(September 26, 2013)

World House Initiative receives statewide recognition

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary's new World House Initiative received statewide recognition this week at the Louisiana Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators (LACUSPA) Conference in New Orleans.

After a competitive acceptance process, Dean of Students Mark Miller and Residence Life Coordinators Justin Kirkes and Bethany Stafford, were invited to present on Centenary's World House initiative program during the conference that took place Monday, September 23. The premiere statewide conference for student development professionals hosted nearly 200 administrators from universities across the state.

"Our World House presentation was a narrative, discussion, and reflection on implementation of the World House Initiative," said Kirkes. "We presented the Centenary Leadership Model, the faculty-created Global Challenges, and the prior Living-Learning Communities as context for this Initiative, highlighting how World Houses are integrated with other departments."

The presentation also highlighted the discernment process for placing students into respective houses, Orientation Service Day, and reflected on what went right and what went wrong.

"Other schools were very interested in our discernment process for World House placement, how we have managed to gain student buy in through identifying their passions, and the level of collaboration our model requires," said Kirkes. "What I learned from conversations and other presentations is that themed residential communities, even living-learning communities, are nothing new in residence life. However, Centenary is doing something truly unique in the intentional connection of these communities with faculty-identified challenges and the connection with community partners."

Centenary's World Houses are common residences with a common purpose—a place where students can explore through service and leadership one of the world's greatest needs. The first-year students of the Class of 2017 are the first to experience and help shape Centenary's three World Houses comprised of Environmental Sustainability, Peace, and Social Justice. On August 19, World House students joined three Shreveport-area community organizations for a day of service before their classes began. World Houses are part of Centenary Leadership, a nationally acclaimed student development model that helps every student develop leadership skills in tandem with their academic experiences in the classroom.