Living and Learning at CCI: March 8

Five students traveled to the Clearfork Valley of Tennessee to live and learn at the Clearfork Community Institute as part the course LBAR 3910: Practicum in Liberal Arts. Zoe Davis, Gabrielle Lamplugh, Lindsay Steelman, Donna Tosh, and Taryn Wilson share a desire for adventure and an openness for experiencing rural life in former coal-mining communities that stretch along the border of East Tennessee and Kentucky.

By Dr. Mark Wilson, Director of Civic Learning Initiatives and van driver

IMG_8555We began our journey mid-morning on Friday, March 8 and headed for Atlanta for a tour of the Carter Center, thanks to kindness of Lauren Kent-Delaney, Director of Educational Programs.  The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.  The Center is adjacent to the Presidential Library and Museum on a beautiful 35-acre campus surrounded by the big city of Atlanta.

IMG_8557Lauren gave us a wonderful tour of the facility, which includes impressive art throughout.  Andy Worhol paintings grace many of the walls. President Carter’s paintings are not hard to spot, as well as furniture created by the talented craftsman from Plains, Georgia.  The President and First Lady maintain offices at the Carter Center, and they rest little from the hard work of furthering democracy, health, and human rights worldwide.  One of the most important art pieces is a statue cataloguing the efforts of the Carter Center and friends to eradicate guinea worm, which will soon be the first disease to be beat by education and changes in human behavior.  Find out more on the Carter Center’s Web site; the story is a reminder that collaboration, education, and persistence CAN achieve change that matters.

IMG_8556Lauren directs the Carter Center’s robust and prestigious intern program, which provides students interested in international relations or the issues at the heart of the Center’s work.  This semester thirty-eight students or recent graduates assist  program officers with research, briefings, coordination of events, and other important tasks.  We are quite grateful to Lauren for taking time to explain the work of the Carter Center to us, and I hope our students will spread the word on campus so that more internship applications will arrive from The Plains.

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