Later this month I will become a resident of Alexandria, Virginia. I have the opportunity to live with one of my dear friends (and her dog), the chance to get to know a new community, and a little more space for all the Kate Spade dresses I’ve collected. Though I will miss the ease of being able to walk everywhere in DC, I’ve gotten to know parts of the Commonwealth quite well through my job – I’m glad that soon I’ll be able to call it home.
Over the past three years, and with support of the Governor and First Lady of Virginia, higher education leaders are working together to make a service year part of what it means to participate in higher education in Virginia. I’ve had the chance to work closely with several higher ed leaders in these efforts. Working closely with college presidents was not what I thought I’d be doing at this point in my career, and I am so grateful to be able to learn from them on a daily basis. I look forward to sharing more of my leanings in other posts.
Our most recent event took place at Averett University in Danville, VA. And making the drive from DC to Danville reminded me how large and diverse Virginia is. The students served by each college and university are unique, as are the challenges faced by their communities. Averett University is a leader in advancing service year opportunities for their students, including becoming the first higher education institution to become an Employer of National Service and connecting service year opportunities to academic credit.
During this event I had the opportunity to hear from my friend and colleague Andrew Seligsohn, President of Campus Compact. I also sat on a panel discussing service years in higher ed and presented a monetary award to a promising program at a community college. As is always the case at gatherings like this, I left energized and hopeful. It is an exciting time to live in Virginia and to be a part of higher education in the commonwealth.