California Campus Compact and Carnegie Select Faculty for Political Engagement Effort

May, 2007
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San Francisco, CA—California Campus Compact and The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announce 25 professors to lead the way in preparing college students for participation in political life. The professors, from public and private colleges and universities across California, will be Faculty Fellows in the Service Learning for Political Engagement Program. Each will be responsible for creating, implementing and evaluating courses that use service learning to increase students' understanding, skills and motivation for political participation. Service learning places students in meaningful service to the community and requires reflection on that service, leading to increased learning about academic subject matter, the community and one's self.

With funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (Learn and Serve America Higher Education), faculty were chosen for their experience connecting teaching and learning to service in the community and their commitment to developing models of service learning that prepare young people for political engagement. They represent a diverse array of academic disciplines, from engineering to political science, from English to agriculture.

Carnegie Senior Scholar Tom Ehrlich, who co-directs the Foundation's Political Engagement Project, explains the rationale behind the Fellows program. "Political participation is necessary for democracy to survive and flourish," Ehrlich said, "yet, political participation by young people, including the college-educated, is distressingly low. Colleges and universities have long claimed a role in educating young people for democracy, but many faculty remain unclear or conflicted about how to do so in ways that are academically rigorous and scrupulously unbiased. These Faculty Fellows will provide models of how to do so."

Elaine Ikeda, executive director of California Campus Compact, an organization of college and university presidents dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement, and service learning in higher education, noted that service learning is often seen as one way to promote political participation, but that such a goal is just as often missing from service learning projects because it presents so many philosophical and practical dilemmas. "This work is important and complex, which is why we are bringing together the most thoughtful and committed faculty to develop models of service learning that prepare young people for political engagement," she said.

Faculty members will come together for the first time this summer for a three-day institute at the Carnegie Foundation, where they will begin planning their new courses. They will continue to meet over the next two years to refine their course models, examine student outcomes and share their work with colleagues on campus and across the state and nation.

The 25 faculty members chosen by California Campus Compact and the Carnegie Foundation are:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
Tom Trice, Assistant Professor, History
Lynne Slivovsky, Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering
California State University, Chico
Lynne Bercaw, Associate Professor, Education
S. Patrick Doyle, Assistant Professor, Agriculture
California State University, Fullerton
Katja Guenther, Assistant Professor, Sociology
California State University, Sacramento
Catherine Gabor, Assistant Professor, English
Greg Kim-Ju, Assistant Professor, Psychology
California State University, Stanislaus
Dave Colnic, Assistant Professor, Politics and Public Administration
Nancy Jean Smith, Professor, Teacher Education
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Nina Maria Reich, Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Alicia Partnoy, Associate Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures
Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont
Don Stannard-Friel, Professor, Psychology/Sociology
Gretchen Wehrle, Associate Professor, Psychology/Sociology
Occidental College, Los Angeles
P. Gabrielle Forman, Professor, English
Caroline Heldman, Assistant Professor, Politics
Pitzer College, Claremont
Kathleen Yep, Assistant Professor, Asian American Studies and Sociology
San Francisco State University
Tiffany Willoughby-Herard, Assistant Professor, Political Science
Santa Clara University
Laura Nichols, Associate Professor, Sociology
University of California, Los Angeles
Jennifer A. Jay, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of the Pacific, Stockton
Marcia Hernandez, Assistant Professor, Sociology
Dari Sylvester, Assistant Professor, Political Science
University of San Diego
Judith Liu, Professor, Sociology
Sandra Sgoutas-Emch, Professor, Psychology
University of San Francisco
Chris Brooks, Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Corey Cook, Assistant Professor, Politics

For additional information, contact Piper McGinley, California Campus Compact at or (415) 405-7577.


California Campus Compact (CACC) is a membership organization of college and university presidents leading California institutions of higher education in building a statewide collaboration to promote service as a critical component of higher education.

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1905 and chartered in 1906 by an act of Congress, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is an independent policy and research center with the primary mission "to do and perform all things necessary to encourage, uphold, and dignify the profession of the teacher and the cause of higher education." The improvement of teaching and learning is central to all of the Foundation's work. The Foundation is located in Stanford, Calif.