students to Guatemala in order to explore the relationship between global problems and local solutions. She was recognized for her achievements by Michigan Campus Compact in 2010, and was named a Presidential Service Scholar. Melissa finds great joy in spending time with her three children, gardening, dancing and she just completed her first (mini!) triathlon!

Gregg Grenier is the Director of Community Engagement at Mount Ida College (Mass.) where he was the co-founder of the Center for Community Engagement in July 2016. Gregg has extensive experience in the community engagement and service-learning field as a student, a professional within the nonprofit sector, and as a professional within the higher education field. Gregg’s expertise is specifically in nonprofit financial management, board development, and volunteer management. As part of his position at Mount Ida, Gregg oversees all community partner relationships for curricular and co-curricular experiences, civic engagement, day-to-day operations of the Center, and service trips. Gregg’s passion for civic engagement stems from his work within community engagement where he became increasingly frustrated with formal and informal systems that lead to certain populations being disadvantaged. Gregg holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Bentley University and a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Columbia University.

Daisy Henderson is a visiting professor of Sociology at the College of Arts and Sciences at Ferris State University (Mich.). She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY Buffalo). Her research interests include the sociology of the family, race/class/ethnicity, qualitative sociology, with an additional expertise in foster care families and social inequality. While at SUNY Buffalo she was the principal researcher on projects related to foster care placements for the Center of Development for Human Services (CDHS) in Erie County, New York, and SUNY Buffalo. As the principal researcher on these projects, she has created resource manuals, teaching curriculums and user guides for case/social workers as well pamphlets for families interested in foster care/adoption services. She has presented her research at several conferences such as the Eastern Sociological Conference, the North Central Sociological Association, and the American Association of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She has participated in training workshops such as Deliberate Dialogue Moderator Training and Intergroup Dialogue and Education Diversity Workshop. She also served as a deliberate dialogue moderator at the Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting.

 

Chris Hutchison, Ph.D., serves as the assistant dean of students at Chapman University (CA). In this role, he oversees civic engagement initiatives, cross-cultural engagement, Greek life, student organizations, the student union and fitness center. He also advises the Student Government Association, serves on the University’s Diversity Response Committee, and the Community Engagement and Service Learning Working Group. Additionally, Chris serves as an adjunct faculty member in the College of Educational Studies at Chapman, teaching in the undergraduate Leadership Studies Minor program and the Higher Education Emphasis for the Master of Arts in Leadership Development. Chris received his M.A. in leadership studies from the University of San Diego and his M.S. in educational studies-higher education from the University of Oxford. He also received his Ph.D. in education from Chapman University, researching undergraduate civic learning and its impact from employing democratic pedagogy, embedding experiential processes, and centralizing university-community dynamics within the curriculum. Through Chapman’s role as a Lead Advisory Institution, he has been active in NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) since its inception in 2012; he also served on the 2014 NASPA Western Regional Conference Planning Committee. Chris is in his 20th year serving as a higher education professional.

Molly Kerby is an Associate Professor in the Department of Diversity & Community Studies at Western Kentucky University. She teaches primarily in the Diversity and Community Studies undergraduate major and the Masters of Arts in Social Responsibility and Sustainable Communities (SRSC) graduate program. She also teaches courses in the Gender & Women’s Studies minor and the Global Pathways to Sustainability and Gender & Women’s Studies graduate certificate programs. Molly completed her undergraduate degree in sociology and environmental science in 1994 and masters degree in public health/environmental health in 1999 at Western Kentucky University. In 2007, Molly completed her Ph.D. program in Higher Education Administration at the University of Louisville. Her current research focuses on issues pertaining to higher education, sense of place, assessment, social policy, community-based research, and sustainability/resilience.

Duane D. Oakes has served as the Faculty Director for the Center for Community & Civic Engagement and Recreation Instructor at Mesa Community College (AZ) since 2000. At Chandler-Gilbert Community College (AZ) he helped create a comprehensive student life program which included the Service-learning program where he and his colleagues were recognized with the Innovation of the Year award from the District. He also served as a service-learning and civic responsibility trainer for the Community College National Center for Community Engagement and the American Association of Community Colleges for over 15 years. Duane service as the Chair of the Brigham Young University Alumni Association in Arizona and serves on the Mesa Public Schools Service-learning Advisory Board, volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America and supports his son’s high school supporting the music arts. Duane has worked in the higher education arena since 1990 helping students becoming better citizens through service and leadership.

Helen-Margaret Nasser is an Associate Director for Academic Affairs at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, N.Y. Nasser holds a bachelor’s degree from McGill University (Canada) in political science and international development studies and a master’s degree in political science from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where she concentrated on Middle East identity and civil society politics. She has been the administrator for the NEH funded Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation grant at Kingsborough and has supported faculty in their course redesign, innovations and event planning around themes of democracy, diversity, and community. She is heavily involved in civic engagement efforts, organized the colleges annual Immigration Day events, and offers extensive support to students. Nasser also serves as the Advisor for the Honors Club and the Phi Theta Kappa Chapter on campus.

Patty Robinson has worked at College of the Canyons (Calif.) since 1999 and has served in various roles, including Sociology Professor, Dean of the Social Sciences and Business Division, and Interim Dean, Center for Civic Engagement. She currently spearheads the College’s new campus-wide emphasis on civic and community engagement as Faculty Director, Civic and Community Engagement Initiatives. Receiving her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Davis, she pursued her interests in women’s history and medical sociology and eventually focused on the rise of 19th and 20th Century women’s organizations. Before transitioning into administration, she engaged her sociology students in a multitude of projects examining aspects of social aging, including facilitating a community-based oral history project entitled, Telling Their Stories. As a dean, she organized and facilitated the statewide Annual California Regional Academic Deans’ Retreat, drawing participants from community colleges throughout the state. Returning to her “sociological roots,” Patty remains committed to fostering a civic-mindset throughout the campus and community through her work with Community-Based Learning and civic engagement.

At California State University, Los Angeles, Michael Willard is a Professor of Liberal Studies and Faculty Director of Service Learning in the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. As Faculty Director of Service Learning, he has worked with faculty to integrate civic/service learning assignments and projects into their GE courses. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and his scholarly research focuses on popular culture, race and ethnicity, and Los Angeles History. His work in faculty and curriculum development includes creating an on-line faculty development module with ACUE for civic learning assignment design; leading faculty teams to implement transparent teaching methods that ensure equity-based student learning; and collaborating with student government and Student life to develop political and community engagement projects.

Call for Applications: CLDE18 Meeting Student Intern Opportunity 

Call for Applications: CLDE18 Meeting Student Intern Opportunity 

2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting- Student Intern Opportunity

June 6-9, 2018 | Anaheim, California

In order to encourage student participation in the 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE18) Meeting, AASCU’s the American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and NASPA’s Lead Initiative are proud to offer the opportunity for three students to have a voice on the planning committee.  This position will enable these students to do the following:

  • Organize the student symposium on Wednesday, June 6, 2018;
  • Have an active presence on social media and blog postings for ADP, TDC, and the NASPA Lead Initiative;
  • Coordinate student gatherings and programming while in Anaheim;
  • Volunteer on site at the CLDE18 Meeting in Anaheim;
  • Be on the planning committee conference calls leading up to the meeting;
  • Assist in reviewing program submissions late January and early February; and
  • Additional opportunities that may become available.

Each of the student interns will receive a complimentary registration to the CLDE18 meeting as well as transferable work experience.  To apply for this intern position, fill out the application by Friday, September 15, 2017.  The application can be found here.  The duration of this commitment will be remote from October 1, 2017- to June 31, 2018.  Expected workload will be about five hours per week and on-site from June 5-9, 2018, in Anaheim, California.   

All applicants will be notified about their application in late September 2017.  

For questions or concerns please contact:

Stephanie Reynolds
Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and CLDE Initiatives, NASPA
Sreynolds@naspa.org | (2012) 719-1193

Jen Domagal-Goldman
National Manager, American Democracy Project, AASCU
domagalj@aascu.org | (202) 478-7833

Verdis L. Robinson
National Director, The Democracy Commitment, AASCU
robinsonv@aascu.org | (202) 478-4656

Interns: Thomas and Nem

Interns: Thomas and Nem

Hello I am Thomas Armooh. I am from Gaithersburg, Maryland and I currently attend Elon University. My major is political science with a minor in American studies. Along with Livinus, I am a The Democracy Commitment intern for the summer of 2017. At Elon, I am an Andrew Goodman Ambassador; the organizations focus is to organize young voters on college campuses and increase the performance of civic engagement, specifically voting among students. This mission aligns well with the goals of The Democracy Commitment and its commitment as an organization to raise civic engagement on community college campuses. With that being said, I would like to work with Livinus (nem) on a voter engagement project that can help educate students about the effects of who they vote for and the impact that the candidate can have on current and future polices. I hope to have Verdis’ guidance and mentor-ship throughout the project to make it a success.

We worked on a campus engagement campaign and it required us to create a list of contact information of prospective colleges that may be interested in partnering with The Democracy Commitment. We went through many institutions and learned more about about how certain schools have specific programs that cater to its community and citizens. This helped us to gage which schools would be more likely to partner and benefit from TDC. We have also been working on revamping the social media like twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to reach out to more people who may not interact with TDC enough and need to get more information. My goal is to learn more about civic engagement as a whole and enhance my skills in communication through written projects and speaking engagements. I believe that this can serve me well in my pursuit to become a lawyer. I plan to attend law school upon graduation in 2019 and focus on criminal or constitutional law. I hope that I can add very real and impactful value to The Democracy Commitment during my time here and improve in areas that can help in my professional development.


 

My name is Livinus “Nem” Isioma. I am a Nigerian-American and a resident of Frankfort, Illinois. I was born and raised in Nigeria. I came to the United States in 2012 and started my high school education. By 2015, I gained American citizenship. I am a currently a junior at Indiana State University majoring in Political Science and minoring in Civic Leadership. I am also currently an intern at The Democracy Commitment in Washington, D.C. I intend to go to law school and practice contract law afterwards.

 

So far, interning with The Democracy Commitment has being a great experience. In a month, I have successfully gotten so many contacts of administrators and staff from different state colleges all over the nation. I have also created and manage a LinkedIn and SnapChat (therealtdc) account for The Democracy Commitment. I have had a great time taking care of those tasks, but have some aspiration to achieve while my internship still takes place at The Democracy Commitment. These include; helping in the completion of a membership campaign, writing blogs, learning more about leadership, management, and administration, and learning to be a good professional.

 

 

#CLDE17 BALTIMORE IN REVIEW

#CLDE17 BALTIMORE IN REVIEW

#CLDE17 Baltimore in Review

Our recent 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in Baltimore, Md., brought together a great group of faculty, students, administrators, community partners and representatives from our national sponsor and partner organizations committed to advancing civic learning and democratic engagement through higher education.

Read on for highlights of our time together.

By The Numbers

608 participants (100 more than in 2016!) representing 181 colleges and universities as well as 52 other organizations.

  • 161 Four-year Colleges and Universities (103 public; 38 private)
  • 39 Community Colleges
  • 1 international university
  • 113 Students
  • 19 Sponsors/Exhibitors

Program Overview

The full program is available for download here (pdf).

Pre-Conference highlights:

  • The 2017 CLDE Meeting opened with nine pre-conference sessions that engaged participants in a variety of important civic learning and democratic engagement topics. Participants were invited to take part in one or both of a pair of popular Educational Testing Service (ETS)- sponsored Civic Engagement Assessment Pre-Conference Workshops focused on planning for institution-wide data collection and measuring civic outcomes during college, respectively.
  • Other pre-conference workshops included a full-day Charting a Course on the Pathway to Civic Engagement: An Inventory and Action Plan for Engaged Campuses workshop for campus teams as well as a set of half-day workshops including: Measures That Matter: Regarding Engaged Scholarship In Tenure and Promotion; Dialogue and Democratic Deliberation: Moderator Training; Educating for the Democracy We Want, Not the One We Have; and Integrating Civic Responsibility into the Curriculum.
  • The Student Pre-Conference Workshop was organized for students, by students. Led by the 2017 CLDE Student Intern Team (Amber Austin, sophomore, Tarrant County College (Texas.); Christina Melecio, sophomore, Winona State University (Minn.); and Tyler Ferrari, sophomore, Chapman University (Calif.)), the session introduced students to #CLDEStuds17 and provided a space to discuss issues focused on being an active participant in local and national communities, and introduced students tools to be effective activists in their communities.
  • In being mindful of the city that CLDE17 took place, there were three opportunities to engage with the Baltimore community. Two walking tours (Westside of Downtown Baltimore and Baltimore “Untour”) led by University of Maryland Baltimore County faculty members Nicole King, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of American Studies and Joby Taylor, director, Peaceworker Program at The Shriver Center. Towson University supported an exploratory session by Bus (Right to the City – Curtis Bay: Community Engagement through a Mobile App) led by Nicole Fabricant, associate professor; and Matthew Durington and Samuel Collins, professors, department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice.

Some of the more than 130 students that participated in #CLDE17

Opening Plenary & First Day highlights:

Visual Journalist Ellen Lovelidge’s depiction of the themes from Thursday’s Plenary

Participants had the opportunity to participate in two sponsored lunch sessions. The first, a 2017 Voter Engagement Symposium organized by our friends at TurboVote, provided an interactive symposium on what it takes to engaged student voters in not one, but all of their elections. The second lunch, sponsored by our friends at Roadtrip Nation, included a screening of their documentary film Beyond the Dream and included a panel discussion about undocumented immigrants and their higher education journeys.

  • UMBC President Freeman Hrabowski, III welcomed participants to Baltimore and reminded us that the most important office in our democracy is that of citizen. Three CivEd talks then kicked off Thursday afternoon’s opening plenary session. These three, short, dynamic and fast-paced presentations by members of the civic learning and democratic engagement community  inspired and challenged our collective imagination and thinking. The talks were given by: Jane Coaston, political reporter, MTV News, Martín Carcasson, founder and director, Center for Public Deliberation, Colorado State University, and Eric Liu, CEO, Citizen University. Attendees also participated in a Sworn Again citizen ceremony lead by Eric Liu.
  • Participants were each given a copy of Eric Liu’s new 2017 book You’re More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen’s Guide to Making Change Happen and had the opportunity to have Eric sign their books during our networking reception. They were also able to learn from poster presenters and the campus showcase tables.

Friday highlights:

More than 50 participants volunteered as table moderators during Friday’s plenary

  • Friday morning participants started their day with a Dialogue and Deliberation Forum: Safety and Justice: How Should Communities Reduce Violence? This session — offered in conjunction with our friends at the National Issues Forums Institute — explored the increasing violence in U.S. communities, law enforcement, and race and how this violence undermines national ideals of safety and justice for all citizens. Attendees used briefing materials prepared by the Kettering Foundation to participate in deliberations promoted by the National Issues Forums Institute and spent time considering the difficult choices the nation must face in order to make progress.  Over 50 CLDE attendees graciously volunteered to serve as table moderators to over 400 participants.  The forum concluded with a panel discussing the applications of these forums in classrooms, campuses, and communities, and discussed why this civic skill is so critical now more than ever before.  Panelists included:  Adam Thompson, junior, Winona State University (Minn.); John Dedrick, Vice-President, Kettering Foundation; Emily Bowling, Assistant Director of Student Leadership & Involvement for Civic Engagement and Sustainability, Oregon State University; and John J. Theis, Executive Director, Center for Civic Engagement, Lone Star College (Texas). Participants left the forum with a hands-on, interactive experience in deliberative democracy that can be applied across higher education.

Saturday highlights:

Our final plenary session on Saturday, June 10th, The Theory of Our Work – Today and Tomorrow: What’s Next?, focused on our emergent theory of change. Participants engaged in conversations about the emerging theory of change for our conference and work, based on elements from A Crucible Moment and on our four guiding questions. The guiding questions are:

  1. Vision question: What are the key features of a thriving democracy we aspire to enact and support through our work?
  2. Learning Outcomes question: What knowledge, skills, and dispositions do people need in order to help create and contribute to a thriving democracy?
  3. Pedagogy question: How can we best foster the acquisition and development of the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for a thriving democracy?
  4. Strategy question: How can we build the institutional culture, infrastructure, and relationships needed to support learning that enables a thriving democracy?

Responses to each were given by: Manisha Vepa, undergraduate student, and David Hoffman, assistant director, student life, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC); Sandy Rodriguez, director, ASUN Center for Student Engagement, University of Nevada, Reno; and Helen-Margaret Nasser, associate director, honors program, CUNY Kingsborough Community College (NY).

We considered what a thriving democracy looks like and higher education’s role in cultivating this democracy. View the full theory of change here.

CLDE Theory of Change | 4 Questions | Front of Placemat

CLDE Theory of Change | Back of Placemat

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR SPONSORS

The 2017 CLDE Meeting in Baltimore, MD. could not have been a success without the continued support from our sponsors. They have shown an unwavering commitment to securing an effective method of fostering democracy. Our sponsors’ contributions were  instrumental in creating meaningful dialogue that helped set the agenda for future goals, initiatives and partnerships. We would like to thank the following:

ADP, TDC, and NASPA have deep admiration and gratitude for each organization and the support they provided to the 2017 CLDE Meeting. We look forward to future collaborations.

CLDE 2018

We hope to see you in Anaheim, California, from June 6-9, 2018, for the next CLDE Meeting where we will continue our important work of preparing informed, engaged citizens for our democracy.

PowerPoints and other handouts from the meeting are available through the meeting’s mobile app. Please email sreynolds@naspa.org with any additional materials you’d like uploaded into the app.

Finally, to see more pictures from the meeting, visit the ADP Facebook Page (CLDE17 album); please send any photos you took to adp@aascu.org so that we can upload them to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

RIGHT TO THE CITY – CURTIS BAY: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT THROUGH A MOBILE APP EXPLORATORY SESSION BY BUS

RIGHT TO THE CITY – CURTIS BAY: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT THROUGH A MOBILE APP EXPLORATORY SESSION BY BUS

 

Right to the City – Curtis Bay: Community Engagement through a Mobile App Exploratory Session by Bus | Sponsored by Towson University

Anthropology students and faculty at Towson University along with the United Workers-Free Your Voice have been working on a participatory action research project with high-school students in environmental science classes to qualitatively study the environmental hazards in South Baltimore. Curtis Bay, Maryland is located in the southern portion of the City of Baltimore, Maryland. The neighborhood is located in a highly industrialized waterfront area in the southern part of the city and receives its name from the body (cove) of water to the east in which it sits. The area has had a toxic history.

Historic Sediments of Global Trade

During the 19th century, guano fertilizer from Peru was a prized commodity, particularly around the Chesapeake bay where both cotton and tobacco had drained the soil of its nutrients. Guano imports which migrated through and often remained in Curtis Bay initiated a long period of uneven disposal of hazardous and/or toxic materials in the soils, air, and bodies of residents.

Global Oil 

Prudential Oil Corporations in 1914 established a refinery in the middle of the Peninsula. Texas Oil Company of Delaware was established before the end of WWI. By the end of 1918, the Fairfield Peninsula was home to at least three petroleum product refineries and several fertilizer plants. Oil refining exposes the surrounding community to the risk of intense explosions while coal dust exacerbates lung and cardiovascular diseases.

Shipbuilding, Ship Breakdown in a Postindustrial wasteland

The Wartime efforts in the 1940s to manufacture materials needed to fortify American troops affected Curtis Bay. During this period, thousands of workers from WVA and elsewhere in Appalachia and African Americans migrated to Fairfield Peninsula for jobs in the shipbuilding and other emergent wartime industries. White workers received decent government subsidized housing while Blacks continued to be exiled to Old Fairfield only having access to substandard housing. The memories of expansive capitalism, exploitative laboring relations, race/class based discrimination, and toxicity do not simply linger as a historic artifact but rather continue to define how this landscape is viewed in Baltimore.

The Next Step in Curtis Bay’s Steady Decline into Toxicity

In 2009, Energy Answers announced it would build the nation’s largest trash-to-energy incinerator in Fairfield and presented the project as a solution to two crises: the waste crisis and the energy crisis. Energy Answers International promoted the project as a power plant providing schools and other facilities with “green energy.” The incinerator was originally slated to be sited less than a mile from Benjamin Franklin High School and Curtis Bay Elementary, which state environmental regulations wouldn’t have typically allowed (no incinerator can be built that close to a school). However, when the Public Service Commission approved the incinerator as an energy plant.*

Seize this opportunity to explore the Curtis Bay Area and the social justice work with Nicole Fabricant, Matthew Durington, and Samuel Collins, Ph.D.s, Associate Professors, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Towson University along with the students and community agencies.

*For more on the Campaign to bring to an end the Trash to Energy Incinerator, See https://stoptheincinerator.wordpress.com/

#CLDE17 Quick Links

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