NERCHE Virtual Think Tank: Becoming Stewards of Place with George Mehaffy

NERCHE Virtual Think Tank

Becoming Stewards of Place:
Strategies for Institution-Community Engagement

George Mehaffy
AASCU’s Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change

May 7th, 2014 | Noon-1:30 PM (Eastern)

About the Session
In 2002, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) published a monograph, Stepping Forward as Stewards of Place, arguing that regional comprehensive universities have a special opportunity to serve their communities.  At a time when traditional institutions feel besieged by a rapidly changing landscape, defining themselves as “stewards of place” offers new possibilities.  Collaborating with communities, and thinking of the border between campus and community as porous and permeable, provides new insights and opportunities for teaching, research, and service.  The community becomes the classroom, the focus for collaborative research, and the opportunity for service. This webinar will focus on AASCU’s two 2014 monographs in the Stewards of Place series, both of which demonstrate that stewardship of place can make institutions stronger and more relevant in the 21st century.  One study examines AASCU applications for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2008 and 2010, offering analysis of the models and approaches used for this emerging area of collaboration.  The other monograph identifies four key areas of stewardship: civic engagement, P-12 schools, community and economic development, and internationalization

About the Presenter
George Mehaffy serves as the Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).  His division is responsible for a number of special programs and projects for AASCU presidents and chief academic officers in the areas of leadership and organizational change in higher education, focusing on issues such as technology, teacher education, international education, and civic engagement.  His most prominent recent initiative was the design and launch of the Red Balloon Project, an effort to assist member institutions in adapting to the rapidly changing world of higher education.  Other recent projects have included international partnership programs in Asia and Africa, an articulation and transfer initiative with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); a multi-state project on evidence in teacher education; a collaborative effort with two other national organizations on graduation rates and Hispanic student success; and a series of technology conferences for university teams at the University of Central Florida in partnership with EDUCAUSE.  In 2003, he launched a new civic engagement initiative, the American Democracy Project (ADP), a partnership with The New York Times and more than 250 AASCU colleges and universities, representing more than 1.8 million students

Register for this Session

Student Spotlight: CSU Fresno’s Elizabeth Olenchalk

California State University, Fresno junior Elizabeth Olenchalk was named a 2014 Newman Civic Fellow in recognition of her commitment to community service and civic leadership.

Elizabeth is a Liberal Studies major and her minor in Urban Civic Education was developed as part of AASCU’s five-campus, Learn and Serve America grant-funded program to develop civic minors in urban education (learn more here). Olenchalk hopes to become “a change agent who addresses community issues.” Read more.

#ADPTDC14: Sign up to Participate in our Inaugural Day of Service in Louisville!

New this Year:
ADP/TDC Day of Service
Thursday, June 5 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Louisville, KY

hands (3)In keeping with the spirit of civic and community engagement efforts on our campuses, we’re pleased to announce a new ADP/TDC Day of Service to be held annually during our National Meeting. With your participation, we’ll contribute to our host cities and engage in compassionate and meaningful service projects.
For this year’s Day of Service, we’ve chosen Louisville’s Family Scholar House, Inc. Family Scholar House is changing lives, families and communities through education. It seeks to end the cycle of poverty by giving single-parent students the support they need to earn a four-year college degree. The educational focus of the Family Scholar House resonates with AASCU’s mission and goals.

We invite up to 40 of our attendees to spend the morning participating in various activities for children and families, such as the toddler book club, games and field-day activities, and art projects.

Our local business partner, O’Shea’s, will provide staff members to join in the effort. O’Shea’s, also the location of our closing reception, is a local leader of businesses working to support the Louisville community.

GiveGab, a sponsor of #ADPTDC14, will help facilitate and promote our inaugural day of service. GiveGab staff will join us on site and will launch a page on their platform dedicated to this event.

Event Details: The event will run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 5. Transportation will be provided and participants will be back to the conference hotel in time to participate in afternoon preconference sessions (which run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.). A light breakfast and lunch, as well as a t-shirt for each participant, will be provided.

Please complete this 2014 Day of Service registration form to sign up for our inaugural ADP/TDC Day of Service.

If you haven’t yet registered for #ADPTDC14, you can do so and find additional information about our national meeting here: 

Imagining America’s PAGE Program Accepting Applications

IA banner

PAGE is accepting applications for 2014-2015 Fellows!

PAGE (Publicly Active Graduate Education) is Imagining America’s network for publicly engaged graduate students in humanities, arts, and design. PAGE enhances the theoretical and practical tools for public engagement, fosters a national, interdisciplinary community of peers and veteran scholars, and creates opportunities for collaborative knowledge production. The PAGE consortium, made up of alumni and allies of the program, promotes opportunities for mentorship and peer support from IA’s network.

Imagining America (IA) invites graduate students with a demonstrated interest in public scholarship and/or artistic practice to apply for a 2014-2015 PAGE Fellowship. Awardees receive $500 to attend a half-day Fellows Summit on October 8th and the 2014 Imagining America national conference, October 9th-11th in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fellows also commit to participating in a yearlong working group to promote collaborative art-making, teaching, writing, and research projects. PAGE alumni and Fellows will work together to organize monthly conference calls around themes and questions relevant to the needs of publicly engaged graduate students. In doing so, PAGE looks to foster a cohort of Fellows interested in pursuing collective and innovative scholarly practices. Fellows are asked to be active participants in the Imagining America network through posting on the IA blog, presenting at regional meetings or campus workshops, or other related professional convenings. Additionally, each Fellow will be tasked with co-facilitating a webinar or workshop during the 2014-2015 academic year. Past examples include: book group discussions, virtual dinner parties, guest lectures, skill-building demonstrations, and music performances.

Graduate students from IA member campuses at all stages of their MA/MFA/PhD programs may apply to be PAGE Fellows.

The submission deadline is May 16th.

For more information and to apply, click here.

What’s New with ADP? April 2014



Earlybird Registration for #ADPTDC14 National Meeting in Louisville (June 5-7, 2014) Closes April 30, 2014

On April 30, 2014 Earlybird Registration Rates for this year’s national meeting, held June 5-7 in Louisville, KY, will expire, so if you haven’t already, you should get registered by clicking here. You can read more about what this year’s national meeting has to offer, including our inaugural Day of Service, here, and you’ll find important information below about dates and registration fees and how to reserve a room at the Marriott Louisville Downtown.

Campus Spotlight: Georgia College’s Times Talk Program

In a guest post, the ADP Campus Coordinator from Georgia College, Gregg Kaufman, describes his campus’ Times Talk program, which has just entered its eighth year.  Kaufman discusses some of the valuable conversations that Times Talks have facilitated on Georgia College’s campus. 

AASCU and NASPA Partner with TurboVote to Expand On-Campus Voter Outreach

Two of the nation’s leading higher education associations—the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA)— announced a partnership with TurboVote. Through this partnership, TurboVote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, will bring its innovative “one-stop-shop” voter engagement platform to students at college and university campuses across the country.

Higher Education and the 2014 Gubernatorial State of the State Addresses | An AASCU State Policy Update

Two members of AASCU’s government relations division share observations and analysis gleaned from 41 governors’ State of the State addresses.  Governors use these speeches as a vehicle to highlight their administration’s successes, outline state policy challenges and propose solutions to advance their vision for the state.  AASCU’s Tom Harnisch and Emily Parker analyze what states have in store for higher education. 


April 14: Deadline to register for National Study on Learning Voting and Engagement

April 22: Earth Day

April 28: Deadline to register for ADP/TDC Campus and Friends Showcase

April 30: Deadline for earlybird registration for ADP/TDC National Meeting in Louisville, Ky.

May 14: ADP/TDC National Meeting Hotel Deadline

June 5-7: American Democracy Project/The Democracy Commitment National Meeting, Louisvill, Ky.

Campus Spotlight: Georgia College’s Times Talk Program

By Gregg Kaufman, ADP Campus Coordinator, Georgia College

The 8th year of the Georgia College Times Talk program is coming to an end this month. An unprecedented number of participants, over 1500 as of this writing, have gathered to address a variety of current and controversial topics. The Times Talk program has become a part of the university’s culture and is a dependable resource for quickly responding to campus as well as national and international issues. Student broadcast and print journalists trust the Wednesday Noon civil discourse as they cover the Wednesday sessions when reporting on specific stories.

GA College NYT 2014 2

A small segment of the Social Media and Hate Times Talk participants on March 5.

A controversial and embarrassing incident occurred on campus this semester  due to the “community-based vent application” Yik Yak. The app is designed to communicate anonymous comments relative to a specific locale and in the unfortunate case of GC, several insensitive racial statements targeting young campus visitors. As news spread about these prejudiced comments, a grass-roots response from students, faculty, and staff mobilized to use the incident to candidly dialogue about what some are referring to as racial “microaggressions.” To paraphrase the organizers, “How can we gather concerned people together to talk about this? Let’s see if this week’s Times Talk could be used to begin a conversation.”

Indeed, Times Talk became the starting point for what has become an ongoing dialogue as over 175 students attended a March 5 session and another 90 shared their thoughts at the following week’s Healing a Wounded Community Times Talk. The GC 360 weekly campus television show covered several Times talks over the course of the academic year. You can view these segments in the March 11 and April 1 broadcasts.

GA College NYT 2014 1

Co-moderator Emmanuel Little, Diversity Coordinator, standing and Dr. Andy Lewter, Dean of Students, not pictured, moderated the Times Talk.

Times Talk also hosted a debate on the Georgia Legislature’s HB60 bill that expands gun-carrying legislation after which Times Talk participants engaged in Q&A with the Rhetoric student debaters. Times Talk will be used as the first  hour of a Crimean Crisis: Democracy at Stake Teach-in on April 16.

While the weekly sessions provide a venue for discussing any number of current event issues, the Times Talk series also provides a dependable, “stewardship of place” resource that is responsive and adaptable to critical issues of interest to the campus community. Once more, it is important to note that the physical space for Times Talk is in a study area of the GC Library. No longer a bastion of quiet, the library becomes a public place for dialogue and pizza consumption!



Campus and Friends Showcase at the 2014 ADP/TDC National Meeting

Are you an ADP campus coordinator?
Do you want to share your campus activities?
Are you an ADP partner organization?
Do you want to promote the work of your organization?

Consider hosting a table at the Campus & Friends Showcase at the 2014 American Democracy Project/The Democracy Commitment National Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.


Thursday, June 5, 2014
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (preview 3 p.m-3:30 pm)

For the ninth year in a row, we will feature the ever-popular Campus & Friends Showcase—a wonderful opportunity to share and celebrate your work and help others learn how to promote civic learning and engagement on their own campuses.  There is no cost to participate.  Simply complete this registration form, available hereno later than Monday, April 28, 2014.

The Campus and Friends Showcase will take place on Thursday, June 5th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (preview 3 p.m-3:30 pm).  The Showcase is designed as an exhibit area with tables available for presenters. People love to see what other campuses are doing with ADP/TDC, and the Showcase also serves as an important networking opportunity for project participants to connect with national leaders in the civic engagement movement.

It is important to note that the Campus & Friends Showcase is different than the poster sessions, which were solicited during the Call for Proposals. The poster session is designed to be more research-oriented, and the Showcase is set up as an exhibit to provide opportunities for information, networking, and collaboration.

More information about the purpose and structure of the Showcase, registration, the materials you should provide, and set-up details can be found here. If you have any questions, please email Cait Reilly at

If you haven’t already done so, don’t forget to register for the 2014 American Democracy Project/The Democracy Commitment National Meeting, June 5-7, 2014. To register for the meeting visit our website. Note: Earlybird registration rates end on April 30!

[#ADPTDC14 Update] Earlybird Registration Rates End 4/30

It's Coming

Proposals have been reviewed and accepted.

Specific dates and times for sessions will be going out by the end of April.

Pre-con sessions have been finalized (more information coming soon).

Plenary speakers are soon to be announced.

And on April 30th, Earlybird Registration Rates for this year’s national meeting, held June 5-7 in Louisville, KY, will expire, so if you haven’t already, you should get registered by clicking here.

You can read more about what this year’s national meeting has to offer, including our inaugural Day of Service here, and you’ll find important information below about dates and registration fees and how to reserve a room at the Marriott Louisville Downtown.

Additional information can be found here.

Registration Fees:
Registration Fees include all program sessions and materials; reception on Thursday evening; breakfast on Friday; and lunch and a closing reception on Saturday.

Earlybird Fees (register by Wednesday April 30)
Individual Fee: $545
Team Member Registration Fee: $485
Student Registration Fee: $395 (only pertains to undergraduate students)
Non-Member Registration Fee: $625

Fees starting May 1
Individual Fee: $625
Team Member Registration Fee: $545
Student Registration Fee: $425 (only pertains to undergraduate students)
Non-Member Registration Fee: $725

How to Register

Please select among the three options below:

ADP Members - Click here to register online
NOTE: Please click this LOGIN HELP if you have trouble using the online registration form.

Register via the downloadable registration form, to be mailed or faxed in.
Download ADP Reg Form (pdf)

You may also contact Felicia Durham at (202) 478-4673 to register for this meeting.



Louisville Marriott Downtown
280 West Jefferson
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
Phone: 502-627-5045
Fax: 502-627-5044
Toll-free: 800-533-0127

Room Rate

  • The special conference rate is $169 for a single/double room plus 15.01% tax (current tax rate may change)
  • A triple occupancy room is $ 179.00 and a quad occupancy room is 189.00 plus 15.01% tax (current tax rate may change)
  • To obtain this rate, you must book your room by Wednesday May 14, 2014.
  • Please book in the room block to receive complimentary Wi-Fi in your guest room. AASCU will be providing Wi-Fi in the meeting space as well.

Hotel reservations can be made online

  • All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit, or guaranteed with a major credit card or by American Association of State Colleges and Universities.
  • Any reservation canceled within (24) hours of the arrival date, will be charged for one (1) night’s room and tax.

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