Bringing It #53: BT2P Communications Job Opening
We hope that this finds you safe and well, and that you will have the opportunity for rest, renewal, and joy over the December holidays. The pandemic still rages, and yet we take hope from the start of vaccinations and civic transitions. May the coming year bring more health, more justice, more peace.
In a much smaller way, this is also a season of transition for BT2P. As you’ll read below, our colleague Lily Fandel has taken up a terrific new position at her alma mater, North Carolina State University. This issue of Bringing It concludes with her reflections and our thanks to her. It also includes a position announcement as we search for her successor. And in between, we are delighted to give you a post about an inspiring initiative from Hartford’s Capitol Community College.
Join the BT2P Team at Elon University
We have begun the search for a new Communication and Public Outreach Coordinator. This .75 position (with full benefits) is based at our host institution of Elon University and is responsible for a varied communications portfolio, including the BT2P website, our biweekly letter Bringing It, our triannual digital Newsletter, social media, supervising student interns, and other communications and media projects. This team member plays an essential role in BT2P’s mission to influence change in higher education and shape the national conversation about higher education.
For more information about the position, please visit Elon’s job posting. Applications will be reviewed starting January 1st and will continue until the position is filled. It would be wonderful if you could circulate news of this search to people or networks who might be interested.
Capital Community College: The Compassion Project
Readers of Bringing It know how strongly BT2P seeks to support student well-being as a core purpose of higher education and to center student voices in understanding their well-being. The Compassion Project at Capital Community College (Hartford, Connecticut) does both. We hadn’t known about the project before Linda Domenitz –– the college’s retired Director of Career Development and Placement and one of the project’s creators –– wrote us about it. We’re delighted to share her post:
How do we listen to our students? How do we hear their stories and why do their stories matter?
In 2017, I worked with students, faculty and staff at Capital Community College to develop The Compassion Project. This is a bottom-up program dedicated to providing a forum for members of the campus community to meet weekly to engage in mindfulness practices. The purpose of the forum was to minimize boundaries and focus on our shared humanity as an institution. It provided students with the opportunity to speak authentically about their experiences as first-generation college students and often victims of adverse childhood experiences (ACES). The program sought to cultivate self-compassion and compassion for others, capacities that are known to be transformative and that increase self-regulation, thereby strengthening self-leadership and persistence.
Weekly mindfulness sessions created a safe container in which to tell life stories with an authentic voice, to strengthen our practice of compassion for ourselves and each other, and to widen the lens through which we perceive each other. We were helped in this by a professional theatre company that volunteered to lead us in role-playing and experiential exercises.
The weekly forum led to important outcomes. One was the launch of an end-of-year storytelling program, in which students’ narratives deepened understanding of the lives of our students. There were also noticeable shifts in pedagogy, as faculty began to view the student population through more of a personally-informed lens. The program demonstrated the impact of bi-directional influence, teaching teachers about our students, and it seeded important efforts to institute changes supportive of student engagement.
Linda Domenitz published this scholarly article about The Compassion Project, unpacking its practice and positive outcomes in more detail. And this video features CCC students testifying eloquently to the project’s power. Check them out.
It is with a heavy but hopeful heart that I share my departure from Bringing Theory to Practice. I’m sad to be leaving such an inspiring and impactful organization where I have met such wonderful people. I joined BT2P just a few months after I graduated from college in May 2020. My first months out of college were nothing like I ever expected, as I searched for a position that would not only carry me through uncertain times but provide fulfillment and feed my passions. I was prepared to settle for one or the other, but I am so grateful to have found both in Bringing Theory to Practice.
Thank you to David, Todd and Kate for helping to guide me through my time as Communications and Public Outreach Coordinator and for learning with me as we tried new things, explored new media and charted a way forward for BT2P. Thanks also to Caitlin Salins and Mercedes Yanora for lending their expertise as I got started, and to the advisory board for welcoming me in. Thank you to our wonderful colleagues at Elon University, including Lilly Rothschild, our Digital Communications intern, whom I enjoyed watching grow and whom I also learned so much from. And, of course, thank you to our founder Don Harward for making all of this possible.
I am excited to support faculty and students as I transition into an expanded communications role at my alma mater, NC State University. I would love to stay in touch with all the people I have met in the last few months as well as those I may not have had the chance to meet. Please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or connect with me on LinkedIn. If you are interested in keeping up with my writing, which will focus on educational technology and innovation, feel free to visit lilyfandel.com.
Wishing you all a safe and healthy holiday season and new year!
It’s with sadness that we mark Lily Fandel’s departure from BT2P, but our sorrow is outweighed by our gratitude. Lily has been a wonderful colleague since joining us this summer, just a few months out of college, but already accomplished and multi-talented. She is collaborative and creative, nimble and patient, with an elegant ear and an elegant eye. From the start, she understood the mission and voice of Bringing Theory to Practice, and she helped launch our new website, our new blog, and our expanded social media. When we unveil our digital Newsletter in early 2021, you’ll see further evidence of her handiwork.
We’re delighted that Lily’s has moved back to a great gig at her alma mater, North Carolina State University. We know that NC State will benefit, and that BT2P will find a new colleague to build on Lily’s work. But we’ll miss her.
With gratitude for all you do and warmest wishes for a restful and restorative holiday break,
David, Lily, Kate, & Todd
Please note that the BT2P team will be following Elon’s winter break schedule and will be out of the office from December 21 through January 1st.