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The Ambassadors for Civic Engagement Program (Elsie ACE’s) will seek to connect learning objectives in the classroom with meeting community needs through robust long-term experiential and academic projects that address a critical community and/or policy issue.
Five diverse and competitively selected Elsie Ambassadors will work as a team with a strategic community partner to address a specific organizational, policy or community issue. The Elsie Ambassador program aims to recruit applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and experience; all full time graduate students on the Oakland campus who are in good academic standing are eligible. Enthusiasm, flexibility, and initiative are all key attributes for a successful Elsie Ambassador. The Elsie Forum strives to maintain a balance of the different academic disciplines in order to develop a vigorous and interdisciplinary team.
Elsie Ambassadors will receive an hourly training stipend over the entire project period in support of their educational expenses and commitment to the program.
The Elsie Forum will work closely with the selected community agency to outline the mentoring responsibilities of the host organization, define the student responsibilities and time commitment for the project, and identify the training goals and evaluation of those goals.
Additionally, the Elsie Forum will coordinate and host regular team meetings with the Elsie Ambassadors and an advisory team comprised of community and academic experts in the area of study. The advisory team will provide feedback on project design and implementation, assist with identifying resources, and support general discussion of issues that come up throughout the internship.
The Elsie Ambassador program will provide opportunities for service, leadership development, and community engagement in partnership with local/regional organizations. This training program will also enhance student learning by increasing their understanding of social issues, strengthening social responsibility and heightening their understanding of human diversity while responding to the challenges of our communities.
The first cohort of “The Ambassadors for Civic Engagement Program” (Elsie ACEs) will launch in summer 2017, selected candidates will be embedded with Adagio Health, an organization that specializes in women’s healthcare delivery and service. Students will be work on programs/projects that advocate for patient rights and promote long-term systemic change. Additionally, Elsie ACEs will help develop and execute strategies that will strengthen regional partnerships for the development of a robust referral network that will help women and their families in Western Pennsylvania lead healthier lives. Furthermore, three times each month, the Elsie ACEs will attend a cohort development session intended to compliment internship activities. The weekly sessions will focus on leadership development, project management exercises, and guided discussion and special presentations on related topics.