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Released December 8, 2004


HATTIESBURG-The University of Southern Mississippi has named Stephanie F. Meincke director of the Mississippi Center for Community and Civic Engagement. Meincke comes to the center from McComb, where she had provided consulting and training services to nonprofits throughout Mississippi since 2002.

She is the former executive director of The Family Source of Florida, Florida's child abuse prevention network. Along with a bachelor's degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a master's degree from Florida State University in administrative social work, she has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of nonprofit management.

"The Mississippi Center for Community and Civic Engagement plans to continue to build on its strong foundation of programs in volunteerism, civic education and service learning," Meincke said. "We are expanding our network of universities, K-12 school and community organizations to provide increased services in tutoring and mentoring to increase literacy and improve test scores for our young children, and designing civic education and engagement programs for college youth to increase civic literacy and service."

The Mississippi Center for Community and Civic Engagement strives to strengthen democratic ideals by fostering sustained partnerships that improve educational opportunities and achievement; promoting civic engagement as broad, inclusive, and direct participation in the search for the public good that renews and enriches earlier conceptions of democracy; valuing diverse partnerships between K-16 institutions and community-based organizations that focus on civic responsibility and community needs; strengthening educational experiences in order to foster improved academic achievement and enthusiastic participation in society; providing a framework that links service with curriculum and promotes information and resources for community service-learning opportunities; providing support for the implementation and development of after-school tutoring and mentoring programs for the region's neediest children; and providing assistance, support, and resources for research and evaluation that supports and expands understanding of social institutions and educational partnerships.

Meincke said that the center hopes to stimulate increased use of service-learning in the next three to five years on college campuses and in K-12 schools, show increased civic participation by all age groups in Mississippi and provide critical volunteer resources to help alleviate Mississippi's greatest community needs.


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January 19, 2005 3:36 PM