These last few weeks have been wonderfully hectic for BTtoP. We’re still riding on the energy from our discussions at the AAC&U Annual Meeting in Atlanta; it was a joy to connect with friends old and new. We are excited at the response to our RFP for Multi-Institutional Innovation Grants, having received some 95 proposals. (We will announce the grant selections in mid-March.) We have just issued our second RFP for “AMP Grants”—see below for details. And we are delighted to welcome our new intern, Georgetown senior Katie Altman, who introduces herself below.
Annual Meeting Reflections
Many thanks to Jason Leggett, a law and society scholar from CUNY Kingsborough, for taking up our invitation to reflect on the AAC&U Annual Meeting:
As I set out from New York for Atlanta I wondered how this conference might present different points of view that would serve our needs as a community college in a large, diverse public system.
I want to highlight two sessions as particularly helpful and inspiring. The first was “The Well-Being Bridge” facilitated by Ashley Finley. I was impressed by the ability of the participants to infuse a college-wide sense of well-being across their institutions with very limited funds…I wondered whether we might not flip this study around and have students study and report their findings...
Another excellent model for moving the conversation toward the co-creation of knowledge with students came from Marisol Morales, Maggie Grove, and Verdis Robinson in the session, “Campus Compact’s Education for Democracy Initiative.” This session...moved away from the deficit model so often heard within higher education. The presenters argued passionately that we should take a “landscape view that looks at the policies, procedures, and infrastructures that serve as barriers to participation.”
The conference provided an abundance of resources to share with my institution and fostered a sense of well-being in the process. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we continue our efforts.
If you attended the Annual Meeting, we would love to hear and post your reflections.
In Case You Missed Our New Request for Proposals: AMP Grants Now Open
Yesterday, we issued an RFP for a new grant opportunity: Amplifying, Disseminating, and Increasing the Public Reach of Research and Practice (AMP) Grants. These will offer between $500 and $3,000 for activities that increase the public reach of work that previously received grant funding from BTtoP. AMP grants may be used to support a range of activities, including campus-to-campus consulting visits, multi-campus convenings, public writing, and the release of digital and media products. Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis starting March 1, 2018, with award announcements beginning on April 1, 2018. The full RFP is available on BTtoP’s Funding Opportunities page.
We Hope to See You at Our Well-Being and the Equity Imperative Workshop at AAC&U’s Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference
On March 28th, we will be hosting a pre-conference workshop at AAC&U’s Diversity, Equity, and Student Success Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Facilitated by Joselyn Schultz Lewis, Tim Eatman, and Caitlin Salins, the workshop will address two questions: what does it mean to place support for student flourishing at the center of the equity agenda and what does it mean to place equity, diversity, and inclusion at the heart of our understanding of student well-being? It will focus on the experience and needs of students whose experience of marginality often undermines their success: students of color, first-generation students, low-income students, and adult working students. It will combine research on student well-being and precarity, discussion of best practices, and reflection on what general commitments constitute a “well-being equity agenda.” To learn more about the workshop, please visit here.
Last but Not Least: Meet Our Newest Colleague
My name is Katie Altman, and I'm currently a senior at Georgetown University majoring in Health Care Management and Policy—which also means that I'm in a perpetual state of amazement over how quickly college has passed! It does not seem too long ago that I left Los Angeles naively excited to experience ‘real’ east-coast seasons.
While I am no less weather averse than my freshman year self, college has truly been a transformative time. It has provided me the space to discover my passion for creating cultures of flourishing whether that be in a hospital, classroom, and/or workplace.
This passion was confirmed when I was introduced to David through the course, Higher Education and the New Social Compact, which led to my internship with Bringing Theory to Practice. While only four weeks into this new role, I feel so fulfilled to be part of a community with such diverse experiences and perspectives on higher education and well-being. I hope to apply the lessons I’m gaining from this internship to the next chapter of my life. Upon graduating, I plan on living in Asia through either a fellowship or work in an educational setting. My intentions are to broaden and challenge my own perspective on holistic wellness, especially as wellness connects to civic engagement and cultural literacy.
So, thank you BTtoP for welcoming me with open arms and giving me the opportunity to engage in such meaningful work!
Thank you, Katie, for your passion and your great work. And thanks to all of you for your passion and great work.
Caitlin, Mercedes, David, and Katie