Volume 1: January 2010

A Word from the Civic Engagement Council Chair

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the first edition of our new Civic Engagement e-newsletter, designed during the fall semester by Fahner Fellow, Matthew Reilly ’11. In this issue you will find numerous stories that address our work during the summer 2009. Our top story from the fall semester focuses on a collaboration with Project Pericles, which brought D4D on the Road to Allegheny and provided a workshop on activism training as part of our contribution to the Year of Social Change.

During the fall semester, many wonderful programs were sponsored through the various offices and programs that support civic engagement on our campus (visit http://civicengagement.allegheny.edu/ to learn more). Many of these programs were organized as part of the Year of Social Change (YoSC), organized by Professors Ishita Sinha Roy and Emily Yochim and their amazing team of student ambassadors. YoSC programming has demonstrated the capacity of campus collaborations, with a wide range of departments and programs pooling resources to bring important speakers such as Kathy Eldon, Greg Mortenson, Vandana Shiva, Julia Otsuka and others to campus. Please visit YoSC website to learn about upcoming events (http://sites.allegheny.edu/yearofsocialchange/).

The college community is already hard at work developing programs for next year’s Year of Global Citizenship (YoGC), a theme that was proposed by two students (Jinnie Templin and Dave Valentine) after attending the American Association of College’s and University’s (AACU) Annual Meeting in October, where they shared their work as part of the AACU’s Core Commitments program. The College’s Public Events committee unanimously selected YoGC as next year’s theme of the year. Professor Shannan Mattiace has generously taken the lead and is working with faculty and students across campus to organize next year’s programs. If you have suggestions for YoGC programming or collaborations, please do let us know.

Other fall programs included: Allegheny’s first Dorm Energy Competition (a collaboration with the Campus Sustainability Coordinator), a presentation on developing an Edible Schoolyards Program with local schools, development of an aquaponics program for local schools and the Meadville Market House, a community design workshop to foster development of stormwater solutions in connection with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s North Street Enhancement project, development of several new Fahrner Civic Engagement classes that emphasize a range of pedagogical strategies for community collaborations, and many many other wonderful initiatives that will be featured in the spring edition of the e-newsletter. We anticipate publishing the spring issue of our e-newsletter in April2010 and will feature many of these stories, as well as information about spring initiatives on campus.

During the fall semester, the College’s Executive Committee continued to work with faculty, staff and students to finalize a proposal for our next strategic plan, which hints at renewed and enhanced commitments for our collaborations with the local and regional community. President Mullen has indicated that the Board of Trustees will vote on this proposal at their next meeting, at which time the plan will be made public. The Civic Engagement Council is looking forward to developing initiatives to support new strategic initiatives that grow from the strategic plan.

Needless to say, it is a very exciting time at Allegheny and our students and faculty continue to demonstrate leadership and innovation to support civic engagement and demonstrate active citizenship. It is a pleasure to work with so many talented individuals who are passionate about building the capacity of our communities and creating change.

Please enjoy this, our first e-newsletter for the Civic Engagement Council. If you want to learn more about our programs please visit our website at http://civicengagement.allegheny.edu/.

With warm regards,

Amara Geffen

Chair, Civic Engagement Council