Civic Engagement Students Present Capstone Projects

Civic Engagement Students Present Capstone Projects

Civic Engagement Certificate Group 2011
Students completing SESP's Civic Engagement Certificate Program in 2011 presented posters of their capstone projects at a reception on June 3. These projects, designed as culminating experiences for second-year students in this two-year program, involve at least 100 hours of community service and a reflective analysis.

Participating students, descriptions of their projects and sponsoring organizations are as follows:

Joan DeGennaro and Alexa Herzog
Sponsor: First Presbyterian Church of Evanston

Asset-Mapping the First Presbyterian Church Community

The purpose of this project was to link the assets and interests of the First Presbyterian Church of Evanston members with opportunities to enhance the Evanston community.  DeGennaro and Herzog conducted focus groups and a survey, and they also compiled research on offerings by other houses of worship so that the leadership at First Presbyterian could guide future efforts for community involvement.

Jessica Holden, Sharona Sernik and Arielle Sullivan
Sponsor: Mather Lifeways

Intergenerational Learning Opportunities

This group initiated a partnership with older adult residents of Mather Lifeways to plant the roots for an intergenerational program. They conducted focus groups and surveys to research the perspective of students and older adults on how intergenerational learning can best enrich their educational and personal experience. They also ran a trial discussion at the Mather with a Northwestern class and collected feedback.

Will Bloom, Irisa Chen, Lauren Manning, Dina Ross and Emily Weinstock
Sponsor: Evanston Township High School Community Service Department and IMPACT
ETHS/ IMPACT Junior Leadership Program

The purpose of this project was to develop a program for Evanston Township High School juniors to apply the leadership skills they gained through the Emerge Sophomore Leadership Program. They led and evaluated a program for juniors throughout the 2010-11 school year. The juniors planned leadership workshops for younger ETHS students, co-facilitated Emerge workshops with Northwestern facilitators, or worked on a project that would benefit their community.

Aria Fiat, Beth Lynk and Morgan Purrier
Sponsor: Center for Independent Futures
Documenting Quality of Life

This project’s purpose was to examine the efficacy of quality of life indicators for participants of the Center for Independent Future’s (CIF) Community Living Option (CLO) model. This organization’s model differs from state norms by implementing a “full life planning” model and redefining “quality of life” indicators. The group conducted interviews with parents and participants to qualitatively measure and evaluate the efficacy of these quality-of-life indicators.

The director of the Civic Engagement Certificate Program, which is open to all Northwestern students, is SESP professor Dan Lewis. Faculty members are Paul Arnston of the School of Communication and Jody Kretzmann and Clinton Nichols of SESP. Coordinators of the program are Nathan Frideres of SESP and Robert Donahue and Heidi Gross of the Center for Civic Engagement.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 6/20/11