Engaging with Community As Part of Service, Research, Teaching or Collaborations

Posted by HE-SL Listserv on June 16, 2020

A recent post on the HE-SL (Higher Education-Service Learning) Listserv asked for the following:

Online resources (e.g., websites, library guides, etc.) that you’ve built to support students, faculty, and staff who wish to engage with the community as part of their service, research, teaching, or other collaborations. I’m particularly interested in examples of how you’ve made available important sociodemographic, historical, and organizational materials that are likely to be of interest, as well, to your community partners.

Here are the responses:

Allen Brizee, PhD, at Loyola University Maryland, and his students have been collaborating with Baltimore residents in the Govans community for the past year to compose the Govans Heritage and Community Action website. The digital humanities project contains history on slavery and systemic racism, a graphical timeline, spaces for future community-based research and community workshops. they also plan to include oral histories, community art, and instruction modules for public school teachers. The site currently contains student work from my professional and technical writing service-learning courses.

Anne Gruber,  a librarian assigned as a liaison to the University of Northern Iowa’s Office of Community Engagement recommends resources available at their library:

  • Community Engagement collection in our institutional repository, with project artifacts & resulting scholarship publicly accessible: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/engagement/.
  • Community & Demographic research guide, which Anne created & uses as part of her teaching in social work and other departments: http://guides.lib.uni.edu/communityresearch. This points to current research sources rather than gathering all the local information.
  • University archives & special collections, with local interest projects, online displays, etc. Main page: https://scua.library.uni.edu/

Anne recommends reaching out to your library as a potential partner if you haven’t already. Many libraries are eager to assist & have infrastructure to support public information access as well as archiving projects.

Cornell University collaborated with a local nonprofit to create Buffalo Commons, https://ppgbuffalo.org/buffalo-commons/about/. Other higher ed institutions are beginning to contribute as well, including our faculty here at Buffalo State. Buffalo Commons also serves to build connections between campuses and community priorities.




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