Let’s Achieve Good

Yesterday I attended the Continuums of Service conference here in Portland, Oregon.  Several hundred people from several states were in attendance — all of us focused on service-learning, social action, and social justice work within higher education. It was an amazing group to be in and I felt privileged to be in the presence of so many who care and who spend their time trying to make making a difference.

One thing I learned about — from the keynote speaker Sean Stannard-Stockton — was The Girl Effect, created by The Nike Foundation. Watch the video here:

The Nike Foundation explains:

We sought out where we could make the greatest impact. We found it in adolescent girls. Invest in them, the theory goes, and you will unleash a powerful ripple effect.

As Stannard-Stockton pointed out, true social change does not come about by doing good things; it comes about by achieving good. As we begin Spring Into Service, let’s focus on what we collectively will achieve toward understanding and reducing food insecurity in our state.

Starting with the Opening Reception on Tuesday, April 6th, please Spring into Service and join us in achieving good.

Spring Into Service

One year ago…

Only a year ago…

A year ago I wrote a grant for AmeriCorps*VISTA funding through Oregon Campus Compact to launch the Marylhurst Service Program.

We received funding.

We posted the job description.

And we hired someone great!

And now, one year later, we are launching our first major campus-wide service activity, the Spring Into Service project.

April is Spring Into Service month at Marylhurst.

Please join us to raise awareness of and support for alleviating food insecurity in the state of Oregon and beyond.

Click HERE for details about how you can participate.

Many thanks to Amanda Baker for her great work on this project!

Not The Kind Of Change You Find Under The Couch Cushions

I think it’s fairly safe to say that a lot of our students are service-oriented in mind and heart. I think it’s not false to say that most of you want to, in one way or another, help others in need, help improve the environment, and in general, make a difference to the quality of life of human beings and animals and other living creatures with whom we share the planet. It seems to be part of what students “get” from going to Marylhurst — or quite possibly you’ve already “had” it and Marylhurst is all the better because of what you bring with you. Or both.

In any case, this coming year Marylhurst will be initiating a program called the Marylhurst University Service  [and Social Action] Program. The name is still in flux, but the point is that we’re going to be formalizing a means to facilitate the “ethic of service” that the University and its students are known for. We’re able to initiate this program because of AmeriCorps/VISTA funding and a partnership with Campus Compact.

Come to find out, Campus Compact is also partnering with this great service as well:

banner-jobs-for-change

Jobs for Change seeks to spark a nationwide movement toward careers in the nonprofit, government, and social enterprise sectors. The Jobs for Change website offers job listings, a blog, and career advice from seasoned career guides who are available to answer readers’ questions. Campus Compact is partnering with Jobs for Change to bring public service job opportunities to graduating students and AmeriCorps alums.

This might be a great resource for you to find ways to continue that ethic of service in your work and life, and possibly get paid to do it. N.I.C.E.!

Now Hiring!

Wanna know what I’m totally excited about? I wrote about this earlier, and here we go:

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AmeriCorps/VISTA – MARYLHURST UNIVERSITY SERVICE PROGRAM COORDINATOR

SUMMARY OF POSITION:

The Marylhurst University Service Program Coordinator will develop and facilitate three service-oriented programs at the University: 1) service-oriented partnerships between the University and other organizations; 2) service-oriented activities for university faculty, staff, and students to participate in, and; 3) service learning curricular offerings for Marylhurst students. Recruiting, training and supervising volunteers will be essential to the success of the program.

TIME:

Full-time, August 17, 2009 – August 20, 2010

ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Identify, develop, and coordinate community service-oriented partnerships for the University.

• Design and implement service-oriented activities for university faculty, staff, alumni, and students to participate in.

• Facilitate the development of service learning curriculum.

• Plan and facilitate University-sponsored, service-oriented event: “Marylhurst University Service Conference.”

OTHER RELATED RESPONSIBILITIES:

• Design and write material for program (forms, brochures and other literature);

• Design appropriate forms, signage and written material for activities (sign-in sheets, directions, etc.);

• Track volunteer information and activities in a database;

• Complete general office duties related to position (mailings, filing, phone calls, community fairs and outreach activities, etc.); limited to 10%.

• Complete and submit in a timely manner all OSSC/AmeriCorps required reports and time sheets.

• Attend OSSC/AmeriCorps sponsored orientation, trainings, meetings and disaster response.

• Collaborate with Center for Learning Technology (CLT) Coordinator and Web Strategist to access and update on-line resources.

• Serve as a representative of the program and present on the program at various venues.

• Participate in identified training and professional development activities.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

1. An independent, self-motivated, creative and resourceful individual who enjoys working with diverse groups of people.

2. Experience and/or desire to work in a University setting.

3. Interest and/or experience in recruiting and supporting volunteers for community-service programs.

4. Experience and/or desire to learn event planning.

5. Strong organizational and interpersonal communication skills.

6. Willingness to work a flexible schedule, including some evenings and weekends.

7. Valid driver’s license, good driving record and own transportation.

8. A Bachelor’s degree is preferred.

COMPENSATION:

See Oregon Campus Compact for complete compensation package information.

REPORTS TO:

Director, Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment

TO APPLY OR FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Oregon Campus Compact: www.oregoncampuscompact.org

-OR-

Melanie Booth, Ed.D.

Director for the Center for Experiential Learning & Assessment

mbooth@marylhurst.edu / 503-636-3941

Something Larger than Ourselves

I am writing a grant for an AmeriCorps position to help coordinate service-related activities at my university, and we’ve just identified the three main components of the job description:

1) Develop and coordinate service learning curriculum / pedagogy across the University;
2) Facilitate campus-based, service-oriented activities (food drives, outreach, etc.);
3) Develop service-oriented strategic partnerships between the University and other organizations.

obamaservicenation

Part of why I am so inspired to push this forward at my university (and do the work of writing the proposal in less than 2 weeks) is because I am inspired by the argument that Art Chickering makes about how such opportunities can, in fact, strengthen democracy: that service opportunities can support the development of sophisticated analytical abilities and help “lift our culture from dualistic perspectives that tend to drive our social policies” (from Editor’s Notes, p. 1, of Linking Adults with Community: Promoting Civic Engagement through Community Based Learning, edited by Susan Reed and Catherine Marienau, both from DePaul University’s School for New Learning).

Specifically, Chickering writes this:

An involved community is not a given, passed down as part of our place and time; it is chosen. Depending on the roles we choose or accept, our participation does not offer predictability or comfort, but challenge. The time, energy, and emotion we invest give purpose and meaning to our lives. Active participation offers us a chance to create meaning for ourselves on the basis of our particular contributions to something larger than ourselves and our families. (p. 90)

Something larger than ourselves…we need more of that in any way we can get it.