Volume 3 (2013)

The Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education
Volume 3

Previously published in print


Three Questions for Community Engagement at the Crossroads

Kevin Kecskes
Portland State University

Kevin Michael Foster
University of Texas at Austin

Pages 7-17




The University of New Hampshire Engaged Scholars Academy: Instilling in Faculty Principles of Effective Partnership

Charles French, Julie E. Williams, Judy Tang, Eleanor Abrams, Lisa Townson, Mihaela Sabin, and Cameron Wake
The University of New Hampshire

Lorilee R. Sandmann
University of Georgia

Over the last decade, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) has promoted mutually beneficial partnerships between faculty and community partners vis-à-vis the Engaged Scholars Academy (ESA), a faculty development program aimed at enhancing faculty understanding of the principles of partnership and engaged scholarship. This research seeks to determine whether and how the ESA has impacted faculty-community partnerships around engaged scholarship. Findings suggest that Engaged Scholar Academy participants – as compared to non-participants – have a deeper understanding of the principles of partnership, are more likely to feel their scholarship is enhanced, spend more time with partners, engage their partners throughout the process of inquiry, and focus more on
sustaining partnership outcomes.

Pages 19-42



Civic Learning through Public Scholarship: Coherence among Diverse Disciplines

Lina D. Dostilio, Norman Conti, Rebecca Kronk, Yvonne L. Weideman, Sarah K. Woodley, and Nancy Trun
Duquesne University

This article presents three cases of community-engaged, or “public,” scholarship across diverse disciplines (social science, natural science, and health science) in which the rigid boundaries of what has been conceived as traditional service-learning have been blurred. The innovations represented within these cases explicitly address discipline-specific knowledge and civic skills acquisition. Moreover, they do so in ways that encourage the integration of scholarship, service, teaching, and learning. We argue that civic learning can be authentically realized through the synthesis of disciplinary content and civic sensibilities; integration of teaching, learning, research, and service; and by organizing our efforts around community problems (rather than organizing around specific pedagogical or research methods).

Pages 43-65



Building Community Engagement in Higher Education: Public Sociology at Missouri State University

Leah Woods, Jamie Willis, D.C. Wright, and Tim Knapp
Missouri State University

Many academic departments are making efforts to increase faculty and student community engagement as part of a movement to revitalize the civic function of higher education. A case study of the development of a public sociology program provides examples of steps that can be taken to involve educators and students in communities in multifaceted ways. The development of the program shows that it is critical to formally recognize the value of community-engaged activities and to institutionalize rewards for faculty who practice public scholarship and provide community services. Likewise, offering students a system of advancing opportunities for more prolonged and in-depth involvement in the community is needed to enrich their educational experiences, maximize the development of their civic and political skills, and improve the value of students’ contributions to community partners.

Pages 67-90



Being in Community: A Food Security Themed Approach to Public Scholarship

Barbara Harrison, Barbara Harrison, and Mirella Stroink
Lakehead University

For six years the Food Security Research Network at Lakehead University, Canada, has been engaged in an interdisciplinary theme-based service-learning initiative focusing on food security. Informed by complexity theory, the contextual fluidity partnership model brings community partners, students, and faculty into a nexus through which new knowledge focused on addressing food security can emerge. This approach to public scholarship diminishes boundaries in the location and forms of knowledge, opening up space for community knowledge to be a genuine part of the knowledge mix. For the last six years we have blurred the lines between community (public, private, and social sectors), students, and academics to create an “in community” focus to service-learning. This article highlights how the themed approach to service-learning using a contextual fluidity partnership model impacts faculty members and their involvement in public scholarship, and leads to innovation and new knowledge that is grounded
in place and context.

Pages 91-110



Preventing Graduate Student Heroic Suicide in Community-Based Research: A Tale of Two Committees

Nancy K. Franz
Iowa State University

Graduate students are increasingly interested in community-based research and public scholarship. However, they often struggle to find faculty research mentors who fully understand or have been personally involved with this type of research and related scholarship. In fact, some graduate students are advised by graduate committee members to refrain from working with communities and community stakeholders. Graduate students also experience few opportunities to develop skills and knowledge for community-based scholarship. It is clear that graduate students interested in community-based research need tools to navigate these dynamics. This article proposes a research stakeholder advisory committee as a successful tool for graduate students with community-based scholarship aspirations.

Pages 111-127



Reciprocity as Sustainability in Campus-Community Partnership

Alan Bloomgarden
Mount Holyoke College

The concept of reciprocity permeates the literature on campus-community partnership as a matter of principle, aspiration, and – ideally – best practice. More recently, principles and practices of sustainability have pervaded scholarly and popular discourse, emerging from and applying to environmental studies, economic development, and social justice fields, with aspirations to extend well beyond. This article explores the relationship between principles of reciprocity in community engagement scholarship and practice, and this burgeoning discourse of sustainability. The paper draws upon efforts to explore reciprocity and sustainability among community-based learning offices in the Five College Consortium and organizations in the City of Holyoke in Western Massachusetts. A theoretical frame for sustainability in campus-community partnership is proposed, linked to the delivery of reciprocity. Prominent challenges to implementing sustainability in community engagement are then considered.

Pages 129-145



Review Essay

Building Playgrounds, Engaging Communities: Creating Safe and Happy Places for Children
(Lima, M., Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 2013)

James Huff
University of Oklahoma

Pages 147-152