Periclean Progress E-Newsletter

Volume 4, Issue 1 – September 2007

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.

Director's Welcome

Welcome back! We hope that you had an enjoyable summer. Civic Engagement Course Grants, Debating for Democracy, staff additions, and preparation for the 2007-2008 academic year made the summer at Project Pericles exciting.

The Civic Engagement Course Grant program is off to a strong start. This program, funded with support from the Teagle Foundation, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, and Project Pericles, grants funds to faculty to facilitate the development, teaching and evaluation of 44 courses in more than 28 disciplines in 2007-2008 and 2008-2009. Several courses are already being taught this fall. We are gratified by the enthusiastic responses we have received from colleges who received the grants and will provide details on these courses in upcoming issues of the Periclean Progress.

We have been particularly busy planning the 2007-2008 Debating for Democracy (D4D) program. D4D is a campus-based program in which students research, develop their own opinions, and advocate and defend their positions on current policy issues of public import. The 2007-2008 Debating for Democracy program began earlier this month and concludes in December 2008. In addition to the six colleges who participated in D4D during the pilot year, we are pleased that at least fourteen new Pericleans will be participating in the upcoming program.

The theme of the 2007-2008 program is "Democracy at Risk". Colleges will focus on one of three topics: Race, Income, and Access in the United States; Energy and the Environment; and Privacy and Free Speech in the Internet Age. We are very excited that so many colleges are enthusiastic about D4D and look forward to working with all of the students and faculty who will be participating in this rewarding program.

We look forward to working with everybody to make the upcoming year the most productive year yet for Project Pericles and civic engagement.

Jan R. Liss, Executive Director

National Office Announcements

Conferences: October 3-4-The Periclean Program Directors' Conference: This conference will provide an opportunity for Periclean schools to share information about program development, discuss current and future opportunities for collaborations, meet and work with fellow Pericleans, exchange best practices, and contribute to Periclean initiatives. The conference will be hosted by Hampshire College and President Ralph J. Hexter and Program Director Mary Bombardier. For the first time, the planets have aligned and all 22 Periclean colleges will be represented at the meeting.

December 12 - The Presidents' Council Meeting: At this annual meeting, Periclean Presidents will share their perspectives on the development, implementation, and support of civic engagement and Project Pericles on their campuses. The Presidents' Council meeting will be hosted by the Teagle Foundation in New York City.

New Address: In late September, Project Pericles will be operating from "a loftier perspective". We are moving from the 10th floor to the 19th floor. Our new address is 551 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1910 (same building, new floor). Our phone and fax numbers will remain the same: (212) 986-4496 (phone) and (212) 986-1662 (fax).

Elizabeth Kaziunas has joined Project Pericles as the new Program Associate. Liz recently graduated from the Yale Divinity School with a MA. She received her BA cum laude in English and Religious Studies from Macalester College.

Periclean Focus-The Environment

Beginning this month, we have added a new section to the newsletter-the Periclean Focus. Each month, this section will focus on one topic that is generating interest on Periclean campuses, classrooms, and communities. We will ask members of the Project Pericles community to submit articles, best practices, and news related to this topic.

In the last few months, issues related to the environment have accelerated across the country. Faculty, students, and administrators from Periclean colleges have become leaders in their community on environmental issues including recycling, coal burning, and climate change.

Project Pericles has taken several actions in response to the interest in the environment. Civic Engagement Course Grants will fund the following environmentally themed courses: Allegheny College-Envisioning Environmental Futures, Berea College-Politics of Food, Chatham University-Citizen and Civic Engagement: Environmental Issues, Hampshire College-Agriculture, Ecology, and Society, Occidental College-Energy Conversions and Resources, and Wagner College-Business Law and Environmental Action. In addition, Project Pericles has selected Democracy at Risk: Energy and the Environment as one of three D4D topics. Students at six Periclean colleges will research, develop their own opinions and advocate their positions on this topic.

This September, Bates College introduced the Bates Bikes, a fleet of 10 cruiser bicycles that belong to the newly created Bates Bike Co-op. Students, faculty, and staff can join the co-op for a $10-fee and use the bikes for short trips on and off campus. Also in September, Bates College and Zipcar, the world's largest car-sharing service, announced a partnership to make Zipcars available on campus to faculty, staff, and students as an environmentally friendly alternative to the costs and hassles of keeping a car on campus. The partnership marks Zipcar's entry into Maine and extends Bates' commitment to provide sustainable transportation options that decrease the parking demand on campus.

Occidental College received a $2.34 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation that will make it possible for the Center for Food and Justice to establish and coordinate - in collaboration with the Community Food Security Coalition - the National Farm to School Network. The effort will link local farmers with school cafeterias across the country, improving student nutrition while giving small farmers access to a multi-billion dollar market. The National Farm to School Network will focus on five key areas - policy, networking, media and marketing, information services and training, and technical assistance - to support the farm to school movement.

Pitzer College's new environmentally friendly residence halls were featured on NPR's Morning Edition on August 31, 2007. National desk reporter Mandalit del Barco interviewed President Laura Skandera Trombley and several Pitzer students for the education segment, titled "Colleges Create Eco-Friendly Dorms." Three new residence halls at the college - with living space for 318 students - will use less energy, less water and encourage more energy-efficient living through features - solar panels, low-flush toilets, and gardening space. The residence halls have received a gold certification through the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership and Environmental Design system. Pitzer's project is the largest at any liberal-arts college in the nation to receive such recognition.

Seven Pericleans (Bates College, Hendrix College, Macalester College, New England College, Pitzer College, St. Mary's College of Maryland, and Ursinus College) have joined Focus the Nation. Focus the Nation is coordinating teams of faculty and students at over a thousand colleges, universities and K-12 schools in the United States, to collaboratively engage in a discussion about "Global Warming Solutions for America". Focus the Nation will culminate on January 31, 2008, in the form of national symposia held simultaneously at colleges across the country. Every campus will also vote on their top five national priorities for global warming action, producing a campus-endorsed policy agenda for the 2008 elections.

Pericleans in the Community

Macalester College has developed a multifaceted partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, In the Heart of the Beast Theatre, and other Macalester community partners on Lake Street. Over the past two years, twelve Macalester classes from a wide range of departments have collaborated with Macalester's community partners on Lake Street to develop innovative projects that document the community's history. These projects have resulted in a major historical exhibition, "Right on Lake Street" which opened at the nationally recognized MN History Center. The exhibition features Macalester student research and highlights Macalester students' experiences engaging Lake Street communities. The exhibit runs from September 18, 2007 through March 9, 2008. Click here for more information about the Minnesota Historical Society and here for more information on Macalester's project on Lake Street.

Website of the Month formerly Mobilizing America's Youth, is an all-partisan network dedicated to educating, empowering, and energizing young people to increase civic engagement and political participation. According to their website, works to show young people how their lives are impacted by public policy and in turn, attempts to show them how to impact public policy.

Resources and Publications

The Saguaro Seminar, under the leadership of Robert D. Putnam, a member of the Project Pericles National Board of Advisors, has been conducting research on the inter-relation of diversity, immigration, and social capital since 2001. The first publication from this research, called "E Pluribus Unum: Diversity and Community in the 21st Century. The 2006 Johan Skytte Lecture" by Dr. Putnam appears in the June 2007 Scandinavian Political Studies Journal. The complete text of this article is available here.

National Wildlife Foundation: The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) seeks volunteers to work on habitat restoration on public sites in areas in coastal Louisiana impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The primary goal of this project is to support habitat and wildlife recovery on public lands in coastal Louisiana. NWF will assist volunteers traveling from across the country with lodging once they're in the project area. To learn more, click here.

MTV Choose or Lose: MTV's Choose or Lose seeks aspiring journalists to cover the 2008 election via written stories, blogs, and photos. As part of their collaboration with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Knight News Challenge, MTV is looking for one aspiring reporter from every state and Washington, D.C. Participants must be at least 18 years old by December 2007, reside in the state they are covering from January to November 2008 and have the ability to travel within their state and file at least one video, written, or photographic story per week. To learn more, click here.

The Knight Foundation and MTV are also sponsoring the Knight News Challenge "Young Creators Award," a new digital journalism grant program for young people age 25 and under. The contest will award up to $500,000 to young creators with compelling ideas for using digitally delivered news and information to enhance physical communities - improving the lives of people where they live, work, and vote. The new award is a component of the Knight News Challenge, an annual competition awarding $5 million for innovative ideas using digital experiments to transform community. To learn more, click here.

State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grants: With the support of the State Farm Companies Foundation, Youth Service America is offering the annual State Farm Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grant for youth across the United States. These grants of up to $1,000 support youth (ages 5-25), teachers, or school-based service-learning coordinators in implementing service-learning projects for Global Youth Service Day 2008. To learn more, download an application and grant guidelines here. The deadline to apply is October 16, 2007.

Youth Noise Summits: Youth Noise Summits are workshops for students including time to share skills, network, and have fun. Summits are free two-day events about creating grassroots change in local neighborhoods. High school and college students who are passionate about finding real solutions to local problems are invited to attend. This fall, summits will be held in San Francisco, San Jose, Minneapolis, and Orlando. To learn more, click here .



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
Chatham College • Dillard University • Elon University • Hampshire College
Hendrix College • Macalester College • New England College • The New School
Occidental College • Pace University • Pitzer College • Rhodes College
St. Mary's College of Maryland • Spelman College • Swarthmore College
Ursinus College • Wagner College • Widener University

National Office
Executive Director: Jan R. Liss

Board of Directors
Chair: Eugene M. Lang

Presidents' Council
Chair: David A. Caputo, Pace University

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.