Recipients of the 2015 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award
Finalists for the 2015 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award
San José State University
CommUniverCity San José
* Winner of the 2015 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award
CommUniverCity San José is a unique partnership that engages local residents with faculty and students at San José State University (SJSU) and city staff in learning projects that accomplish neighborhood-defined goals. With nearly one million residents, San José is characterized by vast economic inequality and profound challenges with respect to poverty, unemployment, homelessness, gang violence, and low educational attainment. To address these needs, CommUniverCity creates and supports 50 community action projects annually. Projects range from after-school tutoring and nutrition education to adult financial literacy classes. CommUniverCity's structure can be described as a three-legged table, with SJSU, the city of San José, and local organizations and residents providing equal support for project identification and implementation. SJSU's role in this partnership is threefold. First, faculty members apply subject matter expertise to solve real-world problems. Second, students participate in community-engaged learning projects. Third, SJSU provides financial and administrative support. The consistent engagement of faculty and students has generated a multitude of short-term studies and longer-term research, including a five-year comparison of social capital indicators within the service area.
Dayana Salazar, Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, San José State University and Executive Director, CommUniverCity
Imelda Rodriguez, Community Director, CommUniverCity
University of Minnesota
The Hennepin-University Partnership (HUP) represents a 10-year-old strategic alignment between the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County. This alignment focuses on addressing pressing challenges through an intentional connection between local government and academia. This includes academic and community-based research, sharing of academic and practitioner expertise, and providing students with real-world opportunities to apply their academic knowledge. Since 2005, the HUP has supported more than 144 collaborations between Hennepin County and the university around issues such as ending homelessness, realizing economic benefits from transit system improvements, eliminating disparities in high school graduation rates, utilizing library services to improve children's reading skills, ensuring effective management of municipal waste, and providing quality healthcare to low income residents. These collaborations have generated over $4 million in funding to support the work of university faculty, staff, and students. The HUP resides within the university's Center for Urban and Regional Affairs. Faculty have published articles in academic journals and presented their work with Hennepin County at conferences. More than 200 students have gained hands-on experience through capstone projects and internships at Hennepin County.
Kathie Doty, Director, Hennepin-University Partnership, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota
University of New Hampshire
Prevention Innovations Research Center
Founded in 2006 by an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners, Prevention Innovations Research Center (PIRC) is committed to ending sexual and relationship violence and stalking through effective researcher-community practitioner partnerships. PIRC researchers and practitioners realize the high costs of violence at both individual and community levels, the limited funds available to prevent and respond to violence, and the resulting need to ensure that investments by community partners reduce the incidence and prevalence of sexual and relationship violence and stalking. The partnerships built between PIRC members and community leaders have enabled state agencies and not-for-profit organizations to use findings from evidence-based research to develop groundbreaking solutions to address problems. Findings have been distributed through press conferences and publications aimed at communities, practitioners, and researchers. The community engagement between PIRC and community partners have resulted in PIRC members publishing numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and practitioner-oriented publications and reports. Students frequently contribute to the research, resulting in undergraduate honors theses and research projects, master's theses and projects, and doctoral dissertations. PIRC's community engagement extends beyond New Hampshire and includes partnerships with hundreds of colleges, universities, state coalitions, and branches of the U.S. Military.
Sharyn J. Potter, Co-Director, Prevention Innovations Research Center and Associate Professor, Sociology, University of New Hampshire
Jane G. Stapleton, Co-Director, Prevention Innovations Research Center, University of New Hampshire
Texas Tech University
East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood
Texas Tech University and more than 75 regional partners have been collaborating to revitalize one the poorest and most underserved neighborhoods in Texas. The East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (ELPN) project is a community-based collaboration designed to improve the educational opportunities for children in East Lubbock and ensure that both children and parents have access to the resources they need to grow, learn, and succeed. A community action–participatory research model was used to identify the needs of the community and develop evidence-based solutions that empower a community marked by poor school performance, poor health, crime, drugs, inadequate housing, high teen pregnancy, and the highest child abuse rate in the state of Texas. In addition to school-centered programs, ELPN has launched family and community programs focused on health, wellness, and nutrition, as well as early learning programs for children ages 0–3. It has made measurable strides towards improving the lives, conditions, and opportunities for East Lubbock residents by creating larger and stronger public/private partnerships and forging trusting collaborations among public service providers and citizens.
Scott Ridley, Dean, College of Education, Texas Tech University
- "You Help Us and We Help You": The Reto-o-Reto Partnership in Maasailand, East Africa
Colorado State University
For over 15 years, the Reto-o-Reto collaborative partnership in Maasailand, East Africa, has practiced sustained implementation of "community-driven science for local needs" and demonstrated that community development can coexist with, and enhance, wildlife conservation and ecosystem management goals. The partnership uses an intentional process of co-creation at every step: defining issues, creating processes, generating research, implementing changes, monitoring results, and publishing outcomes. The continuous engagement model has resulted in research-driven impacts in a transdisciplinary research-for-action model, including economic incentive payments for land preservation and the conservation of livestock herd genetics. The partnership has engaged and changed over 220 Maasai communities, and trained 150 community action researchers, 75 school students, 12 undergraduates, and 34 graduate students across Maasailand in Kenya and Tanzania. Additionally, the International Livestock Research Institute, the University of Nairobi, and Colorado State University (CSU) have all developed collaborative centers focused on education and research driven by community needs based on the Reto-o-Reto model. Maasai leaders have created the Reto-o-Reto Foundation, which now manages the partnership and its continued implementation. Partner sharing and dialog occurs through journal articles and policy briefs, as well as two online "Learning Networks" websites hosted at University of Nairobi and CSU. Reto-o-Reto project outcomes and community leaders also significantly impacted new Kenyan national legislation for conservation management, adopted in 2014.
- Professional Development School District
University of Georgia
The Professional Development School District (PDSD) project is a partnership between the University of Georgia College of Education (COE) and the Clarke County School District (CCSD) that connects theory and practice to improve pre-K through 12th-grade education and provides more preparation for preservice teachers. COE faculty and students share resources and expertise with CCSD students, teachers, and administrators, while the schools provide a setting for COE students to practice teaching with seasoned teachers and administrators. Given the increasing need for well-prepared teachers to remain in the profession and the demand for impactful programs in school districts, especially in high poverty districts such as CCSD, this school-university partnership exemplifies the value of schools and universities collaborating for reciprocal benefit. Launched in 2009 with one elementary school, the program has grown to serve the entire district, serving more than 7,000 of the district's 13,500 students. Program components include access to Professors-in-Residence who spend half their time working in schools, COE courses taught on-site, and clusters of student teachers placed together in schools. Each semester, COE students are involved in on-site courses, field placements, and student teaching. PDSD is continually expanding and developing new programs as outgrowths of the partnership.