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John Suarez

John Suarez

John Suarez, Coordinator of the Office of Service-Learning, learned that his chapter, “Promoting Civic Engagement in a Required General Education Course,” has been accepted for publication in Teaching Civic Engagement Across the Disciplines in the Twenty-First Century, published by the American Political Science Association. Suarez’s chapter is in the section that provides guidelines for developing students’ commitment to civic engagement through a required general education course. In this case, that course is Writing Studies in the Community II (CPN 102), which is part of the Learning In Deed learning community. Guidelines included focusing on skills of relationship-building, and on “academic agility,” the instructor’s ability to take advantage of “teachable moments” by replacing planned lessons with others that help students connect service-learning experiences with learning objectives.

Also, Suarez presented “Developing Value in Civic Engagement” as part of a panel in the “Why Engage? The Value of Civic Learning in Higher Education” event held March 1 at SUNY Plattsburg. His message promoted three principles of civic engagement: Build Relationships, Be There, and Act. Benefits to students included the realization that they can improve society through short-term and through long-term activities. Communities benefit by enjoying greater capacity. Institutions benefit by being able to show that they provide students with strengthened professional, civic, and personal skills.

On March 16, Suarez served as a panelist in a session titled, “The Civic Action Plan:  So, How’s That Going on Your Campus?” which was part of the Eastern Regional Campus Compact’s Moving Us Forward:  Equity Through Community Engagement Conference in New York City. SUNY Cortland’s Civic Action Plan, which is a Campus Compact-promoted recommitment to developing students’ civic engagement, is based on the idea that our dedication to civic engagement, and our work for SUNY Cortland’s financial health, enjoy a symbiotic relationship.