Political Engagement Project
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Spring Semester 2008 Activities

Thirty-five faculty taught 64 Political Engagement Project course sections enrolling 1,634 students. These courses were drawn from 26 different disciplines in seven colleges (Allied Health Sciences, Arts & Sciences, College of Business, College of Education & Human Services, College of Pharmacy, College of Technology, and University College). The undergraduate courses ranged from freshman to senior level.
January 25PEP Faculty to NYC to meet with NYT. PEP Workshop of all 8 campuses, Provosts and Coordinators, utilizing New York Times and creating academic resources for public from our experience.
February 5Super "Fat" Tuesday Event - More than 400 students and faculty gathered in Westview Dining Hall to eat pizza and to watch the primary election results on six flat screen televisions, each linked to a different media feed. Local CBS News affiliate Channel 9&10 covered this event.
February 19Benjamin Bush - Mr. Benjamin Bush exhibited his photography exhibit, "The Art of War," at the Rankin Center Art Gallery and at Art Works in Big Rapids during the entire month of February.
February 26James Moore Lecture - This Emmy-winning television journalist and best selling author visited campus to meet with classes and the PEP Faculty Roundtable. In the evening, Mr. Moore offered an open lecture entitled "The 2008 Presidential Primaries and Election." Local CBS affiliate Channel 9&10 covered this event.
February 27Focus the Nation - In spite of a one-month delay due to extreme weather at Big Rapids in January, Focus the Nation offered more than 200 students, faculty and community members an opportunity to share information about how we can act locally to address the global warming issue, recycling, environmental awareness, organic foods, green energy, cutting costs on resources, and reducing waste. The event was part of a nationwide project about sustainability, involving students at over 1,800 institutions.
March 25Sr. Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking and Death of Innocents) - Rescheduled for Fall 2008.
Mar. 31-April 4Fair Housing 40th Anniversary Events (canceled).
April 1Paul Loeb Lecture - Informal small group of PEP faculty met with him and discussed the upcoming presidential election. Author of Soul of a Citizen, Mr. Loeb lectured to students on engaging in local social change.
April 11Energy Conference - The Michigan Energy Conference promoted open dialogue on using energy effectively and efficiently to create sustainable environments at home and work. Dick DeVos, Republican candidate for Governor of Michigan in 2006 provided a keynote address titled "Powering Michigan Forward: A Diversified Balanced Plan." Mark Warba, Mayor of Big Rapids, also spoke. In addition, more than 30 student posters competed for cash prizes.
April 22ADP/PEP Faculty Recognition Ceremony - Held at the Rankin Center Art Gallery with the Schindler Exhibit as backdrop, outgoing ADP Council members were recognized and thanked for their efforts. In addition, all three AASCU/Carnegie PEP Scholars were introduced.
Eighteen total sessions of PEP Faculty roundtables were conducted during spring semester. During the meetings relevant announcements of activities were made, special guest speakers gave presentations, and faculty collaborated with each other about PEP classroom activities that were being used.
Other PEP Events:
  • Co-sponsorship Campus-wide Speech Contest
  • Co-sponsorship Honors Program Speech Contest
  • Co-sponsorship of ADP voter registration drives
  • Continued distribution of the New York Times to the campus
  • Distributed Educating for Democracy to PEP instructors
  • Sending a team to Snowbird for the PEP/ADP meeting in June
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