TUSCALOOSA "” The University of Alabama is hosting an international gathering that begins this Sunday of university faculty, staff, students and community partners engaged in research that brings community and academic leaders together to solve problems and promote change.

Some 550 delegates are expected at the National Outreach Scholarship Conference (NOSC), Sunday through Wednesday [Sept. 30"“Oct. 3]. Some 75 colleges and universities in 35 states, Canada and Africa will develop the theme "Partner. Inspire. Change."

All sessions will be at the Bryant Conference Center unless otherwise stated.

NOSC 2012 will focus on an integrated approach to higher education known as engagement scholarship that combines teaching and research to solve critical problems through campus-community partnerships.

"This is a great opportunity to host one of the most powerful events in higher education today, as University faculty, staff, students and community partners explore best practices in working together to solve critical problems our communities face," said UA President Guy Bailey. "We look forward to welcoming the engaged scholarship community to our campus."

Following several pre-conference events over the weekend, Bailey will welcomes delegates at 2 p.m., Monday in Sellers Auditorium. In the opening plenary, a panel of current and former university presidents will take stock of engagement scholarship as currently practiced. On the panel will be President Bailey; Dr. David Wilson, president, Morgan State University; Dr. William Muse of the Kettering Foundation, former president, Auburn University; and Dr. Lee T. Todd Jr., former president, University of Kentucky.

At 3 p.m. Monday in Sellers Auditorium there will be a homecoming for keynote speaker James Joseph, former U.S. ambassador to South Africa who taught at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa and was a local civil rights leader in the 1960s. Today, he is public policy professor and founder of the United States-Southern Africa Center for Leadership and Public Values at Duke University. His address: "The Civic Engagement Imperative: Higher Education and the Public Good."

As host and a founding member of NOSC, UA has a tradition of using its resources to help communities at home and abroad solve problems, said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, UA vice president for community affairs and a founding member of the NOSC Board of Directors.

"UA brings benefits to the state through initiatives that include automobile industry development, rural health research and delivery, and improving opportunities for minorities and women in business and in the mass media," Pruitt said.

Through its small grants program, UA has launched scores of projects leading to additional research funding in excess of $5 million in science, medicine, education, library studies, engineering and the arts.

"Scholars at research universities use internal initiatives to go after external resources to expand their studies and consequently add to society's body of knowledge," Pruitt said. "This process adds to our students' learning, our faculty's resources, and improvements in the communities with whom we form partnerships."

This year's meeting will feature some 234 research presentations in 89 concurrent sessions in three tracks "” faculty/staff, students, and community partners. Some 63 research proposals are from UA and Auburn University faculty, staff and students or their community partners.

"By bringing this important international conference to Alabama, these two great institutions will showcase our progress in science, engineering, the arts, social sciences and the humanities," Pruitt said.

Janet Griffith, UA assistant provost, and Dr. Ed Mullins, director of research and communication for the Center for Community-Based Partnerships, along with Dr. Chippewa Thomas, Auburn University's director of faculty engagement, are members of the NOSC Leadership Committee, which planned the conference.

As host, UA will treat participants to local flavor by serving Alabama food and providing specially made conference bags created by the seamstresses of Black Belt Designs of York.

The two universities will co-sponsor "Barbecue, Blues, and Blue Jeans," featuring the Alabama Blues Project, a Tuscaloosa-based group at 6:30 p.m., Monday, in The Zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium,

Research presentations and special programs show the range of engaged scholarship on campus and throughout the world. (For a complete program listing, go to the conference website at

Other highlights:

"¢ "Making the Most Out of NOSC," for students and first-time attendees, led by UA Dean of the Graduate School David Francko. "” 1 p.m., Monday, Birmingham Room

Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship Editorial Board meeting and reception. "” 3:30 p.m., Monday, Hotel Capstone Presidents Room

"¢ "The Science of Outreach: Formulas for K-12 STEM," Dr. Tuere Bowles, NC State University. "” 3:45 p.m., Monday, Hotel Capstone Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ "A Vision for Aging Communities and Congregations: Successful Aging Conferences," Dr. Michael Parker, University of Alabama. "” 3:45 p.m., Monday, Mason Room

"¢ "Inspiring Generational Change: Reconnecting Relationships to Community, Land and Education on Local Ground: Developing the Life Skills Journey for Children," Antoinette Freitas, University of Hawaii, Manoa. "” 3:45 p.m., Monday, Lackey Room

"¢ Carnegie 2015 Community Engagement Classification Reclassification: What Does It Mean Now? Dr. Lorilee Sandmann, University of Georgia. "” 4:45 p.m., Monday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ Poster Session 1 and cocktail reception, 19 posters on display. "” 5:30 p.m."“6:30 p.m., Monday, Rast Room

"¢ Breakfast Plenary, "The Future of Morality: What Role Should Colleges and Universities Play?" Stephen Black, director, Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, University of Alabama. "” 7:30 a.m., Tuesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame Breakfast, with Emerging Engagement Scholars Workshop. "” Tuesday, 7:45 a.m., Hotel Capstone Governors Room

"¢ "Bamboo as Catalyst for Creative, Educational and Economic Engagement Opportunities," poster symposium by Dr. Marcy Koontz, University of Alabama, and a team of students and community partners. Koontz has pushed bamboo-related research since 2010, using community-engaged scholarship principles. She is leading efforts to build a learning park made with bamboo adjacent to Kentuck Park in Northport. In partnership with the Northport community, the educational park serves students and promotes bamboo as an economic boost for rural economies. "” 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ Dr. Jonathan Scherch of Antioch College in Seattle will also make a bamboo presentation, "From Rhizomes to Resilience: Black Belt Bamboo and Sustainable Partnerships." "” 2 p.m., Tuesday, Mason Room

"¢ "100 Lenses: How Arts-Based Youth Partnerships Transform Students' Lives," featuring UA doctoral student Elliot Knight and his partnership with the Black Belt Community Foundation, UA's Center for Community-Based Partnerships, the Alabama State Council of the Arts, and public and private schools in the Black Belt region. Using photography, film and writing, 100 Lenses depicts the region through the eyes of its youth. "” 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, Central Room

"¢ "Building More Than Homes: Habitat, Academic and Corporate Sponsorships," Elissa Bakke, Southern Indiana University. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Mobile Room

"¢ "Department Heads' Perceptions about the Scholarship of Engagement," Dr. Patricia Sobrero, NC State University. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Central Room

"¢ "Developing Volunteer Boundary Spanners: Connecting Universities to Local Communities," Jenny W. Jordan, University of Georgia. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone, Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ Magrath Presentations. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Birmingham Room

"¢ "Using Farmers Markets as a Model for Community Engagement," Andrea Mabry, University of Alabama, research findings from UA's student-run, campus farmers market featuring local food, products, activities for children and entertainment. "” 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Wilson Room

"¢ "Living Democracy: Moving Beyond Service in Alabama Communities, Nan Fairley, Auburn University. "” 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Lackey Room

"¢ "Partnering in the Alabama Black Belt," Pamela Dorr, HERO Housing, Greensboro, Alabama. "” 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Wilson Room

"¢ Magrath Regional Awards/Lunch, moderated by Roy Clem, executive director, Alabama Public Television. "” 12:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ "Imagine a Truly 21st Century Engaged University," Dr. Dave King, Oregon State University. "” 2 p.m., Tuesday, Birmingham Room

"¢ "The Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at UA," Dean Robert Olin, University of Alabama. "” 2 p.m., Tuesday, Mobile Room

"¢ "Community Partners and Students: Tips for Getting Published In Engagement Work," led by UA's Dr. Cassandra Simon, editor, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, assisted by Dr. Jessica Averitt Taylor, Northern Kentucky University, and Vicky Carter, UA doctoral student. "” 2:45"“4:45 p.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone, Fitzpatrick Room

"¢ "From the Ground Up: The Evolution of a Partnership," Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, University of Alabama. The presentation will document the Holt Community Partnership, a university-school-community partnership developed to revive Holt's economy. "” 3 p.m., Tuesday, Central Room

"¢ Lessons Learned: Theories and Local Evidence of Successful Community Practices,

Dr. John Peters, University of Tennessee. "” 3 p.m., Tuesday, Wilson Room

"¢ "Shoulder to Shoulder Global: A Partnership for Change in Ecuador," Dr. Melody Ryan, University of Kentucky. "” 3 p.m., Tuesday, Hotel Capstone, Murphy Room

"¢ Measuring and Reporting Outreach and Engagement: A Public Value Perspective,

Nancy Franz, Iowa State University. "” 4 p.m., Tuesday, Birmingham Room

"¢ Poster Session 2 and cocktail reception, 34 posters. "” 4:45"“6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Rast Room

Tour of Foster Auditorium and Malone-Hood Plaza led by civil rights expert and former UA administrator Dr. Culpepper Clark and UA women's basketball coach Wendell Hudson. "” 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

"¢ Breakfast plenary, "Fits and Starts: Visions for the Community Engaged University," Speakers: Dr. Kevin Kecskes, Portland State University; and Dr. Kevin Foster, University of Texas at Austin. "” 8 a.m., Wednesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ "Engaging Youth, Engaging Neighborhoods: Photovoice, Narrative, and Critical Geography," Kevin Burke, University of Notre Dame. "” 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Wilson Room

"¢ "Who’s Publishing What? Publication Patterns in Seven Community Engagement Journals,” Dr. Diane Doberneck, Michigan State University; also, Dr. Jessica Taylor, University of Northern Kentucky, "Improving Scholarly Writing." "” 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, Rast Room B

"¢ "KEMET Academy: A Sustainable Community Development Model for K-12 Support," Cheryl Seals, Auburn University; also, "STEM Outreach from Higher Ed to K-12: Collaborative Partnering," Lisa Grable, NC State University. "” 9:30 a.m., Wednesday Lackey Room

"¢ Closing Plenary "” Poster awards, closing remarks, 2013 invitation by Texas Tech delegation, Dr. Samory Pruitt, University of Alabama, presiding. "” 11:30 a.m."“12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sellers Auditorium

"¢ Civil Rights Tour to Selma, Alabama. Visit Brown Chapel AME Church and First Baptist Church in Selma, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., joined the movement; National Voting Rights Museum in downtown Selma; walk across Edmund Pettus Bridge, where "Bloody Sunday" took place March 7, 1965. "” 1"“8 p.m., Wednesday

"¢ Tour to Auburn Rural Studio Tour, Safe House, and Pie Lab. Visit Auburn Rural Studio projects, as well as the Safe House Museum and Pie Lab in Greensboro about 40 minutes from Tuscaloosa. The Rural Studio, a design-and-build program of the Auburn University School of Architecture, teaches students social responsibility while providing sound business and living structures for poor communities. The Safe House Museum is situated in a small house once used to conceal Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Pie Lab restaurant is distinctive as a place for people to engage in conversation centering on engagement and social justice. "” 1"“8 p.m., Wednesday

"¢ Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship Think-Tank, chaired by Dr. Pat Sobrero, NC State University. "” 1"“4 p.m., Wednesday, 7:30 a.m."“noon, Thursday, Thames Room