Recently my peers at Sterling College elected me as an undergraduate faculty representative for the institution’s faculty council.
In this position, I will serve a two-year term as an elected voice of the faculty and provide recommendations to the college’s president and administration based upon input from the faculty concerning, for example, curricular, programmatic, or policy changes, as well as approving or denying the work of subcommittees.
I feel honored that my colleagues trusted me enough to represent them, and I’m looking forward to getting to work. My first meeting as a member of the council will take place later this morning, so I won’t have to wait long.
In this role, I will oversee and administer the SPC educational program, which provides high school students with an opportunity to put their journalism and video production skills to the test in a “real-world” competition where students must use their journalism and video production skills to cover specific stories from their assigned day at the fair and to develop a 4-page newsletter or a 4-minute video for a wide range of prospective audience types. Schools compete during the five weekdays of the fair, and each team has no more than five students.
When I was a working journalist, I served as a mentor for students involved in the contest. Then, when I was a high school journalism teacher, I took students to compete in this program. It was always a fulfilling exercise. I am excited to give back to the program and help other educators and students have a wonderful experience.
This year the Kansas State Fair runs from Sept. 10-19, so the SPC will be going Sept. 13-17. I should probably start dieting now to be prepared for all of the fair food I will be eating.
In addition to all of this, I was also voted onto the Moundridge Arts Council board of directors, so I will be helping this local organization provide arts education and events in our community. Hopefully, that will entail some performing arts. I would love nothing more than to see theatrical productions brought to town or performed by local residents.
My primary goal at first, though, is to get the website up and running. At the time of this writing, it is under construction.
These new roles will continue to keep me busy on top of my pursuit of my doctoral degree and my teaching, as well as my growing children. Still, I like to be involved and give back to my communities.
At my core, I am service orientated. I want to help others and be engaged. Jumping in and getting involved is the best way to do that.
At the end of the day, though, my primary goal is to provide a valuable example to my children. I want them to grow up understanding the value of volunteerism. I want them to understand what it means to be part of a community, whether that community is geographic, interest-focused, or career-centered.
It’s all about social capital and civic engagement. I want to be a good citizen and raise good citizens.