HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 22, 2013 – A team of High Point University students and faculty recently presented two sessions at North Carolina Campus Compact’s Civic Engagement Institute. The conference, held at Elon University, brought together teams from 28 campuses across North Carolina to focus on the theme “Becoming Citizens, Becoming Community.”
The HPU sessions highlighted the university’s experience with the Democracy USA project. The project is a learning initiative designed to better prepare the nation’s future leaders and challenge the idea that today’s citizens are losing their ability to work together across differences.
The five-member HPU team included: Dr. Joe Blosser, Robert G. Culp Jr. director of service learning and assistant professor of religion and philosophy; Carol Davis, instructor of communication; Sarah Martin, a senior communication major; Greg Sensale, a junior majoring in history and political science; and Ben Turner, a junior communication major. In addition to presenting, Davis also served on the institute planning committee.
The team’s first session, entitled “Democracy USA: Engaging Students in Class, Across the Country and Around the Globe,” shared the story of HPU’s multi-disciplinary, experiential learning project from fall 2012. The project included more than 30 students attending the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.
The second session, led by Davis, Martin, and Turner, was “I’m Just Sayin’: Getting Involved in Community Issues.” The presenters discussed new strategies for engaging students as volunteers in the local community.
Started in 2002, NC Campus Compact is a network of 38 public, private, and community colleges and universities, including HPU. The Compact’s mission is to build the capacity of colleges and universities to produce civically-engaged graduates and strengthen communities.
The Compact hosts an annual Civic Engagement Institute to address a new topic in community and civic engagement. This year, nearly 175 faculty, staff, students and community partners participated. National civic engagement experts Dr. Peter Levine and Dr. Judith Ramaley delivered keynote presentations, and staff of the National Issues Forum led attendees in a “deliberative dialogue” that explored the civic purposes of higher education.