AmeriCorps VISTA: The Key to Opportunity

Throughout the month of June, North Carolina Campus Compact will be publishing articles written by our VISTA members. These pieces give readers access to first-hand experiences and reflections of VISTAs serving throughout the state. We are excited for them to share their perspectives on community and service with us!  Please note: Any opinions expressed on the VISTA VIEW blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, opinions, or policies of North Carolina Campus Compact, the AmeriCorps VISTA program or the Corporation for National and Community Service. By Brittany Johnson, NC Campus Compact VISTA at the…

Campus food pantries serve NC students in need

Many campuses work to fight against hunger in the local community, but a growing number of NC colleges and universities are grappling with the problem of food insecurity among their own students and staff. One way these schools are responding is through the creation of on-campus food pantries. Currently, twelve NC campuses host or are developing pantries. Durham Tech collects items for its campus food pantry. NC Campus Compact will convene a special webinar, “Establishing and Maintaining a Campus Food Pantry,” on Wednesday, May 21 at 2:00 PM. Our featured presenter will be Nate Smith-Tyge, Director of the Michigan State…

UNC System creates new Engagement Council

On April 22, 2014, UNC General Administration convened the first gathering of the UNC Engagement Council at their headquarters in Chapel, Hill, NC. Convened by Leslie Boney, Vice President for International, Community and Economic Engagement, and chaired by Jenni Harris, Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Partnerships at UNC Wilmington, this group is composed of civic engagement administrators from each of the 17-campuses comprising the UNC system.  The Council will seek to be campus-driven and focus on sharing ideas, best practices and strategies related to connecting their institutions more effectively with communities.  NC Campus Compact’s Lisa Keyne, Executive Director, and…

NC mayors recognize importance of national service

April 1st marked the second annual Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service. Nationwide 1,760 mayors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico united in support of national service. Thirty North Carolina mayors participated, which is a large increase from last year. A full list can be found here. Together, these mayors represent more than 110 million Americans, or one-third of the U.S. population. These mayors carried a common message: National Service Works for America. We at North Carolina Campus Compact were honored to participate in several of these events alongside such a diverse and…

Alternative break trips and “service staycations” expand student learning, service

Spring break gives students a break from the classroom, but for those who choose an alternative break, learning and service continues. Over the past month, many of our “engaged campuses” organized such service experiences near and far. NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTAs (and former VISTAs) helped lead some of these trips, which give college students a chance to visit new places or immerse themselves in issues closer to home. Each alternative spring break (ASB) trip built on the VISTA’s primary project focus: k-12 education, economic opportunity, or food security. UNCP students serve with a Philadelphia non-profit. VISTA Dalton Hoffer co-led…

Eight NC Students Receive National Civic Engagement Honor

On March 18th national Campus Compact announced the 2014 Newman Civic Fellows Award recipients. College and university presidents from 36 states – all members of Campus Compact – nominated 197 promising student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in their community to be Newman Civic Fellows. In North Carolina, eight students were selected. “These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” notes Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central. The award is…

Compact Staffer Shares IMPACT Conference Highlights

Leslie Garvin (far left) was part of the IMPACT conference national planning committee. Last month, the 30th annual IMPACT Conference was held at Valparaiso University in Indiana. IMPACT is historically the largest national gathering of student leaders, administrators, faculty, and nonprofit staff committed to engaging students in service, activism, and other socially responsible work. NC Campus Compact’s Associate Director Leslie Garvin was there, along with attendees from several NC member campuses. Leslie also served on the conference planning committee, and she shared her IMPACT experience in a recent interview. Why did you attend the IMPACT Conference? I believe IMPACT has…

HPU President Qubein to chair NC Campus Compact executive board

Incoming board chair Nido Qubein thanks outgoing chair Kenneth Peacock at the 2014 PACE Conference. Dr. Nido Qubein, president of High Point University, has been elected to serve as the new chair of the North Carolina Campus Compact executive board. Qubein will begin a three-year term in July. The board is made up of presidents and chancellors from the nearly 40 colleges and universities that are part of the statewide network. North Carolina Campus Compact elects a chair who has not only contributed greatly to higher education, but has placed a focus on service at an institution of higher education…

CEI and PACE events expand conversations about higher education, community impact

Wilmington, NC – North Carolina Campus Compact sponsored two regional conferences this week at UNC Wilmington: the Civic Engagement Institute and the PACE Conference. Together, the events drew over 400 faculty, campus administrators, and community representatives – including 15 college and university presidents and chancellors – to explore strategies that will improve connections between higher education institutions and local communities. At the Civic Engagement Institute, held on Tuesday, 215 participants sought to align higher education economic development and community engagement activities. On Wednesday, the PACE Conference (Pathways to Achieving Civic Engagement) drew 265 faculty and staff from over 40 different…

Celebrate AmeriCorps Week, March 9-17 (and you too could be a VISTA!)

This week we honor the service of our current AmeriCorps VISTA members and our AmeriCorps alumni! Since 2003, hundreds of students and young professionals have served in AmeriCorps programs sponsored by NC Campus Compact. Join us in celebrating AmeriCorps Week by wearing AmeriCorps gear to work and tweeting us a photo @NCCampusCompact or post to our NC Campus Compact Facebook Page. Each year, more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members across the country commit themselves to intensive service through thousands of non-profits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based organizations. More than 7,000 AmeriCorps members are VISTAs like ours, who serve full-time…

Film Competition Winner included in DocuTime Film Fest

This weekend, “Hear For Me,” winner of NC Campus Compact’s first student documentary film competition last fall, will be screened as part of the 2013 DocuTime Film Festival. Now in it’s eleventh year, the festival will be held at UNC Wilmington on Saturday, January 26th. This year’s line up features acclaimed films from around the world, including the Academy Award nominee “Chasing Ice” and “Kinshasa Symphony.” “Hear For Me,” a film by Elon senior Sean Dolan, depicts James Stern, whose experience learning American Sign Language at Elon led him to become an advocate for the deaf community. NC Campus Compact’s…

Youth Vote Estimated at 49% in Presidential Election

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) estimates that 22-23 million young Americans (ages 18-29), or at least 49%, voted in the presidential election, according to national exit polls, demographic data, and current counts of votes cast. Young people represented 19% of the voters in the election, with President Obama winning the majority of those votes over Governor Romney by 60% to 37%, according to the early released National Exit Polls (NEP), conducted by Edison Research.  Click here for more information on this analysis. Additionally, at least 80 electoral votes depended on youth.  In Florida,…

Community Colleges Fully Embraced the Challenge to End Hunger!

We are excited to highlight the great work of Central Piedmont Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Wake Technical Community College and Western Piedmont Community College who participated in the Statewide Challenge to Alleviate Hunger. Central Piedmont Community College During the Challenge CPCC collected 1074 pounds of food , served 950 meals, and donated 525 food items through efforts by the Student Government Association, Gait’R Club and the Dental Hygiene Club.  Individuals and groups served 224 volunteer hours addressing food insecurity with the Ashley Park Community Garden, Second Harvest Food Bank, Friendship Trays and Loaves & Fishes. Durham Technical Community College To kickoff the challenge, Durham Tech…

UNC Chapel Hill Addresses Food Insecurity and Promotes Healthy Eating

UNC Chapel Hill is one of 14 campuses who took the Statewide Challenge to End Hunger.  Below are highlights from these ongoing programs and partnerships submitted by Brittany Corn, 2011-12 NC Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA at UNC. Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG) The CCCG grows vegetables and fruit so that all employees have access to fresh sustainable grown produce through the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and local residents. Currently the harvested produce goes to UNC housekeepers working all three shifts. We recently began to offer cooking demonstrations at our produce distributions. A local chef cooks up a dish using…

Statewide Challenge Drawing to Close!

Is your campus participating in NC Campus Compact’s Tenth Year Anniversary Statewide Challenge?  All member campuses have identified food insecurity initiatives they are tracking between the Student Conference (November 12) and our anniversary date (March 22): Pounds of food items collected Number of food items donated Number of meals created or served Number of volunteer hours targeting food insecurity initiatives Dollars raised to help alleviate food insecurity The final results will be shared with all member presidents and chancellors, giving them opportunity so share broadly about your campus’ participation in the Compact, and the impact we have when working together….

North Carolina Campus Compact Statewide Challenge to End Hunger

North Carolina Campus Compact kicked off our 10th YearAnniversary November 12th at the Student Conference hosted by Wake Forest University.  It was an exciting day as hundreds of college students from across the state came together to dialogue with each other and enhance their civic engagement and leadership skills. Adding to this excitement was the revelation of North Carolina Campus Compact’s Statewide Challenge to End Hunger!  It was revealed to the campuses that the Statewide Challenge would provide an opportunity to share each campus’ efforts and demonstrate the impact we are making together to alleviate food insecurity.For the first time,…

Op Ed for The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 5, 2011

“The public purpose of colleges and universities – both public and private – is deeply rooted in the history and founding of higher education in the United States, and has been instrumental in the establishment of the academy as a key institution which promotes democracy in our society.”

Why do you serve?

“As a senior at Elon University, I have had many opportunities to serve over the past four years. With each year there has been a new mission and a new vision for my personal service and therefore my reasons for serving have definitely changed as I have changed.”

Setting fire to NC Volunteerism

This week we are trying something different with the blog… introducing a conversation that we wish we could have with you in person!

Engagement and Success: Telling the Story Through Words and Numbers

“Whether our student stories are anecdotal or data-based, the ending is nearly always the same: civic engagement experiences have a very high correlation with student success and completion.”