CCE at the UN: Mental Health and Refugees

On April 13th, President of No Lost Generation-Lehigh Katie Morris ’18 and CCE Director Dr. Sarah Stanlick presented to the  UN NGO Committee on Mental Health, Working Group on Refugee & Immigrant Mental Health.

Lehigh has had a relationship with our local resettlement agencies since 2010, through both the Global Citizenship Program and the Center for Community Engagement.  This partnership, now with Bethany Christian Services, has incorporated service-learning, documentary film creation, tutoring, fundraising, and public advocacy.

The efforts of the Lehigh team have been featured in outlets such as GlobalSL.org, and recently, Stanlick and community partner/refugee resettlement site director Marla Sell published a journal article entitled, “Beyond Superheroes and Sidekicks: Empowerment, Efficacy, and Education in Community Partnerships“.

CCE at ACE (American Council on Education)

On Sunday, March 12, Angela Scott Ferencin, Program Director of the Community Education Initiative at the CCE, served as a speaker at ACE2017, the ACE 99th annual meeting in Washington, DC. With a session title of ‘Promising Faculty Roles in Recruitment and Retention’, Angela shared the various sway that faculty involvement in student recruitment and retention could boost enrollment and improve student persistence. A wide range of approaches taken by institutions and common themes for successful faculty engagement were explored and discussed. Angela possesses over twenty-five (25) years of experience in higher education administration and management.Angela_ACE_Presentation.jpg

 

CCE and CSO in the Classroom: Restorative Practices

caro_brougal_rp_0217
Carolina Hernandez working with Broughal MS on Restorative Practices.

On Friday, February 17th, CSO Director and CCE Associate Director Carolina Hernandez facilitated a Restorative Practices Training for Broughal Middle School (Bethlehem Area School District) teachers and administrators.  Restorative practices, a framework for building communities through conflict resolution and harm prevention, has been an increasingly valuable tool for our school systems as we seek to develop strong active citizens who can face conflict with resiliency and humility.  Carolina is an official RP trainer and was certified by the International Institute on Restorative Practices, which is right around the corner here in Bethlehem.

CCE in the News: Essay on Civics and Democracy

The Director of the Center for Community Engagement, Dr. Sarah Stanlick, published an essay on WHYY’s Speak Easy this week entitled “Myth of civics education as leftist indoctrination undermines our democracy“.  She writes: “In a democratic society, civic dialogue and civic engagement exist to illuminate tensions and negotiate a path forward to a shared vision of a better tomorrow.”

The essay is response to a recent National Association of Scholars report criticizing civic education efforts and the public purpose of higher education.  She responds,

  • “Civic engagement, by most standards, is about asking difficult questions and doing the hard work to seek common ground for better communities. Service-learning and civic engagement as a field is constantly grappling with questions around power, voice, dysfunctional rescuing, and space for differing opinions inclusive of the criticisms included in this report. These are all legitimate questions. Unfortunately, this report never gets to that sort of deep thinking, but rather focuses on denigrating all efforts for civic engagement in higher education through poor, incomplete research.

The full text is available here.

CCE Featured on Globalsl.org: Travel Ban and Refugees

In response to the proposed travel ban via executive order, the Center for Community Engagement reaffirms its commitment to support of all of our neighbors through compassionate, coordinated, and continuous partnership.  Whether it be through advocacy, standing beside our partners in ally-ship, or through engaged learning and research, we are up for the challenge ahead as we work towards a more just, equitable, and thriving world.

We were thankful to be recently featured on the exceptional global service-learning and engagement blog Globalsl.org for our response and work with refugee populations in the Lehigh Valley.

Check out the full article and resources here.

CCE in the News: Civic Hacking and Mountaintop

This summer, the Center for Community Engagement partnered with the Mountaintop Initiative to host a series of projects under the umbrella of CivLab.  CivLab was a set of student-led, inquiry-based projects with the thread of community and civic engagement running through each.  This article in the College of Education’s magazine Theory to Practice highlighted the civic hacking and social change project.  Five undergraduates and one graduate student explored the issues of food access and security in the neighborhood around the university as part of Lehigh’s Mountaintop initiative, which allows students to independently explore open-ended questions and try to implement sustainable change.

Read more about the initiative here.

Creating community—locally and globally—as refugee resettlement debate rages on

We stand at a critical decision-making moment as a nation. We can respond to terrorism by a violent few through policies and rhetoric that further divide and marginalize an entire population. Or, instead, we can embark upon the messy and necessary work of active citizenship that engage us with our neighbors and strengthen our community locally and globally.

As college students across the nation grapple with diversity and inclusion on campus, they are also wrestling with the question of what it means to embrace diversity as a nation—especially in this time of pain and uncertainty. Student participants in Lehigh University’s Global Citizenship program—which prepares students for living in a culturally diverse and rapidly changing world—have engaged in community-based learning that promotes their identity as active citizens while working with local organizations. Chief among the organizations is the local chapter of the Lutheran Children and Family Services Refugee Resettlement Program, which assists refugees and asylees through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of State. These services are made available to hundreds of refugees each year in the five-county Southeast Pennsylvania area, Lancaster County and in the Lehigh Valley area, which includes Allentown, home to one of the largest Syrian populations in the U.S. and a neighboring city of Bethlehem, where Lehigh University is located.

Continue reading “Creating community—locally and globally—as refugee resettlement debate rages on”