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Community Engagement News

Apr 17, 2023. 5 min read

Community Engagement News April 17, 2023

HONORING ‘COMMUNITY-COMMITTED’ STUDENTS

Barry Student Leader Valentine Thomas Receives National Recognition as a Newman Civic Fellow

Barry Service Corps Fellow Valentine Thomas has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact

Barry Service Corps Fellow Valentine Thomas has been named a Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact, the national coalition of colleges and universities that advances the public purposes of higher education.

The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes students who stand out for their commitment to creating positive change in communities locally and around the world. Thomas is one of 154 student civic leaders from 38 states, the District of Columbia, and Mexico who will make up the 2023–2024 cohort of .

Valentine Thomas is “passionate about helping at-risk youth achieve success in school while striving to reach their full potential,” said 51ֿ President Dr. Mike Allen. “He understands the need for requisite resources to reduce risk factors and to combat conditions militating against young people in marginalized communities. Consequently, he has become deeply involved in the work of Breakthrough Miami, providing academic and social enrichment support to middle- and high-school students.”

President Allen noted that Valentine is also “an ardent supporter of efforts designed to raise awareness about social justice issues such as food insecurity and hunger, and he has helped to promote the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ campaign for the fair treatment of laborers on farms throughout the United States.”

Thomas expressed his commitment to “empowering youth, particularly at-risk youth, so that they can believe in themselves, go after their dreams, and become the best of who they’re meant to be.”

Campus Compact President Bobbie Laur said, “We are honored to recognize such an outstanding group of community-committed students. One of the best parts of the Newman Civic Fellowship is the richness of students’ perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds—and how these varied stories all led to their passionate engagement with the social, political, and environmental issues impacting our world.”

Ms. Laur said the students would be “the catalysts for change on many levels.” She added that Campus Compact was “privileged to help empower them to create that change.”

Campus Compact is the nation’s largest national organization dedicated to higher education civic and community engagement. The organization’s mission is to advance the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility.

The Newman Civic Fellows for 2023–2024, including , are profiled at the .


‘Democracy Forum’ This Wednesday Sets Stage for Student Voter Engagement Ahead of 2024 Elections

Democracy Forum

A forum in the CCSI’s Deliberative Dialogue Series doubled as the first of two CDP-related Democracy Forums for the academic year. The participants included the president of the Barry College Republicans, Immanuel Mitchell, and the president of the Barry College Democrats, Imani McClammy.

As part of Barry’s Campus Democracy Project (CDP), a “Democracy Forum” will take place this Wednesday (April 19) from noon to 2 p.m. in Thompson Hall’s Kostka Room.

The Barry College Democrats and the Barry College Republicans will be principal players as the CDP sets the stage for student voter engagement ahead of the 2024 elections.

Wednesday’s event is the final in a series of CDP-related forums for the academic year. A forum in the Center for Community Service Initiatives’ Deliberative Dialogue Series, titled “Race Talk in Florida: Bridging the Political Divide,” doubled as the first of two Democracy Forums for the academic year.

The CDP is a civic learning and democratic engagement project coordinated by the CCSI. The CCSI and the CDP Committee are encouraging students, faculty, and staff to attend the Democracy Forum. No registration is required.


Bowen Publishes Book Chapter on Civic Engagement in Caribbean Higher Education

A just-published book on higher education in Latin America and the Caribbean contains a chapter by Glenn A. Bowen of Barry’s Center for Community Service Initiatives.

The chapter is titled “Civic Engagement in Caribbean Higher Education: Practices and Possibilities for Advancing Democracy.” It describes approaches to civic engagement adopted by Caribbean institutions of higher education and analyzes the effectiveness of current programs and practices. Included in the chapter are recommendations regarding what the region’s colleges and universities can do to support and advance democracy.

Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean: Civic Engagement and the Democratic Mission is edited by Ronaldo Munck, Yadira Pinilla, Rita A. Hodges, and Catherine Bartch.


Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report—Part 1

Community Engagement Showcase & Awards
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report
Looking Back at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards: A Pictorial Report

Resources for Critical Reflection Available in Community Engagement Library

The CCSI’s Community Engagement Library has a collection of resources—books, journal articles, and fact sheets—on reflection. An element of experiential learning, reflection is particularly critical to service-learning.

Available reflection resources include Reflection Methods and Activities for Service Learning: A Student Manual and Workbook (Bowen, 2007) and Engaging All Partners in Reflection: Designing and Implementing Integrative Reflection Opportunities (Rice, n.d.).

Also available from the CCSI are “Analyzing Reflections in Service Learning to Promote Personal Growth and Community Self-Efficacy” (Sanders et al., 2016); “Evidences of Transformative Learning in Service-Learning Reflections” (Hullender et al., 2015); “Methods of Theological Reflection in the Summer Service Learning Program: Integrating Spirituality and Civic Engagement” (Shappell, 2006); and “What’s the DEAL? Program Level Examination of Reflection Design” (Tolar & Gott, 2012).


Gift of Life Marrow Registry Looking for Student Volunteers to Serve as Campus Ambassadors

Campus Ambassador Program
Volunteers Needed

Gift of Life is seeking volunteers to join its fall 2023 cohort of campus ambassadors. Volunteers will organize donor recruitment events aimed at educating new donors and offering them the opportunity to join the registry.

Gift of Life is an international marrow and stem cell registry that facilitates lifesaving transplants for people battling blood cancer, sickle cell, and other blood disorders.

“Our mission is to find a matching donor for every recipient in need,” said Traci Ackerman, the Gift of Life community engagement manager. She said the ambassadors are “charged with being change agents on campus.”

Gift of Life campus ambassadors “have the potential to invite many new donors to join the registry—any one of whom could save a life,” the organization says at its . “It’s a pretty sweet gig. Hang out with your friends, make a difference in the world.”

Students interested in becoming Gift of Life campus ambassadors are asked to as soon as possible.


Community Engagement News: Next Week

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AWARD: Over the years, the Center for Community Service Initiatives has presented a community engagement award to 24 community partners. They were among the winners of awards recognized recently at the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards.

PICTORIAL REPORT: A pictorial report gives readers another retrospective on the Community Engagement Showcase and Awards, which took place on March 29.


Voter Friendly Campus

Community Engagement News is a publication of the Center for Community Service Initiatives.

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