Campus News

March 1, 2010

Apply for engaged learning grants

A new faculty grant program, offered three times a year, provides the tools for students to become socially conscious leaders, positively transforming communities.

Community-Engaged Learning Initiatives Grants, administered by the Office of University-Community Partnerships (OUCP) with the support of Emory’s strategic plan, provide funding for faculty to plan, grow and leverage pedagogy to deepen linkages with neighborhood groups, nonprofit agencies and public agencies in metro Atlanta. OUCP expects to support several projects in each round of funding and is accepting proposals for summer and fall of 2010 until April 30.

Preparing an engaged scholar involves a continuum of learning, which could begin with a volunteer project during the student’s first days on campus, move into a community-engaged learning course and an internship that connects classroom concepts to real-world applications, and culminate in original research for an honors thesis on a pressing social issue.

“It’s not just about conducting experiments in the community,” says Sam Marie Engle, senior associate director of OUCP. “It’s about inviting community partners as co-creators of knowledge and solutions.”

Engaged learning is already a fixture on campus, from students conducting green energy audits for the city of Atlanta to tutoring Hispanic immigrants in ESL classes. The grant program represents a concentrated effort by Emory’s nine academic units to achieve maximum impact, says Engle.

So far, OUCP has received five grant proposals from across the University, which will be reviewed by a selection committee chaired by Provost Earl Lewis. Awards range from $10,000 to $80,000, with matching contributions provided by departments or programs which may be in-kind. The funding supports a host of activities, including curricular planning, faculty training and seed money to get projects off the ground, such as institutionalizing partnerships with agencies working in affordable housing, environmental conservation or poverty reduction. Target neighborhoods include the Buford Highway corridor, the Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway corridor, West Highlands, Edgewood, central DeKalb County and Newton and Rockdale counties.

Faculty who are awarded funding will also receive preferential consideration for the Faculty Fellows Program this fall, giving them access to seminars and special projects.

“Through this process, different parts of the University are becoming much more aware of what other parts are doing,” says Vialla Hartfield-Mendez, OUCP’s new director of engaged learning, adding that many of the proposals involve collaboration across academic units.

“In the end, we will have an array of models at Emory that will give rise to other proposals,” she says.

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Related Information

  • For more information on the Community-Engaged Learning Initiatives Grants, contact Director of Engaged Learning Vialla Hartfield-Mendez (404.727.6392).