On March 27, 2014, the Center for Civic Engagement in the Atlanta Laboratory for Learning (A_LAB) hosted a panel and roundtable discussions that brought community leaders and OU students together to talk about civic engagement and leadership in the nonprofit sector.
The panel featured five speakers with varied backgrounds in civic leadership: Elise Eplan, CEO of The Eplan Group; Rhonda Fischer COO of the East Lake Foundation; Kweku Forstall, the Atlanta Civic Site Director for the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Atiba Mbiwan, Associate Director of the Zeist Foundation; Alicia Philipp, President of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Four of the five panelists—Eplan, Forstall, Mbiwan and Philipp—are members of the CCE Advisory Board, which helps to guide Oglethorpe’s civic engagement program.
The event allowed the CCE Advisory Board to interact and share their expertise with OU students. The panel and roundtable discussions helped to provide awareness and opportunities for students to broaden their perspectives regarding the value of a liberal arts education as it relates to civic engagement and leadership. The conversation was targeted to first-year students, students in the Nonprofit Management minor, and students who might not be able to participate in evening and weekend civic engagement service projects (like commuters and athletes), plus those who just wanted to learn more about careers in the foundation and nonprofit sector.
“The students appreciated the one-on-one time with the panelists, because they got to ask more personal questions,” said communication major Shannon Williams ’16. “The (panelists) were so empowering and loved that they got to make decisions that improve people’s lives.”