The Muskingum University John and Annie Glenn (JAG) Public Service Fellows group recently completed their first semester on campus and are making an impression on and off-campus. Designed to transform young people into active citizens and public servants, the JAG Fellows balanced classroom instruction sessions with regional activities to improve the region.
While classroom conversations cover the tenets of civic engagement, dialogue and learning go much further. “We really focus on why public service is important and the deeper meaning behind the practice,” said Dr. Brian King, associate professor of Political Science and co-director of the JAG Fellows. “The fundamentals of this program are centered around John and Annie Glenn’s path and dedication to giving back to the community and encouraging others to do the same.”
With that in mind, the inaugural JAG Fellows group of two juniors, four sophomores, and four first-year students stepped out of the classroom for some hands-on, experiential learning. Those projects included:
- Village of New Concord Candidates Forum for Mayoral and East Muskingum School Board candidates – The JAG Fellows partnered with Orbit Media, Muskingum’s student-led converged media newsgroup, and the Village to develop the format for the forum. JAG Fellows members created questions, developed the process on how those questions would be asked and answered, and moderated the event.
- Christmas on Campus – The JAG Fellows partnered with the Muskingum Student Affairs team and the Head Start program in Cambridge to identify and help local families in need. The Muskie group adopted and purchased gifts for 20 kids, ranging in age from 16 months to 13 years old, then delivered them to Head Start for distribution.
- Propel Ohio – First-year JAG Fellows students attended Senator Sherrod Brown’s Propel Ohio event created to energize students to become civic leaders. Both Senator Brown and Senator Portman spoke with Muskie students during this well-attended event at Bowling Green University.
Looking ahead to this semester and beyond, Dr. King says the group will incorporate the same mix of classroom instruction, networking with community leaders, and experiential learning to create engaged, civic-minded students that positively impact the region. The group is also working to expand its footprint to the state, then national level over the next several semesters.
“John Glenn famously said ‘I've always believed that New Concord and Muskingum College are the center of the universe because if you get your start here, you can go anywhere,’” said Dr. King. “The Fellows group works to reinforce this sentiment by serving the public here, then to a broader audience.”
Stay tuned for more great news throughout the year from the JAG Fellows on www.muskingum.edu and the University’s social media channels.