This year, Travis Proffitt, Associate Director of the Appalachian Center for Civic Life at Emory & Henry College, has been recognized as a National Bonner Fellow for the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation. The fellowship seeks to leverage and support leadership for civic engagement and campus-community partnerships. Proffitt has already shared ideas and resources, including the model for the Civic Innovations Institute from Emory & Henry College, with the Bonner Foundation’s national network of colleges and universities.
Selected from a competitive pool of applicants, Proffitt will serve in this role for two years.
Being a fellow means having the opportunity to connect to a diverse and gifted network of service-learning and civic engagement professionals. I’m able to lending my own expertise and enthusiasm to the work of educating citizens and building just communities. I’m enjoying sharing the approaches of Emory & Henry College on a national level and to strengthen our work by learning from campuses throughout the Bonner network.Travis Proffitt
Two cohorts of National Bonner Fellows now involve representatives from ten colleges and universities including:
Each individual brings a proven track record on campus. In addition to professional development opportunities, National Bonner Fellows play a leadership role in resource development and national meetings, including those sponsored by the Bonner Foundation and partners like the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (also known as NASPA). Fellows are exposed to national trends – such as assessment – for increasing the effectiveness of campus-wide integration and engagement.
The Bonner Foundation announced this new program to bolster the leadership and professional recognition of campus civic engagement professionals throughout its national network of more than 65 colleges and universities. “We recognize the central role of campus administrators who build and run these programs, combining the talent of an educator, counselor, fundraiser, community relations manager, and political strategist,” remarked Robert Hackett, the Bonner Foundation’s President, “and the National Bonner Fellowship engages some of the most exceptional administrators.”
“Like other fellowships, such as those of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Campus Compact, or Imagining America, this program targets experienced administrators who have proven they have ideas to share,” said Ariane Hoy, Vice President at the Bonner Foundation. The Bonner Foundation has since 1990 worked with undergraduate institutions to support the development of service-based scholarships and infrastructure for higher education’s public mission. To date, more than 10,000 students have graduated from 65 institutions as Bonner Scholars and Leaders. Program evaluation suggests the model boosts student persistence and lifelong engagement.