UA Sending Large Delegation to 16th Annual Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference at Penn State
September 24, 2015
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Twenty-four UA faculty, staff and students will represent the University of Alabama at the 16th Annual Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) Conference and related programs hosted by Penn State University and ESC’s East Region Sept. 27–30 in State College, Pa. Many of the delegates will present research papers and others will serve as program conveners and moderators.
The conference opens with preconference events on Sunday, September 27, with the main events occurring on September 29 and 30. All events will be held at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College. This year’s conference theme is “Engaged Scholarship: Advancing Rigor, Elevating Impact.” Volume 8, Number 2 of the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship (JCES), published at the University of Alabama, will be distributed at the conference and will feature highlights and research form ESC 2014, held at the University of Alberta, Canada.
The conference will include recognition of achievements by two UA members, Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for the Division of Community Affairs, and Dr. Cassandra E. Simon, founding editor of JCES.
Pruitt will be announced as the nominee for the next president of the ESC Board of Directors. He will also be inducted into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES). His election to ACES recognizes his leadership in the field of engagement scholarship through contributions to the theory and practice of working collaboratively with community partners to address important societal needs. The nomination undergoes a rigorous review of the prospective member’s body of work based on excellence in using engagement scholarship practices, approaches and values collaboratively to address society’s most pressing needs and issues.
Among Pruitt’s many community-related accomplishments cited in his election to ACES are:
• UA’s first vice president-level official charged with coordinating its community engagement and outreach activities.
• Leadership in UA’s initial recognition and subsequent recertification as a Carnegie community and curricular engaged campus.
• Host and chief planner of the 2012 Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference, the first to be hosted by a non-land-grant institution.
• Establishment of the Center for Community-Based Partnerships to generate scholarship and other activities that involve faculty, students and community members in projects that benefit the community, state and nation. These include the Parent Teacher Leadership Academy in cooperation with local schools; SCOPE (Scholars for Community Outreach, Partnership and Engagement) for students and young scholars; Saving Lives Initiative and a faith-based conference, “Faith and the Community: Communal Empowerment Through Creative Collaboration” in cooperation with area churches; Black Belt One Hundred Lenses, increasing numbers of first-generation college students; STEM Academy connecting high school teachers and students with university resources in science, technology, engineering and math; Global Café bringing together international families on campus with community resources and has resulted in record numbers of Fulbright scholars in recent years; Crossroads Community Center committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive campus and facilitating community dialogue through a variety of programs; the Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, recognized internationally as one of the top peer-reviewed journals in the field of community- engaged scholarship.
Also at the conference, Pruitt will be nominated as only the second president of the ESC Board of Directors in the organization’s 16-year history. Pruitt has been a member of the ESC Board of Directors since its inception.
Simon will receive an award at a reception in appreciation of her leadership, dedication to excellence, and commitment to engagement scholarship as founding editor of JCES. Dr. Nick Sanyal of the University of Idaho will succeed Simon as editor. Simon will also participate in an engagement journal editors’ roundtable.
UA will be well represented with faculty and students presenting and taking part as discussants and in other ways. Following are brief descriptions of some of UA’s participation in the conference and a list of the delegation.
Dr. George Daniels, Communication and Information Sciences, will present “Service Center as Service-Learning Innovation: How a Classroom Change of Venue Transforms Instruction.” He will be the session organizer of a workshop entitled “Elevating Impact on Men of Color: Partnerships as Strategies for My Brother’s Keeper”; Simon, Dr. Josephine Pryce, and Vicky Carter, School of Social Work, will conduct a workshop entitled “Navigating and Negotiating Engaged Partnerships: A Workshop for Community Partners”; Adriane Sheffield, College of Education graduate student, will be a discussant at a special roundtable discussion by the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship.
Others attending include Carol Agomo, director of community and administrative affairs in the Division of Community Affairs, is a member of the planning team for the Outreach and Engagement Staff Workshop; from the Center for Community-Based Partnerships: Dr. Adam Bubb, Dr. Rosianna Gray, Dr. Jermaine Mitchell, Antonio Gardner and Douglas Craddock; from the Division of Community Affairs: Karyn Bowen and LeNa’ Powe McDonald; Dr. Alexis Cornelison, Dr. Paige Lauer, Dr. Elizabeth Tillotson and Dr. Rodney Pinder, mechanical engineering; Dr. Pauline Johnson, civil, construction and environmental engineering: Dr. Jeffrey Parker, psychology; Dr. Christopher Shropshire, College of Education; Dr. Lindsey Smith, political science; and Dr. Reale Snorton, marketing.
ESC is an international group of universities that champion engaged scholarship, a blend of university teaching, research and service that addresses critical societal problems in collaboration with community organizations with students often playing key roles.