The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter

Volume 6, Spring Issue – June 2010

The Periclean Progress is a publication of Project Pericles, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.

National Office Announcements

2010 Periclean Faculty Leaders Announced: Project Pericles is pleased to announce the first cohort of 26 faculty members for the Periclean Faculty Leadership (PFL) Program ™. The Periclean Faculty Leaders will champion civic engagement in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community. Click here to view the list of 2010 Periclean Faculty Leaders and their courses. Periclean Faculty Leaders will create and teach courses in a wide variety of disciplines in the fine arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences that address issues of social concern, enrich curriculum, and enhance student social interest and involvement. They will also organize campus-wide activities and/or prepare an academic paper or project, and will partner with a Periclean Faculty Leader at another campus and consult with them throughout the program.

Twenty-six campuses will have a Periclean Leader who will work alongside the program director. Eleven of the Periclean Leaders are Assistant Professors and fifteen are Associate or Full Professors. Periclean Leaders will be teaching civic engagement courses in fields ranging from Immunology to Environmental Science to Non-Profit Management. Jan Liss, the Executive Director of Project Pericles, said, "We are so pleased with the quality and diversity of the faculty that were selected to participate in the Periclean Faculty Leadership Program and look forward to working with them to develop curriculum that will serve as models for faculty at campuses across the United States." Examples of the Periclean courses that will be taught in the upcoming academic year are:

B. Welling Hall from Earlham College will be teaching "CIVIC ENGAGEMENT TOOLKIT FOR LEGISLATIVE PROCESS." Professor Hall's course will prepare students for civic engagement by helping students translate how the work that they do in the liberal arts classroom is directly related to effective engagement in the legislative process. Professor Hall said that "students with any liberal arts major may find that the skills and methods taught in the course will be useful preparation for internships and jobs in government or as lobbyists."

Emily Kane from Bates College will be teaching "RESEARCH METHODS FOR SOCIOLOGY." Professor Kane's course will be a practical introduction to research methods used by sociologists, including survey research, content analysis, participant observation/field research, and qualitative interviewing. The assumptions of various approaches to social science research will be considered, along with application of methods of collection and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. These methods will be explored through a community-based research project in the Lewiston, Maine community.

Dominick Scudera from Ursinus College will be teaching "COMMUNITY BASED THEATER AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT." In Professor Scudera's course, students will examine the history, theory, and practice of a variety of community-based theaters, and will design and execute performance work tailored specifically to their local community.  Students will develop the ability to assess particular needs in the community and gain the skills to address those needs through community-based performance practices.

We thank our selection committee for helping us review the impressive pool of candidates: David Caputo, President Emeritus of Pace University and a member of the Project Pericles Board of Directors; Richard Ekman, President of the Council of Independent Colleges and a member of the Project Pericles Board of Directors; Neil Grabois, former President of Colgate University, former Vice President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and a member of the Project Pericles Board of Directors; and Cynthia Graae, former Executive Counselor at Project Pericles.

We thank The Teagle Foundation and the Eugene M. Lang Foundation for supporting this new Periclean program.

Project Pericles Welcomes our New Pericleans -- Carleton College, Morehouse College, and The College of Wooster
: Carleton College, a liberal arts college in Northfield, Minnesota, Morehouse College, a liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia, and The College of Wooster, a liberal arts college in Wooster, Ohio, have joined Project Pericles, bringing the number of Periclean colleges and universities to 28 (listed at the end of this newsletter).

Project Pericles at Carleton College, Morehouse College and The College of Wooster will advance the civic engagement efforts fostered under the leadership of President Robert A. Oden Jr., President Robert Michael Franklin, and President Grant H. Cornwell, respectively. Our newest Project Pericles Program Directors are Adrienne Falcon, Director of Academic Civic Engagement and Adjunct Instructor in Sociology at Carleton College; Weldon Jackson, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs at Morehouse College; and Amyaz Moledina, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of Social Entrepreneurship at The College of Wooster.

Eugene M. Lang, Project Pericles Founder and Chair, says, "We welcome Carleton College, Morehouse College, and The College of Wooster as respected additions to the vibrant group of colleges and universities that is leading the way for higher education to raise the level of civic participation of students, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community."

Eugene M. Lang Receives Honorary Degree from the American University of Paris: On May 22, Eugene M. Lang, Founder and Chair of Project Pericles, received an honorary degree at the 2010 Commencement Ceremony of the American University of Paris. It was his 33rd honorary degree. The University cited Mr. Lang as "the leading American philanthropist in the field of education," having "fostered social responsibility and civic engagement in countless higher education institutions." The award recognizes Mr. Lang's lifetime of public service, as well as his distinguished career pioneering international business partnerships and innovative technology transfer, including developing important relationships between France and the United States. After the ceremony, Eugene M. Lang said, "The relationship between Project Pericles and the American University in Paris is a significant step in promoting the cooperation of education leaders in associating civic engagement as an essential element of liberal arts education."


Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Program Featured in Change Magazine:  The article "Incorporating Education for Civic and Social Responsibility into the Undergraduate Curriculum," by Jan R. Liss, Project Pericles Executive Director, and Ariane Liazos was published in the January/February 2010 issue of Change, The Magazine of Higher Learning. The article is available here and is based on the recently published White Paper.


The article discusses the recent Civic Engagement Course (CEC) program and analysis of the CECs that indicates that they share three learning outcomes:  1) the ability to recognize and view issues of social concern from multiple perspectives and to formulate and express an informed opinion on those issues; 2) the ability to apply academic knowledge to issues of social concern; and 3) the motivation and capacity to utilize these abilities in new contexts in order take action in the community.  The article details replicable teaching methods to help students connect classroom content with problems facing local communities and inspiring a sense of accountability that yields higher-quality work.  It discusses how civic education helps students acquire the knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to take action in their communities as socially responsible citizens.


Periclean Panel at AAC&U Conference:  Today's economic stresses affect both colleges and community organizations.  A panel, "Engaging Students in the Classroom and the Community:  Cost-Effective Strategies for Bridging Theory and Practice," discussed Project Pericles' recent Civic Engagement Course (CEC) program to sponsor the development, implementation, and evaluation of courses that incorporated civic engagement into the curriculum across a wide range of institutions and disciplines.  Myrna Breitbart from Hampshire College, Ella Turenne from The New School, Nancy Blank from Widener University, and Jan R. Liss discussed courses that included a community partnership that provided benefits for students and organizations at minimal cost.  This session at the annual January meeting of the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) in Washington, D.C. shared best practices, challenges, and solutions.


D4D on the Road Completes 2009-2010 Tour:

Project Pericles held 12 D4D on the Road workshops between September 2009 and February 2010 at 12 Periclean campuses. More than 450 students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community members from 20 Periclean colleges and universities participated in a workshop including students from some of our newest Pericleans-Carleton College, Drew University, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

 D4D on the Road is a six hour Periclean workshop program on Periclean campuses designed to provide novice and seasoned activists with the tools and tactics they need to get their message across to elected officials and the media. Workshop participants learned how to analyze federal and state legislation, contact their elected officials, the news media, and other community activists, and get involved in the democratic process.

The workshops were led by trainers from Midwest Academy, a national training institute committed to advancing the struggle for social, economic, and racial justice. From local neighborhood groups to statewide and national organizations, Midwest Academy has trained over 35,000 grassroots activists from hundreds of organizations and coalitions including the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

A student from Hendrix College said, "The most valuable thing about this workshop is that it gave me a new perspective about direct advocacy and best methods of approaching it. The workshop was awesome." A community member at the Bates College workshop said, "Every single piece of information relayed by the facilitator was valuable. A great experience. Fantastic!" A faculty member from Allegheny College stated, "The workshop was excellent. The facilitator is masterful, understood the energy of our participants and responded to it beautifully. He is an excellent presenter, his 'lecture' style worked perfectly, he's got a great sense of humor and it was just wonderful to work with him!"

One of the facilitators, David Hunt, returned for another visit to Allegheny in April when he led a training session that focused on the history of community organizing and how community organizing has shaped our society.

 Project Pericles appreciates the support of the Spencer Foundation and the Eugene M. Lang Foundation for funding the workshops and thanks the faculty and administrators who hosted a workshop, the staff of Midwest Academy, and the students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and community members who attended the workshops. Project Pericles will be announcing details on the 2010-2011 D4D on the Road workshops soon!

Periclean News

Berea College Wins CIC Grant: The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Walmart Foundation have selected Berea College for a $100,000 College Success Award. The grant is to be used over a two-year period for the creation of a pilot program to increase the success of first-generation students. Berea was one of 30 colleges selected to receive the grants. These colleges together with 20 CIC award recipients seelcted in 2008 will work together as a network to assist first-generation college students, learn from one another, and serve as models for other colleges and universities. According to the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the six-year graduation rate of first-generation students at private colleges and universities is 61 percent, compared with only 44 percent at public four-year institutions.

Berea will use the grant toward programs available to all first-generation students, specifically targeting students from "distressed" counties as designated by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The major programming component will be a student peer-mentoring program integrating academic, work, and residential aspects of the student experience. A faculty/staff program focused on providing supportive relationships to Berea's many first-generation students is also a part of this grant. The programs are based on research that shows that first-year first-generation students who develop supportive peer and faculty/staff relationships are more likely to persist in their studies and graduate.

For more about the Walmart College Success Awards and the programs of Berea College and the other recipients, visit the
CIC website.

Carleton College Names New President: Steven G. Poskanzer will be Carleton College's 11th president. Poskanzer is currently president at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz.

St. Mary's College of Maryland Names New President: The St. Mary's College of Maryland Board of Trustees named Joseph R. Urgo as the College's next president. Urgo currently serves as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Hamilton College in upstate New York. 

President Chopp Endorses Dream Act: On May 3, Swarthmore College President Rebecca Chopp shared her letter in support of the DREAM Act with the Swarthmore College community. Chopp cited the "passionate advocacy work of a number of students on behalf of the bill", which would enable undocumented immigrant students who entered the country before the age of 16 to enter college and the military, as well as qualify for low-interest student loans and federal work-study opportunities. President Chopp was influenced to write her letter after reading a letter that was written by Jovanna Hernandez, a freshman at Swarthmore. Jovanna's letter to Arlen Specter on this issue was one of the six finalist letters at the 2010 Debating for Democracy Legislative Hearings. President Chopp's letter, addressed to Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter and Representative Joe Sestak, can be read here.

Bernstein New Cosby Endowed Professor: Alison R. Bernstein, Vice President for Education, Creativity, and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of Project Pericles, will be the new William and Camille Cosby Endowed Professor at Spelman College. After more than two decades at the Ford Foundation, Bernstein will leave her position to become Cosby Professor of Humanities concentrating on U.S. history and comparative women's studies.

The recipient utilizes the post to expand the College's curricular offerings by designing a course rooted in her specific area of expertise, and facilitating interdisciplinary initiatives across the campus and with other organizations. The residency concludes with a special culminating event developed and implemented by the Cosby chair.

"I am deeply honored by this invitation to join the Spelman community," Bernstein shared. "At this time in U.S. history, there is no more exciting intellectual opportunity than working with and learning from these students and faculty who are so committed to pursuing academic excellence and social justice. "

Johnnella E. Butler, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, notes that Dr. Bernstein will bring to the Spelman curriculum a course on Native American women's history, an area of study that Academic Affairs aims to develop further at Spelman.

Periclean Scholars at Elon University Develop New Pledge: The new Elon University Periclean Pledge made its debut at the Periclean Induction Ceremony on April 22. The Pledge was developed by senior Kristine Silvesrtri as part of her "common good" project for leadership. The Periclean Scholars program at Elon is committed to raising the level of civic engagement and social responsibility of the entire university community. Students who become part of the Periclean Scholars program take a series of courses (one per school year) culminating in a class project of global social change. The project is designed and carried out by the cohort of students from each year's class.

Elon University Pledge


We pledge to...


"Listen to our partnering communities, acknowledging they often have the best solutions to local problems. Learn about our partner communities' history and traditions, to better engage in culturally-aware dialogue. Assist our partners in community-run development projects that will enable their long-term success. Responsibly study, document, and publicize our partner communities' needs and desires. Be committed to building life-long sustainable partnerships, recognizing they take hard work and dedication. Embrace our lifelong journey of global citizenship through intellectual and personal growth."

Elon Students Travel to India: Eleven Elon University students in the Class of 2012 Periclean Scholars program joined two faculty mentors in Jamkhed, India, in May through a trip made possible by the Carole and Douglas Bruns Endowment for International Service Learning. Professor Tom Arcaro, director of Project Pericles at Elon, and Associate Professor Martin Kamela are leading the experience involving the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP).


Students will begin individual research projects and internships over the next few weeks while learning more about CRHP.

The Carole and Douglas Bruns Endowment for International Service Learning funds scholarships to enable Elon students to spend a semester or summer abroad while participating in an internship and/or working with a non-governmental or non-religious organization.

Allegheny, Penn DOT College honored for I-79 storm water system: The Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED) at Allegheny College and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have been honored for creating an innovative, sculptural storm water management system at the Interstate 79 interchange near Meadville. The system, In Praise of Land & Water: Revisioning Stormwater on Federal Highways, received the Diamond Honor Award for excellence for water resources at the annual award banquet for the American Council of Engineering Companies, Pennsylvania Chapter. CEED director, Professor of Art, and Project Pericles Program Director Amara Geffen served as the lead artist for the design of this award-winning project that stands as a national model, merging environmental art practices with innovations in stormwater management.

The project uses land art strategies to demonstrate best practices in erosion control, water quality improvement, and other environmental and aesthetic aspects of highway projects, with an emphasis on the use of recycled and repurposed materials. General concept plans for this project were developed by students in Geffen's class "Introduction to Studio Art: Art & the Environment" and engineered by an interdisciplinary team.

Earlham College Named Corporate Citizen of the Year:The Wayne County Chamber of Commerce named Earlham College its 2009 Corporate Citizen of the Year.  This award represents the highest recognition given by the Chamber and is awarded to the business/corporation that most exemplifies being a good corporate citizen of the community. 


Wagner College Senior Wins Project Pericles Student Award: Megan Allen won the Wagner College Periclean Senior Award, given for an abiding and active sense of social responsibility and civic concern through academic work or community service. Allen served as president of Wagner College's Earth Club. She was a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta international sociology honors society, Habitat for Humanity, the Promising Student Society and the Gardening Club. She interned at WE ACT (West Harlem Environmental Action Inc.), a non-profit organization dedicated to building community power to fight environmental racism and improve environmental health and policy in communities of color. Last summer, her concern for the environment took her to Hawaii, where she worked on four farms and learned about organic food production through the WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) Program. She was also active with Community Health Action and the Youth Access Program in Staten Island, and the Catholic Workhouse in Hartford, CT. Megan will select an organization to receive a donation in her name. Please click here for additional details.

The Periclean Progress is issued each month during the academic year and is posted on the Project Pericles website.

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Periclean Colleges & Universities

Allegheny College • Bates College • Berea College • Bethune-Cookman University
Carleton College • Chatham University • Dillard University • Drew University
Earlham College • Elon University • Hampshire College • Hendrix College
  Macalester College • Morehouse College • New England College
The New School • Occidental College • Pace University • Pitzer College
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute • Rhodes College • St. Mary's College of Maryland
Spelman College • Swarthmore College • Ursinus College
Wagner College • Widener University • The College of Wooster

National Office
Executive Director: Jan R. Liss

Board of Directors
Chair: Eugene M. Lang

Presidents' Council
Chair: Brian Rosenberg, Macalester College

National Board of Advisors
Co-Chairs: Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker & Hon. Kurt L. Schmoke

The title "Project Pericles ®," and its embodiment in the Logo, are registered service marks of Project Pericles, Inc. All rights reserved.