2017-2018 ILCC AmeriCorps VISTA Farewell

In the following months Illinois Campus Compact will be hiring a cohort of new AmeriCorps VISTAs, this means we will also be saying goodbye to some amazing VISTAs who are ending their year of service with us. During the past year our VISTAs served at higher education institutions throughout the state working to advance the public purpose of higher education. The VISTAs built capacity by leading programs with youth, coordinating volunteers, and developing community engagement initiatives on campus. Haley Dutmer is finishing her year of service at Western Illinois University- Quad Cities. Haley has a background in philosophy so is…

July Membership Spotlight

Illinois Campus Compact (ILCC) is excited to welcome and spotlight our new member institution, Wilbur Wright College. In an interview with Gabe Estill and Merry Mayer, we found out all the amazing things Wright College is already doing in terms of civic engagement and learned some of their future plans. One of the first benefits of ILCC that Wright College will be taking advantage of is our AmeriCorps VISTA Program. Wright is currently accepting applications for a VISTA to start a yearlong year of service on August 20th. This VISTA will have a wide range of responsibilities, including assisting service-learning…

Tyson Foods Summer Community Internship Kickoff!

Yesterday, Illinois Campus Compact (ILCC) kicked off our Tyson Foods Summer Community Internship Program. This internship program is a partnership between Campus Compact and Tyson Foods to provide an invaluable opportunity for select college students to gain professional experience while making a positive impact in the community. This program provides 40 nonprofit organizations in the Chicago area, and Sioux City, Storm Lake, and Council Bluffs, Iowa with a grant of $3,000-3,500 to hire a qualified college student for the summer. 20 of the 40 nonprofits are the following Chicago area organizations, Alliance for Immigrant Neighbors BEDS-Plus Care Bridge Communities Cambodian…

June Membership Spotlight

As Illinois Campus Compact continues to fill our several open AmeriCorps VISTA positions, we wanted to learn why some of our successful VISTAs chose to serve with ILCC and AmeriCorps in general. Stacey Dixon and David Kintz serve with National Louis University. Both started last August so have two months until they become VISTA Alumni. For those who don’t know, VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America. It is a program through AmeriCorps. VISTAs serve at organizations throughout America to build capacity with the goal of eradicating poverty. Thirty two VISTAs currently serve with ILCC, they are placed at…

Webinar Resource: How Colleges and Universities can support building sustainable rural communities

This webinar was led by Christopher Merrett, Director and Professor in the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs (IIRA) at Western Illinois University and Anne Hlavacka, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (CEI) as well as the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Our presenters discussed rural civic engagement and trends in rural communities while addressing what makes rural communities appealing to university partnerships, combining classroom experience with experiential learning. They spoke about the unique opportunities available in rural communities and current trends in rural communities and how colleges and universities can support growth…

May Membership Spotlight

In recent weeks Illinois Campus Compact has been sponsoring and marketing voter engagement projects, including College Election Engagement Project mini grants, the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, and our Campus Election Project Graduate Assistant. These all have a similar goal in increasing voter engagement on college campuses. Our membership institution, University of Illinois at Chicago, has proven a form of expert on this front. Last year, on October 19th at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., UIC received the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge’s Champion Award for being the most engaged campus and a bronze seal for achieving a student voting…

Campus Election Engagement Project Graduate Assistant

Position Description –  Campus Election Engagement Project Assistant (June –December 2018) This limited term position, 10-15 hours per week during academic year and up to 20 hours per week June – August, will work to engage Illinois Campus Compact member institution students, faculty and staff in the 2018 elections.  This non-partisan project will help provide CEEP resources for institutional commitments to election engagement, support faculty and staff programming, and assist college students in registering to vote, getting educated on issues, volunteering in the campaigns, and showing up at the polls. This person will also help recruit and manage student fellows…

April Membership Spotlight

As soon as I walked into the Student Life offices, I was immediately welcomed by walls and bulletin boards advertising the events and programs Governor State University has to offer. While speaking with Illinois Campus Compact VISTA, Leah Dixon, I learned about several of these events and their importance to the campus. Leah serves as the Coordinator of the Civic Engagement and Community Service Center. When Leah arrived at Governor State in October, one of her goals was to make sure the students were more aware of the services that the center offers. Adjacent to the Civic Engagement and Community…

AmeriCorps Week 2018

March 11-17 is AmeriCorps Week, where we celebrate the people and programs that serve America. This year we share how our ILCC VISTAs “Get Things Done for America.” Follow #GetThingsDone on Facebook and Twitter, or visit this site to learn more about AmeriCorps Week 2018. RJ Swartz is serving as the VISTA for the University of Illinois Springfield. This week he and twenty students will be traveling to Beaumont, Texas to aid in Hurricane Harvey Relief. They are working with Community Collaborations International to help clean and reconstruct homes. Nelisha Gray serves as a VISTA at Northern Illinois University. She…

March Membership Spotlight: Lewis University

The Office of Community Engaged Learning lives on the third floor of the Learning Resource Center, a large brick building seeming to be one of the main attractions of Lewis University as told by the constant bustle of students and faculty there. This is where I found Laura Wilmarth Tyna and Dr. Christie Billups. Laura is the Director of Community Engaged Learning and Christie is the Curriculum Development Advisor of the office and its founding director as well as Assistant Professor of Theology. The Office of Community Engaged Learning, formerly known as the Office of Service Learning, is where faculty,…

What is a Newman Civic Fellow?

Alexis is just one example of a successful Newman Civic Fellow candidate. Last year, five schools in Illinois were represented by students engaged in their community.

Desmend Jetton – VISTA Experience

Our 2016-2017 VISTA Alum, Desmend Jetton, is now working at the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition. ISTC is a nonprofit organization that works to “cultivate technology-based economic development throughout Illinois.” We learned a little more about ISTC and how Desmend’s VISTA year is informing his work there. What is your position at ISTC? Currently, I am the 2017-2018 ISTC Program Intern. I have the privilege of handling all communications, media outreach, and press releases regarding Illinois’ innovation footprint -through innovation, data, education, and policy advocacy. A key publication I do media outreach for is our Coalition’s  Illinois Innovation Index which gauges Illinois’ innovation…

VISTA Experience: Janice Ayarzagoitia – From Adler to RefugeeONE

Janice Ayarzagoitia was placed at Adler University as part of ILCC’s VISTA Cohort for the 2016-2017 year. Now, she works for the refugee resettlement agency RefugeeOne. We caught up with her to glean some insights from her reflections on her VISTA year as well as learn more about her work at RefugeeOne.   How did you come to the ILCC VISTA program at Adler? A friend in my master’s program did a VISTA year in Arizona with public schools and spoke highly of the experience. She encouraged me to apply to positions in Chicago. Adler University stood out to me…

Refugee Resettlement Programs Deserve Support From Higher Education

I believe in the value of refugee resettlement programs, I believe in the value that campus can add to them, and I believe that higher education should take a strong stance against fear of the other.

Illinois State University Hosts Dr. Barbara Jacoby October 13th!

The Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at Illinois State University is very excited to host Dr. Barbara Jacoby as she shares her expertise on service-learning and healthy campus-community partnerships.  Each session is free but registration is required.  More information and the registration form can be found on the ISU’s Community Engagement website. Click here to register!  

Andrew Larson – Civic Engagement Professional at North Park University

Andrew Larson spent two years as an ILCC VISTA at North Park University in Chicago. Now, as a newly minted full-time staff member, Andrew is helping North Park expand its successful Catalyst 606_ _ program!

Meet Marina LoCasto – Our New Assistant Director!

We’ve got exciting things coming down the pipes at Illinois Campus Compact, starting with our new Assistant Director, Marina LoCasto! She’ll soon become a familiar face for all of our member campuses as she takes hold of our VISTA program. Before you see her on your campus, learn more about her background and what drives her towards civic leadership. 1. Can you tell us a little bit about your background? I am originally from Chicago and grew up in the Oak Park area. My family moved to Italy when I was in middle school so I had a rather unusual upbringing,…

North Park University’s Catalyst 606_ _ Program | Chicago as the Classroom

Rich Kohng, Director of Civic Engagement at North Park, leads a biking tour of the lake shore as part of the Catalyst Semester. Summer is here, and with it comes the typical lull felt on every campus around the country. At North Park University in Chicago, however, this summer will prove to be a busy one for the Urban Hub department. This Fall, they will expand their successful Catalyst 606 _ _ experiential learning program across campus as they seek to transform the common understanding of higher education and its public purpose. What is Catalyst 606 _ _ ? The…

Illinois Campus Compact VISTA Experience – Dan Dankert’s 3 Steps to a Successful Service Year

As Dan prepares to move on from our VISTA program, we sat down with him to learn more about what he thinks are three important steps to getting the most out of the Illinois Campus Compact VISTA experience.

Midwest Campus Compact Conference Recap

We want to thank everyone who came out to the Midwest Campus Compact Conference to make it a great success! We were happy to have fantastic weather to make the always beautiful Loyola campus in Chicago all the more beautiful. Doing Democracy Throughout the two-day conference, we discussed new strategies and tools to increase the impact of asset-based community development programs in higher education. The Midwest Campus Compact Conference offered us the space to explore how to better serve our communities by reaching out and finding untapped assets. Innovative students, staff, faculty and other civic-minded leaders led conversations about their…