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Project Pericles

Periclean Award For Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility

The Periclean Award is presented each year to a member of Elon's faculty or staff whose service to the broader community exemplifies the ideals of Project Pericles. Elon is one of 10 colleges and universities nationwide to join Project Pericles, an initiative sponsored by the Eugene Lang Foundation, which challenges institutions to provide a learning experience that will "instill in students an abiding and active sense of social responsibility and civic concern."

 

2013 recipient: Jean Rattigan-Rohr

Many members of Elon University's faculty and staff donate their time and talent to serve the larger community. In so doing, they become role models for our students. We are indebted to those who unselfishly, and very often without recognition, contribute so much to their community and to the wholeness of our students' educational experience. The Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility is presented each year to a member of Elon's faculty or staff whose service to the broader community exemplifies the Periclean ideals.
 
Jean Rattigan-Rohr makes it her mission to prepare teacher candidates so they leave no child behind.

Rattigan-Rohr, an associate professor of education, demonstrates that desire through her instruction in the classroom and in the “It Takes a Village” project, a tutoring program that assists struggling young readers in the local community through the involvement of their parents and Elon students that she founded in 2008.

Rattigan-Rohr is described by a colleague as a “woman who unselfishly, and very often without recognition, contributes so much to her community and to the wholeness of our students’ educational experience.”

Exerpt taken from E-Net! Read the full article here.

 
 

2012 recipient: Deborah Long

Many members of Elon University's faculty and staff donate their time and talent to serve the larger community. In so doing, they become role models for our students. We are indebted to those who unselfishly, and very often without recognition, contribute so much to their community and to the wholeness of our students' educational experience. The Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility is presented each year to a member of Elon's faculty or staff whose service to the broader community exemplifies the Periclean ideals.

Long’s work with the Elon Academy, a college access and success program for high school students with a financial need and/or no family history of college, has had life-changing effects on the lives of the students who take part in the program.

“Dr. Long played an instrumental part in my journey to college, and now that I am a sophomore at Elon I know that she is always ready to help in any way that she can,” a scholar of the Alpha Class says. “I could not ask for a better role model than Dr. Long.”

Long has a long history of working with at-risk students. After graduating from Colby College in 1970 with a degree in psychology she joined the Teacher Corps from 1971 to 1973. She earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Virginia State University in 1973 and worked as an elementary school teacher in the Durham City School System from 1973 to 1976. She obtained a doctorate in curriculum, instruction and educational leadership from the University of Memphis in 1996. That same year, she joined Elon’s faculty.

Exerpt taken from E-Net! Read the full article here.

 

2011 recipient: Stephen Bailey

Many members of Elon University's faculty and staff donate their time and talent to serve the larger community. In so doing, they become role models for our students. We are indebted to those who unselfishly, and very often without recognition, contribute so much to their community and to the wholeness of our students' educational experience. The Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility is presented each year to a member of Elon's faculty or staff whose service to the broader community exemplifies the Periclean ideals.

“As his colleague in the department of physical therapy education, I’ve witnessed his strong commitment to engaging with the community and developing each student’s sense of social responsibility in the everyday conversations he has with faculty and students,” a fellow professor says. “I believe he provides a valuable example of engagement in the community and he effectively models and promotes social responsibility in those with whom he interacts.”

For the past three years, Bailey has volunteered to coach the Elon club lacrosse team. He also volunteered to coach the county’s first high school team at Western High School for three years and was instrumental in getting a recreation league started for elementary and middle school students. Described as “a conscientious coach who uses motivation and encouragement to help players achieve their potential on the field,” Bailey currently volunteers as the coach of the Williams High School lacrosse team.

Earlier in the year, he organized “Face Off for Autism,” a fundraiser for the N.C. Autism Society that raised awareness about the disorder and more than $4,000 for the organization. Bailey also participates regularly in Special Olympics events as a certified aquatics coach and even got members of the Elon club swim team involved as well. He is also very active with Peacehaven Community Farm, a nonprofit, volunteer-based sustainable farm in nearby Whitsett, N.C., that will provide housing for adults with disabilities.

“Steve (Bailey) humbly leads by example and his many involvements have allowed that example to be widely experienced, not only by students on campus but also by individuals in the larger community as well,” a colleague says. “The result is an understanding of the difference one person can make in society if one so chooses."

Exerpts taken from E-net. Please click here to be directed to the article.

 

2010 recipient: Keith Dimont

Many members of Elon University's faculty and staff donate their time and talent to serve the larger community. In so doing, they become role models for our students. We are indebted to those who unselfishly, and very often without recognition, contribute so much to their community and to the wholeness of our students' educational experience. The Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility is presented each year to a member of Elon's faculty or staff whose service to the broader community exemplifies the Periclean ideals.

This year’s recipient devotes an enormous amount of time volunteering far and wide. Through his church he works with those who are not able to get out – he mows their yards, and provides them with transportation. He cooks for various church events – and then transports remaining food to the homeless shelter.

One nominator writes that he goes “above and beyond if he can for anyone. I have worked with him on a local production – he builds the props, which can take several weeks, and makes sure everything is going according to schedule.” He also built basketball goals for a summer camp at Western High School.

Another nominator continues, “I have worked with him when he has been cooking pork shoulders for the high school all night long and talking away. He enjoys people and he has a heart of gold.”

He participated in two separate trips to Bay St. Louis in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He drove the buses, he cooked (I’m detecting a love of cooking theme here!), helped with clean-up, and repaired defunct equipment – often with no visible means for doing so. Spare parts? Didn’t seem to always be available. Tools? Well, he made do with what he had to work with. And when the weather turned nasty, he helped to build a shelter for other volunteers to work under.

Nominators say that:
“He is a very kind and giving individual.”
“He looks out for his fellow man.”
“He is a yes person – what I consider a depth and breadth man.”
“He doesn’t help people, and causes, to attract attention to himself. He does it because he sees the need.”

Please join me in congratulating this year’s recipient of the Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility – Keith Dimont.

 

2009 recipient: April Post

Many members of Elon University's faculty and staff donate their time and talent to serve the larger community. In so doing, they become role models for our students. We are indebted to those who unselfishly, and very often without recognition, contribute so much to their community and to the wholeness of our students' educational experience.

This year’s recipient has been extensively engaged in the community through both the local school system and her church. Her pastor says that “she is one of the key leaders in our church.” She communicates regularly with missionaries in Cambodia, making sure that the financial aid reaches them. She also maintains the metrics for their Reach ministry, tracking the hours that members of the congregation serve outside of the church.

She initiated an international outreach ministry, and her enthusiasm, incredibly catching, generated significant support from other members of the congregation. She has raised funds to support service trips to both Mexico and Guatemala, and also led service trips to both countries. Her remarkable language skills and her ability to connect with other cultures have ensured the success of these service trips on many levels, that include not only accomplishing good for people in other countries but also helping her fellow church members to make connections with people in other cultures that otherwise would not have been possible.

She is also very active in the public school system, creating a partnership between Elon students and local schools that have a significant population of English Language learners, including Cummings High School, and Turrentine and Broadview Middle Schools. The Amigos Club partners Elon students with local Latino students. As one teacher stated, “This program helps Spanish students learn through interaction with native Spanish speakers, helps local students still striving to master the English language, and benefits the community through service projects completed by the Amigos at the local schools. It is the perfect coupling of interactive learning and community service.”

She and an Elon Professor of Education received several grants to support a project partnering students studying Spanish with those seeking licensure in education and Latino families. Their purpose was to “seek answers to central questions related to the real-world challenge of increasing diversity in schools and communities.” What is the quality of education for English Language learners? What is the involvement of their families with the local educational system and school culture?

This year alone, 7 Elon students are part of the program with students at Broadview. They speak via webcam twice each week, and the Broadview students have visited Elon and attended a baseball game. As a group they have also visited the Conservator’s Center, and just recently had a year-end celebration picnic with their families. In previous semesters, approximately 24 Elon students each semester provided over 400 hours of service to the local community through this professor’s courses.

One of her students wrote of her mentoring experience: “Meeting Carlos has been amazing for me; really a blessing. He is such a great kid, despite such hard obstacles. Two days ago, Carlos called me. So I called him back, thinking something was wrong. He said that he just wanted to let me know that he had gotten his grades from his tests that week: 89, 93, and 100. The fact that he had such great news and wanted to share it with me was amazing.”

Amazing is certainly an excellent descriptive for this year’s recipient of the Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility.

 

2008 recipient: Brian Digre

The Periclean Award for Service, as many of you know, was initiated six years ago as part of Elon’s Project Pericles initiative. This award is intended for either a staff or faculty member who demonstrates the values of Project Pericles –a commitment to civic engagement exhibited by their actions. At this time I would like to ask the previous recipients of this award to stand and be recognized.

This year’s recipient is joining some mighty fine company!

We all know how important the Elon Experiences are to an Elon education. The foundation of our work with students is involvement. They want to get their hands on the equipment, work in the lab, engage with community agencies – wherever in the world those communities are.

This year’s recipient certainly fits with this model of engagement. Over the past dozen years, this person has become deeply engaged with a community half way around the world. Building on experience gained long before coming to Elon, while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, this individual has identified a region’s needs, taught our students about this region, and has encouraged them to invest themselves in deep and meaningful cultural exchanges.

Over the years our awardee and Elon students have raised and donated funds for school development that have resulted in, today, a four-room school building which serves nearly 100 local students. He wrote and secured a grant from Heifer International, along with regional community leaders, to obtain honey bees and to train local people in how to raise them and successfully market the products. And, while the families are waiting for the honey bee colonies to mature and produce, they will receive chickens for immediate income. He has also raised funds for the development of youth recreation programs, and Elon students have donated soccer balls, cash, and uniforms.

One donation project of which many of us are aware is books for the local university library. Picture this – two faculty leaders and 30 Elon students at the check-in counter at JFK airport every January nervously awaiting the weigh-in process for their baggage, knowing that they all have 5-10 books in their suitcases.

 

2007 recipient: Jim Pickens

The recipient of the Periclean Award for Service this year is a long-time member of the Elon Community. He has not only served as an example to all of us what it means to be a servant to the community but he has been an effective agent of change. One nominator writes that “he embodies Elon’s core values – personal engagement with students, seeing the global context of our life and work, and service to large communities.”

Another nominator says that “In the tradition of Liberation Theology, he is committed to helping others enter into dialogue with each other, learn to see how things could be different, and become agents of that change.”

His impact has been broad and deep. He has coached soccer, worked with the Boy Scouts, and been active in his church. He has served as a mediator and trainer at the Alamance County Dispute Settlement Center. “From the moment we met,” writes one person, “I was impressed with how much he gave of himself to the larger community. In fact, it was his example that led me to become a regular volunteer at the Allied Churches of Alamance County Emergency Shelter for the Homeless.”

He served as secretary on the Board of Directors for North Carolina Peace Action, and as a member of the NC Peace Action Education Fund. He served as a delegate to Nicaragua and Guatemala on the Witness for Peace Trip in 1991. Upon his return, he began his lengthy relationship with El Centro, has become fluent in Spanish and continues his advocacy for Central America. He has taught English as a second language.

“From a working class background,” writes a colleague, “he is fully aware of the role that education can play in helping others to reflect on their own role in society.” . . . “His strategy is a gentle one. He doesn’t use scorn or forceful rhetoric to make people feel guilty or embarrassed about their own privileged backgrounds.” He uses stories and music to awaken students’ awareness. “He teachers from a perspective of universal respect and empowerment. Everyone has the right to be heard, be treated fairly, be respected, and live life to the best of their abilities. He asks students to think not only about empowering others, but ways in which they can work to empower themselves.”

“He plays folk songs written to support striking coal miners in West Virginia and low paid coffee bean pickers in Nicaragua, and asks students to bring in examples of musical expressions of social issues in their own CD collections.”

For five years he journeyed with students to Guatemala during Winter Term to work with Habitat for Humanity. He made sure that this experience challenged students to see the full context of Guatemala’s Civil War so that they could better understand the circumstances of the Mayan families for whom they were building. And it will surprise no one that in the evening, when energy and spirits sagged, he launched into an old union song that begins, “Step by step, the longest march can be won.”

He coordinated the NEH grant for Peace and Justice Studies that has evolved intoElon’s minor in Non-Violence Studies and is the spiritual father of Elon Students for Peace and Justice.

His hunger for justice, desire for peace, and witness to a better way to be human beings has touched us all.

 

2006 recipient: Richard McBride

McBride has consistently reached out to the campus and local community since coming to Elon in 1984. He was instrumental in establishing Elon’s Habitat for Humanity chapter and has served as its adviser since 1988. He has encouraged students to take responsibility for raising $30,000 annually to fund new Habitat houses in the local community. He began a Winter Term course that takes students to Guatemala to work with Habitat projects there, and he has accompanied the Elon softball team on a Habitat work trip to Florida. McBride also created Elon Volunteers!, which has become the Kernodle Center for Service Learning.

A colleague says McBride’s concern for others is genuine.

“It is a joy to watch him care for people in a way that is never charity. He works ‘with’ people and not ‘for’ them or ‘to’ them. It is clear that his belief in service is not just a role in an organization, it is a personal passion.”

McBride has launched numerous campus programs that benefit students. He was active in the establishment of Senior Showcase, which highlights the talents of graduating students, and Hometown Heroes, a program that allows freshmen to recognize someone who made a difference in their lives or in the community. McBride also launched another Elon tradition, the Turning 21 Dinner, giving students the chance to honor an important mentor in their lives as they reach age 21. In 2004, McBride wrote a book, titled "Inventing A Life, The Journey Through College And Beyond," about the changes students experience during college.

McBride has also served the local community through his work with the Alamance County Community Services Agency (ACCSA), where he serves as board chairman. He was responsible for the recent search for a new ACCSA director.

“His commitment to his work is incredible,” writes a colleague. “It would be hard to quantify the hours that he gives to projects like Habitat for Humanity, the local counseling organization, a student in need, a person who needs a hand up. When he is needed, he is there.”

 

2005 recipient: George Troxler

For more than 50 years, George Troxler has been actively involved with the Boy Scouts of America. He has been Cub Master of the local Pack 51 since 1975, and became the troop's assistant scoutmaster and district commissioner in 1982. At the Boy Scouts district level, he has held several leadership positions on the Council Executive Board, including vice president of Cub Scouting. He received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award in 1984, which recognizes distinguished service to young people within a Boy Scout local council. He has also received the District Award of Merit for his extraordinary service beyond the local level.

Troxler has been a member of the Boy Scouts' National Camping School Staff for more than 25 years and has been a member of the National Jamboree Staff five times. He is aquatics director at the National Jamboree, which hosts thousands of Boy Scouts from across the country every four years.

As a historian, Troxler has made similar contributions to Alamance County and North Carolina. He served on the organizational board of directors that created the Alamance County Historical Museum and has been an officer of the county historical association since 1971.

Troxler has been an Elon staff member since 1969, when he joined the history department. As dean of cultural and special programs, Troxler coordinates the university's busy schedule of concerts, plays, speakers and convocations. He has served as chief graduation marshal for more than a decade.

He and his wife, Carole, are also active members of Elon Community Church, where he has served as church moderator and deacon.

 

2004 recipient: Rex Waters

Rex Waters actively seeks opportunities to combine his work at Elon with service in the local community. Last year, aided by a grant from Project Pericles, Waters organized a summer institute for students at Turrentine Middle School in Burlington. Under his leadership, a group of Elon students worked with 13 Turrentine students, stressing the importance of character, integrity and community service.

Active for many years in the Boy Scouts, Waters is assistant scoutmaster for a troop of more than 40 scouts. He was chosen by district scout leaders to train and lead a group of young men to a scout reservation in 2003.

For more than 10 years, Waters has served as a youth basketball and soccer coach in local recreation and church leagues, demonstrating the values of teamwork and commitment to children. He and his wife, Cynthia, are co-presidents of the Williams High School PTA. They are also active members of Front Street United Methodist Church in Burlington.

Waters fulfills several leadership roles on campus. He mentors students through his involvement in new student orientation, the Student Communications Media Board, Omicron Delta Kappa and Kappa Sigma fraternity.

 

2003 recipient: Barbara Taylor

Since 1980, Barbara Taylor, associate professor, computing sciences has worked closely with CrossRoads Sexual Assault Response and Resource Center in Alamance County. She has committed herself to CrossRoads' mission of supporting people affected by sexual assault, serving on its board of directors, accompanying victims to court or the hospital and working as a fundraiser. She has helped plan and participated in numerous events, including the Human Race for CrossRoads, Take Back the Night and Make a Sundae, Make a Difference.

She has utilized her professional skills to help create a Web site for CrossRoads, design a membership database and, with the help of an Elon student, translate the Web site into Spanish to reach the area's growing Hispanic population.

Her commitment to Elon students has been demonstrated in countless ways. She served as faculty advisor to the student group One in Three from 1993-1997, and assisted with planning and implementing the first Take Back the Night event in 1993. She has also worked as a co-facilitator, helping organize a support group for victims in 1992 that was aided by the involvement of many Elon students.

A colleague who serves on the CrossRoads board of directors says the organization and its members "are consistently motivated and energized by Barbara's selfless spirit, leadership, and dedication to the cause of preventing sexual abuse and serving victims."