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Posts tagged ‘What We’re Reading’

eJournal of Public Affairs: Civic and Campus Health

Congratulations to the eJournal of Public Affairs for the latest special issue — focused on Civic and Campus Health — Volume 5, No. 1 published in March 2016. It’s what we’re reading!

John Keiser

Front Matter: In memoriam: John H. Keiser (President, Missouri State University, 1993-2005)
The Editors




Happy volunteers in the park

Editorial: Healthy Communities / Health Colleges: Advancing Civic Health with Data and Action
Mark D. Potter, Metropolitan State University of Denver



Avatar people in the form of speech bubble

Articles: Public Engagement: A Vital Leadership Skill
Ashely Trim
From the earliest days of the American republic, local communities have been incubators of civic health in the United States.  While national, state and local assessments of civic health show a lack of engagement in political and social activities that were once the foundation of healthy local democracy, these first decades of the 21st Century have revealed both new challenges for local governments and new tools for engagement. As local leaders revisit the important role of engaged citizens in local programs and policies, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy offers an example of how of public policy and public administration schools can be uniquely equipped to help with this task by preparing future local government leaders for and training current local government leaders in the vital leadership skill of engaging citizens to address public problems.
Keywords: Civic Engagement; Citizenship; Public trust; Education

Research Study Report Response Result Action Concept

Article: A Civic Health Dialogue and Deliberation: Engaging Business, Nonprofit and Public Leaders
Ellen Szarleta
Improving our understanding of the state of civic health in our nation and our communities is a critical first step to building civic and political connectedness.  Recent efforts, including those of the State of Indiana, have focused on taking the pulse of our civic activity.    These efforts highlight the importance of building civic knowledge and skills for citizens, including young upcoming civic actors.   However, another important group of civic actors has largely gone unexamined in this effort to advance our civic health – public, private, and nonprofit sector leaders at both the regional and state levels.  In this paper, we suggest that while each sector brings different qualities bring to the table, all are required to effectively advance initiatives targeting our civic health.    We then describe a method for reinvigorating our civic disposition, and building regional social capital to collectively address the negative outcomes of civic health challenges.
Keywords: Civic health; Civic disposition; Civic Leaders

Students attending seminar

Article: Taking a Closer Look at Campus Civic Health: Are We Measuring Dutiful or Actualized Citizenship on Campus?
Adam Van Liere, Jeremy Arney, and Jo Arney
As members of the Campus and Community Civic Health Initiative we used National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) measures to gauge civic health on our campus. By utilizing course-embedded research project as part of a capstone class, we were able to interview student organizations, faculty, and campus offices regarding their activities in the areas covered by the indicators. Our study uncovered a strong civic campus culture but the analysis of the results seemed somewhat inconsistent with the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) results for our campus. Turning to the literature, and using our data as a case study, we argue that traditional measures of civic health need to be updated to reflect a more actualized definition utilized by young adults today.
Keywords: Civic Engagement; Civic Health; Citizenship

College of BrockportInstruments and Reports: College at Brockport Civic Health Report
Susan Orr and Dena Levy
This report assesses the Civic Health of the Collage at Brockport. It is modeled on the national and state reports produced in cooperation with the National Conference on Citizenship and was undertaken as a part of the American Democracy Project’s Civic Health Initiative. Compilation of the report was integrated into a political science research methods course; students from the course collected compiled and analyzed data for the report in the process of learning research concepts and skills. All students in the class produced mini-reports – three students who produced particularly strong individual reports were selected to work with course faculty to produce a final comprehensive version of the report was published and made available to the college community.
Keywords: Civic Health; Services; Social Connectedness; Political Action

Senior woman signs a Petition

Instruments and Reports: Lincoln Park Survey Instrument
Mark D. Potter
In fall 2013, students in Metropolitan State University of Denver’s advanced research in social science course, under the supervision of Dr. Nicholas Recker, responded to the Campus & Community Civic Health initiative by conducting a survey of businesses in the nearby La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood. Businesses were selected as the study’s focus due to their important community role and their being understudied in civic engagement research.

The students designed a survey focusing on how businesses perceived their neighborhood, their level of civic involvement, and their community partnerships. The survey also assessed topics related to civic engagement such as social capital (comprised of networks, norms of reciprocity, and trust). As part of the research design, students employed a drop-off pick-up method. This particular technique was advantageous because it engaged students with the nearby community as they collected data.

After the study was completed, MSU Denver hosted an event in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood to discuss findings and strengthen community ties. The event was well attended both by members of the university and the community. The event included opportunity for small group dialogue on themes presented from the research findings.

socail capitalInstruments and Reports: Social Capital and Civic Participation in the Ozarks: Summary of Findings from the Ozarks Regional Social Capital Survey
Mike Stout, John B Harms, and Timothy D. Knapp
This report summarizes the civic health of the Missouri Ozarks, a ten county region in Southwest Missouri. It is the first of its kind for the region and documents the health of the Ozarks’ civic sector. The report describes various indicators of civic life in Southwest Missouri. It also brings the workings of civil society into a broad discussion about what kind of institutional structure will best support democracy. Historical trends across the United States show that some forms of civic participation are declining. However, our analyses of social capital, socioeconomic status, and civic participation in Southwest Missouri show that there are foundations that can be built upon to revitalize the region’s civic health. The information in this report can be used to motivate and inform discussions of how to enliven civic participation in Southwest Missouri and strengthen the social fabric of the Show Me State.
Keywords: Social Capital; Civic Participation; Socio Economic Status

What’s New with ADP | April 2016

 April 2016 Edition

In Loving Memory

Dr. Bernie Ronan, co-founder of The Democracy Commitment (TDC), died late last month in Arizona after his struggle with cancer. Bernie passed away surrounded by his family and the love of his extended community. In honor of his tremendous devotion and commitment to TDC and the national civic engagement movement, TDC renamed its student scholarship award after him. The Bernie Ronan Award will stand as a living testimony to his tireless work for democracy and community colleges. We will miss him deeply.


  • Have you registered yet for our annual meeting? #CLDE16: 2016 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement Meeting
    Thursday, June 2, 2016 to Saturday, June 4, 2016 | Indianapolis Marriott Downtown • Indianapolis, Indiana
    Note that all ADP participants are encouraged to attend the ADP Organizing Meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 2. During this session we will review the last year, welcome new participating campuses, present awards and plan the upcoming year together!Plenary speakers includeAustin Belali, Director, Youth Engagement Fund; Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE, Tufts University; David Hoffman, Assistant Director of Student Life for Civic Agency, University of Maryland,Baltimore County (UMBC); Elizabeth A. Bennion, Professor and Acting Chair, Department of Political Science, Indiana University South Bend and Host, Politically Speaking, WNIT Television; and Nancy L. Thomas, Director, Institute for Democracy & Higher Education, Tufts University (Mass.)Make sure to check out the pre-conference institutes on Wednesday, June 1st when you register for the meeting:

    • CLDE Assessment Institute with ETS (encouraging teams) | 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Political Engagement Institute with icitizen (encouraging teams) | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • Dialogue and Deliberation Institute | 1 – 4 p.m.
    • Student Pre-conference Symposium (students only) | 1 – 4 p.m.
    • ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative Institute (EI campuses only) | 1 – 4 p.m
      Register online here
      . Early-bird deadline is April 25! Book your hotel room by May 10 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown here. Become a mentor/mentee,submit your interest here.
  • Apply for the 2017 CLDE Meeting Planning Committee by May 20th.
    #CLDE17 will be in Baltimore, Md. from June 8-10, 2017. Interested applicants should send a current resume and a brief statement of interest to Jen Domagal-Goldman at by May 20, 2016.  Selected participants will be notified of their participation on the 2017 CLDE Meeting planning committee by May 31, 2016. To learn more, click here.
  • RSVP for our ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 Webinar on “Demystifying Youth Voting-Why Some Young People Vote and Some Don’t” | Wednesday April 27th, 2016
    In this webinar, researchers from CIRCLE  will present research that will help the audience learn more about youth voting trends, particularly focusing on the 2016 election, what research tells us about why young people do or don’t vote, and what barriers, if any, young voters face at the polls

    • Speakers: Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director, CIRCLE and Abby Kiesa, Youth Coordinator & Researcher, CIRCLE
    • When: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. EST
    • RSVP here.
  • Is your campus participating in NSLVE? | Due: May 13, 2016
    By now, you know about Tufts University’s National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE). A free service, NSLVE measures student registration and voting rates and provides each participating campus with a tailored report containing those rates broken down by age, class level, race/ethnicity, gender, voting method, and voting location. See a sample report. This is your last chance before the 2016 election to join more than 800 colleges and universities nationwide that have already learned their rates for 2012 and 2014. Over 150 ADP campuses are currently participating.This is not a survey! All you need to do is submit this authorization form. For more information, visit the NSLVE website. Submit your form byMay 13, 2016.


  • California University of Pennsylvania: Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University in Atlanta, made a point during a discussion of the 2016 presidential election at an event sponsored by ADP at Cal U. He believes this year’s contest will be similar to those in 2012 or 2004 – that two candidates will end up separated in the popular vote by about three or four points, and the Electoral College tally will hinge on the results in swing states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia.
  • Fort Hays State University (Kan.): Anna Hand, an Ellsworth senior majoring in political science at Fort Hays State University, is a recipient of the 2016 Newman Civic Fellows Award, which honors the late Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders.  She has worked with the American Democracy Project and presidential campaigns. She has dedicated a lot of her time to get-out-the-vote efforts, which informs people on how to vote and when elections happen. To read more about Anna Hand and the award, click here.
  • Georgia College: Dillon Johnstone is a Truman Scholar finalist. The Texas native served in the Army for five and a half years and is currently still in the Reserves and has always thought of his community first. Johnstone was nominated by Anna Whiteside, who attended the community forum on the proposed unification of Milledgeville and Baldwin County which Johnstone helped organize; the event was sponsored by the American Democracy Project.
  • Indiana State University: Students like Michael Shepard are working on an effort to register new voters in a demographic group that will be crucial to Indiana’s primary elections on May 3. Signing up students to vote is a key first step, said Indiana State University political scientist Carly Schmitt, who oversees the university’s American Democracy Project and over the past few weeks has registered 500 new voters on campus. To learn more how students are registering, click here.
  • ISU’s American Democracy Project , asked the Election Board to allow ISU to serve as an early-voting site and voting center for the upcoming May 3 Indiana primary and the Nov. 8 general election. With university president Dan Bradley presenting the idea, the college offered to provide the necessary voting equipment and  free parking to a university  that has more than 13,500 students attend the university and another 1,500 people work there. To learn more about the story, click here.
  • Indiana University South Bend (Ind.): The League of Women Voters of the South Bend Area has published its nonpartisan 2016 Primary Election guide,, a one-stop shop for election information on key races for St. Joseph County voters at all levels, including president, Congress, county council, commissioner, surveyor, treasurer and recorder.
  • University of Nebraska at Kearney: University of Nebraska at Kearney students presented their civic engagement projects during UNK Talks on April 6, 2016. Organized by the UNK American Democracy Project, UNK Talks were inspired by TED Talks. Five students presented their projects for 8 to 12 minutes in front of a panel of judges. To learn more about the presenters and the winner, click here.


  • The Edit bi-weekly newsletter by The New York Times for students. Sign up here.


  • The recording of the first ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 webinar on Becoming a Voter-Friendly Campus can be accessed here.
  • The second ADP/TDC Engage the Election 2016 webinar on National Study of Learning, Voting & Engagement (NSLVE) is available here.



What We’re Reading–Rethinking Preparation for Work: A Civic-Enriched Liberal Education

peer reviewRethinking Preparation for Work: A Civic-Enriched Liberal Education
Peer Review Summer 2015, Vol. 17, No. 3In a world where college graduates spend the majority of their public lives engaged in work, this issue of AAC&U’s Peer Review, sponsored by the Kettering Foundation, focuses on how colleges might reconceive preparation for work in addition to preparation for citizenship. Instead of making the case for civic learning  only by noting that civic education skills also are useful in getting a job, this issue explores whether there is a more expansive and civic notion of work to which higher education might contribute. The table of contents for the Peer Review issue is below, with links to full online articles.Rethinking Preparation for Work is what we’re reading. Note the contributions by TDC’s co-founder Bernie Ronan and by ADP’s Seth Pollack and Byron White.

From the Editor
Shelley Johnson Carey


Civic-Rich Preparation for Work
Caryn McTighe Musil, AAC&U

For a Good Life: Integrating Liberal and Civic Arts Education with Work
Elizabeth Minnich, AAC&U

Civic Virtues for Work and Action
Bernie Ronan, Maricopa Community Colleges, and Derek W. M. Barker, Kettering Foundation


Be the Change: Academics as Civic Professionals
Amy Koritz, Drew University, and Paul Schadewald, Macalester College

Weaving Together Career and Civic Commitments for Social Change
José Zapata Calderón, Pitzer College, and Seth S. Pollack, California State University–Monterey Bay

Developing Lifelong Civic Habits at Widener University
James Harris, the University of San Diego and Widener University

Science, Curriculum, and Public Controversies
Kyle Powys Whyte, Michigan State University, Byron P. White, Cleveland State University, and Darlyne Menscer, Carolinas Health Care System

Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries with Civic Literacy
Mary Gowan, James Madison University, and Margaret Salazar-Porzio, Smithsonian Institution


What Does It Mean to Be an Educated Person Today?
Jean Johnson, National Issues Forums Institute


Reconstituting Civic Engagement for Tomorrow’s Students
David J. Maurrasse, Marga Incorporated and Columbia University


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