Dear The Democracy Commitment colleagues and friends,
It is with a mixture of sadness and deep appreciation that we pass on the news that Amee Bearne, our founding national coordinator, will be leaving office this coming January. Amee entered graduate school this fall, and has secured a wonderful full-time paid internship opportunity in the field (urban planning) and place of her fondest dreams, her current town outside of Washington, DC. Amee always told us she would be making a transition into planning, where her passion for sustainable growth, citizen participation in community development, and environmental justice can have its best expression. We kept hoping she would delay (and keep delaying), but we have to admit that this opportunity was too good to pass up.
We’re sad at losing Amee, and filled with appreciation for her work and care over these past two-and-a-half years. Under her thoughtful attention, our campus network has grown to over 130 community college campuses, our campus coordinators have always had the support they needed from Washington, our national web presence grew dramatically, and our annual meeting had the steady hand of Amee in the planning and execution of the event. Amee is rightfully proud of playing so central a role in the founding of the first national network for community college civic engagement, and we are deeply in her debt.
Bernie Ronan and I joined George Mehaffy in Washington last week to identify someone to serve in an interim role until such time as we can mount a search to fill the permanent position. We are delighted to announce that Stephanie South, already at AASCU, has agreed to serve as our interim national coordinator. Stephanie is deeply experienced in civic engagement work, and brings a passion and commitment for our shared work of democratic engagement. During the year that she has been at AASCU, her work included a variety of initiatives and projects closely allied with TDC and AASCU’s American Democracy Project. I can think of no one who is in a better position to move into the role of interim national coordinator and maintain the amazing progress that we have enjoyed over the past two and a half years. We are delighted that Stephanie will work as the interim national coordinator of TDC.
We will look forward to celebrating the many contributions Amee Bearne has made to The Democracy Commitment at our annual meeting in June, in Louisville. For more information about the meeting, please visit our website meeting page. There you can find information about our Call for Proposals, registration, hotel, and meeting theme. It looks like the meeting will, once again, be an excellent one.
I look forward to seeing many of you in Louisville. Meanwhile, happy holidays.
President, De Anza College