Emory Report
January 22, 2007
Volume 59, Number 16

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January 22 , 2007
Emory Community Building Fellows set to learn and work in Atlanta

BY Beverly Clark

Emory University has selected its fifth class of Emory Community Building Fellows, who will undertake a comprehensive, 12-month program that prepares Emory students to be the next generation of community builders, and provides hands-on outreach to metro-Atlanta neighborhoods and nonprofit, government and business organizations.

For new fellow Daniel Bellware, a senior studying sociology and religion, the fellowship is an opportunity to build on his substantial community service work while acquiring marketable job skills.

“As a sociology major, I’ve learned all about how societies work. Now, I will have real training in how to solve social problems and challenges,” said Bellware, a student staff member of Volunteer Emory who leads weekly service trips to a local food bank and coordinates HIV/AIDS programs and initiatives.

A successful centerpiece of Emory’s Office of University-Community Partnerships, the Emory Community Building Fellowship is a national model for engaged learning programs. The fellowship provides undergraduate students with an intensive year of training, research and experience, including a summer-long practicum working on community initiatives in metro Atlanta. This year’s class includes 11 students — five sophomores, three juniors and three seniors — from eight states.

“The 2007 class of fellows represents a select group of Emory students drawn from a wide variety of disciplines. Regardless of what career track students ultimately pursue, their year as a fellow gives them an important foundation for understanding the dynamics of urban communities and the role that public, private and nonprofit organizations play in addressing important public problems,” said Michael Rich, associate professor of political science and director of the OUCP.

Results of past fellows’ work include the completion of 17 projects that have produced policy change and new programs and entities like the Northwest Atlanta Community Outreach Partnership Center. The center, funded by a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the OUCP, engages various Emory departments in work to improve the quality of life along the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway corridor. Fellows also have expanded the capacity of existing community initiatives to effectively address issues such as HIV/AIDS, affordable housing, public education quality, urban sprawl, citizen engagement and more.

The program welcomes a new director this year: Kate Grace, who comes to Emory from the Community Housing Resource Center of Atlanta where she filled various roles in her tenure, ranging from directing service program staff to co-executive director. She helped found the organization’s Neighborhood Development Internship Program and served as its director of service learning for eight years. She placed students from metro-Atlanta colleges and universities in more than 200 community-based service-learning projects to support neighborhood revitalization.

Grace also serves as vice president of the Atlanta Housing Association of Neighborhood-based Developers, the trade association of community development organizations in Atlanta, and was recently named the 2005 Member of the Year at the Georgia Affordable Housing Conference.

Grace succeeds inaugural director Sam Marie Engle, who is the new senior associate director of the OUCP. Engle will now help steer strategic efforts to enhance engaged scholarship and learning at Emory as well as provide daily oversight for the growing range of OUCP programs and collaborative projects.

Emory launched the fellowship program, the first of its kind in the United States, in 2001 with a seed gift from fashion executive Kenneth Cole, CEO and creative director of Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. and a trustee of the Kenneth Cole Foundation. He is an Emory alumnus and a former University trustee.

The fellows are chosen by an advisory committee of 11 faculty members from nine departments and programs. Students selected for the competitive program receive a stipend of $3,500 for their summer community work, a summer housing allowance, 12 hours of academic credit and a summer tuition scholarship.

2007 Emory Community Building Fellows:
Fatima Ahmed: junior, creative writing/political science
Zain Ahmed: senior, neuroscience, behavioral biology/political science
Natasha Alladina: junior, English/political science
Daniel Bellware: senior, sociology/religion
Robyn Deutsch: sophomore, political science
Makda Majette: sophomore, international studies/global health
Candice Merritt: sophomore, women’s studies/political science
Shannon Paige: sophomore, sociology/psychology
Kimberly Quinn: sophomore, African studies/women’s studies
Katherine Russett: senior, international/environmental studies
Kinda Secret: junior, journalism/Arabic