September 14, 2005
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—A discussion about experiential education and a talk on the history of student activism will be held at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, in the Babbott Room of the Octagon at Amherst College. Sponsored by the Working Group on Experiential Education and the Office of the President, both events are free and open to the public.

The 4:30 p.m. panel discussion on "Colleges and Their Communities: The Classroom and the World" will feature panelists Wayne Meisel, director of the Bonner Foundation and founder of COOL; Jon Isham, an assistant professor of economics and environmental studies at Middlebury College; Preston Smith, associate professor of politics and director of community-based learning at Mount Holyoke College, and Gail Woldu, an associate professor of music at Trinity College (Hartford) and an ACE Fellow at Amherst.

At 7:30 p.m. Wayne Meisel, director of the Bonner Foundation and founder of COOL (Campus Outreach Opportunity League) will talk about "The History of Student Movements, and What's Possible at Amherst" and lead a discussion. The Bertram F. Bonner Foundation supports scholarships for low-income students through the Bonner Scholars Program. In return, each scholarship recipient performs 600 hours of community service a year.

Educated at Harvard University, Meisel used a fellowship to walk from Maine to Washington to champion student and campus involvement in community service. As founder of COOL, Meisel created a platform for students and graduates to lead, sustain and challenge their peers to serve others and bring about positive change. Meisel has received a Lyndhurst Career Prize and served on the National Boards of Directors of the Independent Sector, COOL, and The New Grange School, a nationally acclaimed school for youths with learning disabilities. He was also a founding board member of the President's commission on National and Community Service and Teach for America. The author of two books, Building a Movement: Students in Community Service and On Your Mark, Get Set, Go: From Student Ideas to Campus Action, Meisel also has edited two books of quotations: Men About Men and Light One Candle .