Kindling Change

Eight students hoping to kindle social change attended this year’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Ignite Retreat over fall break, representing the largest group of students to attend from Mary Baldwin University.

Held at Kanuga Conference Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina, October 16–18, the retreat featured workshops focused on personal development and skills training and sessions for students who were interested in diving deeply into one concrete solution, campus initiative, project, or venture on which they are actively working.

The retreat was “an explosion of creative minds coming together, all geared towards an innovative future,” said Mary Baldwin sophomore sociology major Eliza Hong. “From the start, Ignite was a place where passions could be explored, missions related, and personalities accentuated, as diverse as they might be.

“Through my experience at Ignite, I gained a lot of clarity involving my future direction. I sort of had a confused cloud of ideas regarding what I could implement ‘sometime in the future.’ However, this weekend brought together those ideas and taught me that if I really put my mind to it, they could become a reality. My plans for the future include building a website to connect people with others who have the same struggles and may have the words they need to hear to keep going. Being at Mary Baldwin and going to the retreat have shaped my abstract concepts into something I can really implement. It turned from ‘someday’ to ‘what can I do now.’”

sullivan 15 additionalThe group of student attendees represented a wide range of disciplines. They were: business majors Chasity Nobles ’18 and Carolyn Huynh ’16, biology major Hope Garnett ’18, marketing and management major Jerema Lovell ’17, international relations and political science major Qadira Muhammad ’19, international economics and business and international affairs major Carla Cisneros ’18, and political science major Faith Garnett ’16. Faculty leaders who accompanied the group were Associate Professor of Marketing Communication Bruce Dorries and Associate Professor of Business Administration Joseph Sprangel.

For the past 85 years, the Sullivan Foundation has supported efforts across the South to promote service learning and social entrepreneurship.