Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
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Taking the challenge

Wheaton group joins White House initiative to boost service and cross-cultural understanding

A team of students, faculty and administrators from Wheaton traveled to the nation's capital to take part in a national gathering organized by the White House to increase community service activities and intergroup dialogue on college campuses throughout the United States.

Wheaton President Ronald Crutcher, students Atiyyah Sabir '14 and Ciara Sidell '15, Professor Barbara Darling Smith and Dean Vereene Parnell participated in the daylong Campus 2012 Summer Gathering, which was held at Howard University.

Speakers for the program included U.S. Department of Education Undersecretary Martha Kanter, IFYC’s founder and president, Eboo Patel, the Corporation for National and Community Service, CEO, Wendy Spencer. Also, from the White House, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Special Assistant to the President, Joshua DuBois, and Cecilia Munoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

After returning to campus, Dean Parnell reflected on the event, "We returned tired but inspired to accept the President's Challenge.

"We were all wowed by Eboo Patel, founder of the Interfaith Youth Corps, and inspired by programs from campuses around the country addressing such issues as food scarcity and justice, educational access and success, environmental stewardship, and human trafficking," she said. "We also thoroughly enjoyed networking with students, faculty and staff from large and small, public and private, religious and secular colleges."

For more information or to get involved, contact Vereene Parnell at sssr@wheatonma.edu.