Engaged education and service learning trips
The history of the American city and the American highway system
Smart Growth and the New Urbanism
Since I was in high school I have been rethinking and developing every organization or business for which I have worked. I thrive on creative energy and I believe that every profession requires vision and inspiration in order to improve and adapt to twenty-first century needs.
My college career has been a study of the American city. With a self-designed major, I have taken classes in seven disciplines including political science, history, religion, art history, rhetoric, English and leadership studies. I also developed a thesis on the history of a highway in Richmond that will attempt to incorporate all that I have learned along the way.
On campus, I have supported programs related to urban agriculture, ride sharing, service-learning and men's development. Off campus, I have interned at two non-profit organizations: Church Hill Activities and Tutoring and Partnership for Smarter Growth.Through these internships I developed a passion or urban education and sustainable urban design.
My current passions are related to engaged education, men's development and youth empowerment. I have developed this passion while leading multiple groups of college students to New Orleans, educating new brothers in my fraternity, and co-leading the inaugural CHAT summer camp for high school students in Richmond. I also attended three conferences in the past year to further my understanding of topics: Today's College Man, CCDA, and Urbana.
My senior thesis, "The Second Invasion," is a study of the history of the planning, public debate and eventual construction of the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike in Richmond from 1946 to 1955.
It is a topic that I chose after discovering the history of Jackson Ward and the significant influence of the highway on American culture and the suburbanization of our cities over the past century.
The SEEDS Project is a student-run, service-learning organization at the University of Richmond.I first developed a relationship with The SEEDS Project as a sophomore participant on the 2009 spring break trip to the Gulf Region.
After the trip, I applied and was accepted into the leadership team and partnered with Cloe Franko as Education Co-Chair. In the fall of 2009 I partnered with Cloe to initiate a planning process that resulted in new mission and vision statements and the eventual name change from the Collegiate Disaster Relief Team (CDRT) to The SEEDS Project. During the 2009-2010 school year our leadership team fundraised over $8,000 in order to lower the price of a week-long trip to $90 per student.
After this trip I rejoined leadership as Leadership Chair. In the fall of 2010 I added “Leadership Development” to the organizational goals in order to further develop the strengths of leadership and increase our capabilities. As a part of this goal, another member of leadership and I attended "Strategic Planning for Boards" offered through the Richmond Institute on Philanthropy.
As the current leadership chair of The SEEDS Project, I manage a five-person team, set agendas and e-mail weekly updates to remind team members of their responsibilities. I also meet weekly with staff advisor, Bryan Figura, to develop a strategy for organizational development and to continue planning our programs.
After the trip, I edited the final project "On Learning, Service and Leadership" and coordinated with U. Richmond printing services to get it printed and bound. I also collaborated with three international students to plan and complete the blog "UR Abroad in America" in conjunction with a grant we received from the Office of International Education. The blog can be accessed here: http://urabroadinamerica.wordpress.com/.
As a summer intern I partnered with two interns to develop and implement the inaugural CHAT “High School Mix” summer camp for neighborhood high school students. Our team also coordinated programs including “Planning for Your Life's Work” with Richmond professor Dr. Andrea Simpson, “Urban Farming and Composting” with local non-profit BackYard Farmer and a viewing of “Good Hair” at the University of Richmond Downtown campus.
During this internship I also blogged for on the CHAT Web site with reflections on my experience and research in Christian community development as a part of the CHAT program. During the summer I concurrently researched urban education under Richmond professor Dr. Rick Mayes.
As a summer intern at Partnership for Smarter Growth I assisted Sheila Sheppard Lovelady during a day-long stakeholders retreat and a month-long strategic planning process that culminated in a new strategic plan, newly-defined goals and more differentiated responsibilities for the organization. In addition to strategic planning, I canvassed in Southside Richmond neighborhoods to promote a community meeting regarding a potential Rail-to-Trail site and published an opinion in the independent newspaper, Style Weekly.
In conjunction with the internship at PSG, I was a recipient of the Burhans Civic Fellowship, an undergraduate research grant that provides an external salary for 400 hours of work at a non-paying internship. As a Civic Fellow I analyzed urban growth and the built environment with Dr. Thad Williamson and gave a formal presentation on my research at the final symposium on campus.
During my first year of college I was hired as the Opinion Editor at The Collegian, an independent student newspaper established in 1914. In the first few weeks of my tenure I learned how to develop the opinion pages using Adobe InDesign and became proficient in using Adobe Photoshop for editing photos and graphics. During this time I also developed a knowledge of the style and formatting of the publication.
While in this position, i wrote the weekly editorial on various topics pertaining to school and undergraduate life. I also managed a team of 4-5 columnists and organized and edited each article with the copy editing team on newspaper staff.
This is a project proposal that I wrote for Church Hill Activities and Tutoring. The project is based on the World Vision initiative, Youth Empowerment Programming.
This is a presentation I gave as a sophomore in college. It is a culmination of my research and work experience as a Burhans Civic Fellow at Partnership for Smarter Growth. Enjoy!