By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project
This is by far the most difficult blog post I have written to date. Many of you within the ADP network are aware of my plans to return to school in the fall. After this summer I will no longer serve as the National Manager of the American Democracy Project. I have spent five years in this position and I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I have had to grow as a professional and to take part in higher education’s struggle to protect and improve American democracy. This fall I will be attending the University of Pennsylvania where I will pursue a Ph.D. in higher education with an emphasis in civic engagement. The program is a perfect fit with my professional and academic interests and I will be advised by Matthew Hartley, a long-time leader in and champion of the civic engagement movement. I am excited about this new academic adventure and I look forward to getting started in the fall.
There are no words to describe how much I will miss this job, though. I know that I am fortunate to have held a position that I love this much and am so deeply passionate about this early in life. I have the world’s best boss (George Mehaffy) who has been a tireless mentor, friend and colleague. I simply cannot count the many important lessons he has taught me and opportunities he has given me to grow and learn.
Most of all, though, I will miss working with all of you. Each day I find myself inspired and astounded by the level of dedication and talent that exists within the ADP network. You are the true leaders in the civic engagement movement and it is your hard work that is helping to educate informed, engaged citizens for our democracy.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for helping make ADP one of the most successful civic engagement projects in higher education. George and I often joke that ADP is the largest unfunded civic engagement initiative in the history of higher education but this assessment does not tell the full story. ADP is funded by your passion and your dedication to helping secure a stronger democracy for us all. It has been an honor to work with you these past five years.
I have secured George’s approval for potential research within the AASCU network during my doctoral studies so needless to say you will continue to hear from me after I leave ADP and AASCU. I will attend the American Democracy Project National Meeting in Orlando this June and will say farewell in person.
Update: Jennifer Domagal-Goldman will take over for me in late July. To virtually “meet” Jen, read this blog post. Jen will also join us in Orlando, so if you are attending this meeting, please plan to introduce yourself to her.