The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter

Volume 4, Issue 4 – February 2008

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

Exciting Updates on D4D Conference: On April 3 and 4, 2008, Project Pericles will be hosting the 2008 Debating for Democracy (D4D) National Event in New York City for student leaders from each of the Periclean colleges and universities. The event will consist of workshops, keynote addresses, panel discussions, and a series of "legislative hearings" where students will present original legislation to a panel of current and former legislators. The event will be sponsored by the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation and hosted by TIAA-CREF.

The "legislative hearings" event will be moderated by former U.S. Senator and current President of The New School Bob Kerrey and will include former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker; former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford; New York City Councilman Eric Gioia; and State Senator Bill Perkins. Other speakers at the event will include Justin Rockefeller, National Program Director of GenerationEngage; Cathy Duvall, National Political Director of the Sierra Club; and Arthur E. Levine, President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Michael S. McPherson, President of the Spencer Foundation, will deliver the keynote address at the dinner on April 3.

The full conference agenda will be announced in the March issue of the Periclean Progress. For further information on the conference, please call the Project Pericles office at 212-986-4496.

Periclean Focus: 2008 Election

Allegheny Set to Co-host Event on Presidential Nomination Reform: On February 13, Allegheny College, with aid from the New York Times Knowledge Network, will host a one-day conference to launch a two-year national project on presidential nomination reform. Student teams from up to 25 colleges will participate in the event. A four-week online course (January 30 to February 20), offered by the New York Times Knowledge Network, complements the conference. The online course focuses on the evolution of the nomination process and highlights particular reforms that could be enacted before the 2012 election. Professor of political science and director of the Center for Political Participation at Allegheny College, Daniel M. Shea commented, "The Allegheny initiative will train a critical eye on the future presidential nominations as a mechanism to engage young voters and explore innovative nomination models." College teams may register to participate in the conference here.

Chatham Gives Women "The Winning Edge": Women learned how to build a successful political campaign at the Pennsylvania Women's Campaign School at Chatham University. The three-day program commenced on January 25 and is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Women's Campaign Fund and the Pennsylvania Center for Women, Politics, and Public Policy. The school aims to expose participants to realistic situations such as creating an effective campaign message, handling communication crises, managing criticism, and fundraising. Program facilitator and political campaigner Diane Cromer said, "This case-based school provides hands-on practice and that is why it can create the winning difference."

Saint Mary's Sends Five Students to College Political Convention: After winning an essay contest, five St. Mary's College of Maryland students were rewarded with the opportunity to attend New Hampshire's College Convention 2008 on December 6. The students, representing a variety of political views, interacted with the presidential candidates.

Periclean News

Focus the Nation Kicks Off: On Jan. 31, Allegheny College, Bereas College, Macalester College, The New School, St. Mary's College of Maryland and Ursinus College joined over 1,300 colleges, universities, high schools and middle schools, faith organizations, civic groups, and businesses in the biggest national teach-in in U.S. history, " Focus the Nation: Global-Warming Solutions for America". The teach-in kicked off on January 30 with a free, national webcast. The 2% Solution, featuring Stanford climate scientist Stephen Schneider, sustainability expert Hunter Lovins, and green-jobs pioneer Van Jones.

New Fund Honors Lifelong Service of Allegheny Alumna: The Center for Community Engagement at Allegheny College has received a $1 million gift to establish the Gail Howe Fahrner '56 Fund to provide financial support for a variety of educational programs that connect learning with service to the benefit of both students and the community.

Environmental Projects Featured on Swarthmore Videocast: Several environmental initiatives currently underway at Swarthmore College are featured in a news report on CN8's "Art Fennell Reports." Included are horticulturalist Jeff Jabco, who gives a tour of Alice Paul Hall's green roof and the rainwater collection system used at the LEED-certified Science Center, and engineering major Lauren Goodfriend who demonstrates the system she designed to create her solar-powered dorm room.

"Doin' the Green Thing": Students of Berea College entered the National Wildlife Federation's (NWF's) "Chill Out" amateur video contest. The participants' clips, which can be viewed on video website YouTube, focus on ways colleges and universities are addressing global warming. Berea's entry to the competition "Doin' the Green Thing" was made in cooperation with Berea's Ecological Sustainability Education Department. The winning clip, which will be determined by votes, views, and other NWF judging criteria, will be awarded a cash prize and be shown on a National Wildlife Federation's Earth Day webcast in April 2008.

Program Directors Write Editorial on Judicial Reform: St. Mary's College of Maryland Program Director Michael Cain and former Program Director Zach Messitte wrote an editorial on judicial reform in Maryland for the Baltimore Sun's editorial page. In the editorial, Cain and Messitte said, "It is time for the legislature to get serious about ending the rank partisanship, electoral flaws, and opportunity for unqualified jurists to reach the bench of the state's Circuit Court via contested popular elections."

Occidental's Values and Vocations Project Receives Grant: Occidental's Values and Vocations Project (VVP), run by the college's Office for Religious and Spiritual Life (ORSL), received a $499,582 grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. The project, started in 2003, encourages students to consider theological vocations and use religious leadership to better others. The project has reached over 1,500 students through courses and lectures and has provided grants sending students to 10 different countries to accomplish meaningful work.

Swarthmore Alum Supports Green Bonds: Swarthmore graduate Andrew Sniderman '07, a fellow at Action Canada and co-founder of the Genocide Intervention Network, advocates the sale of "Green Bonds" to relieve climate change. Sniderman describes the "Green Bond" as "a modern-day War Bond that would fund sustainable energy infrastructure projects." He and four other fellows have been trying to convince the Canadian government to issue these financial instruments, which would generate money to be used towards investment in renewable energy projects and technologies. The fellows' efforts have met with strong support from the Canadian public and policymakers.

Elon Student Group Focuses on Education of Ugandan Children: Invisible Children, a nationwide initiative that raises funds for the education of Ugandan children, is one of the fastest-growing student organizations on college campuses. Current sophomore Katie Meyer started the Elon chapter in 2006. Much to her credit, the group boasts more than 120 student participants and has raised over $5,200 to sponsor a secondary school in Northern Uganda.

Students Launch Radio Project: The Darfur Radio Project was launched by Swarthmore College students in December to "shift the lens through which the public understands and engages with the violence in Darfur." Topics include a critical look at how Chinese investment is playing out in the Merowe Dam Project in northern Sudan, Sudanese musicians, the conflict in eastern Sudan, which predates the violence in Darfur, and how both large international NGOs and smaller grassroots organizations tackle the question of education in Darfur.

Occidental Celebrates CCBL Anniversary: The Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) at Occidental College celebrated its sixth anniversary with a two-day forum that focused on reflecting on its role as the institutional core of community outreach at Occidental. The gathering was well-attended by students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community partners. It featured panel discussions and presentations on the work being conducted by Occidental, in partnership with the community.

Hendrix Program Honored with Innovation in Teacher Education Award: The Southeastern Regional Association of Teacher Educators presented Hendrix's Early Literacy Program (HELP) with the prestigious Innovation in Teacher Education Award. HELP was formed in 2004 as a joint venture between Hendrix College and Sallie Cone Elementary School allowing Hendrix students to give children assistance with reading and writing.

President's Corner

Occidental College Appoints New President: On January 1, Robert A. Skotheim was appointed interim president of Occidental College. President Skotheim is the former president of Whitman College and former president of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

Widener President Named Citizen of the Year: The Delaware County Chamber of Commerce awarded Widener President James T. Harris III the title of 2007 Citizen of the Year. The chamber recognized Dr. Harris's leadership at Widener in developing partnerships and projects that serve Chester and Delaware Counties in Pennsylvania and for his promotion of civic engagement among students.

Website of the Month

Big Think mixes interviews with public intellectuals from politics, law, business, and the arts and allows users to engage in debates on issues including global warming and the two-party system. Backers of Big Think include former Gov. Mitt Romney, as well as one of the founders of PayPal, Peter Thiel, and Larry Summers, a former president of Harvard University.

Resources and Publications

The StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation is accepting applications for its London fellowship program. StartingBloc provides socially conscious undergraduate students and young professionals with the training, career opportunities, and networks necessary to drive social, economic, and environmental innovation around the world. StartingBloc fellows attend conference sessions on corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship and sustainable development at its partner graduate schools including Columbia Business School, The Fletcher School (Tufts), MIT Sloan, NYU Wagner, Yale School of Management, and London Business School. Visit for more information and to apply.

The Sodexho Foundation seeks nominations to recognize students in the fight against hunger in America. The STOP Hunger Scholarship rewards students who have made a significant impact in the fight against hunger and its root causes in the United States. Up to five scholarship recipients will each receive a $3,000 scholarship as well as a $3,000 grant made in their name to the hunger-related charity of their choice in their community. Up to twenty regional recipients, designated as STOP Hunger Honorees, will each receive a $1,000 grant made in their name to a hunger-related charity. Visit the Sodexho Foundation Web site for complete program information and application procedures.

AAC&U and The Aspen Institute announce a new seminar for 2008: the Wye Chief Academic Officers' Seminar, June 15-20, will focus on "Citizenship and the Polity." The seminar will provide the opportunity to exchange ideas with colleagues from other colleges and universities while probing the fundamental values and goals that are the reason for our institutional existence. Readings are selected to challenge participants to focus on values such as individual rights and responsibilities both nationally and globally, and the public purposes of education in a free, democratic republic.

The Carnegie Foundation is currently inviting colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement to apply for the 2008 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. Previously developed and offered in 2006, this elective classification provides a way for institutions to describe their identity and commitments to community with a public and nationally recognized classification. If your institution is interested in participating in the 2008 Community Engagement Classification, please email Amy Driscoll at to express your intent by March 1, 2008.


March 24-28, 2008 New York, NY Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility, American Educational Research Association. For more information, click here.

April 3-4, 2008 New York, NY The 2008 Project Pericles Debating for Democracy Conference. For more information, click here.

April 9-12, 2008 Minneapolis, MN The 19th Annual National Service-Learning Conference, National Youth Leadership Council. For more information, click here.

June 12-14, 2008 Snowbird, UT American Democracy Project (ADP) National Meeting. For more information, click here.

October 25-28, 2008 New Orleans, LA 8th International Research Conference on Service-learning and Community Engagement: Reciprocity across the Scholarship of Engagement, International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE). For more information, 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 University • 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: Brian C. Rosenberg, Macalester College

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

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