Many clients inquire about my work in Prescott with the Institute, which is affiliated with--but is separate from--Prescott College. I spend perhaps 10-12 hours per week on projects there when I'm in town.
The Institute seeks to sponsor programs that are in line with the mission of the college--but which don't have a natural "home" in the academic side of the house. I am a Fellow of the Institute and have been designated its "Coordinator" of activities, which means that I handle much of the behind-the-scenes "back-office" work which exists in any thriving organization.
I'll touch on just two of the Institute's programs to give a flavor of our activities: our longest-running program is acting as the administrative arm of the VISTA program for northern Arizona. VISTA is the branch of the federal Americorps program (akin to a domestic Peace Corps) which seeks to build capacity in those non-profit organizations dedicated to alleviating the conditions of poverty in the US. A tall task to be sure; but our program has been a leader in creating innovative structures and generating effective leadership tools that may be adopted by other VISTA programs throughout the country.
The second program is one that I'm spearheading in cooperation with the Office of Student Life at the Prescott College. It is oriented toward facilitating volunteerism and civic engagement as an everyday part of the student experience at the college. As many of you know, Prescott College is first and foremost all about experiential education--and as such, students (and faculty) are often engaged in real-world activities and challenges outside the walls of academia. However, these activities are not always easy to connect to, nor are they tracked in any organized way. We hope to put the pieces in place to facilitate connections and enhance the effectiveness of these efforts.
Other programs and sponsorships take place under the aegis of the Institute. Feel free to ask if you're interested in more detail!