Rhodes Faculty and Staff Publish Article About Community Engagement and Reflective Practices of Bonner Scholars

two red Chuck Taylor Converse shoes scattered on a cement pavement
Bonner Scholar shoes

Bonner Scholars wear red Converse sneakers at commencement to show they plan to “walk loud” and make a difference in the world.

Rhodes faculty and staff have published an article in the Association of American Colleges & Universities’ magazine on a how Rhodes students who participate in the Bonner Scholarship Program engage in ongoing reflection as they connect their experiences in Memphis communities to classroom learning and personal development. The authors are Shannon Hoffman, director of  Rhodes’ Bonner Center for Service; Drs. Elizabeth Thomas and Masha Walton of the Department of Psychology; and students Natasha Main ’16, Anna Manoogian ’18, and Dani Plata ’16. 

The title of the article is “The Community Narrative Research Project: Harnessing the Power of Reflection for Student Learning and Structural Change,” which includes the following:

Students selected as Bonner Scholars are encouraged to become lifelong engaged citizens by participating in a program that begins with entry-level service in the first year and culminates with capacity building and advocacy work in the senior year. These students engage in meaningful, sometimes intense, ongoing reflection . . . To support such reflective practice, and to strengthen civic learning outcomes and assessment across the institution, we created the Community Narrative Research Project (CNRP). Grounded in principles and practices of developmental, community, and cultural psychology, the CNRP aims to produce interdisciplinary scholarship on student identity development and advance organizational learning and institutional change at Rhodes. At the center of the project is the collection and analysis of narratives written by Bonner Scholars about their experiences during their four years spent working in the community.

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