Programs

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

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

Meet The Democracy Commitment Interns

Meet The Democracy Commitment Interns

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.

2017 Street Law Community College  Faculty Development Seminar

2017 Street Law Community College Faculty Development Seminar

Street Law, Inc.—in collaboration with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the ABA Division for Public Education, and The Democracy Commitment—is offering a faculty development seminar for community college professors who are interested in developing a law-based civics program at their colleges. The program involves innovative classroom instruction and community-based learning.

Are you a community college faculty member or administrator? Are you (or would you like to be!) implementing a law and democracy course at your college?

Join us Sept. 22 to learn about the elements of Street Law’s Community College Program, the course curriculum, best practices in civic education instruction, and the positive impact the course can have on college students.

The seminar will be facilitated by Lee Arbetman, executive director of Street Law, Inc. and author of Street Law’s community college textbook, Street Law: Understanding Law and Legal Issues (McGraw-Hill Education, 2012).

Schedule:

8:30-9: Breakfast and check-in; 

9-3: Seminar (lunch will be served)

Cost:

$40 registration fee* to cover materials and meals

Register by clicking HERE.

For additional information about this Seminar, please contact Christine Lucianek at christine.lucianek@americanbar.org or 312-988-5737.

* Thanks to the generosity of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, this registration fee is waived for professors from Chicagoland community colleges. A modest transportation stipend is also available for these professors.

#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.