The new Civic Engagement Course Development Mini-Grant program has begun. Nine faculty members have been approved for funds from the Center for Civic Engagement to create or revise a civic engagement component in a course they teach. Daniel Eisen (Sociology), Dawn Salgado (Psychology), Ramona Ilea (Philosophy), Tim Thompson (English), Jessica Ritter (Social Work), Terry O'Day (Art), Jana Peterson-Besse (Public Health), Lisa Sardinia (Biology), and Jann Purdy (World Languages) attended a workshop on February 8th and will continue to receive specialized support from the CCE as they develop their courses for the 2013-2014 school year. The School of Social Science and School of Arts & Humanities also contributed funds for this program -- thank you!
CCE welcomes B Street Living Museum
The B Street Living Museum, also known as the B Street Permaculture Project, is now housed within the Center for Civic Engagement. Director Terry O'Day will be working with CCE staff to increase the community connections at B Street so that we can maximize opportunities for collaboration, education, and civic participation related to sustainability, permaculture, local food production, and more. CCE staff will soon be creating an advisory board to shape the future of B Street Living Museum. Stay tuned for updates on how our work unfolds.
Jenna Stevens '14
Student Spotlight: Jenna Stevens in Nicaragua
By Jenna Stevens
My trip to Nicaragua with Biology faculty member, Paige Baugher, and fellow student, Alec Bowcock, was one of great perspective. We volunteered for FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children) alongside other college students from around the country. Our five days at their “clinic” – a large brick room in the middle of a rural village – consisted of observing the pediatrician, working in the makeshift pharmacy, practicing Spanish, painting, and completing various projects.
I couldn't believe how much my Spanish improved after just ten days! I was the only one in my group that spoke Spanish, so I was forced to use it and communicate in order to get us where we needed to be. I can only imagine where my language skills would be if I could spend a month or two in a Spanish-speaking country. During our down time, we ate authentic meals, visited members of the community and a natural healer, swam in the hot springs, went surfing and horseback riding, and made lasting friendships.
Although I enjoyed all of the fun activities, the time spent in the clinic and in the community was the most rewarding. We were able to do things at the clinic that we would never be allowed to do as undergraduate students in the United States. We did blood sugar and blood pressure tests and we were the ones filling out the patient charts and taking vitals. We also were sitting in on the consultations – seeing and hearing all of the medical details of each child. This level of involvement is unheard of in the U.S. for young college students. It made me realize how much help these international relief organizations really need. There were only two women running the entire site, which includes the clinic as well as all of the community programs they run. The work isn’t as glamorous and easy as it may seem on the internet or on TV, but my volunteering experience definitely confirmed that I do want to work internationally. It was a memorable and valuable experience that I won’t be forgetting any time soon.
A huge thank to the Elise Elliott Fund, which provided the three of us with a grant to fund our entire trip.
Faculty present about Civic Engagement in the Humanities
Congratulations to Pacific professors Ramona Ilea (Philosophy), Brent Johnson (English), Enie Vaisburd (Media Arts), and Jennifer Hardacker (Media Arts), who presented at the Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference in January. Their session, entitled "Sustainability through Civic Engagement in the Humanities," highlighted ways that they encourage students to take action on sustainability issues in their courses. CCE director Stephanie Stokamer moderated the panel.
Students, Faculty, and Partners "Get on the Same Page" with CE Agreements & Expectations
Community partners, have you ever had a Pacific student volunteer for your organization as part of a class, but not know what they were supposed to learn? And faculty, have you ever asked students to do a civic engagement project, but not been in touch with the community partner where they served? Over the next few semesters, the Center for Civic Engagement will be working with faculty and community partners to develop agreements and expectations for civic engagement projects.
Sometimes that will mean one agreement per student, and sometimes it will mean one agreement per small group or class, depending on the structure of the experience.
We are hoping that clear expectations will facilitate communication and transparent collaboration for student learning and community impact, and reduce confusion among stakeholders. We believe that over time, our regular partners will become familiar with different classes and faculty, and comfortable working with individual students to reach their goals. In addition, clear understanding about what we hope students will learn and what we hope their impact to be will enable honest assessment of their work and ours. We will be piloting a few different approaches and seek your ideas about what will work for you. A civic engagement agreement is not intended to be a legal document, just something to facilitate a healthy collaboration that leads to student learning and community impact. We appreciate your cooperation as we figure out the best ways to "get on the same page."
CCE Mentor Program Takes Off
By Stephanie Stokamer and Amy Smetana
The CCE Mentor Program is underway and off to a good start. Amy Smetana, the AmeriCorps Mentor Program Coordinator housed in the CCE, has partnered with several area schools to get our program going. The Mentor Program at Pacific connects Pacific students with meaningful mentoring opportunities in Forest Grove and Hillsboro schools, focusing on students from 5th to 12th grade. With over five school partners, we offer a wide variety of ways for mentors to get involved. They can help mentees become the first in their family to attend college and get scholarships, become a homework or OAKS (Oregon Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) tutor, play games, facilitate creative writing, build self-esteem, and more!
John Yee '16, of Beaveron, Oregon, was one of the first mentors to sign up. John mentored in high school, and when he came to Pacific, he decided to get involved here. Currently, John is a mentor at Liberty High School, where he teaches math. He writes, "The thing I like most about mentoring is the feeling I get after every mentoring session. My mentees leave understanding a little more about the concepts they were previously confused about, and it makes me happy that I'm able to give help to those who really want it.”
Vicky Lindberg is John's supervisor at Liberty. She has said that the work of Pacific students makes a difference, and that Liberty students look forward to the Pacific mentor’s arriving at the school and helping them increase their skill level in reading and math. According to Vicki, "The high school students thought it was 'cool' that the Pacific students would drive to Liberty and help them...The Liberty students’ academic skill level in math and reading increased; some of them passed the state assessment for the first time and were very proud of their progress. Due to the bond our students formed with the Pacific Mentors their motivation increased as they wanted to please the mentors resulting in academic engagement and success. "
Amy, who is an AmeriCorps member through the Retention Project, adds, “John is a great mentor who is dedicated to his mentees and has worked hard to find new and better ways to teach them math. Additionally, I appreciate his willingness to participate in various events on campus supported by the Mentor Program.”
We're always looking for more mentors like John, so if you know someone who's interested, please have them get in touch. Amy's desk is in the Center for Civic Engagement office in Scott 110. Please stop by or email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in learning more.
The CCE has added a new way to communicate with both faculty and community partners. We have two new, targeted, listervs. The CEfaculty Listserv (CEfaculty@lists.pacificu.edu) is for faculty and others interested in announcements and resources related to civic engagement teaching and scholarship. Examples of communication items include conference and journal submission requests, faculty development opportunities, announcements of funding opportunities, discussion of resources or other pedagogical issues.
The CEpartner Listserv (CEpartners@lists.pacificu.edu) is for organizations and agencies with whom we collaborate to provide civic engagement opportunities for our students (or faculty and staff). Examples of communication items include invitations to events at Pacific that are relevant to you, announcements of new policies or procedures, discussion of concerns or celebrations of success.
You are invited to join these lists. We have added some of you already, but if you wish we had not, please remove yourself with our apologies (or email us at email@example.com and we will add or remove you). Pacific faculty and staff can also sign up for the CEfaculty list through MyAccount.
Both lists are set up for discussion as well as announcements. Because this approach is new for the CCE, we are unsure of the volume, but promise to be mindful of email overload and limit our communications.
Alex Hatch '15 & Shandra Swilling '13
Election season is over, and Pacific students got involved! CCE Elections Intern Shandra Swilling '13 organized voter registration drives, ballot discussions, and a "get out the vote" effort. Over 150 people registered to vote, including students from Hawaii, California, Washington, and other states who registered online. Every vote counts!
CCE Celebrates MLK Day with the Campus & Community
On January 21st, members of the campus and community came together to honor and remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By all accounts the event was a success. The day included a viewing of the president's inauguration, children's activities led by Roots & Shoots, a march through town, and a program with keynote speaker Margaret Carter, local poet Amy Thomas, and vocalist Saeeda Wright. Forest Grove Mayor and Pacific alum Pete Truax was the emcee. Thanks to all who attended and helped make the day a success. Check out the photos!
Gifts for Good Craft Parties - 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 5-8 pm in the CCE (110 Scott Hall). Make crafts from recycled materials that can be sold to raise funds for community organizations. Open to crafters at any skill level!
Wednesday, February 13th - Civic Engagement Brown Bag Discussion: "Working with Community Partners in Civic Engagement" (Topic change), 12:00-1:00 PM, 110 Scott Hall (CCE); Brown bag discussions are loosely facilitated opportunities for conversation with colleagues about civic engagement topics. Come when you can and stay for as long as you'd like.
Thursday, March 21st - Faculty Forum: "Facilitating Student Learning through Civic Engagement," 4:15-5:30 PM, Library Conference Room.
March 23-March 30 - Alternative Spring Break trip to San Francisco
April 22-26 - Earth Week. If you are interested in hosting and event, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put you in touch with Earth Week organizers.
May 10-15 - Give & Go move out program
Words of Wisdom
"That's your new definition of greatness...everybody can be great. Because everybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant."
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "The Drum Major Instinct"
Want to know what's going on around campus or in the community related to civic engagement? Like us on Facebook to get all the latest news and announcements.
Want to find or share a volunteer placement, summer program, or other civic engagement opportunity? Follow us on our Opportunity Blog.
Want to have news and announcements sent to your inbox? Join our listserv by signing up in BoxerOnline.
Want to know more about the Center for Civic Engagement and our programs? Visit our website.
Want to talk with a real person? Come by the Center for Civic Engagement Offices in 109 & 110 Scott Hall.
No matter how you get involved, together we can make a difference.
The CCE newsletter is intended to keep our campus and community stakeholders informed about civic engagement activities at Pacific. We invite you to share your updates for future issues and to send feedback our way. Please let us know if you'd like to be removed from our mailing list. E-mail email@example.com for assistance with any of our communications. Thanks for reading!