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Pierce Institute established initiative for ethics and servant leadership
EASL Forum will further expand Oxfords engagement with local community
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The Pierce Institute for Leadership and Community Engagement at Oxford College has received a grant from Emory University’s Office of University Community Partnerships that will establish a new program called the Ethics and Servant Leadership (EASL) Forum. The three-year grant will expand Oxford’s already-wide array of opportunities for student leadership, community engagement, ethics and faculty development.


“EASL Forum will enable us to strengthen our commitment to developing our students’ capacity for leadership and community engagement,” said David Gowler, Pierce Professor of Religion at Oxford and Director of the Pierce Institute. “It will also have a positive impact on our local Newton County community and help us live out Emory University’s aim of producing socially-conscious leaders.”


Fifteen students will take part in EASL Forum, engaging in activities that develop ethical leadership and a sense of shared community. The program will include a two-hour academic course and community partnerships that focus on areas of need within Newton County. Students will receive ethics training, and their instruction will reflect Oxford’s emphasis on “ways of inquiry” or inquiry-based learning.  The forum will begin in fall semester 2010.


EASL Forum fills a niche at Oxford by increasing the interrelation of ethical engagement, student leadership activities, community engagement and academic courses. It also strengthens Oxford’s connections with Emory’s Center for Ethics, which partnered with Oxford in this grant proposal, as well as with other programs on the Atlanta campus. One goal of the EASL Forum is to help provide for a smoother transition for Oxford students when they continue to the Atlanta campus in various leadership, ethics and community engagement programs.