Freshman Scholars Program 2012

The Center for Civic Engagement: Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Learning, Development and Change

Instructor:  Jennie West, M.S.W.


Project Description:

Up to two students who have been engaged in and have commitment to community planning, development, and social change, and who respect the inherent worth of all members of a community.

The new Center for Civic Engagement is in need of two Freshman Scholars to serve as research assistants to:

  1. Compile a user-friendly database to include three primary components: 

    1. similar college/university-based centers (especially within small liberal arts institutions) and their organizational structure (decision-making structure, staffing, advisory boards, gather ideas for the fourth item listed below, types of community projects, and funding sources;

    2. contact information (email, phone, mailing address, affiliations) of local key agency directors, community leaders from a wide spectrum of public and private organizations/businesses, and interested citizen volunteers (for access related to potential future center projects); and

    3. initial potential funding sources;

  2. Choose a Center project in which s/he wants to be engaged in throughout the upcoming year.

  3. Meet with staff, faculty, and student leaders from key Ferrum College units to include Library, Institutional Advancement, Business Affairs, Student Leadership and Engagement, Academic Affairs, and persons affiliated with the three Centers, etc. in order to develop proposals for how some of these units might be supportive of center projects; 

  4.  Gather information and develop proposals for:

    1. how to attract/engage individual students and groups to Center projects

    2. mechanisms/procedures by which the Center could work with student initiated project ideas (selection process, faculty and funding support, etc.)

NOTE:  Student(s) would have some required readings and brief reflective writing which will be discussed several times each week. Faculty member would be with the student(s) intensively, working along with them.


Jennie West, M.S.W.

Professor Jennie West is Program Coordinator of Social Work and Sociology. She believes students can best grow and learn by being very active in their coursework, campus activities and local community.  Most people learn best by exploring information, brainstorming and truly listening to many ideas, thinking critically, taking initiative, and using positive energy/creativity for community improvements. People experiencing social problems often have the best ideas for solving those problems with some assistance to gain information and resource support. She created her individualized undergraduate degree in family education and counseling along with a Master of Social Work degree and doctoral work in Public Administration.  She has worked with youth and adults in low-income communities on social welfare policy advocacy along with grassroots community organization and development.  She is committed to empowering people to gain skills and trust their abilities to bring about positive change for the betterment of their communities.

If you have specific questions about this project, please contact Professor West directly at JWest@ferrum.edu.

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