Call for Proposals Now Open: CLDE17 Meeting

Submit your proposal by January 30, 2017.

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 (#CLDE17) Meeting in Baltimore, Md. from June 7-10, 2017, 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.

This year’s conference is seeking to enhance our emergent theory of change adapted from threads of the 2012 Crucible Moment report. Thus, we are seeking conference proposals that consider how best to cultivate the following elements within their civic engagement work:

Civic Ethos governing campus life: 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.

Submit your Program Proposal by Jan. 30, 2017 by visiting here: 2017 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting and learn more about the #CLDE17 Meeting at the official meeting website.  Registration will open in December 2016.

Engage Tomorrow’s Election with TDC and ADP

As we are less than 24 hours away  from election day, we have some opportunities to engage the election nationally for you to pass on to your campuses for students, faculty, staff, and community.


Millennial Monday: Voting Questions?  What You Need to know Before #ElectionDay

The Students Learn Students Vote coalition (SLSV) is sponsoring a Twitter Chat using #MillennialMon on Monday, November 7, 3-4 pm ET hosted by Young Invincibles @YoungInvincible.  TDC is a partner in this event and the program promises to answer all last minute questions concerning voting the this year’s election.


TDC Tweeter Chat using #iVoted16

Please join TDC in a week-long Tweeter Chat using #iVoted16 and share your experience engaging in this election.  The most compelling tweets will be highlighted nationally in our next newsletter.


Election Night Returns Party Tweet-Up using #iElection16

As part of the ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 intiative powered by icitizen, James Madison University is hosting an Election Night Returns Party and Tweet-Up on 11/8 from 7 pm-12 am.  Verdis Robinson, TDC Interim National Manager, will be on the scene to interview attendees, record reactions to returns, and help celebrate our democracy in action.  Join us on tweeter by using #iElection16 and visit the TDC facebook page for live feeds every half an hour until a new president is elected.


Join TDC interim National Manager on Snapchat:  tdcnational

Verdis Robinson will be snapchating while at JMU’s Election Night Return Party capturing reactions, experiences, stories, and comments.  Join his snapchats every half an hour opposite the facebook live feeds until a new president is elected.

Student Intern Opportunity For CLDE17

Our 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE17) Meeting is a conference that will take place in Baltimore, Md. from June 7-10, 2017. The conference is a convening of higher education students, faculty, administrators, and civic engagement partners designed to build a movement of civic learning and democratic engagement across our colleges and universities. In order to encourage student participation in the CLDE17 meeting, the American Democracy Project, The Democracy Commitment, and the NASPA Lead Initiative are proud to offer the opportunity for three students to have a voice on the planning committee. These intern positions will enable students to do the following:

  • Organize a student symposium on Wednesday, June 7, 2017;
  • Actively promote student engagement in the CLDE17 meeting through blog posts and social media;
  • Coordinate student gatherings and programming at CLDE17;
  • Volunteer (e.g., at the registration desk) onsite at CLDE17;
  • Serve on the planning committee, participating in monthly conference calls, and work leading up to CLDE17; and
  • Additional opportunities will be made available.

We will select three students, one from each initiative as interns, and if chosen, each of the student interns will receive a complimentary registration to the CLDE17 meeting as well as transferable work experience.

Intern Expectations

The duration of this commitment will be remote from November 2016 to July 2017. Interns should expect to participate in monthly planning committee meetings as well as an increasing number of hours of planning as the conference approaches (e.g., program selection in February). All interns must be onsite from noon on Tuesday, June 6th through 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 10th.

Application Process

The process for selection requires the student to be nominated by a faculty or staff sponsor from an ADP, TDC, and/or NASPA campus. Applicants should complete the application form and secure endorsement from a sponsor,and forward the paperwork to Verdis Robinson, Interim National Manager of The Democracy Commitment for final selection by Tuesday, November 1, 2016 at robinsonv@aascu.org. The application can be found here. All applicants will be notified about their application by Friday, November 11, 2016. We look forward to receiving your application and hope to see you in Baltimore in June 2017!

For questions or concerns please contact:

Verdis Robinson
Interim National Manager, The Democracy Commitment
robinsonv@aascu.org | (202) 478-4656

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

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

ADP/TDC Presidential Debate Watch Tweet-Up Series Announced


Join Us! Engage the Election 2016 Debate Watch #iDebate16 Tweet-Ups

As part of our ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 initiative powered by icitizen, we will be hosting a series of Presidential Debate Watch Tweet-ups.

Planning a debate watch event on campus? Consider tweeting your ideas, questions, analysis and observations about the 2016 Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates as part of a political science, communications or other academic course or as part of a watch event planned on campus. Or join the conversation on your own! Whether you’re hosting a campus or organizational debate watch event or will be tuning into the debates on your own, we hope you’ll join us on Twitter using the #iDebate16 hashtag for a robust conversation and analysis of the debates, the candidates and the issues confronting our democracy.

If you’re hosting a debate watch event and/or plan to participate in these tweet-ups, please register your participation in this Google Form.

As ADP and TDC are non-partisan and interested in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens, we hope many of you will join us and encourage your students to do so as well—we want to encourage more students to engage in the electoral process and are not looking for a partisan battle, but for a supportive, interesting, and analytical conversation that encourages civic and political engagement.

Join Us!

  • What:  ADP/TDC 2016 Presidential Debate Watch Tweet-Ups
  • When:
    • Monday, 9/26:  Presidential Debate 1 from Hofstra University in NYC from 9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Eastern (our programming from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern)
    • Tuesday, 10/4: Vice Presidential Debate at Longwood University in Virginia 9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Eastern (our programming from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern)
    • Sunday, 10/9: Presidential Town Hall Meeting (time not yet announced)
    • Wednesday, 10/19:  Presidential Debate 2 from UNLV from 9 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Eastern (our programming from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern)
  • How: On Twitter using the hashtag #iDebate16; it only takes a few minutes for most students to learn to use Twitter, and they can create an account at https://twitter.com
  • Follow: @ADPaascu@TDCnational@icitizen and @ISUSOC_SMACC

Tweet-Up Guide:  Be sure to check out our all-new 2016 ADP/TDC Debate Watch Tweet-Up Guide!

Other Debate Watch Event Resources:

We’re thrilled to partner with icitizen, a civic technology company that will be conducting polling throughout the Presidential debates, as well as the election itself. They want to hear your voice! Go to www.icitizen.com, and/or download the icitizen app on your smartphone or tablet. You’ll be able to vote in polls and see how your answers stack up against others nationwide. In addition, Illinois State University’s Social Media Analytics Command Center (SMACC) will track and provide analysis of our #iDebate16 tweet-ups

It’s not too late to RSVP- Engage the Election Webinar #8: Text, Talk, Vote!

Engage the Election Logo

Webinar #8
Text, Talk, Vote!
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 2 p.m. EST  |  Register here.

Text Talk Vote logo.png

Our Eighth Free Webinar in the Engage the Election 2016 Series features Text, Talk, Vote!  Join Us!

Text, Talk, Vote uses a text-based platform to facilitate in-person conversations about voting with a small group of young people (3-4 per group). The group receives and discusses prompts delivered by text, interacting with each other and moving through the program at their own pace. The free program creates meaningful conversations about politics and policy, elevates the voices of younger voters, and increases civic participation and turnout. After using the platform, participants identifying as “definitely going to vote” rises by 21%. Participants not only enjoy the program and have a great time, but also feel more informed and report learning something new from their peers. Try Text, Talk, Vote right now by texting in “Vote” to 42016. You can use this free, open platform whenever you want.

TTV Toolkit can be found  here.
Communications Toolkit can be downloaded directly here.

For more information about Text, Talk, Vote.

Introducing the CLDE 2017 Planning Committee

CLDE 2017

The Association of  American State Colleges and Universities’ American Democracy Project (ADP), and The Democracy Commitment (TDC), in partnership with NASPA and its Lead Initiative are proud to announce its committee members for the 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 7-10, 2017. Below you’ll learn more about each committee member and their contributions to higher education’s civic work.

Staff Leadership

domagal-goldmanJennifer Domagal-Goldman directs AASCU’s American Democracy Project. 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-reynoldsStephanie Reynolds is the Assistant Director for Knowledge Communities and Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Initiatives at NASPA.  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-RobisnonVerdis LeVar Robinson is the interim National Manager of The Democracy Commitment (TDC). He comes to TDC as a tenured Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies having taught writing-intensive, web-enhanced, service-learning courses at Monroe Community College (NY) for the past 10 years. 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 created a walking tour of the community most impacted by the 1964 Race Riots, which has engaged over 300 members of the 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

fagan_forhanFagan Forhan is the Assistant Dean of K-12 Partnerships and Civic Engagement at Mount Wachusett Community College (Mass.). She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Psychology. Before coming to the MWCC in 2006, Fagan worked for six years with the Massachusetts State Legislature as Chief of Staff for former State Rep. Brian Knuuttila as a liaison for local nonprofits and constituents. In her current role, Fagan provides strategic direction and oversight for the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, as well as the college’s Division of Access and Transition. She serves as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education’s Study Group on Civic Learning, a National Steering Committee Member for The Democracy Commitment, and a steering committee member for the national Economic Inequality Initiative through the American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment. She also advises the Phi Delta Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and serves as an advisor for Otaku United.

david_hoffmanDavid Hoffman is the Assistant Director of Student Life for Civic Agency at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) 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).

jensen_christopherChristopher D. Jensen, Ph.D. is the Director for the Office of Civic Engagement and Leadership at Towson University (Md.). He has worked in higher education for over 17 years, in the areas of leadership development, community service/service-learning, campus safety, housing, Greek life, orientation, and enrollment management. Chris earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Studies in Religion, a M.Ed. from Michigan State University in Student Affairs Administration and a Ph.D. from Oakland University in Educational Leadership. His research has focused on the impact of community service experiences on students’ persistence in college. Chris coordinates many of the political engagement, environmental initiatives, service-learning, and leadership initiatives at Towson University.

rhonda_lewisRhonda K. Lewis, Ph.D., MPH. is a professor and chair of the psychology department at Wichita State University (Kan.). She is also a member of the Society for Community Research and Action, Division 27 of the American Psychological Association, and the Association of Black Psychologists. Lewis uses behavioral and community research methodologies to promote health and reduce educational inequity. Dr. Lewis has over 20 years of experience in community organizing, program development, and evaluation. Dr. Lewis’ research interest include: eliminating disparities in health among populations of color, working with disadvantaged populations, building healthy communities, and investigating adolescent and emerging African American adult health. She has over 50+ publications and 100 presentations at regional, national, and international conventions.

patrickobrien-edit-jpg1Patrick O’Brien serves as the Director, Civic Engagement, Student & Community Involvement at Frostburg State University (Md.) from which he received his B.S. in Business Management.   He is currently pursuing his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. While a student at FSU Patrick served as an AmeriCorps member with the A STAR! in Western Maryland AmeriCorps program as their VOICE Clearinghouse Volunteer Coordinator. He has been working for Frostburg State University as the Director of Civic Engagement since July of 2008. Patrick’s office works with programs including Special Olympics Maryland, Read to Succeed, Relay for Life, Alternative Breaks, and Beautify the ‘Burg to name a few. The office also houses their own AmeriCorps program (A STAR! in Western Maryland) that spans the four most western counties in Maryland (Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett) and includes over 20 full time members and 100 part time members.

duane_oakes_picture-editDuane D. Oakes has served as the Faculty Director for the Center for Community & Civic Engagement and Recreation Instructor at Mesa Community College (Ariz.) since 2000. At Chandler-Gilbert Community College 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.

julian-rogersJulian Rogers serves as the Director of Community Partnerships with Cleveland State University (Ohio) where he oversees the Office of Civic Engagement. Prior to this, he was a member of the inaugural Cuyahoga County Council where he represented a diverse district of about 118,000 people. Julian has also served as the Executive Director of Education Voters of Ohio, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving public education. Julian is a resident of Cleveland Heights, Ohio and is active in the community. He formerly served on the boards of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, and the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). He currently serves as a trustee for the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Julian was inducted into Kaleidoscope Magazine’s 40/40 Club and was awarded the Emerging Leader Award from the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus.

dianel-fidalgo-tomeDaniel Fidalgo Tomé is the Director of Service Learning at Stockton University (N.J.). He earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior from Cook College, Rutgers University and his Master in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He works closely with the faculty and students from Stockton University and community partners in the South Jersey region creating authentic, reciprocal relationships. Prior to his work at Stockton, he has worked at the City College of New York in Harlem overseeing diversity, community service and leadership development student programs, part of the City University of New York system and for the Board of Public Higher Education for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts coordinating the Undergraduate Research Conference for the state. 

erin-yokum-editErin Yokum is the Director of Student Life at Allegany College of Maryland (Md.), where she coordinates extracurricular and co-curricular experiences for students, faculty, staff and the community, as well as New Student Orientation. She oversees ACM’s student clubs/organizations and serves as the advisor to the Student Government Association and co-advisor for the Veteran Support Club. She is also a member of The Democracy Commitment committee and the Diversity committee for Allegany College of Maryland (among several other committees), helping to plan events (such as speakers, film screenings, discussions, Deliberative Dialogues, Democracy Cafés and voter registration drives) on campus around themes selected by the committees. Erin is active in several professional organizations, serves on the regional leadership team for NODA Region 8 and volunteers in several community organizations.

Please feel free to share ideas for the conference with committee members or in the comments space below– we look forward to planning the best CLDE meeting yet! #CLDE17