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Incorporating themes of civic citizenship and civic engagement in the first college year
Themes of citizenship and civic engagement in General Education
Professional development programs, recognition and rewards to foster faculty interest and involvement in the goals of the American Democracy Project
The 2004 presidential election and citizenship education
The campus culture, citizenship, and civic engagement
Assessment of learning and progress in citizenship and civic engagement
Service Learning and Civic Engagement
Incorporating themes of citizenship and civic engagement in co-curricular activities and programs
Incorporating themes of citizenship and civic engagement through working in/with the community
Facilitated by Chris Price
Theme: Incorporating themes of civic citizenship and civic engagement in the first college year.
How can themes of citizenship and civic engagement be built into orientation programs for first year college students?
- Introduce students to "Make a Difference Day."
- Make students aware of service learning opportunities, especially those relating to social responsibility and social justice.
- Make voter registration tables available to students on move-in day.
- Get APS students to volunteer at BSG voter registration booths.
- Have APS students participate in "Adopt a Grid on Campus" program
- Plan an exercise to get new students to do something for others.
- Inform students of leadership opportunities in local organizations.
- Get across to students the importance of individual responsibility and engagement.
- Plan a "Call to Action" event at beginning of semester to motivate students.
- Organize "Teach-Ins" (guided discussion groups) on citizenship and civic engagement themes.
- Utilize student activity clubs in APS sections.
- Have a freshmen election for board of BSG.
- Have APS sections "meet a new citizen."
- Get a speaker to talk about civic involvement at the academic convocation.
- Design and have faculty and staff wear T-shirts with slogan at orientations and beginning of semester.
How can a summer reading program be incorporated into and strengthen the academic experience of first year students?
(Question discussed at meeting prior to Town Hall meeting.)
How can first year students' course schedules be linked to create learning communities that focus on themes of citizenship and civic engagement?
(Discussion postponed for future meeting.)
How can faculty who teach first year students be assisted in infusing themes of citizenship and civic engagement in courses for first year students?
- They can utilize the New York Times in class either through faculty use or through having students purchase the paper. (Subscription information is available through the office of Campus Life.)
- Organize a "Survivor Challenge" between APS seminars. The challenges would be organized around service activities. (Could also be a co-curricular activity.)
- Be sure to respect academic freedom of faculty and note any resistance from English and History faculty.
- Emphasize that faculty have the option to incorporate ADP themes either informally or formally in their course.
- Encourage (but do not require) faculty to attend CELT activities.
- Create a teaching award (by discipline) on most creative usage and implementation of ADP themes.
- Encourage faculty to generate ideas and be sure to offer assistance with implementation.
- Inform and direct faculty to ADP liaison with questions and concerns.
- Give faculty a chance to publicize what they are already doing that is in line with the goals of ADP.
- Create spotlight on faculty in Statements based on what they do for ADP.
- Blend APS requirements with ADP goals and objectives.
- Create list of ADP writing topics for APS sections.
How can residence life and other student affairs professionals be teamed with faculty to strengthen the experience of first year students?
- Schedule speakers (both faculty and outside) in residences.
- Televise debates in lounges and have faculty response.
- Provide absentee voting information to students who wish to vote this way.
- Organize a campus-wide event where a voter registration card will cover either a full or reduced admission.
- Survey students for past participation in clubs, teams, organizations etc, and make sure this information is utilized in some way.
- Add questions related to ADP learning outcomes to CIRP.
How can extra-classroom events (speakers, arts and cultural events, etc.) bed developed to reinforce and complement themes of citizenship and civic engagement during the first college year?
(Discussion postponed for future meeting.)
Participants: Summer Reading Project Working Group plus Chris Price, Joel Frater, Joe Franek, Ralph Trecartin, Mary Ann Giglio, Denise Sinclair
Facilitated by Sharon Vasquez
Theme: Themes of citizenship and civic engagement in General Education.
What citizenship and civic engagement 'values' or 'themes' do we find embedded in General Education?
- Respect for Difference
- Awareness of Current Events and Issues of Importance
- Commitment to "Democracy" for Others
- Knowledge within the Disciplines that Play Out in Public Policy
- Concern for a 'Common Good'
- Participation in the Democratic Process
- Importance of Personal Involvement
- Serving Others
- Sense of Community
- Individual Responsibility (Small Impact)/Forming Group Responsibility (Larger Impact)
- How to Rationally Analyze and Discuss Problems/Issues/Causes
How do we move from stating values, to an awareness of issues, to engagement (participation)?
- Values can underlie both classroom & co-curriculum.
- Discussion of values and formation of values a role of the Humanities and the Arts
- Awareness - many general education courses are designed to help students be aware (of both historical and contemporary issues and trends).
- Participation (engagement) is found in the Social Sciences.
- Might we address values, awareness, and participation in a more intentional manner in general education courses (especially W and D courses)?
What are possible "strategies of engagement" in teaching and learning?
- Regarding public health/environmental issues, students can become aware of issues and consider both individual responsibility and group responsibility related to various actions through course assignments.
- Participation in community via service learning and practical projects.
- In large classes use teams, discussion groups, and peer mentoring groups
- Encourage cooperative projects, problem solving. Stress mutual responsibility, responsibility to the group as a whole, identify groups as communities.
- Use Angel to post discussion questions and encourage discussions/debates.
- Encourage reflection on values in class discussion rather than simply stating (or arguing) a point of view (this can reflect individual prejudice).
- Present an issue (i.e. case study, response to article or reading) and ask students
- background of opinion/value;
- analysis and assessment of opinion/value;
- clarification regarding what a value is and is not (prejudice = unexamined value);
- support for position as well as the argument against the stated position.
- Encourage moral pluralism (more than one moral system - all acknowledged) and not moral relativism.
- Utilize election issues as a way to open discussion.
- Encourage instructor neutrality so that students will not just say what they think the instructor wants to hear.
How can citizenship and civic engagement 'values' or 'themes' become more embedded in extra curricular or co-curricular activity?
- Support student engagement - encourage activism when appropriate
- Staff/Faculty should stay aware of neutrality need by those in power (especially in areas like politics and coming election).
- Engagement must be more than just curricular activity; it needs to be demonstrated throughout the institution.
- Culture of campus: see it - hear it.
- Staff indicated a message that one must be dedicated to the office then the college.
- Faculty noted that expectations for teaching, research, and service do not include activity linked to community service. (Isn't this civic engagement?)
- Should civic engagement activity be judged by whether it advances goals for students to become more engaged?
- The campus hasn't really discussed these matters.
Note: the group identified the following issues as disincentives to creating an "engaged campus":
Participants: Michael Fox, Marcy Esler, P. Gibson (Trish) Ralph
Facilitated by Sharon Vasquez
Theme: Professional development programs, recognition and rewards to foster faculty interest and involvement in the goals of the American Democracy Project.
What are concrete examples of how faculty can embed ADP goals into existing course activity?
- Use newspaper articles related to pubic policy that address the course content.
- Use simulations and case studies.
- Create a mechanism for discussion that presents arguments and counter arguments.
- Ask a student or group of students to challenge an accepted assumption.
- Create forums combining faculty and students.
- Coordinate "events" produced by the department.
- Provide students with background history of past policy related to the discipline being studied.
- Set up debates within the classroom around subjects being studied.
- Allow students to role-play so that they must assume an opposing point of view or circumstance.
- Create special topics courses and/or integrate ADP learning outcomes into existing courses.
- Encourage internships for real world experience in the community.
- Create hypothetical topics for discussion.
- Have students take advantage of special campus projects/events and relate these to the course content.
- Provide opportunities for extra credit assignments that address community issues/problems.
- Relate classroom ideas to work-related experiences.
- Engage department advisory groups in classroom.
- Encourage (or mandate) service-learning experiences.
- Introduce and reinforce ADP ideas in likely courses (American History, Political Science, Women's Studies, Contemporary Issues).
What are the most effective strategies to inform faculty about the ADP and to encourage their active involvement?
- Debunk the myth that getting on board with the ADP is "too much work."
- De-emphasize the role of the Town Meetings so that people who can't attend realize they can still participate.
- Meet with departments to allow discussion directly with faculty.
- Emphasize that the ADP is whatever we want to be (not a fixed program).
- Create a loose network of champions who can speak to the purpose of the ADP and answer questions.
- Develop an outline of key "talking points."
- Use Faculty Senate and Faculty Senators to champion and to encourage communication within departments.
- Create and utilize visual symbols (i.e. stickers).
- Inspire faculty and staff to join in (personal contact).
- Appeal to intrinsic motivation of faculty staff.
- Don't over do.
- Come up with one campus-wide idea to implement quickly (i.e. voter registration).
- Avoid mandatory activities (and encourage volunteerism).
- Find multiple means for distributing information
- Use the cable station.
- Create a series of transparencies and/or PowerPoint presentation.
- Get concrete suggestions out to student clubs (BSG).
Participants: Jenny Lloyd, James Cordiero, Mary Jo Orzech, Rob DiCarlo, Robert Miller, P. Gibson (Trish) Ralph, David Bloom, Mark Chadsey, Dena Levy
Facilitated by Sharon Vasquez
Theme: The 2004 presidential election and citizenship education.
What steps should be taken to insure that a focus on the election remains nonpartisan, balanced and fair?
- Use Angel for position papers and articles that reflect diverse points of view.
- Use books (e.g. The Control Board).
- Identify a bulletin board (or board at several locations) to post newspaper articles.
- Use an attention grabbing set or prop (e.g. a fence).
- Organize a political fair in the Union (BSG).
- Provide faculty with a set of guidelines or pedagogical strategies to help assure that class discussions allow and honor multiple points of view.
- Clarify campus policies regarding what kinds of political activity by faculty and staff is and is not possible. (Can individual faculty/staff raise money for a candidate, distribute materials endorsing a candidate, circulate petitions, give out political pamphlets, etc.?)
- Utilize a forensic model for debate/discussion. (e.g., Steve Ullman's best practices)
- Highlight the process of voting in other countries.
- Identify books that include discussion of opposing viewpoints (e.g., Greenwood Press).
- Establish ongoing series in Stylus with opposing viewpoints.
How can civil discourse and civil listening be developed?
- Articulate rules and standards for engagement.
- Organize facilitator/moderator development training.
- Encourage role-playing and improvisation.
- Have students in the class set the ground rules.
- Provide bystander education training. (What to do when you don't agree.)
- Encourage student voices (e.g. freshmen APS).
- Highlight truth in advertising - flaws in logic, reasoning
- Analyze speeches and spin.
- Include a "spot the flawed logic article" once a week in Stylus.
- Create coffee/soapbox hour with different issues each week (e.g.,' health care' in a safe room, tied to Stylus, with evaluation sheets on persuasiveness).
- Put civil discourse component in WMS.
- Utilize recording/video opportunities and use editing process as a way of learning and providing materials.
- Identify existing campus guidelines regarding academic freedom opportunities (convene a work group to create guidelines, PLS and BSG).
- Form a structure to coordinate and plan.
- Post BSG guidelines and Brockport's Communications guidelines.
What are the best voter education/registration strategies?
- Establish steering committee to work with BSG President Matt G.
- Event planned in Ballroom on election night with "jumbotron".
- 'Brock the Vote' - EOP, Delta, BSG
- Public Relations Club - volunteer re: flyers
- Must be free. (Jesse Ventura effect-challenge authority-media candidates)
- Put out cards and instruct students how/where/when to vote.
- Create countdown calendar in Angel of how many days are left to register.
- Recommend canceling classes on Election Day culminating with party.
- Remind students about the new Congress, NY State and local elections, budget (January).
Participants: G. Bacheler, R. Blair, A. Graham, J. Lloyd, Ann Liao, M. J. Orzech, T. Ralph, Sandra Holinbaugh, Robert Branchle (Stylus)
Facilitated by Sharon Vasquez
Theme: The campus culture, citizenship, and civic engagement
What the most direct "signs" that a campus values citizenship and civic engagement? Where are these signs to be found?
- Informal Gathering Places on Campus (to encourage engagement in a more diverse manner)
- Who's Who (with emphasis on civic engagement and citizenship)
- Physical Signs and Symbols (Prometheus)
- Exterior Symbols (the eagle)
- Public Art in the Environment
- Curriculum Signs (i.e. specific student learning outcomes in the general education curriculum)
- Assessment of Learning Outcomes
- Increased Expectation for Community Service
- Values Weaved into Course Curricula
- Make sure students know the institution values civic engagement (including student clubs).
- Faculty and Staff Model Civic Engagement
- Peer Mentoring Program
- Evident in public relations materials and publications.
- Rewards/awards for civic engagement achievement.
- Campus rituals, external displays in convocation, commencement (that reflect important ideas/issues of the day).
- Special days or events (i.e. Spring Clean Up) for entire campus.
- Voter registration drive (reinforce, reinforce, reinforce in multiple ways).
- See more of the community (cross fertilize ideas).
- Make one of the campus buildings a polling place.
- Partner with League of Women Voters.
What practical steps can the campus undertake (without new resources) to accomplish ideas expressed in question one?
- Include civic engagement and citizenship in the annual report
- Come up with "examples" of civic engagement and citizenship and include in a listing in Statements or other publications (and something similar on ADP web page.)
- Send poll to student clubs.
- Ask BSG to encourage student engagement in clubs/organizations to include civic engagement and citizenship in their constitutions
- Include articles or columns in Stylus noting student achievements.
- Name areas of the Union where discussion is encouraged.
- Ask Cultural Center to designate days/times for "open" times.
- Come up with a "theme of the week" in these designated places
- Discuss general education with M. Fox and see what is possible to add to student learning outcomes.
- Invite faculty teaching "I" courses (contemporary issues) to include a learning outcome.
- Get rights for use of cover graphic for Nickeled and Dimed.
- Ask Convocation speaker to address "themes" of ADP.
- State the message verbally to students (i.e. "You are the leaders of tomorrow." "These are things the campus values.").
- Since the author of the SPR book is a journalist, determine how this be integrated with CMC courses.
- Invite BSG to utilize the ADP logo.
- Look at events like Convocation each year (reinforce ideas).
- Academic Convocation (faculty/staff) could include comments from the President that articulates the College's values.
What champions or facilitators can we identify to help move these ideas forward?
- Curriculum: Michael Fox, Faculty Senate
- Public Relations and Marketing (Chris, Sam)
- BSG Leadership
- Campus Life
- Greek organizations
Participants: Janie Hinds, Mary Jo Orzech, P. Gibson (Trish) Ralph, Adrienne Collier, Karen O'Toole, Robert Branchle (Stylus)
Facilitated by Richard Lumb
Theme: Assessment of learning and progress in citizenship and civic engagement
How can a campus American Democracy Project planning committee approach the issue of assessing outcomes?
- Has knowledge been acquired?
- Have attitudes changed?
- Has student exposure to media increased?
- Is there more talk about civic issues on campus?
- What is the level of involvement in civic engagement activities? (Has the behavior of students/faculty/staff changed?
- Has the number of civic engagement activities across campus increased?
- Need to look at campus surveys.
- The "Core Survey" of alcohol use
- NSSE (National Survey of Student Engagement)
- The Student Opinion Survey
What are the appropriate and relevant goals of campus involvement in the American Democracy Project? Are these goals for the institution or for its students?
- Increase student/faculty/staff participation in civic engagement projects.
- More cross-campus collaboration. (Faculty, students, and staff working together.)
- Increase student awareness of campus civic engagement activities.
- Have student clubs "adopt a project."
- Plan and conduct a conference or series of workshops focused on civic engagement goals and activities.
- Students, faculty, and staff will noticeably value civic engagement.
- Faculty and staff will incorporate civic engagement into the curriculum.
How are the outcomes of the American Democracy Project on any campus measurable? Are these academic outcomes or something else?
- Outcomes are academic as well as behavioral and attitudinal.
- All of the outcomes can be measured.
- What might constitute observable benchmarks that can be used to chart progress in
the American Democracy Project?
- The number of students that join clubs.
- The number of students that vote.
- The number of students that participate in civic education activities.
- At what point can a campus decide whether its involvement in the American Democracy
Project has been a success?
- When there is observable "buy-in" on campus and students, faculty and staff are actively using civic engagement principles.
- When students are prepared to use civic engagement principles.
- When there is a change in both campus culture as well as infrastructure to reflect civic engagement principles.
- What is a realistic timeframe for a campus's involvement in the work of the American
- At least five years (year one to investigate the project, year two to plan campus activities, year three, four and five to implement the activities).
What effects' of a college's focus on the themes of citizenship and civic engagement might be expected to produce 'results' in students during the undergraduate years, or after graduation? What measures of alumni activity would indicate continuing 'success' of the project?
- Improved student communication.
- Civic engagement will help guide choice of textbooks
- Get students to know that civic education is valued.
- Students will understand the connections between themselves and the surrounding community.
- Students will be able to think critically.
- When alumni are involved on boards of civic engagement groups.
- Alumni return for campus activities.
- Donations from alumni to college will increase.
- Alumni get current students involved in collaborative projects.
What existing assessment measures are available to evaluate civic engagement? What new assessment mechanism could be used or developed for campuses?
- (See answers for the first question.)
- Use college experience / extracurricular activity portfolios for students.
- Advise faculty on how to incorporate assessment in courses.
- Get campus-wide appreciation for assessment through conversations around the topic.
- Figure out how to coordinate American Democracy Project assessment with departmental level assessment.
- Encourage self-assessment by faculty and staff through encouraging them to pursue a few civic engagement goals, objectives, or strategies.
Participants: Ann Liao, Kim Ehret, Chris Price, Karen Podsiadly
Facilitated by Colleen Donaldson
Theme: Service Learning and Civic Engagement
What are some characteristics of service learning activities?
- Activities that have both an external focus (students pursue service learning activities to accomplish goals) and an internal focus (students pursue service learning activities to further their development as individuals.)
- Activities that help characterize individuals over the course of their lifetime.
- Activities that encompass the entire campus.
- Activities that encourage "learning by doing."
Where are the opportunities for service learning in the curriculum? In the co-curriculum? In student organizations and groups?
- Service-learning should serve both traditional and nontraditional communities.
- Need to integrate service learning into courses and make sure that they serve more than one purpose.
- Need opportunities for service learning in all courses.
- "Adopt a theme" to publicize service learning on campus. (For example, tap into them of summer reading project book Nickel and Dimed.)
- Establish a service-learning award for students.
- Market service learning as something valuable at SUNY Brockport.
What is the optimal structure for service learning to assure that service, learning, and civic reflection each occur?
- Need a multi-pronged approach supported throughout the campus.
- Conduct training on service learning for students, faculty, and staff that addresses all elements of service learning. (What is it?, What makes a good volunteer?, etc.)
- Standardize campus format for service learning.
- Establish a campus resource center for service learning. (For students this could be located at the Career Services Center. For faculty and staff, this could be located within CELT.)
- Make sure the course credit offered for service learning opportunities benefit students.
What are the best resources that can be utilized to increase an understanding of service learning in the disciplines?
- Tap in to the community's needs.
- Access community service grants.
- Research successful service learning across the country and develop list of best practices.
- Figure out how to assist student groups and clubs with undertaking service learning efforts.
- Bring together and publicize current service learning efforts on campus.
- Make service learning a topic for discussion at the faculty convocation.
- Make sure administration support and get the word out about service learning at SUNY Brockport.
What assessment strategies can be used in service learning to assure a connection to civic engagement outcomes?
- Utilize feedback from community.
- Utilize feedback from students.
- Share results of service learning activities with the community to create a feedback loop. (For example, use journal entries by service learning students as op/ed articles.)
Participants: Carmen Aponte, Mary Jo Orzech, Rick Kinkaid, Rob Blair, Chris Price
Facilitated by: Ken O'Brien
Theme: Incorporating themes of citizenship and civic engagement in co-curricular activities and programs.
What roles can residence halls play in advancing the themes of citizenship and civic engagement?
- Residence halls are an avenue for getting the word out for various campus events.
- RAs are particularly important as they plan and lead functions.
- Residence halls organize programs - but are there too many?
- Why not focus on taking advantage of campus-wide programs/events already planned rather than creating lots of new activities?
- Can activities related to civic engagement replace some "entertainment" (passive) activities?
- How do we "meet students where they live" and encourage participation in events/activities that give something back (guest lectures, symposium, arts/cultural events, etc.)?
What data do we have on students who live in the area but not in the residence halls?
- Data is available on students by zip code and other modes.
- The group who lives in the Village and the "in close" area do not really participate in campus life or civic life.
- This population is often overlooked - they slip between the cracks.
- Need to focus on this group in ADP.
- What about our non-traditional students and civic engagement? How do our adult students participate/engage in community? What community?
- We often characterize these students as apathetic but that seems simplistic.
- Most students (non-residential especially) are busy, many work.
Are athletic and/or other campus events/activities "civic" in nature? This would include arts events and guest lectures.
- The gathering of students together around a common focus with faculty/staff has a community benefit (as in athletic events).
- Building and nurturing community through formal and informal networks seems "civic" and may build habits of engagement.
- How might BSG and other "presenters" cooperate on campus to bring in one or two significant speakers?
- Are our activities too fragmenting? Is our approach too fragmented? Do we unnecessarily compete with each other?
- We need a more organized approach as a campus.
- ADP may provide a "college-wide" focus on a shared intellectual, academic/non academic set of experiences and events.
- The campus-wide programming group is the beginning of a campus-wide planning group but many key players are missing.
- Advanced planning is a key. Too many events are last minute and not planned (and advertised) far enough in advance.
- Is there an opportunity to rethink the current BSG officer election cycle, which does not currently support good long range planning?
- What other strategies may help support more effective long range planning?
What are we doing in terms of issues surrounding the national elections as part of ADP?
- Brock the Vote (Delta College)
- BSG has plans for a voter registration drive, but this must begin soon or students will not be able to register in Monroe County and can only vote by absentee ballot.
- Many activities are in discussion but a more organized planning process may help the campus avoid conflicts.
How can BSG encourage and promote more civic engagement?
- How can we promote more opportunities to encourage and facilitate open discussions?
- BSG may have lost sight of activities that are not "social" in nature.
- BSG officers have suggested that students might participate in campus governance by creating a course/internship for credit.
How can the Greek students promote civic engagement?
- There are only about 150 Greeks on campus.
- Some of their activities are already service oriented.
- Making the activities clearer to the campus community is needed.
- Pulling the Greek student into other campus-wide activity and coordinating better is needed.
What are some of the issues related to enhancing civic engagement on campus?
- Community life is a shared life. In academia much of our work is isolated and perhaps the importance of finding community is important.
- The ADP needs a structure and a planning process at a strategic level to support the process.
- The student culture still reflects passivity. How can the ADP address the issue that students also prefer "entertainment" to more "serious" or academically linked presentations?
- How do we empower students to find their voices when it seems that they do not believe that they can "make a difference."
- It is important to energize younger faculty and staff and empower them to take on leadership in college-wide events.
- The ADP needs to utilize the student newspaper, radio station and other media help support civic engagement.
Participants: Arthur Graham, Rob Blair, Sharon Vasquez
Facilitated by Lynae Sakshaug
Theme: Incorporating themes of citizenship and civic engagement through working in/with the community
What role might the community play in the design of the American Democracy Project on our campus?
- First identify who the community is.
- Ascertain what organizations in community need and want.
- Conduct a meeting on campus that begins a dialogue between the campus and community with a follow up meeting.
- If this question is done right then question four is on its way.
- Talk about strategic plan and student outcomes for the project.
- Call the meetings between campus and community a "forum."
- Have civic groups develop banners, posters, tables that highlight their civic engagement activities. (Also include these items throughout campus.)
- Start small in the immediate community with groups that directly affect students.
What opportunities exist for engagement with the community in this project beyond service learning (e.g., a joint voter registration drive with the League of Women Voters)?
- Brockport Integrated Community and Service Organization (BISCO)
- The "Good Neighbor Committee"
- Utilize people who are already committed.
- Join up with the "Crop Walk."
- Work with Metro Center to establish contact with city of Rochester.
What agencies or organizations might be campus partners (e.g., working with Rotary International on the world wide eradication of polio)?
- Elks Club, Rotary, Lions Club
- Police/Fire Departments
- American Legion/VFW
- Senior Centers
- Lifetime Assistance
- School Districts
- Religious Organizations
- Village/Town Leaders
- School Boards
- State and Federal Representatives
What characterizes a win/win situation for the campus and for the campus partner in a successful relationship that embraces civic engagement?
- Make sure conversation between campus and community is ongoing.
- Maintain "grassroots" appearance of project.
- Goals that are constructed by both campus and community.
- Ensure that this is not a "political" project.
- Need an affective media campaign to publicize what project is about.
- Have project leaders (administration, faculty, staff, and students) talk about project to local media.
- Present to community as a Brockport (not a SUNY Brockport) project.
- Make sure three or so projects come out of three or so ideas from the campus-community forums.
Participants: Rob Blair, Arthur Graham, Chris Price