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Crossroads Holds Interfaith Community Service at Arboretum

By Sophia Xiong
CCBP Volunteer

The Crossroads Community Engagement Center (CCEC) hosted a meeting of about 50 people as part of the Serve Better Together program at the Arboretum on November 11, 2017 to discuss community service projects.

“This is a really good opportunity for students to unite despite any differences and make a positive input in the community,” said Marcelle Peters, a senior student in journalism, vice president of Hispanic Latino Association. “I’m happy I was able to participate and meet all these great people and serve the community together.”

Serve Better Together is part of the series of Crossroads interfaith events, which are designed to unite students from different faiths and cultural backgrounds to understand each other better. Serve Better Together does this through community service and engagement projects. people from different backgrounds working as a team, students not only make new friends, but also learn different cultural and religious values from individuals.  One student with no religious affiliation said, “I always want to keep an open mind. This activity helps me to know different religions without any presumptions.”

On November 11, students served at the arboretum in the morning and came back to campus for discussion during lunch. During the lunch sections, students were seated in interfaith groups. The topic was “How do you think your faith and religious belief influence your serving in the community?” Students got a chance to share with each other in an open and friendly environment.

Serve Better Together not only provides students to make friends, but it also prepares them to help people in their future career, according to CCEC Director Lane McLelland. Lauren Curtner-Smith, a senior in the Capstone College of Nursing said, “When nurses know more about patients’ culture and religions, we can tailor a treatment plan specific to that patient to care for their physical, mental and spiritual needs. We can help our patients feel more comfortable and give them hope which helps patients feel better and heal more quickly.”

Speakers Stress the Importance of Leadership of Elementary and Middle School Parents at Parent Leadership Academy Sessions

By Yiben Liu
CCBP Graduate Assistant

UA’s Parent Leadership Academy (PLA) hosted two separate training sessions for elementary and middle school student parents at Bryant Conference Center on Thursday, October 19. Guest speakers focused on leadership development within parents and students for both elementary and middle school parents.

The guest speakers were Dr. Terri C. Boman, director of The University of Alabama/University of West Alabama In-Service Education Center, who spoke at combined Elementary, Hispanic, and Pre-K PLA. Her title was “Dare to Lead Your Family Differently.” Marvin Lucas, District 6 representative of the Tuscaloosa City Schools Board of Education, spoke about “Parents as Leaders: Building Leaders Within Your Schools” at both the Elementary PLA and the Middle School PLA. Andrew Maxey, director of special programs for Tuscaloosa City Schools, led a session titled “Becoming Leaders: Understanding the Adolescent Brain” for the middle school group.

Boman shared her experience and studies of building leaders in the school community, stressing that the little things parents do for their children every day are what make the difference.

Lucas stressed that to develop leadership in children, parents must first cultivate themselves into leaders. “Leaders are built by other leaders,” Lucas said. He also shared the national standards of the Parent Teacher Association for family-school partnerships, which he described as a new way of leading.

Maxey used scientific data and humor to illustrate why middle school is such a critical time developmentally but is usually underestimated by parents.

Dr. Holly Morgan, PTLA program director and UA director of Community Education for the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, also introduced and explained different types of PTLA partnership projects at both sessions.

Parent participant Jennifer McDaniel from Davis-Emerson Middle School said her experience in PLA so far “has been really good.” Her concerns were helping her children with homework and building better communication with the teachers related to homework. “It [PLA] gives us the outreach we need with the teachers,” McDaniel said.

Tchalla Jones-Jerido is a parent participant from Rock Quarry Middle School and mother of three children ranging in age from elementary school to high school. This is the second time she has participated in UA’s PLA program. The first time, she was in the elementary group. She said the middle school session helps her to develop different perspectives of parenting children at various levels. “Middle school [child] is a different animal,” she said, and she’s glad to see the new session “targeted specifically at middle school” because their needs “are totally different.”

Tucker Moss Brown, a Verner Elementary School mother, said the main goal of parents is to “raise your kid into a good, decent human being,” and parents need strong leadership to do that. “You are a leader in your family,” Brown said, and she thinks that is the specific significance of PLA and programs like it, which are developing leadership within both children and parents.

Council on Community-Based Partnerships Meeting – October 25, 2017

In Attendance: Carol Agomo, David L. Albright, Karyn Bowen, Jackie Brodsky, Dee Cook, Martha Crowther, Andre Denham, Andrew Goodliffe, Karl Hamner, Elizabeth Hartley, CeeCee Johnson, Diane Kennedy-Jackson, Jim McLean, Lane McLelland, Ed Mullins, Jen Nickelson, Sarah Saeed, Whitney Sewell, Chas Shipman, Chris Spencer, Maruka Walker, Justin Washington

Dr. James E. McLean, executive director of the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP), welcomed those in attendance and opened the meeting.

Dr. Martha Crowther, chair of the Proposal and Seed Funds Committee, reminded Council members that there are seed funds available for both faculty and staff members, as well as for students and community partners. She shared that her committee has been working to streamline the website application process. Crowther asked that everyone who applies for seed funding be certain that the research projects submitted are clear and that applicants include their community partner in their application. Submitting a letter from the community partner with the application will also help speed the process.

Crowther said the call for proposals is now open and urged those with questions to contact her via email at

Sabrina Thomas, assistant executive director, shared information about the Juvenile Justice Re-entry Program at Tuscaloosa’s One Place (TOP), noting that TOP recently received a federal grant from the office of juvenile delinquency prevention. Theirs is one of only six programs chosen for this grant, and serves children who are in that gap between being children and becoming adults and who are returning from various types of confined placement.

Thomas shared that TOP has collaborated with The University of Alabama School of Law and will have a third-year law student working with them in this three-part program on the issues of case management, legal services and mentoring. A part-time staff attorney will advise the law student regarding legal services that can be provided. Additionally, a case manager will be hired, and that individual will see families once each week. They have found that adults who are in families with these returning youth also need a mentoring program. Because of this, youth will obtain life skills and homework help while the adults in their lives receive help through Love, Inc., with training for job skills, budgeting and related issues.

In addition, they have spoken with Indian Rivers, Tuscaloosa Family Counseling Services and Shelton State Community College (for assistance with the GED program). Their goal is to help these young people successfully re-enter society.

McLean shared a brief update on the Gear-Up Alabama Program, which is designed to help students experience success in post-secondary education through school and career preparatory courses, as well as through peer tutoring. The seven-year program is housed fiscally at UAB and the director is there, as well. There are four CoPIs. McLean is one of them. Dr. George Daniels is also heavily involved with this project. The program began with a cohort of students in the 7th and 8th grades who are now in the 9th and 10th grades. In addition to the work done in their schools, there is also a Campus Activity Day that brings students participating in the program to the UA campus. The program works with students in 15 counties in the Black Belt region of Alabama, and many of these students have never previously visited a college campus. Program leaders are working on an expansion of the program for the future, to involve overnight stays, career exploration with presentations from three to four colleges and hands-on opportunities in these areas, as well as education on what it takes to prepare for these types of careers. Past projects include a dig at Old Cahawba and communications work. For more information, Council members may visit

Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, chair of the Executive Council, spoke briefly about the Promise Neighborhood Grants, a series of federal grants that requires bringing together schools, police departments, community leaders, churches and synagogues, and more. Based on grant criteria, it has been determined that the only agency on the UA campus that would be considered eligible for this grant is the Council on Community-Based Partnerships. Hlebowitsh shared that talks are underway regarding putting together an application before the June 2018 deadline. He said that at this point, we are working to see if we can start putting the pieces in place to successfully secure a Promise Neighborhood Grant. The University has never been through such a process before, but Hlebowitsh sees this as a real possibility for UA.

Additionally, Hlebowitsh said that he has expressed to faculty members in his college — the College of Education — that grants are not research related only, but that they can have very powerful service components. He believes this is a narrative that Council members need to spread across campus. Hlebowitsh has been trying to get faculty members to look to the Council to see if they could utilize this group of individuals to think in a way that is geared toward service-related grant components. One example given of this type of grant was the Wounded Warrior Project Grant put together by Dr. Karl Hamner and Dr. David L. Albright from the School of Social Work.

Ms. Carol Agomo, director of Community and Administrative Affairs, discussed the recent Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference hosted by Auburn University. The 2017 ESC Conference took place in late September in Birmingham. The conference had a record number of attendees this year — almost 600 — and continues to grow in attendance each year.

In related ESC news, The University of Alabama is seeing an increased number of presentations from UA faculty and staff at this annual gathering of community engagement professionals. This year, there were 20 oral and two poster presentations by UA faculty, staff, students and community partners. More information about the 2017 ESC Conference is available on the Community Affairs website at

McLean gave a brief update on the community collaborative space in Capital Hall. Beginning at the end of this semester, CCBP will move forward with a $1 million renovation of additional space in Capital Hall, which will be used for student groups working with community partners. McLean said that the overall goal is to design a creative, functional space that will facilitate communication across disciplines for students who share a commitment to community engagement.

Six entities will initially have space in this area, including the College of Communication and Information Sciences, the College of Community Health Sciences, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the Honors College and the School of Social Work. The initial contracts will support these groups for up to four years.

There will be several indoor work areas, as well as the ability to access outdoor space when needed. The planning committee for this space has already met for the first time and includes student and faculty representatives from the six entities involved. The second meeting is expected to be set within the next month. All involved hope to have the community collaborative space open by fall 2018. The Center also hopes to have six or more offices for use by community partners.

Agomo shared information about the Schweitzer Fellowship Program, which has 15 national offices, one of which is in Birmingham. The director of the Birmingham chapter reached out to the Council to help share this opportunity across campus. Agomo said that the Schweitzer Fellowship helps graduate students interested in addressing unmet community health needs and allows them to partner with organizations across the state. In the past, a number of UA and UAB medical students have participated. This is a year-long program that mentors students in their research design and in carrying out their efforts. The fellowship goal is not to simply propose a project, but to be certain there are actual outcomes — changes in the community — that can be assessed.

The application process requires the students to submit applications. The Council has been asked to identify qualified students who might be interested in applying for this fellowship. The application window is from November 2017 through February 2018. Two hundred hours of service (100 in specific service activities) are required, and appointments run from April–April. Handouts were available for those interested in learning more.

McLean gave a brief update on the ACCESS (Alabama Centralized Community-Engaged Scholarship System) project. During the last Council meeting, visitors from CAPS shared how they are developing a database that will show all of the Center’s programs occurring throughout the state. In the next phase, the website will be updated to show all UA community engagement and research activity. Approximately 50 percent of the projects from CCBP have already been entered into the database and CCBP is building a web page where this project will reside. Organizers hope to go live with this database by the first of the year (2018).

Dr. Jen Nickelson, chair of the Academic Conference and Presentation Committee, reminded attendees that anyone who is interested in applying for travel funds can apply for up to $1,000 through the committee. This is for the purpose of attending a conference to receive training or to support their research. Nickelson shared that the next deadline to apply for this award will be in February 2018. She shared that the application process is open to community members, students and faculty/staff as long as the travel is related to a community-engaged conference or training. Nickelson will be available for further questions as needed. There are also rubrics available to help show transparency regarding what our committees are looking for during each award funding process. These rubrics are available for download from the Council website at

Mclean shared that CCBP has two new employees coming on board in the near future.

Dr. Nicole Prewitt will take over Chris Spencer’s former position as he moves on to a new position within the Division of Community Affairs. A search was conducted to fill the position and Prewitt will serve as director of Programs and Partnerships for Community Engagement, CCBP, beginning Nov. 1, 2017. Prewitt earned her doctorate in adult and community education from Ball State University, a master of arts in education leadership from UAB and her undergraduate degree in biology, history and secondary education from Alabama A&M. She has served as a dean at both a 4-year and a 2-year institution here in Alabama and has worked directly with writing and obtaining grants within the area of community development. She also possesses an excellent publication record. Details of her position include working with Saving Lives, the Tuscaloosa Consortium for Higher Education, the Neighborhood Partnership Committee and possibly the Promise Neighborhood Grant.

Ms. Sarah Saeed will begin as program coordinator for CCBP Operations. She has already been involved in a number of programs around the University and holds a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice and business. She is also on her way to earning a master’s degree in social work. Saeed has worked as a teacher assistant, a bookkeeper and on a number of other campus-wide programs. She has already taken over a number of the duties of this position, which was previously held by Ms. Yun Fu, who retired in August 2017. Saeed will come to work at the Center full-time beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

No additional announcements were made.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

The Council exists to connect faculty, staff, students and community partners in research-based projects designed to solve critical problems identified collaboratively by community members and the University. All academic disciplines, as well as a number of students and community members, are represented on the Council. The Council conducts an awards program, oversees project funding, proposes methods to integrate teaching and research and seeks outside funding, all with the goal of fulfilling the Division of Community Affairs’ motto: “Engaging Communities and Changing Lives.”

The Division of Community Affairs was created in 2004 and is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in community engagement. The division provided the leadership for the recent reaffirmation of the University’s Carnegie curricular and community engagement classification. The division publishes the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, one of the leading refereed journals in the field.

CCBP Continues Successful Grant Program for University Faculty, Staff, Students and Community Members

  • October 20th, 2017
  • in News

The Center for Community-Based Partnerships continued its successful grant program as university faculty, staff, students and community members. Principles covering government, corporate and foundation grants were emphasized in the first two seminars. A third seminar will be held on December 7. The fourth and final seminar will take place March 8, 2018, followed by coaching sessions, with the final session and celebratory dinner on June 7, 2018.

Global Café Discusses Campus Medical Services with International Students and Others

Global Café met in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships training room on October 12 to discuss campus medical services with international students and others. Dr. Beverly Hawk, director of Global and Community Engagement, founded Global Café in 2013. Global Café programs offer students opportunities to meet with students from different countries, strengthen their skills and explore international customs.

The final program for fall semester will be November 9. The topic will be Faculty and Student Roles in the American Classrooms.

Council on Community-Based Partnerships Holds First Meeting of Academic Year

Tuscaloosa, Ala. — The Council on Community-Based Partnerships held its first meeting of the academic year Wednesday, Sept. 6, in the Bryant Conference Center Birmingham Room on campus. Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for Community Affairs, opened the meeting.

Pruitt gave an update on plans for a new collaborative space that will be located in Capital Hall. Set to open for the fall 2018 semester, the space will initially house six student groups that are focused primarily on a community engagement mission. They include groups representing the Department of Social Work, the College of Engineering, the College of Education, the College of Communication and Information Sciences, the Honors College and the College of Community Health Sciences. Pruitt said that most of these groups have 20 students on average. He described a high-energy space with the feel of a popular coffee house. The University is investing in excess of $1 million for the necessary space renovation. Considered Phase 1, the space will bring together students across disciplines who are interested in community-engaged scholarship. With an eye toward Capital Hall becoming the community engagement center for The University of Alabama’s campus, Phase 2 will likely include shared space with some of our community partners.

In other news, Pruitt reported that we plan to recognize members of the original Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship editorial board at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium conference in Birmingham. He also reminded those present that if they have not yet registered for the conference, Community Affairs can help them with their registration.

Pruitt introduced ACCESS, the Alabama Centralized Community-Engaged Scholarship System, and turned things over to Matthew Hudnall and Laura Myers from UA’s Center for Advanced Public Safety. They have been working with the Division of Community Affairs and its Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP) since early this calendar year to develop a tool that will allow faculty, staff and students to see what is happening at UA in the area of community-engaged scholarship, which will in turn aid in building relationships across campus, in opportunities for collaboration and in shared publishing possibilities.

Hudnall and Myers gave a front-side demonstration of the project, sharing that data is input and then is able to be filtered and searched. At present, the sample data is grouped by counties. They reported that as more data and counties are added, the system will expand in such a way that those interested will be able to search projects with more filtering capabilities, including active and completed projects and other categories. Additionally, ACCESS will have video loading capabilities.

Dr. Jim McLean, executive director of the CCBP, said that once the initial data input is complete, a more thorough test will be conducted and there will likely be campus-wide submissions through a Qualtrix survey. He indicated that the site will go live after faculty have had opportunity to share input and make suggestions, and that the project is being driven through faculty, as they are involved with both students and communities.

Among the noted advantages of utilizing this technology are that ACCESS will provide an effective and efficient means by which to learn about all of these types of projects occurring at UA by gathering all of the appropriate data into one place. This will create additional opportunities for collaboration and will provide an opportunity to expand our students’ understanding of community engagement. The program can also be utilized by President Bell and others while making area-specific presentations to community groups, legislators and others. It was also pointed out that this will change the way we collect data. Rather than collecting for a report, which becomes obsolete almost as soon as it is printed, ACCESS will provide a method for ongoing data collection and reporting.

Questions about ACCESS should be directed to McLean at

CCBP executive committee updates followed.

Dr. George Daniels, chair of the Excellence in Community Engagement Recognition Committee, requested that council members begin identifying projects they believe are worthy of recognition during the Council’s April 2018 Excellence in Community Engagement Awards luncheon. He shared that it is usually February when participants are asked to submit nominations for these awards, as well as for seed grant funding.

Daniels also shared that there are two upcoming opportunities to present work. The first is the Engaged Scholarship Consortium (ESC) conference, to be held September 26-27 in Birmingham. The second is the Gulf South Summit, which will take place April 4–6, 2018, also in Birmingham. The deadline for Gulf South Summit submissions is October 27, 2017. For more information:

Tera “CeeCee” Johnson, co-chair of the Student Involvement and Support Committee and president of the student organization Scholars for Community Outreach, Partnership and Engagement (SCOPE), shared that a calendar for SCOPE meetings is available through her or on the SCOPE website at

SCOPE’s first meeting is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 11, and all interested individuals are invited to attend. SCOPE has several workshops planned that are both presentation-based and skills-based. Some examples of the activities SCOPE will offer throughout the semester are a PIE Workshop, a talk on West Alabama AIDS Outreach and a wide variety of other presentations. SCOPE welcomes all interested individuals at these sessions.

Those interested in speaking to SCOPE students about their work in community engagement should contact Johnson at

Ms. Lane McLelland spoke briefly about Practicing Inclusive Engagement (PIE) Workshops offered by Crossroads Community Center. She explained that the subject of inclusive engagement is a lifelong practice; not just diversity training.

Crossroads typically offers a 1.5-hour or two-hour interactive experience. Subjects included in the workshops are: inclusive activity, language, and the use of interactive activities for skill building. The workshops focus on practicing together while learning to listen to all of the voices in the room, as well as learning how to ask questions in a non-offensive manner.

Crossroads is available to conduct PIE Workshops for classes, interns, community members and organizations, churches, etc. Workshop activities can be adjusted to meet specific organizational goals.

Following McLelland’s report, McLean gave a brief overview of the Grants and Sustainability Workshop, sharing that the first round of this workshop has secured around $10 million in funding for the 10 teams that participated.

The second round of workshops began in mid-August. This second round will occur over a 10-month period that more closely matches the University calendar. The focus of the first session covered obtaining funding through federal grants and through corporate and foundation grants. These workshops were immediately followed by individual coaching sessions.

The next session is scheduled for December and will be on the topic of sustainability and fundraising. The final session in March will be on the topic of forming effective teams to write grants and also on drafting a proposal and quality circle reviews of the proposals.

There will be a final coaching session and a celebratory dinner in June 2018.

Dr. McLean is arranging a third round of workshops for next year. He has negotiated with David Bauer and there are tentative dates for the third round of workshops.

The purpose of these workshops is ultimately to make a positive difference in our communities — a difference we are already seeing from the first round of workshops.

Dr. Holly Morgan, director of Community Education at CCBP, shared an update on the Parent Teacher Leadership Academy (PTLA). Morgan reported that PTLA is beginning the new academic year with several additions to the PTLA family, including the addition of two additional district partners, bringing the total number to six. Additionally, a middle school academy has been added for the current academic year.

Morgan reported that the academy is comprised of 65 percent elementary schools. The numbers for this year’s PTLA are as follows, and represent impressive growth over the previous year. For 2017–2018, there are 32 elementary participants (up from 24 elementary participants last year) and 17 middle schools. That is a grand total of 49 schools this year that will include 227 academy participants.

The six academies included in the program are: Pre-K Academy, Elementary Parent Academy, Hispanic Parent Academy, Teacher Academy, Middle School Parent Academy and Middle School Teacher Academy. The PTLA hopes to grow in the future at the middle school level. Teams are working together on a collaborative model project.

Additionally, PTLA has an upcoming ESC presentation this year.

Dr. Beverly Hawk, director of Global and Community Engagement at CCBP, gave brief updates on Global Café and the Fulbright Scholarship program.

Global Café will begin Sept. 19 with international faculty. Additionally, anyone who is interested is welcome to send his or her students to participate. All are welcome to serve as a conversation partner or to seek one. This includes graduate students and community members. Global Café also welcomes people who are considering traveling internationally and wish to brush up on their foreign-language conversations skills. Last year, conversation partners completed 1,300 hours of one-on-one English language practice conversation, doubling the number of hours from the previous year.

Speaking on Fulbright, Hawk reported that The University of Alabama has 14 Fulbright participants around the globe this year. She encouraged those present to send prospective Fulbright Scholars to her as soon as possible so that she may help them get the application process started. She also reported that many countries participating in Fulbright don’t require fluency in a local language to obtain a certificate to teach English, and shared that Fulbright participants receive a stipend, an airline ticket and a medical insurance policy through the program, and that their student loans are frozen during their participation.

Engagement scholarship in action reports followed.

Dr. K. Andrew Richards, assistant professor of sport pedagogy, and UA student Ms. Victoria Nichole Ivy shared information with the group about the Alabama TOPS program, which focuses on Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) through an after-school physical activity program.

The program offers pre-service teachers the opportunity to teach in an alternative environment, to combine a focus on physical activity with responsibility, to gain 60 hours of teaching experience over two semesters and to develop long-term relationships with students. It provides them with opportunities to understand the realities of teaching grounded in real-world experience, to get to know students as people first and foremost and to overcome the struggles that come with the challenge of developing culturally appropriate lessons. Additionally, this experience helps pre-service teachers learn to maintain patience and teaches them how to formally collect data that will indicate children’s needs, as well as use that data to adjust the curriculum to address those needs. Another observation was that these pre-service teachers’ social justice values increased over the year.

Program participants spend three days each week at the Holt after-school program, which utilizes games and activities to facilitate enjoyment and engagement and use that as a way to open the door to have conversations with after-school program participants about respect, self-control, and a variety of life skills that children need to be able to learn, as well as teach them how to transfer the lessons they have learned beyond the gym. Two physical education (PETE) courses are integrated into the curriculum. The program includes relational time, awareness talk, lesson focus, group meeting, and finally, reflection time. Through this program, the Holt children build positive personal relationships with mentors and each other, gain an understanding of the TPSR goals and their meaning and improve movement concepts and physical activity skills. Following participation, the Holt children indicated a strong appreciation of University time and presence.

Ms. Amanda Lightsey, chair of the Community Partnership Support committee and executive director at Tuscaloosa’s One Place, shared that she is working with other non-profits around Tuscaloosa to learn how to better engage community partners and then get them to engage with The University of Alabama. She has learned that many community partners do not know how to pursue opportunities with UA, and she and those with whom she is working have created a list of six questions geared toward helping them figure out how to move forward to solve that dilemma. Questions include:

  • Do you partner or have you currently partnered with local colleges and universities?
  • Would you know how to find a research partner, faculty member, or department with a local college or university if you had a research project or idea?
  • Would you be willing to participate in a research project?
  • Have you partnered on a research project before?
  • What are the reasons that you would be willing to partner with a college or university?
  • What are the reasons that you would not be willing to partner with a college or a university?

Lightsey discussed how Tuscaloosa’s One Place partnered with different universities throughout the state and shared that the organization works with family issues and impacts about 8,500 people, or 2,500 families, per year. She indicated that one of the things that is most impactful for Tuscaloosa’s One Place is having UA faculty members on their board. These members provide oversight to the agency, expertise into programming, research grants and help with fundraising.

Lightsey also reported that there are more than 2,000 student volunteers at Tuscaloosa’s One Place every year. She said that UA interns are always quality interns and they provide invaluable help to her and her team. Additionally, she reported that Tuscaloosa’s One Place can also count those internship hours as match on their grants.

She also indicated that UA does a lot of staff development such as the Doing What Matters conference. She has found that once people get involved in one way, they tend to stay on and begin to get involved in other ways, as well.

Announcements followed. The next Council meeting will take place Wednesday, October 25, from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center, Rast B. Spring semester meetings are scheduled for Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Bryant Conference Center, Rast B, and Thursday, March 22, 2018, from 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. at a location to be determined. The date for the 12th Annual CCBP Awards program is Wednesday April 18, 2018. The time and location are to be announced.

Meeting was adjourned at 1:08 p.m.

The Council exists to connect faculty, staff, students and community partners in research-based projects designed to solve critical problems identified collaboratively by community members and the University. All academic disciplines, as well as a number of students and community members, are represented on the Council. The Council conducts an awards program, oversees project funding, proposes methods to integrate teaching and research and seeks outside funding, all with the goal of fulfilling the Division of Community Affairs’ motto: “Engaging Communities and Changing Lives.”

The Division of Community Affairs was created in 2004 and is recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in community engagement. The division provided the leadership for the recent reaffirmation of the University’s Carnegie curricular and community engagement classification. The division publishes the Journal of Community Engaged Scholarship, one of the leading refereed journals in the field.

Parent Teacher Leadership Academy Groups Launch Fall Semester Activities

By Yiben Liu
CCBP Graduate Assistant

The Parent Leadership Academy and the Teacher Leadership Academy met jointly to open the fall semester of the Parent Teacher Leadership Academy (PTLA) at the Bryant Conference Center on Thursday, September 21. Marsha Greenfeld, senior program facilitator of National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University, was the guest speaker.

PTLA is a leadership program that provides selected parents and teachers with opportunities to develop their knowledge and abilities as leaders within their school communities. Each parent is selected for participation by their school’s principal.

Dr. James E. McLean, executive director for the Center for Community-Based Partnerships gave the welcome speech, thanking attendees for their commitment to those who benefit from the program. “I know you came here because you want the best for your children and your students,” he said.

During the 2017–2018 school year, teachers and parents in the program will attend sessions to acquire skills that will support student achievement through family/school partnerships. Topics will include Goal-Oriented School, Family and Community Partnerships, Teachers/Parents as Leaders, Collaboration and Communication, School and Board of Education Relations, and Supporting Safe, Healthy and Connected Schools/Communities.

Dr. Holly Morgan, CCBP community education and PTLA program director, said that it was a night of “many firsts.” Now in its 10th year, PTLA is launching the Middle School Academy, bringing parents and teachers from 17 middle schools into the program.

Additionally, two more school districts, Fayette County Schools and Sumter County Schools, have joined the program, bringing the total number to six. The other members are Tuscaloosa City Schools, Tuscaloosa County Schools. Alabaster City Schools and Lamar County Schools. The number of participants has also increased dramatically, from 90 last year to 227 this year.

Greenfeld conducted a motivating session titled: “You Matter and What You Do Matters: Partnerships Help Make the Difference!” This is possible, she said, through building strong and enduring partnerships among schools, families and communities to ensure students’ success. Audiences also participated in a puzzle game promoting the idea of collaboration among schools, families and communities and the roles that the different groups play.

Rock Quarry Elementary School 2nd grade teacher Andrea Ziegler, a native of Tuscaloosa, said: “So many trainings that we have as teachers are based upon academics, and we forget about the relational part of it.” She was “very excited” about getting the right training of how to build the trust and relationships with the parents and the community. She said the workshop “was really helpful tonight. I think I can walk away and start tomorrow [to] build our relationships in the little things that we can do,” Ziegler said.

Shan Jiang, a PhD student from China, who is also a mother of two elementary students, said that huge challenges exist for foreign parents trying to raise their children in the United States. By attending PTLA, she hopes to let her children know that their mother is working hard on their behalf. She also believes that PTLA provides her with a good opportunity to promote diversity in the community and make the voice of minority parents heard by the schools.

PTLA Schedules First Session for Fall 2017; Looks to Year Ahead

By Sophia Xiong
CCBP Volunteer

Two components of the Parent Teacher Leadership Academy (PTLA) will have their first meeting of the fall semester Thursday, September 21. Marsha Greenfeld, senior program facilitator at Johns Hopkins University, will be the guest speaker.

PTLA is a leadership program that provides selected parents and teachers with opportunities to develop their knowledge and abilities as leaders within their school communities. Each parent is chosen for participation by their school’s principal.

The first session of the year will be held in Sellers Auditorium at the Bryant Conference Center on campus. Both the Parent Leadership Academy (PLA) and the Teacher Leadership Academy (TLA) will participate in this collaborative session.

During the 2017–2018 school year, which marks PLA’s 10th anniversary, teachers and parents in the program will have sessions to help them acquire skills that will support student achievement through family/school partnerships. Topics will include Goal-Oriented School, Family and Community Partnerships, Teachers/Parents as Leaders, Collaboration and Communication, School and Board of Education Relations, and Supporting Safe, Healthy and Connected Schools/Communities.

Last year, PTLA provided leadership training for members of the PLA, the TLA, the Hispanic Parent Leadership Academy (HPLA) and Pre-Kindergarten Parent Leadership Academy (PKPLA). This year, in addition to the 32 elementary schools that will participate, the Academy is expanding to include parent and teacher participants from 17 middle schools.

“We are thrilled to launch our new Middle School Academy based upon the requests of our district partners and advisory committee,” said Dr. Holly Morgan, director of community education in the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, an initiative of The University of Alabama’s Division of Community Affairs. “The sessions are based upon the foundational structure of our PTLA curriculum, but each topic will be adapted to the needs of the middle school academy participant.”

In addition to the launch of the Middle School Academy, two additional school districts — Fayette County Schools and Sumter County Schools — will join the program this year, bringing the total number of district partners to six. The other members are Alabaster City Schools, Lamar County Schools, Tuscaloosa City Schools and Tuscaloosa County Schools.

After fulfilling participation requirements, participants are formally recognized by the UA Division of Community Affairs, as well as the respective school superintendents, at the PTLA graduation ceremony. This year’s ceremony is planned for April 10, 2018, and will include a special celebration marking the 10-year anniversary of PLA.

Last year, 90 parents and teachers graduated from the PTLA program. This year, the number of participants has increased to 227. “The overall growth of the Academy is a testament to the support of each of our parents, teachers, administrators, superintendents and community partners,” said Morgan. “Our Academy is truly a collaborative effort, and we are blessed to have all 227 members this year.”

Global Café Announces Fall 2017 Schedule






By Luna Yang
CCBP Graduate Assistant

Global Café will launch new initiatives for the fall semester in the student organization’s continued efforts to engage the diverse campus community at The University of Alabama. The first meeting will be held 5–7 p.m. on Sept. 19 at Capital Hall. The event is open to all students and refreshments will be served.

“Global Café is connecting the world right here in Tuscaloosa,” says Dr. Beverly Hawk, the director of Global and Community Engagement at the Center for Community-Based Partnerships. Through Global Café people with international interests meet visitors from around the world. The program helps students with international interests strengthen their language skills and explore customs. Additionally, during the semester, Global Café’s programming will offer students new paths to campus leadership.

Global Café is an organization that attempts to help international students navigate their new lives in Alabama. It aims to create a safe space for students from diverse backgrounds to talk and gain information related to culturally sensitive issues.

According to the organization’s website (, Global Café invites “participation from individuals who share our goal of an active community. We welcome people from across our community and around the world.”

This fall, students can choose to participate in the language program, designed for U.S. students to practice a foreign language before visiting another country and for international students to improve their English skills.

Lunchtime seminars will be offered to provide useful information regarding campus safety, medical care and campus culture.

Life can be hard for international students and their families when they come to the United States for the first time. Thus, the first Global Café meeting will focus on providing information about family resources on campus and in Tuscaloosa. Leaders from campus organizations and community agencies will be available to answer questions and discuss individual needs.

Global Café is sponsored by UA’s Center for Community-Based Partnerships, located inside Capital Hall, 413 Bryce Lawn Drive. Free parking is available and there is also a bus stop nearby. For more information, please visit, email, or call (205) 348-7392.

Each event is created in partnership with the Capstone International CenterGraduate Parent SupportTuscaloosa’s One Place, the CCBP Student Leadership TeamShelton State Community CollegeStillman College, Tuscaloosa City Schools, the Tuscaloosa County School System and Tuscaloosa Public Library.

For more information and map:

Interfaith Event Helps Students Understand Different Views

By Yiben Liu
CCBP Graduate Assistant

UA Crossroads hosted Explore Better Together on August 29 in the Ferguson Center Great Hall. About 50 students, faculty, staff and community members attended the interfaith event.

The main goal of this third session in the series, according to Crossroads Director Lane McLelland, was to share religious and secular beliefs. “We have held it each year during UA’s Week of Welcome to emphasize that interfaith cooperation is a value supported and upheld at UA,” she said.

One activity was “speed faithing” in which different believers and non-believers listen to belief summaries, giving all attendees an opportunity to discuss and learn. This activity draws on work of the national organization Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC).

Attendees met with Ben and Kylee Hansen, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Campus Ministry, representing Mormon traditions; Bianca Levy and Paulina Bullard, Bama Hillel Student Center, representing Judaism; Rev. John Fleischauer, Wesley Foundation, United Methodist Church, representing Protestantism; Sarah Saeed, Tuscaloosa Muslim community member, representing Islam; Parnab Das, South Asian Society, representing Hinduism; Father Rick Chenault, St. Francis Church, representing Catholicism; and Stephen Cooper and Alex Hoffmann, representing the Crimson Secular Student Alliance.

Ben Hansen, sophomore accounting major from Provo, Utah, said misconceptions about his religion happen occasionally, and people coming together from different backgrounds can build greater understanding and respect for each other.

Paulina Bullard, a sophomore dance major from Olive Branch, Mississippi, said Judaism is often not well understood and that the event was a “great way to communicate because it is safe.” Noting the atmosphere of the event was respectful and professional, she said, “Only positivity can come out of this.”

Junior marketing major Corey Harris from Montgomery learned of the event only two hours beforehand and immediately decided to come. He found Hinduism the most interesting because representative Parnab Das explained how Hinduism overlaps with and differs from Buddhism.

“I think a lot more students should come,” said Harris, “because it gives you new ways of thinking of your own religion.”

Sophomore biology and religious studies major Jarred Collins from Birmingham said he believes science and religion do not contradict each other. “[Tonight] really opened my eyes,” he said. Although one can learn about religions from books and professors, nothing can be compared to “talking to people who really believe in them,” he said.