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Student Services

Bonner Office Staff

Jilo Tisdale
Jilo Tisdale

Areas of Advisement
Faculty Engagement
Service Learning
Zero Hunger Initiative

Meet the Director
Cherrise Ford
Cherrise Ford
Administrative Office Coordinator

Areas of Advisement
Office organization, policies and procedures
Felicia Deas

Felicia Deas
Associate Director

Areas of Advisement
Campus-Wide Community Service Projects Programs, and Initiatives
Community Service Transportation
FYE and SYE Service Hours
Community Partner Inquiries

A Message From the Director

Greetings Spelmanites,

Jilo TisdaleAs the director of your Office of Civic Engagement, I lead a team that is committed to offering a robust menu of interdisciplinary, co-curricular programming. We seek excellence in all that we do. Whether that is engaging Spelman students in community service through the first-year requirement, collaborating with faculty on service learning courses, or developing long-term civic engagement activities through special initiatives, events and civic leadership programs. We are very excited about the high-quality programs and activities that take place through the Bonner Office of Civic Engagement.

While this is not the year or the semester we planned for, you are absolutely the students we have been waiting for! When people ask me what it is like to work at Spelman College, I tell them for me it is a homecoming. Not because I attended Spelman as an undergraduate, but precisely because I did not. As an undergraduate student at Northwestern University in the late 80s, this passage written by Ntozake Shange was my constant mood: “somebody/anybody/sing a black girl’s song/bring her out/to know herself/to know you/but sing her rhythms/carin/ struggle/ hard times/sing her song of life…” Every day I walked around that campus searching for my place.

Searching for a classroom, study carrel or a rock under a tree where my perspective wasn’t unexpected, my syntax a cause for concern and my natural hair an object of curiosity. Eventually, I found the Black House, one small space set aside after student protests in the 70s where, thanks to Dr. Ulysses Duke Jenkins, Black students could be ourselves. But now I am here, you are here, we are here at Spelman College. An institution created specifically for the Black Woman – whoever she is and wherever she has come from. And it is no small thing, this opportunity you have to grow into yourself here, in a place that does not question your ability to shine brightly and be brilliant. So welcome. Welcome to Spelman College. Welcome home.