Connecting Higher Education to Community: Abstracts and Excerpts from the Whisenton Public Scholars Alumni Conference

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Started in 1998, the Whisenton Public Scholars program is a collaboration of Joffre T. Whisenton and Associates, the Kettering Foundation, and participating higher education professionals. The program works primarily with faculty and administrators from schools with a mission to serve minority communities (such as historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities) and encourages scholars to experiment with elements of citizen-centered democracy, such as naming and framing issues and making choices together in the context of teaching, research, and service. In February 2015, Whisenton Public Scholar alumni and Kettering convened a research conference in honor of Whisenton’s 80th birthday and his lifelong commitment to higher education and public life.

The papers presented at the conference paint a picture of ways that dual civic-engagement movements—those housed within institutions of higher education and those based in communities—can sail in tandem, rather than passing in the night. They were arranged in four panels that focused on the classroom, the campus, democratic community building, and aligning institutional and community practices. This report, edited by Ellen Knutson and Ileana Marin, presents abstracts and excerpts from each of the following papers submitted to the conference:

  • Using Deliberation as an Assessment Activity to Improve Learning in Accounting Courses, Cheryl Allen
  • The Role of Visual Arts in Democratic Engagement, Barbara Nesin
  • Hands Up—Let's Talk: Deliberation as an Affirmative Social Strategy for Shaping the Role of the Citizen-Student, Gary Paul and Mark Howse
  • The Role of Deliberative Forums as a Pedagogical Tool for Teaching International Business, Donald Vest
  • The Relationship between Civic Education and Service-Learning Experiences of College Students and Their Political Efficacy, Brian E. Anderson and Anna L. Green
  • Deliberation and African American College Students: Perspectives on Politics and the Economy, Dorian Brown Crosby, Melvinia Turner King, Marionette Holmes, Charles Moses, and Willie Rockward
  • Deliberation and Success in School: Engaging College Students in Discussions on Dropping Out of School, Melvinia Turner King, Marionette Holmes, Dorian B. Crosby, Charles Moses, and Willie Rockward
  • Academic Dishonesty among College Students and the Growing Trend of Unethical Behavior in Our Democracy, Sherrell Price
  • Broken Promises, Broken Systems: Native American/Alaskan Native Students Overcoming Barriers, Mona Halcomb
  • Meditation and Mindful Deliberation, Jeffrey Menzise
  • Indigenous Art as Activism in a Democracy, Yvonne Peterson
  • Improving Democracy through Education and Health: An Example of a Community Collaborative, A. Dexter Samuels, Mariah Cole, and Terrica Sampson
  • Designing a Continuum Model for Successful P-16 Partnerships Geared toward Student Transition, Retention, and Academic Success, Sara E. Coleman and Marilyn Houston-Coleman
  • Navajo Peacemaking and Public Deliberation: To Walk in Beauty Always, Larry Emerson
  • Higher Education Access, Cynthia McLeod Kamasa-Quashie
  • Community and School Collaborations: Tapping into Parent-Led Initiatives and Resources, Edward Olivos
  • Aligning the Mission of Institutions with the Work of Citizens: Doors of Civic Engagement and Democratic Practice, Marshalita Sims Peterson

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Assets in Community
Higher Education