The Periclean Progress E-Newsletter

Volume 6, Issue 1 – October/November 2009

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

Inaugural Executive Director of Project Pericles Passes Away: It is with great sadness that we share the news that Dr. Karen E. Holt, the first Executive Director of Project Pericles, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, October 27.

Karen was the inaugural Executive Director of Project Pericles, and we could not have asked for anyone better. With her warm and professional nature, and her personal affinity to the mission of Project Pericles, she developed a strong rapport and constructive relationships with numerous and diverse constituents of our Periclean schools, including presidents, faculty, Periclean Program Directors, administrators, and students.

When Karen began her employment in 2003, Project Pericles was substantially in "start-up mode." By the time she left our organization in 2005, Project Pericles was solidly established as an organization of national import, with a diverse group of twenty colleges and universities actively committed to our mission and its objectives. Karen went on to do valuable work in the field of civic engagement, first as the Director of the Fanning Institute at the University of Georgia and most recently as the Assistant Vice President for Public Service at the University of Tennessee. Through those years, she also remained a Special Advisor to Project Pericles and a cherished friend.

Karen will be missed dearly by all of us at Project Pericles.

Project Pericles White Paper Shares Strategies for Incorporating Civic Engagement in the Classroom: The Project Pericles Civic Engagement Course (CEC) Program™ White Paper, "Civic Engagement in the Classroom: Strategies for Incorporating Education for Civic and Social Responsibility in the Undergraduate Curriculum," by Ariane Liazos and Jan Liss, Project Pericles Executive Director, is now available online.

The White Paper shares the learning of the Project Pericles Signature CEC Program and focuses on specific pedagogical strategies employed by the faculty to integrate education for civic and social responsibility into their courses, as well as the unique challenges of civic education. The analysis finds that most CECs shared three learning outcomes: the ability to recognize and view issues of social concern from multiple perspectives and to formulate and express an informed opinion on these issues; the ability to relate academic materials to their practical applications regarding issues of social concern; and the motivation and capacity to utilize these abilities to take action in the community. These three learning outcomes benefit students as they consider their personal places in the wider world.

The White Paper also gives guidance on transferability to other institutions and disciplines; best practices that can be applied on a wide range of campuses; and an extensive bibliography. This program received generous support from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation, The Teagle Foundation, and the Eugene M. Lang Foundation.

Links to the syllabi for all 44 courses are available here.

Welcome to Our Newest Pericleans, Drew University, Earlham College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI): Drew University, a liberal arts college in Madison, New Jersey; Earlham College, a liberal arts college in Richmond, Indiana; and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), a university with a strong undergraduate program in Troy, New York have joined Project Pericles, bringing the number of Periclean institutions to 25 (listed at the end of this newsletter).

Project Pericles at Drew, Earlham, and RPI will advance the civic engagement efforts fostered under the leadership of President Robert Weisbuch, President Douglas Bennett, and President Shirley Ann Jackson, respectively. Our newest Project Pericles Program Directors are Amy Koritz, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Professor of English at Drew, Avis Stewart, Vice President for Community Relations at Earlham and Eddie Ade Knowles, Vice President for Student Life at RPI. They have hit the ground running and the three contributed significantly to our Program Directors' meeting at Swarthmore College.

Eugene M. Lang, Project Pericles Founder and Chair, says, "We welcome Drew, Earlham, and RPI 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."

Please join us in welcoming Drew, Earlham, and RPI to Project Pericles. We look forward to working with them in the years ahead.

Program Directors Meeting Held at Swarthmore: This year, our annual Program Directors' Conference was hosted by Swarthmore College on November 2 and 3. During the conference, Program Directors from Periclean campuses met to discuss issues of common concern.

The conference began with opening remarks from Eugene M. Lang and Rebecca Chopp, the President of Swarthmore College. The first day of the conference featured a discussion on civic engagement programs led by Brian Rosenberg, the President of Macalester College and the Chair of the Project Pericles Presidents' Council. During this discussion, Program Directors shared best practices, successes, and challenges they face at their colleges.

Later in the day, Program Directors attended a poster session at the Eugene M. Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility at Swarthmore. Program Directors had a chance to speak with students from a variety of Swarthmore student groups including the Global Health Forum, Pemón Health, Saturdays of Service, Sudan Radio Project, Swarthmore STAND, the Village Education Project, and War News Radio. At the conclusion of the first day, Program Directors attended a wonderful dinner at President Chopp's home. President Chopp and President James Harris from Widener University addressed the dinner attendees.

The highlight of the second day of the conference were visits to three community partners who work closely with faculty and students from Swarthmore College and Widener University. Program Directors visited the Chester Community Improvement Project, an organization that helps revitalize the City of Chester by building the base of home ownership; the College Access Center of Delaware County, an organization run by Swarthmore College, Widener University, and other Pennsylvania colleges that provides comprehensive college services; and Chester Eastside Ministries, an outreach ministry dedicated to serving and empowering the Chester community. At each of these sites, Program Directors spoke with Swarthmore faculty and students, and staff from the community group and learned more about the organizations.

Project Pericles thanks everybody who helped make this conference such a success, with special thanks to everyone from Swarthmore College and its Lang Center for Civic and Social Reponsibility.

Veitch Inaugurated as New President of Occidental College: On October 24, Jonathan Veitch was inaugurated as president of Occidental College. Veitch is a literature and history professor with degrees from Stanford and Harvard. Prior to becoming the President of Occidental, President Veitch was the Dean of Eugene Lang College at The New School.

Eugene M. Lang spoke at President Veitch's inauguration. Mr. Lang said, "I believe that Jonathan Veitch and Occidental College are made for each other, and personally and through Project Pericles, will help make this a more just and compassionate world."

"D4D on the Road" Hits the Road Again: "D4D on the Road" is a Periclean program that brings advocacy experts to Periclean campuses to deliver workshops designed to empower and prepare students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and community members to work within our democratic processes to improve the condition of society. These inter-campus workshops provide training in leadership development, media strategy, coalition building, developing an effective message, and electoral politics.

This fall, Project Pericles has hosted seven "D4D on the Road" workshops at seven Periclean campuses: Allegheny College, Dillard University, Drew University, New England College, Pace University, Pitzer College, and St. Mary's College of Maryland. One of the most exciting aspects of the workshops is that students, administrators, and faculty from neighboring campuses get to work with each other. Students from Occidental College attended the workshop at Pitzer College, students from Chatham University attended the workshop at Allegheny College, and students from RPI attended the workshop at Pace University.

The workshops are led by trainers from Midwest Academy. Midwest Academy is 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 25,000 grassroots activists from hundreds of organizations and coalitions including the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The interactive D4D workshop helps attendees understand the fundamentals of direct action organizing where people who share a concern can organize. They can agree on a solution that meets their needs and, with the strength of their numbers, influence elected officials and other officials to address their concerns.

A faculty member who participated in a workshop said, "I would recommend the workshop to anyone who asks!" A student commented, "A veil has been lifted from my eyes! Now, I know how to analyze power and act on that analysis. Before, I felt powerless."

Information on registering for a workshop is available here or by contacting David Rippon. A list of the 2010 workshops appears in the Project Pericles Meetings section of this newsletter.
Project Pericles wants to thank the Spencer Foundation for supporting the 12 "D4D on the Road" workshops.

Project Pericles Staff Lead Seminars: In June, Jan Liss was a faculty member at the Reed College Alumni College in Portland, Oregon. This year's program "Are the Humanities Still Relevant?" invited educators and others to examine the challenges and changes in the liberal arts curriculum over the past 40 years. Alumni guest teachers and Reed faculty members facilitated discussions on topics ranging from the rise of multiculturalism to the increasing dominance of technology. Participants undertook a critical review of contemporary arguments for making humanities the heart of a liberal arts education. Jan gave a lecture entitled "Making the Case for the Humanities and Social Responsibility."

Pericleans Attend AAC&U Conference in Minneapolis: In October, representatives from eight Periclean colleges and universities were in Minneapolis, MN to attend The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) conference: Educating for Personal and Social Responsibility: Deepening Student and Campus Commitments.

Jake Levy-Pollans, a recent graduate of Macalester College; Christian Rice, Project Pericles Program Director at Ursinus College; David Rippon, Assistant Director of Project Pericles; Karin Trail-Johnson, Project Pericles Program Director at Macalester College; and Billy Wooten, Professor of Communication at Berea College, led a workshop at the conference entitled "Partnerships that Prepare Students for Political Engagement and Participation: A Best Practices Workshop." They described strategies and models for developing partnerships among colleges, non-profits, and community organizations that result in programs to increase students' political engagement and learning.

Project Pericles on Campus

This month, we are focusing on two programs at Periclean colleges (Allegheny and Ursinus) that provide students with meaningful work while simultaneously addressing the needs of community members. Through community-based experiences, these Periclean institutions have developed models to help students be effective leaders of their campus and community.

Allegheny College

During the summer of 2009, 38 Allegheny College students worked in collaboration with eight faculty, three staff, and countless community partners on projects in support of a sustainable Meadville, Pennsylvania, Periclean hometown of Allegheny. Student leaders worked with the various Civic Engagement Council programs and faculty and were provided internships, fellowships, and leadership positions funded through the Dean of the College's discretionary funds, the Farhner Fund for Community Engagement, the Bonner and Davies Leader's programs and the CEED and Civic Engagement Council (CEC) offices.

Periclean summer leadership projects were organized around five strategic focus areas: Art, Beautification, and Community Development; Business, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development; Political Engagement and Policy; Energy, Environment, Health, and Sustainable Communities; and Education. Each program area involved research and program initiatives. Projects included:

  • Developing maintenance plans for Allegheny's Sign/Art collaborations with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Market House Garden collaboration with the Meadville Redevelopment Authority.

  • Supporting and assisting programmatic initiatives for Allegheny's partners at the Meadville Council on the Arts, the Academy Theater and the emerging Rags to Riches textile reuse program.

  • Designing and developing a new website for Northwest Pennsylvania Keystone Innovation Zones which fosters business innovation by connecting entrepreneurs with the resources available through collaborations with institutions of higher education.

  • Laying the foundation for a Zipcar leasing program for the Allegheny College community.

  • Developing a greenhouse gas inventory, including the calculation of emissions projections, for the city of Meadville, PA.

  • Developing an aquaponics/eco-literacy curriculum for Allegheny College's collaboration with Crawford Central Schools' Gifted and Talented Arts & Science program.

Over the course of the summer a series of dinner meetings were held to encourage exploration of cross-cutting initiatives among projects to increase their community impact. These meetings brought the fellows, interns, and leaders from diverse programs together with Allegheny College faculty, staff, and community partners, and were successful in strengthening interactions among all stakeholders. This is an exciting Periclean example of a college working within its community.

Ursinus College

An Ursinus College summer project has made it possible for more students to address social problems in their communities. Senior Elizabeth Cannon's summer project (which stemmed from a study abroad experience in Cape Town, South Africa and from her participation in Project Pericles' Debating for Democracy (D4D) National Conference in 2008) has resulted in a new community service office at Ursinus, and a new web site called UCARE (Ursinus Center for Advocacy, Responsibility and Engagement).

UCARE was developed to assist students who want to make a difference in their classrooms and communities, and promote civic responsibility. The office organizes information on student-led service groups, weekly volunteer opportunities, post-graduation fellowships and regional, national, and international volunteer opportunities. It supplies information on community partnerships such as a local recycling center and meal services, and the college's own tutoring program for cleaning staff from Ursinus College who are learning English.

Cannon, a Social Ecology and Politics double major, said that her experience with the Council for International Education Exchange Cape Town Service Learning Program helped her learn the integrated approach to community involvement. While participating in this program, she designed a program that empowered middle school girls in Cape Town through sports.

"Last year, I had the opportunity to attend the Debating for Democracy (D4D) National Conference in New York City," she said. "The D4D conference promoted thoughtful and constructive civic understanding and involvement of students on all of the Periclean campuses. The experience helped solidify my interest in embracing a more active and creative role in advocating our ability on this campus to revitalize the vision of civic engagement." She went on to say that the "rationale for this project developed from the belief that Ursinus needed to better incorporate the ideology of Eugene Lang and Project Pericles in regards to the concept behind social awareness and participatory citizenship."

Her summer project, called "Affirming the Legacy of Pericles," was one of 70 research projects completed in the Summer Fellows program at Ursinus College, which allows selected students to work one-on-one with a faculty mentor.

News from Project Pericles Program Directors

Pitzer College Recieves Grant for College Access Program: Pitzer College faculty and staff, along with members of The Claremont Colleges, received a 2009 BLAIS Grant Award to complete the first phase of the Consortium for Area Revitalization Through Education (CARE) and launch its pilot program in North Long Beach, CA.

Professors Martha Barcenas-Mooradian, Tessa Hicks Peterson (Project Pericles Program Director), Edith Vasquez, and Pitzer's Center for California Cultural and Social Issues Assistant Director Sandra Mayo will collaborate with faculty and staff from the other Claremont Colleges in CARE. The goal of the program is to create a federally-funded pipeline that draws disadvantaged minority students from elementary through post-secondary education, to become the centerpiece for a model of school-centered community revitalization.

David Scobey Article Appears in Inside Higher Ed: An Inside Higher Ed essay by Bates College professor and Project Pericles Program Director David Scobey suggests how colleges might respond to the decline of the American newspaper and the resulting loss of civic engagement provided by newspapers.

Scobey suggests that colleges launch campus-based news operations, staffed professionally but also offering training and mentoring to students. Focusing on local issues, such news operations could "catalyze new forms of journalistic education... more organically connected to liberal learning, writing pedagogy and student engagement in public affairs," Scobey writes. "They might serve as a much-needed laboratory for the civic journalism movement."

Project Pericles Meetings

Project Pericles Presidents' Council Meeting

December 1, 2009
New York City, New York
At this annual meeting, Periclean Presidents will share their perspectives on the development, implementation, and support of Project Pericles on their campuses. The Presidents' Council Meeting will be hosted by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Debating for Democracy National Conference

April 8-9, 2010
New York City New York
The Debating for Democracy National Conference will bring together student representatives from all Periclean campuses to participate in a series of educational activities with leading figures in civic engagement. The conference will be hosted by The New School.

2010 D4D on the Road Workshops

Saturday, January 23, Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania (with Swarthmore College and Ursinus College)

Friday, January 29, Wagner College, Staten Island, New York (with The New School and Pace University)

Saturday, January 30, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine

Saturday, January 30, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota (with Carleton College)

Saturday, February 14, Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas (with Rhodes College)



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 • Drew University • Earlham College
Elon University • Hampshire College • Hendrix College • Macalester 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

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.