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Berry Year at a Glance

Page history last edited by Ryan James 8 years, 10 months ago

 

Berry College

 

Please complete responses to the following prompts by July 11, 2011.  To upload files or documents:  Click edit.  Click Images and files in the right sidebar. Find and upload your file from your computer or server.  You can also cut and paste it in.

 

Community Partnerships:


 

  •  Under the leadership of a new volunteer coordinator Sharman Turner, the Northwest Georgia American Red Cross (ARC) reconnected with the Bonner Scholars Program in what has proven to be a model partnership – www.nwgaredcross.org.  The ARC expanded its service delivery area from four to ten counties during the summer of 2010; therefore, the need for additional volunteers grew exponentially.  The ARC welcomed as many as twelve Bonner Scholars regularly serving in a variety of areas as well as involved other students in the chapter’s events.  Ms. Turner and the ARC staff were instrumental in assessing students’ interests and skills and matching those with organizational tasks and goals.  Bonner Scholars’ involvement ranged from educating public school children about safety to assisting the chapter with technical support to planning and implementing public education events throughout the region to enhancing community relations using a variety of media. 

 

Most notably, junior Bonner Scholar Austin Wolff took the lead to organize a community-wide volunteer fair.  Many Bonners worked alongside Austin to plan a family-friendly event where 300 plus “Romans” connected with over 35 local non-profit organizations.  The ARC, as the sponsoring organization, received much publicity and praise for the success of the event.

 

 

Student Development:


 

  •          Berry College Bonner Scholars are expected to participate in the following meetings/trainings/reflections each semester:

-          All Bonner monthly lunch meeting that highlights the program business

-          Monthly class meeting focusing on trainings that align with the student developmental model

-          Monthly issue-based reflection meeting to debrief community experiences as explore issues in the context of the Common Commitments

-          Additional reflection experiences (up to 3) that connect with service work including but not limited to written assignments, discussion groups, film viewings, and attendance at campus-wide lectures or events that directly correlate with the Common Commitments

 

 

  • The Bonner Leadership Team (BLT) consists of 13 members including the representatives from each class year, the senior intern, the junior intern, and the peer counselors.  The senior intern acts as the facilitator of the group.  The mission of the BLT is to promote the spirit of the Bonner program, to act as servant leaders, to inspire and empower fellow Bonner Scholars to reach their full potential, and to serve as the liaison between Bonner Scholars, the local administration and staff, and the greater Bonner community.  Members are asked to actively participate in at least one of four committees: (1) Accountability - motivate Bonner Scholars to stay engaged with community service organizations, (2) Care - oversee Bonner site mentor and shadowing programs which pair new and veteran Bonners together, (3) Community Fund - approve community fund requests of more than $100.00 submitted by Bonners who wish to start new or expand and support existing service programs and projects which will benefit Rome-FloydCounty, and (4) Service - plan weekend and alternative break group service opportunities for Bonners.   Additionally, members are responsible for leading student reflection meetings.  

This spring, in the absence of a full time Bonner Scholars Program Coordinator, the BLT broadened and deepened their involvement in program planning and delivery.  Members assumed responsibilities for student communication, first-year trip planning, the summer placement process, meeting logistics, the Sophomore Recommitment event, preliminary Bonner 20th reunion plans, and much more.  These experiences born of necessity have laid the groundwork for a more intentional and integrated use of student leaders.

 

 

 

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Cornerstone Activities:


 

  •          The first-year Berry College Bonner Scholars traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana for the mandatory annual service trip the week following spring semester – May 7-12, 2011.  Bonner Scholars partnered with Episcopal Community Services of Louisiana – www.ecsla.org.  The organization was instrumental in assisting our group with securing housing, identifying a community service partner, and offering an educational orientation to NOLA.  Students assisted St. Paul’s Homecoming Center with a home painting project for a victim of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita – http://www.stpaulschurchno.org/spc_homecoming_center.htm.  Colleagues at Tulane University were helpful in suggesting training and enrichment opportunities (and restaurants!) while we are visiting the city – http://tulane.edu/cps/. Each partner was cognizant of our desire to do “with” instead of “unto” the citizenry of NOLA, so student leaders worked tirelessly to set that standard with our first-year students.
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  • Despite many attempts, the Berry College program did not participate in a Second Year Exchange during 2010-2011.  Student leaders from Berry and Young Harris College made preliminary plans to visit the exhibition “Dialogue In The Dark” where visitors are led by blind or visually impaired guides through a specially constructed and totally darkened exhibition, in which sounds, wind, temperatures, and textures covey the characteristics of common daily environments such as a park or cityscape. In the dark, these environments take on a whole new dimension. Visitors must rely on the guides for security and orientation in this world without pictures. Relying also on their other senses, visitors learn to “see” in an entirely new way. Their experience leads to reflection: social borders are reduced and ignorance gets changed into openness and respect.  Although the colleges could not find a mutually agreeable date to meet in Atlanta, student leaders from both institutions are committed to trying to schedule this activity for the 2011-2012 school year.  For more on “Dialogue,” visit www.dialogtickets.com.
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  • ·         This year, DeShon Battles, junior intern, committed to working in conjunction with former Bonner Scholars Program Coordinator Mary Elizabeth Tyler as a Civil Rights Project Researcher.  His responsibilities included performing community-based research about the Civil Rights Movement in Rome, GA. He interviewed community members, leaders, opposers, and activists who were engaged in the Movement and used his research to create a series of workshops designed to teach college students about the intersections of diversity, social justice, and community engagement in Rome/Floyd County, GA.  Specifically, DeShon facilitated the Sophomore Class Meetings around the local Civil Rights Movement.  Additionally, he was able to present his research model and findings at the 2011 Gulf South Summit for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement in Higher Education.

 

  • ·         Each year at the spring all-Bonner retreat, seniors are asked to offer a 5 – 10 minute Senior Capstone Presentation.ersonal, and educational shifts.  The hope is that the activity will serve as a testament to the community work of all Bonner Scholars

 

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Campus-wide Collaboration:


  •       The International Programs (IP) Office and the Bonner Center expanded collaborative efforts and sought to establish partnerships with organizations that could offer Berry students global service-learning experiences.  Sarah Egerer, director of the IP office, sponsored a site-visit to the Spring Hill Italy Center during spring semester.  Laurie Chandler, Bonner Center director, was afforded the opportunity to nurture a relationship with Spring Hill’s leadership and offer input for the design of future academic and service offerings.  Specifically, Spring Hill is exploring ways to structure its summer programs so that Bonner Scholars can meet the program’s summer service expectation while engaging in service-learning coursework and/or community-based research in Europe and Africa – http://www.shc.edu/studyabroad/italy/.  Additionally, Sarah and Laurie met with the International Partnership for Service-Learning (IPSL) and have begun to explore an official relationship between Berry and IPSL – http://ipsl.org/ .

 

Serve 2.0:


  •       Currently, the Berry College Bonner Scholars Program does not use or maintain web-based tools in the administration of its program.  The staff is exploring which social media format may be most useful in connecting with program alumni and planning for a fall 2011 reunion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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