July 2, 2008 Your Monthly Source of Community Service-Learning News VOL. 5, NO. 7

CSU San Marcos' Tutor Connection Program  Honored by Jimmy and Rosayln Carter

(From left to right) Darci Strother, Val Knox, and John Halcon of CSU San Marcos, former President Jimmy and former first lady Rosalyn Carter, Michelle Lustig of San Diego County Office of Education, and Tanja Bickell, CSUSM student at the Carter Partnership Foundation awards.

Campus News

Carter Partnership Foundation Honors CSUSM's Tutor Connection Program

Cal State San Marcos’ Tutor Connection Program, aimed at preparing future teachers to address the special needs of foster children, was honored with a $10,000 check by Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter on June 3 at the Corporation for National & Community Service Conference.

The funds will be used to establish an endowment for the purchase of gasoline cards. The gas cards will help reduce some of the transportation expenses CSUSM student tutors incur in driving to and from the homes of foster youth needing assistance. Press Release


San Diego State Receives American Red Cross Award

In May, San Diego State University received the American Red Cross Purpose Award, the highest regional honor they give out, for the campus’s efforts to collect 458 units of blood. SDSU placed first among 20 universities in the region. The blood drives, coordinated by the Civic Learning and Community Engagement Center, provide a life-saving opportunity for SDSU students to support local hospitals. The 458 units donated by the SDSU community will make a difference in the lives of nearly 1,400 patients.


CSU Dominguez Hills Achieves Top Model U.N. Honors

CSUDH’s Model United Nations class (MUN) won top honors at the 2008 meeting in Santa Barbara this April. Dominguez Hills students won two of the five Best Delegates awards: Mele Kaveinga and Chikezie Nwafor for their distinguished roles in the International Criminal Court and United Nations Security Council, respectively. Joshua Braun received honorable mention for his representation of Malaysia in the United Nations Environmental Program.

For three days, 34 CSUDH students debated, researched, drafted, and passed resolutions on a variety of topics, including the Arab – Israeli conflict, Iran, and the rights of detainees. The delegates competed with 14 other universities from throughout the region and Alaska. CSUDH was the only school to win two of the five awards presented to those students with the most outstanding performance at the conference.

MUN is a regular class offered by the Political Science Department in the spring semester each year. The class is designed to train students in the art of diplomacy, including public speaking, debate, negotiation, and consensus building.



The Value of Political Open-mindedness

At a recent American Democracy Project (ADP) meeting, I attended a discussion led by Carnegie Foundation Senior Scholars Tom Ehrlich and Anne Colby on their latest publication, Educating for Democracy.  In addressing the issue of political bias, Tom asked the following question:  “How many of you have had a recent conversation with someone on a current issue of importance and through that conversation, your opinion changed?” In a room of educators, no one raised their hand.  And, while I could have raised my hand, I did not.

Both during and after that session, I reflected on my response (or lack thereof) and that of my colleagues. It also reminded me of a lunch conversation that took place earlier that afternoon. Inevitably the conversation evolved to a more political context (we were after all at an ADP meeting) and the state of the housing economy and our current administration. One differing voice of opinion was clearly heard from a sea of like-minded individuals, and was quickly shot down by the majority sitting around the table. People whom I admire and respect greatly for their wisdom, dedication to student learning, innovative teaching practices and commitment to open dialogue – were they really being open to listening to a differing viewpoint?  

Fast forward to the Ehrlich/Colby session and the questions that I pose to you for reflection as we take a brief hiatus for the summer:

  • To what extent is political open-mindedness a value on your campus?

  • Individually, we say it’s important, but do we really practice/value this open-mindedness when confronted with someone who thinks differently than we do?

  • Are we prepared to fully listen to another’s viewpoint and then act on that new perspective to either research and reflect on why our opinion shouldn’t change or accept that new viewpoint? 

Consider it.  Reflect on it.  Talk with someone who has a different viewpoint than you do on a political issue. 

Have a thought-provoking summer!

CSU Monterey Bay's Director Earns Prestigious Fulbright Award

Seth Pollack, director of the Service Learning Institute at CSU Monterey Bay, has been named a Fulbright Scholar and will begin his work with two South African universities in mid July 2008.

“At the University of Western Cape, I will be affiliated with the College of Public Health, working on curriculum to address HIV/AIDS prevention,” Dr. Pollack says. “At the University of Cape Town, I will be working on issues of community economic development, helping to build closer ties between the university and the townships.”

We wish Seth well during his year in South Africa. We look forward to learning from his international experiences when he returns. News Story

SFSU Faculty Member Wins Jefferson Award

Albira Rose-Eberhardt, professor in the School of Music and Dance at San Francisco State University was recently honored with a Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service, for making a difference in her community. Dr. Eberhardt founded the Village Dancers seven years ago, a SFSU program to help low-income children work through their challenges and harness their personal power through movement, singing and dance performance. News Story

Questions?For ideas, comments, or questions
about editorial content, e-mail Judy Botelho at jbotelho@calstate.edu.

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