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October 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




September 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




Our campus Fair Trade TrailBlazers are going to begin sending out periodic updates for Fair Trade news and events at Penn State Brandywine.  If you are interested in keeping in the loop and maybe attending and/or volunteering at some of the events (such as the scheduled Fair Trade S'mores event, second Fair Trade t-shirt exchange, and volunteering at Media's Fair Trade Fair), we encourage you to sign up!

Subscribe to our Fair Trade newsletter


August 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




The Arms Trade Treaty - where should we stand?

The United Nations - the Arms Trade Treaty - and the United States being the only country to vote against it. This is indeed a complicated issue and challenge.

Is international shaming enough to discourage illicit trade? Should the United States support the treaty?  

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

July 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




Is the past coming back to our school systems?

Segregation - it is not just from the 1960's, it is happening today in school districts that have access to varying resources.

Should the wealth of a community determine access to educational opportunities?  

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

Welcome to FTCAP 2012!

Laboratory Communications Intern Labanya Mookerjee staffed an information table for the Laboratory for Civic Engagement at each of the summer orientation sessions for the incoming freshmen. Labanya was able to share much information about volunteering opportunities on campus, as well as information about the civic and community engagement minor.

Labanya at FTCAP 2012!

June 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




Morality and machines

Who will be held responsible for a machine's missteps?

Drones, cars that drive and park themselves, ... each are examples of automated technology existing and operating in society.  But as we all know, technology does not always work in the ways we want it to.

Can machines be programmed to know right from wrong?  

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #2

The second issue of our Laboratory newsletter has been published!  ENGAGE the Lion is a PDF file filled with highlights of information from our website, useful resources, and ways to become involved.

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #2, May 2012 (PDF file)

May 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.



#bwtakeson moves to Google+!

With #bwtakeson #29 and moving forward, our weekly social media challenges will not only continue on Twitter but are also moving to Google+, making it easier for anyone to comment on our postings.

The Laboratory for Civic Engagement "takes on" challenging topics for critical thinking, thoughtful evaluation, and engaging discussion. Each week in Twitter, and now in Google+, we post a question we hope you will respond to in Twitter with the hashtag #bwtakeson, in the comment field in Google+, in conversations with family and friends, or through personal reflection.

Find us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/psubw_engage
Find us on Google+: http://gplus.to/psubwengage

You can read a summary of our #bwtakeson postings in Storify from 2012 and 2011.


Are floating micro-nations an innovative or self-serving solution?

The founder of PayPal is investing $1.25 million in the creation of start-up countries, floating far offshore, outside the legal boundaries of any country.  He reports that these freestanding countries will secure the future of mankind on Earth and allow for the experimentation of new government structures.

What are your thoughts about the establishment of floating micro-countries?  

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

April 2012 events and news on campus

The following are news updates and events that took place on campus that may be of interest to friends of the Laboratory for Civic Engagement.


Veteran Hygiene Product Drive, by the PSU Brandywine Veterans Club for Support Homeless Veterans

Making "Cards for Hope" for MS patients and participating in the Walk for MS at Ridley Creek State Park, by We Are Penn State M.A.D.E. and business students

Students compete and bring home awards at PBL Leadership Conference (LINK)

Penn State Brandywine alum establishes organization to help vets (LINK)

April 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.




Our first Admissions event!

The Laboratory for Civic Engagement made its first appearance at the March 2012 Admissions Program held on campus for high school students and families.  The table was staffed by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin and Laboratory Communications Intern Zanya Stephenson (pictured below, left).  The table provided visitors information about the Laboratory, the Civic and Community Engagement minor, campus volunteer clubs, the Fair Trade University initiative. 

People that stopped by the table were also invited to share their favorite volunteer activity via Post-It notes on our whiteboard (pictured below, right).  The volunteer activities posted included THON (the crowd favorite), making blankets, Lion Ambassadors, collecting clothing to donate, volunteering with Philabundance, coaching youth football, making cards for those in need of love, and "I don't have a favorite! I love to volunteer!"


Admissions Event, 03/24/12     Admissions Event, 03/24/12



March 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.



Posting online anonymously

Should people be allowed to post online anonymously?

Mountain Grove, Missouri, is no longer a town that gathers at the local diner for coffee and gossip in the mornings. Instead, the town gossip is now being aired online where residents can post their "news" anonymously.  

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

March 2012 events on campus

The following are events taking place on campus that may be of interest to friends of the Laboratory for Civic Engagement.


Green Party presidential candidate to speak at March 20 (LINK)

MTV True Life's Ben Carpenter to discuss living with mental illness (LINK)

Former U.S. Marine to recount recon missions in Iraq (LINK)

Drug testing welfare applicants

Should welfare applicants undergo drug testing before receiving benefits?

In June 2011, Florida's Governor Rick Scott signed a bill requiring all welfare applicants in Florida to undergo drug testing before receiving government assistance. Arguments suggest that passing this bill only adds to the stereotype that all welfare applicants are a group of drug abusers. However, others argue that the drug testing acts as a safety net for tax-payers money. 

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.


#nowshowing - What is Civic Engagement?

#nowshowing is a new initiative of the Laboratory where we will periodically recommend videos to watch that connect with our mission and vision of the Laboratory. We think it is appropriate for our first video to review the definition of civic engagement, brought to us by iCitizenForum. You can view this video and future ones we recommend on our Google+ page, where you can scroll through the entries and/or search our entries with the hashtag #nowshowing




February 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.


Renewable energy production tax credit

Should Congress extend the renewable energy production tax credit, and if so, how should it be funded?

Offshore wind farms are appearing off coastlines across the globe, especially off both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. From European nations to the east coast of the United States, the promise of a clean energy source fueled by wind power has a high financial cost.

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

Remembering MLK in 2012

We should not forget the dream of one person, wonderfully portrayed in today's Google Doodle...


...and five inspirational quotes by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., summarized on the Cool People Care website.

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

"Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love."

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?"


MLK Day 2012

Penn State Brandywine is celebrating MLK Day as a week of lectures and service opportunities.  THON/American Red Cross, Knittany Lion Needleworks, We Are Penn State M.A.D.E., the Office of Student Affairs, and the Laboratory for Civic Engagement are all coming together to organize and lead activities for the campus.  The week of events serves to remind everyone that although MLK Day is a "day on, not a day off," it is important to serve all throughout the year.

MLKDay.jpg

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #1

The first issue of our Laboratory newsletter has been published!  ENGAGE the Lion is a PDF file filled with highlights of information from our website, useful resources, and ways to become involved.

ENGAGE the Lion, Issue #1, December 2011 (PDF file)

January 2012 video update

A video update of the activities from Penn State Brandywine's Laboratory for Civic Engagement, as reported by Laboratory Coordinator Dr. Laura Guertin.



2011 Annual Reports

Two of our active volunteering efforts on campus, Knittany Lion Needleworks and the Overseas Coupon Program, have compiled totals for their donations for 2011.  Please visit read the PDF files below and visit their websites to see how you can help these groups have even greater successes in 2012!

Knittany Lion Needleworks - website, 2011 report

Overseas Coupon Program - website, 2011 report

CNN Heroes 2011

2011 marks the fifth year that CNN celebrates ten individuals and their extraordinary accomplishments across the globe.  The Laboratory engaged in live tweeting during the CNN Heroes broadcast, and one of our tweets was even featured live across the bottom of the screen!

Please click below to read a Storify of our collected tweets.  Learn more about the CNN Heroes at their website (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cnn.heroes/index.html) and Twitter account (@CNNHeroes).


Cyberbullying and the First Amendment

Can/should cyberbullying be protected by the First Amendment?

Cyberbullying is growing on social media websites among children, pre-teens, and teenagers.  In November 2010, Albany County in New York passed legislation that makes cyberbullying a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine or up to a year in prison.

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

Population 7 Billion - October 31, 2011

A United Nations report projects that world population, instead of stabilizing at above 9 billion by 2050, will keep growing and may hit 10.1 billion by 2100. Can the Earth support seven billion now, and the three billion people who are expected to be added by the end of this century?

There are numerous online resources and articles available online discussing the different dimensions of a planet with 7 billion people.  Some issues that deserve serious thought and reflection include: poverty and inequality, women and girls empowerment, reproductive health and rights, young people, aging population, environment, and urbanization.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #7billion and review the recommended links and videos below.


Banned Websites Awareness Day

Should schools filter access to educational and social websites?

September 28, the American Association of School Librarians dedicated a day to promote awareness of educational and social websites that are banned from computers in K-12 classrooms.

View the resources and join the discussion on our Civic Issues in a Minute website.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is launching its OnCampus ecoAmbassador program on September 1, 2011. Students are encouraged to participate in the program, a chance for higher education students to green their campuses and promote environmental awareness. Students can educate their peers through informational events or initiate environmental change on their campus through longer-term projects. Past ecoAmbassadors have improved recycling efforts, organized Earth Day celebrations, initiated composting programs and worked to certify campus buildings as Energy Star compliant. Students benefit by developing valuable leadership, research and teamwork skills in addition to working closely with an EPA program to build awareness. The highest achieving students will have the opportunity to visit EPA offices and meet with EPA staff and leadership.

Interested students should visit http://epa.gov/oncampus/ and contact Dr. Laura Guertin, Environmental Inquiry Minor coordinator, at guertin@psu.edu to discuss possible campus projects and before registering online.


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