The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter

Volume 5, Issue 3 – December 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

Program Directors Meeting Held at Occidental and Pitzer: November kicked off with our annual Program Directors' Conference on the beautiful campuses of Occidental College and Pitzer College. For two days, Program Directors from Periclean campuses met to discuss issues of common concern.

The first day at Occidental College featured a panel organized by Maria Avila, the Project Pericles Program Director at Occidental. "The Community Organizing Approach to Institutionalizing Civic Engagement". The panel included students, faculty, alumni, and community members who had participated in civic engagement programs at Occidental.

The second day, at Pitzer College, began with a discussion organized by Amara Geffen, Program Director at Allegheny College. "Civic Engagement, Curriculum, and Community: Engaging Faculty" highlighted the partnership between Allegheny College and the town of Meadville, PA that has resulted in economic revitalization projects including "Read Between the Signs", a 1200' x 9' sculptural relief made of discarded road signs and featuring solar- and wind-powered kinetic components.

Following this presentation, Pitzer students and faculty led a discussion on their study abroad programs and community service projects. Additionally, David Scobey, the Program Director at Bates College, led a timely discussion on "Tenure, Promotion, and Support for the Engaged Faculty".

At the end of the conference, Program Directors met in three groups to consider and develop a strategy for moving forward in 2009. One group focused on "Collaboration" and discussed a variety of ways that Pericleans can collaborate, including video conferencing, campus exchange programs, and alternative spring break programs. The group is exploring project funding options . Another group focused on "Capturing the Election Excitement on Campus." The final group focused on "Project Pericles and the National Civic Engagement Agenda" discussing policy options that the Obama Administration might consider to advance civic engagement.

Throughout the conference, attendees discussed future Periclean programming including the Debating for Democracy (D4D) ™ program and the Civic Engagement Course (CEC) program and discussed ways to build on the success of these two programs. Based on the input we received at the conference, Project Pericles decided to develop another D4D on the Road program in the fall of 2009 and hold the second D4D National Event in New York in the spring of 2010.

Project Pericles wants to thank everybody who helped make this conference such a success with special thanks to Occidental and Pitzer.

D4D on the Road: D4D on the Road ™, a six hour political advocacy workshop sponsored by Project Pericles and the Spencer Foundation, has already visited 9 Periclean campuses (Wagner, Swarthmore, Berea, Elon, Bethune-Cookman, Occidental, Macalaster, Hampshire, and Chatham) and trained more than 300 students, faculty and community members from 18 Periclean campuses. The workshops, led by Christopher Kush of Washington D.C.-based Soapbox Consulting, teach students how to write letters to political leaders, analyze and debate public policy issues, and work with the news media. Students reflected on how to apply what they had learned on their respective campuses and received a copy of Kush's book, The One-Hour Activist.

The next two workshops will be held in January at Spelman College and Hendrix College. The final workshop will be held at The New School in February. Associated with each workshop, participants are asked to apply what they learned at the workshop by engaging in an "action". Examples of these "actions" include:

  • A community member who attended the Elon University workshop turned the "letter to an elected official" exercise into a lesson for students in her high school history class.

  • Twenty-four students traveled from Allegheny College to Chatham University on November 22 to participate in D4D on the Road. Several of the attendees were students enrolled in courses that explore environmental activism and require students to develop activist art installation that generate awareness of key environmental issues. After the workshop, several of these students developed a series of art installations on the Allegheny campus. Demonstrating that hanging clothes rather than using a dryer helps the environment, students Liz Benvin, Jules D'Amico, Fiona Hensley, Maieke Perchik, and Lauren Quintrell hung socks and underwear on make shift clothes lines in the College's Art Quad. The project served as a visual metaphor, evoking the power of simple change, and providing important information about global warming and raising awareness of the "350 Project" at Allegheny. Through participation in the D4D workshop students gained important insights into how to contact the press and pitch a news story; information that was put into action, leading to front page news in the Meadville Tribune, thereby expanding the reach, scope, and influence of their project.

  • The day after the Occidental workshop, an Occidental student who attended the D4D workshop found derogatory words spray painted on her house in response to a "No on Proposition 8" sign in her window. Utilizing the training she received at the workshop, she contacted the local Fox news affiliate to get the story on television. The Fox affiliate aired her story on the 10 pm news.

Periclean Focus

During the 2008/2009 academic year, the Periclean Focus will feature an article on civic engagement written by a Program Director at one of the 22 Periclean colleges or universities. This month's article is by David Scobey, the Program Director at Bates College.

Civic Engagement in the Arts and Humanities-David Scobey

At Bates, civic engagement in the arts and humanities is strongly represented in various types of public work pursued by faculty, students, and the Harward Center for Community Partnerships.

A number of faculty at Bates, including me, have sustained a multi-year community-history partnership with Museum L-A, a local museum of work and community, with seminars, senior theses, and summer fellowships contributing to an oral history initiative and several exhibitions.

Bates Dance Professor Carol Dilley has created an annual dance festival with the Franco-American Heritage Center, featuring both student and regional choreographers; the same heritage center is working with French majors and faculty on a Francophone film festival, an oral history initiative, and other projects.

Some of these cultural projects are supported by grants from the Harward Center. Professor Joe Hall, for instance, won a Publicly-Engaged Academic Project (PEAP) grant to fund students work with the Wabanaki nation on archival and educational programs on Maine native American history. Another PEAP grant supported "Paint Your Heart Out," a partnership with a local medical center to do arts therapy with cancer patients; Bates' Olin Arts Center recently hosted an exhibition of the resulting work.

Not all of the engaged work in the arts and humanities is developed or led by faculty. In Spring, 2008, Emma Halas-O'Connor ('09) and Anne Sheldon ('09) created a multi-media youth arts initiative called BALA (Bates Arts Lewiston Auburn), in which local high school students worked with Bates undergraduates in afterschool dance, visual arts, spoken word, and musical performances, producing a multi-media arts festival at the end of the school year.

Periclean News

Four Periclean Colleges and Universities Selected for 2008 Community Engagement Classification: On December 18, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced that four Periclean colleges were selected to the 2008 Community Engagement Classification. These colleges (Berea College, Occidental College, Swarthmore College, and Wagner College) received recognition for "Curricular Engagement and Outreach & Partnerships".

These colleges join eight Periclean colleges and universities that received this classification in 2006 (Allegheny College, Bates College, Elon University, Pace University, Pitzer College, Rhodes College, Spelman College, and Widener University). For a list of all of the colleges and universities selected, please visit the Carnegie website

Occidental Professor Wins "V to the Tenth" Award: Occidental College Assistant Professor Caroline Heldman's efforts to help rebuild the lives of women in post-Katrina New Orleans is being recognized by the V-Day Movement with an $8,000 "V To The Tenth" Leadership Award.

An organization best known for its founder, Eve Ensler, and her production "The Vagina Monologues," V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls and promote creative events to increase awareness, raise money, and revitalize the spirit of existing anti-violence groups.

Professor Heldman has been on the front lines since the first days following Hurricane Katrina, traveling to New Orleans with groups of students who participated in rescue and rebuilding efforts. She serves as director of the New Orleans Women's Shelter and works with Common Ground, a New Orleans-based grassroots relief organization. She was awarded a Project Pericles Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Grant to develop and teach the course "Disaster Politics in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina". The CEC grants are sponsored by the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, the Teagle Foundation, and Project Pericles.

Chatham Appoints Sustainability Coordinator: Mary Whitney, a program specialist for the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University, was named the University's first Sustainability Coordinator. Whitney will co-chair the President's Climate Commitment Committee; analyze all current sustainability practices at the University; coordinate sustainability efforts at Chatham campuses; and develop sustainability practices and activities with students, faculty, and staff at Chatham. Mary Whitney has been active in Project Pericles programs including Debating for Democracy.

"Running for Office: What About You?": Twenty Berea College students taking the course, "Women and African Americans in Politics" helped the League of Women Voters put on a workshop about running for office. Inspired by the recent Presidential election, the workshop drew 40 diverse and enthusiastic potential candidates who received advice and analysis from public officials and campaign strategists. Teams of students handled the publicity, made a presentation from the youth perspective, and prepared a handout on the diversity of state public officials.

Pitzer Students Recognized for Winning Fulbrights: In 2008, Pitzer College received more Fulbright Fellowships per capita than any other college or university in the U.S. Pitzer College students and alums were awarded 11.5 Fulbright Fellowships per capita in 2008. Pitzer College 2008 Fulbright Fellows will study or teach in Cyprus, Germany, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Romania, South Korea, Thailand, and Turkey. President Laura Skandera Trombley said, "I am excited and proud of our talented students and our faculty who have prepared them so well for these fantastic post-graduate opportunities. This is a further example of Pitzer College's continued excellence in its academic programs and international impact."

Hendrix College Awards $71,000 in Odyssey Grants: Hendrix Collegehas awarded more than $71,000 in Odyssey Grants to students and faculty for experiential learning projects. The grants will allow Hendrix students to introduce the community to a garden in the heart of campus; present research at international conferences; assist with the birth of lambs; explore Roman Catholic architecture in Italy; and numerous other projects. Since the Odyssey Program's inception in the fall of 2005, the program has awarded more than $978,000 to support student and faculty projects.

Spelman President Elected to Carnegie Foundation Board: In November, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Washington, D.C., elected Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum to its board.

A.C.T.S. Helps High School Students Explore College: The Project Pericles student organization initiative at Spelman College is Actively Changing Tomorrow through Service (A.C.T.S.). The program, based at Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University, aims to unite the eight colleges and universities in the Atlanta area through community service and civic engagement to address health awareness, access to higher education, engagement in politics, change in social policies, and diminishment of poverty.

In December, A.C.T.S. members visited local high schools and held workshops for high school juniors and seniors. A.C.T.S. members discussed the college experience; how to manage time; ways to avoid stress; the differences between private, public, and community colleges; how to prepare for the workplace; and the importance of community service. A.C.T.S. reached more than 500 high school students during this tour.

Pace Implements Civic Engagement Core Curriculum: Student community work has reached unprecedented levels at Pace with the implementation of Pace University's core curriculum spearheaded by the Dyson College of Arts and Sciences in 2003. Currently Pace enrolls approximately 1300 students a year in 80 distinct Civic Engagement and Public Value courses. In 2007-2008, students generated over 32,000 hours of work in the community. These courses are offered across all disciplines, including the professional schools, and strive to contextualize disciplinary learning in a community context. All Civic Engagement and Public Values courses require community service. Some examples of Pace courses include:

  • Travel and Tourism Management with Dr. Claudia Green, where students work with local nonprofits to generate green maps of Brazil. Here Pace students learn about global citizenship and corporate social responsibility by examining the social, economic, political, environmental and technological impact of tourism at both local and global levels and the role of the nonprofit in that process.
  • In Quantitative Forecasting for Nonprofits with Dr. Walter Morris, Pace students translate charitable contribution data provided to them by the local American Red Cross. They forecast and analyze charitable contribution variables using MINITAB for the organization's use in evaluation and long-term planning.
  • Women at Risk taught by Professor Susan Del Bene, focuses on health care challenges of marginalized women who are at risk for breast cancer. Students gain understanding of women who lack voice, power, and health care due to socio-economic status, lifestyle, and/or lack of resources. Students advocate for disabled women, become civically engaged with the initiates of Association for Retarded Persons for early teaching, and participate in screening for the potential for breast cancer.

Widener Alumnus Funds Leadership Institute: Widener University received a $5 million gift, the largest in the university's history, from alumnus and board of trustees Chair David W. Oskin to fund a leadership institute at the university. The Oskin Leadership Institute will provide opportunities for Widener undergraduate and graduate students to participate in leadership development activities, experiential learning, and international opportunities promoting the character, courage, and competencies to affect positive change throughout the world.

Widener University President James T. Harris III and the Oskin Family announced the gift and the institute during the opening of the university's Sixth Annual Student Leadership Development Conference, which attracted more than 150 college and university student leaders from the greater Philadelphia region.

Dillard Wins "Going Green Grant": Dillard University and Brown University received a $205,000 grant from Clinton Global Initiative University (CGIU) for their 'Going Green' partnership where both campuses have demonstrated a commitment to preserving the earth by recycling, reducing energy use, and educating students, faculty, and staff on global health.

"The issue of climate and global change is very dear to me and getting this wonderful grant advances my cause for the university," said President Marvalane Hughes. "Climate change and caring for the environment are issues that, I believe, if not given proper attention, could result in serious consequences for all who inhabit planet earth."

Hughes plans to use Dillard's portion of the grant money on the latest architectural and engineering innovations. All newly constructed buildings will have solar roofs and shades which control solar heat gain, reduce glare, and improve natural lighting. Occupancy sensors will be installed in hallways, conference rooms, and classrooms. The sensors reduce the length of time lights are left on when an area is unoccupied. Fluorescent lighting and other energy saving devices will be installed as well.

Brown University President Dr. Ruth Simmons, a Dillard alumna and member of the Project Pericles Board of Advisors, entered into a global partnership with Dillard after Hurricane Katrina. Simmons, her faculty, staff and students vowed to assist in the environmentally sustainable revitalization of Dillard's campus. The campus sustained $400 million dollars in damage as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Elon Launches Sustainability Website: Elon University has launched a new website to provide an overview of its sustainability initiative. The site serves as a resource for the campus community to learn about sustainable practices and programs at Elon, to raise environmental awareness and participation, and to foster new ideas. "Students interested in sustainability will find information on how they can get involved on campus," said Elaine Durr, Elon's sustainability coordinator. Some features on the site include:

  • A list of class offerings and projects related to environmental sustainability
  • Detailed examples of what Elon is doing to "go green"
  • Recent news & a calendar of events
  • Links to student programs and groups that address sustainable practices
  • A list of external resources for students, faculty, and staff

Conferences Featuring Project Pericles

The Council of Independent Colleges-2009 Presidents Institute: "Investing in the Future: Students, Institutions, and the Public Good" is being held January 4-7, 2009 in Bonita Springs, Florida.

  • Project Pericles is presenting a session on Monday, January 5 from 10:00-11:15 AM
    "Educating Students for Personal and Social Responsibility". The philosophical, pragmatic, and long-range commitments that lead presidents to develop academic programs to educate students for social responsibility and civic engagement will be addressed. Panelists will focus on the responsibility of colleges to prepare students to be effective citizens and leaders of their communities, nations, and world by highlighting several approaches taken at various colleges.

    Richard Guarasci, President, Wagner College; Jan R. Liss, Executive Director, Project Pericles;Carol Ann Mooney, President, Saint Mary's College (IN) Chair: Marvalene Hughes, President, Dillard University

  • On Monday, January 5 from 7:15 - 8:15 AM CIC is hosting a Project Pericles Presidents' Council Breakfast Meeting.

Annual Meeting of The Association of American Colleges and Universities:" Ready or Not Global Challenges, College Learning, and America's Promise" is being held January 21-24, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.

  • Project Pericles is presenting a session on January 24 from 8:15-9:15 AM "Engaging Science in Our Global Future: Project Pericles' Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Grant Program".
    Energy shortages, the threat of pandemics, and climate change are among today's most serious global issues. While increasingly addressed in social science and humanities courses, it is rarer that science curricula incorporates the socio-economic, political, and scientific causes and implications of global problems. This panel will discuss a Project Pericles program that encourages faculty to develop, teach, and evaluate science courses that incorporate civic engagement while focusing on pragmatics, challenges, and successes of curricular implementation.

    Jan R. Liss, Executive Director, Project Pericles; Caryl Waggett, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Allegheny College; Adrian Hightower, Assistant Professor of Physics, Occidental College; Ammini Moorthy, Professor of Biology, Wagner College

For a current list of Periclean attendees, please click here.

For further information on the meeting, please visit 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 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.