Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Another part of my role - Scholar Leaders

Another group I advise is the Scholar Leader program. This is a residential program for upperclass students who are housed in the oldest residence halls in the midwest. Elliott and Stoddard Halls are available to students on an application basis. The criteria for selection is high academic motivation coupled with an interest in leadership and service. The community has only two staff (Jon and Jeff) who are available as a resource. The responsibility for the environment and programs of the community are delegated to student residents. The idea is that the residential experience should teach the participants how to live in a democratic community that draws the best out of each and every resident.

An interesting twist on the Scholar Leader program is that we are presently in the final stages of planning the "Plunge" trip to Toronto on January 4-7, 2006. I will return from Luxemmbourg on December 30, rest a couple of days, and then go with approximately 40 students to Toronto for a trip focusing on the "American Dream." We will take a critical look at the historic notion of the American Dream, analyze how it unfolded differently in Canada versus the U.S.A., and determine what about it is still alive in our respective countries today. One of the experiences during the visit will be meeting with Dr. Fred Evers whose research, The Bases of Competence, looks at work and how higher education does or does not prepare students for the workplace; we will be joined by Miami alumni for this session. In addition, we will meet with University of Toronto students to explore questions surrounding the American Dream and then visit cultural neighborhoods in Toronto. A visit to the Canadian Victims of Torture Centre will allow us to look at issues of imigration and its impact in people's lives in Canada and the U.S.A. A highlight of the trip will be our return to the Central Park Lodge, a home for elder Canadian citizens. We will meet with, entertain, and have tea with these wonderful people before we depart to the U.S.A. We look forward to a great time with our North American neighbors!

Again, I'm fortunate to have great students with whom to work and staff who will guide this community in my absence. I hope that Scholar Leaders will check my blog and become part of the conversation on "Pursuing Leadership."

1 comment:

Jon R. said...

Enjoying reading so far, Denny! We'll hold down the fort until you return. Hope your European experience is as rewarding as mine was.!