CCPH Online Database of Faculty Mentors & Portfolio Reviewers

Posted on April 05, 2010

Online Database Helps Community-Engaged Faculty Members Connect with Mentors & Portfolio Reviewers

For Community-Academic Partnerships to Reach their Full Potential, Involved Faculty Need to Be Supported

Graduate students, post-docs and faculty members who seek community-engaged careers in the academy can face a number of institutional challenges to achieving their goals.  With few established mentoring and career development programs in place, community-engaged scholars are often left to piece together their own with little guidance or support.  Building a portfolio for promotion and tenure review can be daunting for those focusing on community-engaged scholarship (CES), particularly when review committees and external reviewers are not familiar with this form of scholarship.  Without a system in place to easily identify reviewers who understand CES and can assess its quality and impact, community-engaged faculty may be inadequately or unfairly reviewed.  The consequences are real for communities engaged in the work, as Freeman, Gust and Aloshen illustrate in their paper, Why Faculty Promotion and Tenure Matters to Community Partners. (

The Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) Online Database of Faculty Mentors & Portfolio Reviewers is intended to help address these challenges.  The database is designed to be used by community-engaged graduate students, post-docs and faculty who are searching for faculty mentors and by deans, department chairs and others seeking external experts to review portfolios of community-engaged faculty being considered for reappointment, promotion and/or tenure.   The database can be searched by keyword, faculty rank, tenure status, discipline/profession, gender, state, country, race/ethnicity, methodological approaches and areas of experience.

Faculty members in the database are selected because of their experience as community-engaged scholars and their commitment to supporting those supporting others who aspire to join them.  All have agreed to voluntarily serve as mentors and/or portfolio reviewers.  In addition to demographic and biographical information, each entry includes career planning advice and tips for preparing a strong portfolio.   For example, Dr. Dennis Donovan, Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine at the University of Washington and Director of its Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute advises

“Be aware from the outset that you are embarking on both a challenging and rewarding career path. It is one that involves personal and professional commitment of time and energy and a belief in the importance and power of community-campus as a means of producing meaningful change. Be aware as well that this is a path that has not found an easy integration into those academic settings that are based on the principle of publish or perish. However, it is one that is worth pursuing because the rewards (even those in academia) will be worth the challenge.”

When preparing a portfolio for promotion and tenure, Dr. Kathleen Roe, Tenured Professor and Chair of the Health Science Department at San JoseState University recommends that candidates

“Find your voice and spend the time learning to weave the many pieces of your work and interests into one coherent and compelling narrative. If you have chosen this way of living and working, the narrative threads are there. Sometimes it just takes the pressure of a portfolio review to pull those threads into the unique and productive pattern that lies just beneath the surface. It’s there – but you can’t rush understanding or expressing it. Give yourself time to get this right. No one reviewing your work will understand it if you don’t!”

Search for mentors and portfolio reviewers, or to apply to be listed in the database at

The database is a component of Community-Campus Partnerships for Healths Faculty for the Engaged Campus project.  The project aims to strengthen community-engaged career paths in the academy and is supported by a grant from the US Department of Educations Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education.  Other project components include support for innovative, campus-wide, competency-based models of faculty development, and  an online mechanism for peer-reviewed publication and dissemination of products of community-engaged scholarship that are in forms other than journal articles.  Learn more at

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