September 20, 2022

10 New Civic Fellows Projects to Focus on Civic Engagement

Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2022 – The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)’s American Democracy Project (ADP) today announced the 10 projects its Civic Fellows cohort will develop throughout the 2022 academic year. Made up of faculty and subject matter experts from multiple disciplines and universities, Civic Fellows serve the ADP community by providing resources, insights, programmatic opportunities, and more.

Seven individual projects were selected during the spring and summer of 2022:

  • Shannon Calderone, Washington State University Tri-Cities, will carry out a qualitative study documenting the drivers of social trust among undergraduate students. She will then incorporate those findings into existing and new ADP initiatives and evaluations in order to measure the impact of our practices on social trust.
  • Kara Dillard, James Madison University (VA), will develop and scale the online National Week of Deliberation initiative for April 2023 and beyond.
  • Julie Lester, Middle Georgia State University, has been working to re-establish the Stewardship of Public Lands program. She assisted in relaunching an online Stewardship of Public Lands cohort of more than 40 participants, who are exploring conflicts related to water and will be helping to lead a June 2023 excursion to Glacier National Park.
  • Chapman Rackaway, Radford University (VA), will create new organizational and structural tools to support ADP campuses, especially as they work to develop a statewide caucus and/or establish ADP communities on their campuses.
  • Allison Rank, The State University of New York at Oswego (SUNY Oswego), is contextualizing campus civic engagement programming within the research on high-impact practices and student success to create materials faculty and staff can draw on when seeking increased support for civic engagement programming on their campuses.
  • Ryan Salzman, Northern Kentucky University, will develop a strategic plan to enhance civic learning and practice on the institution’s campus. He will then create a guide of best practices and materials other campuses can use as they determine ways to leverage their existing resources.
  • Kim Schmidl-Gagne, Keene State College (NH), will refine the “Hot Topics” section of the Four-Quadrant Ideology Diagnostic and encourage cross-campus collaboration when discussing the issues that challenge our democracy.

In addition, three Civic Fellows teams will focus on the following:

  • The Extending Empathy Project: This work will expand on a 2020–21 series of interdisciplinary instructional colloquia for faculty into a national, eight-part symposium that explores how to spark compassion. The team is from Illinois State University and includes Nathan Carpenter, Byron Craig, Stephen Hunt, and J. Scott Jordan.
  • Digital Literacy and Racial Reparations:This project will focus on creating an online compendium of resources for teachers, scholars, and students on all things digital literacy, from mis- and disinformation and media literacy, to digital citizenship, to the online habits necessary for building and sustaining a healthy democracy. In addition, it will explore the historical legacy and current movement of racial representation in media through a community of practice focused on representation and reparation. The project team includes Paul Cook, Indiana University Kokomo, and Erin O’Hanlon, Stockton University (NJ).
  • Global Literacy Assessment: Building from the Global Literacy Project cohort, this multi-institutional team will continue to work on assessing global civic competency through publications, as well as broadening and deepening the sample size. This team includes Steven Elliott-Gower, Georgia College & State University; Steven Granich, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania; Steven Jones, Georgia Gwinnett College; and Gérard Martorell, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.

View the cohort photo gallery here.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at