Mercer to Host Development Summit on ‘Transforming Good Intentions into Good Practices’


MACON – Mercer University's Department of International and Global Studies (IGS) and Research That Reaches Out Office will host a Development Summit on the topic of “Transforming Good Intentions into Good Practices” Oct. 26, 4-8 p.m., in Willingham Hall. The summit is free and open to the public.

The Development Summit has a threefold mission to inspire students to participate in service projects by showcasing local and international opportunities, to facilitate the incorporation of community improvement projects across disciplines by providing a forum for faculty and staff to exchange information and ideas, and to promote dialogs regarding how to implement Mercer's motto in ways that are mutually beneficial for Mercerians and community partners. 

“Building on Mercer's motto of 'Everyone majors in changing the world,' the Development Summit provides an opportunity to learn about, reflect upon and grow Mercerians' domestic and international service projects,” said Dr. Lisa Vu, assistant professor of global development studies. “The theme of the event serves as a call for critical reflections as Mercerians engage with community members in the state of Georgia and beyond.”

The summit will begin with a keynote panel composed of Mercer alumni from 4-4:45 p.m. They include former Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania Branden Ryan, health systems advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development's Bureau for Global Health Trent White and community relations manager for Habitat for Humanity in Macon Sundra Woodford.

Breakout sessions will take place from 5-5:45 p.m. on the themes of “Narratives of Development Destinations as Important Curators of Development Practices,” “What I Wish I Had Known” and “Context Matters: Tools for Producing More Nuanced Understanding of Local Conditions.”

A second set of breakout sessions, from 6-6:45 p.m., will focus on “Working through Cultural Differences in the U.S. and Abroad,” “Faith-based Community Engagement” and “Humility in Service to Others.”

Sessions will be led by faculty, including Dr. Chinekwu Obidoa, Dr. Tammy Crutchfield, Dr. Michael MacCarthy and Dr. Melissa Browning, representing Mercer's College of Liberal Arts, Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, School of Engineering and McAfee School of Theology, as well as students representing majors such as global health studies, economics, international affairs, engineering for development, religion and pre-health.

The summit will conclude with a poster session and hors d'oeuvres from 7-8 p.m.