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The Center for Public Service and Scholarship
April 2016 ~
The CPSS Service Learning Spotlight highlights students, faculty, staff, and board members who have exhibited exemplary service. 

Congratulations and thank you to these featured individuals!
Student Spotlight:
 
UVote Team
Cody Wiley, Kendra Alexander, Emmy Jo Maguire

Learn more on the UVote at Shenandoah University webpage!
Promoting Civic Engagement: UVote
By Ellie Manspile
           
Citizen engagement has never been more crucial for the millennial generation. Today, there is a common misconception that millennials are lazy and apathetic when it comes to politics. But, organizations like The UVote Project are working to change this perception by giving college students a voice through a simple yet important action: registering to vote.

The UVote Project aims to increase voter registration on campuses by registering students at school-mandated events. On campuses where UVote operates, voter registration often triples. All it takes is the question, “Are you registered to vote?” In 2011, 89% of incoming freshman registered to vote at Northwestern University during their orientation program. 

As of 2015, the “Millennial” generation outnumbered the baby boomers. Nationwide, millennials compromise nearly 40% of the voting population and in some areas, such as Williamsburg, VA, they make up even more than that. But, in most midterm elections, millennial voter-turnout rates average around 20% and in the 2012 Presidential election, only about 40% of 18-24 year olds voted.

On February 20, 2016, The College William & Mary hosted the Active Citizens Conference. Various workshops ranging from Healthy Beginnings for Pregnant Inmates to #ThinkBeforeYouPost provided insight to students about civic engagement. Cody Wiley and Emmy Jo McGuire from Shenandoah University and Kendra Alexander from Northwestern University hosted a session on The UVote Project.

The UVote Project model is effective on college campuses for many reasons. First, it uses the personal relationship approach, which allows students to both register to vote and get to know the student volunteers. Second, it is entirely student run, which promotes leadership. Lastly, UVote fosters relationships between campuses such as Shenandoah and Northwestern Universities.

Wiley explained, “…I decided that I would need to get involved and the traditional method of volunteering for an hour just really wasn’t going to work for me. I wanted something that was going to have a more lasting impression and UVote was a way for me to do it.”
Passionate volunteers are crucial to the success of UVote. Each year, UVote teams are trained on how to fill out the registration form, approach students, and answer common questions. For example, many people ask if UVote is affiliated with a particular party or if registering to vote signs them up for jury duty. (The answer to both of these reservations is no.)

Furthermore, it does not matter which state a student is from; UVote can register students in all 50 states and D.C. Students can opt to register in their home district or use their dorm address to register in their campus district. Often, this method is often most popular because students live on campus for the majority of the year and absentee ballots can be a hassle. 

McGuire expressed her passion for UVote as well. She stated, “The government isn’t just a high power that people are afraid of…Congress is there for you…they’re our employees…so it is so important to elect the people. …It matters. Voter Registration matters so much.”

Workshop participants were impressed with UVote’s mission. Amanda Perry from Lynchburg College commented, “I really loved the presentation…I definitely think its something that we need to work on...so I will definitely be interested in pursing something like this in the future.”

Thanks to organizations like The UVote Project, student volunteers like Emmy Jo, Cody, and Kendra, and the participants of the Active Citizens Conference, millennials are getting involved in politics and fighting to make a difference in their communities.

To learn more about The UVote Project, visit www.uvoteproject.org.
Board Member Spotlight:
Please Join Us In Welcoming Our Newest Advisory Board Member
Mr. John Winn

John Winn is a Professor of Business Law at the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.  He is the recipient of numerous faculty teaching awards including Shenandoah University’s “Teacher of the Year” for 2009-2010.  Previously, Mr. Winn served in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (Army) from 1985 through 2005. His various military assignments domestically and abroad included teaching positions in the Criminal Law Department at the Judge Advocate General’s School, Charlottesville, Virginia and the Department of Law, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

He has published and lectured in the fields of Business Law & Human Resources Management, Constitutional Law, Cyber-Law, National Security, International-Maritime Law, and Professional Ethics.  Mr. Winn has served as a consultant to Human Rights First, provided consultancy services for small business start-ups, and is a contracted accreditation and oversight specialist for the Department of Defense (DOD) Military Tuition Program.

Professor Winn has a B.A. in History from Guilford College (1981), J.D. from Campbell University (1984), and LL.M from the Judge Advocate General’s School (1992).  He is also a graduate of Army Command and General Staff College (1996).  His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), Defense Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal (two awards), and Parachutists Badge.  As an attorney, Professor Winn is admitted to practice in North Carolina, the United States District Court- Southern District of Georgia, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and United States Supreme Court.  He is married to Anne K. Winn who teaches 5th grade in Frederick County.   The Winn’s have two sons (Joe and Ben) ages 16 and 20.
The Center for Public Service and Scholarship
Shenandoah University, Gregory Hall 120 
1460 University Drive, Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 665-4696
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Center for Public Service and Scholarship at Shenandoah University · 1460 University Drive · Center for Public Service and Scholarship · Winchester, VA 22601 · USA

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