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EcoVillage at Ithaca serves as sustainable example for students

EcoVillage at Ithaca is a “living, learning laboratory” when it comes to living sustainably. The green community has served as a practical example of the triumphs and challenges of sustainable life, to the benefit of students in the region, as well as people all over the globe.

Recently the educational arm of the community, Learn@EcoVillage, and Cornell University received a Town-Gown Award for several partnerships. One partnership that was highlighted is working with faculty in the department of communication to help students learn how to communicate environmental issues.

Liz Walker, who co-founded Ithaca’s EcoVillage more than 20 years ago, said she loves working with students because they come with a fresh outlook, and also get inspired to apply what they learn from the sustainable community elsewhere.

With a grant from Engaged Cornell, a communications intern will work with EcoVillage in the summer to upgrade their website, social media, create brochures and other things, Walker said.

Read the full article in the Ithaca Voice.

 

Food justice class connects with local seniors

Students in Noliwe Rooks' Food Justice class host a screening and discussion of the film, "A Place at the Table," with residents of McGraw House in downtown Ithaca Dec. 3. The class is studying the issues of food insecurity for low-income and elderly people.

All semester long, students in Noliwe Rooks’s new class, “Race and Social Entrepreneurship: Food Justice and Urban Reform,” have been conducting research, reading about, and discussing issues of food policy, politics, access, and sustainability in Ithaca.

For their final projects, the class split into several groups, many working with residents of Ithaca’s McGraw House, a senior living community, to take some action on food insecurity in our area. One of those groups hosted a film screening of the documentary film “A Place at the Table” Dec. 3 for about 20 residents of McGraw House, followed by discussion and dessert. McGraw House is an independent-living apartment complex for people 62 and older on South Geneva Street.

Having lived through the depression, some of the McGraw House residents said they could relate to the hunger issues described in the movie, but they were surprised to learn the situation is still so bad for many people in the U.S. today.

Read the full story on the College of Arts & Sciences website.

Video: Bruce Levitt on the power of prison theater

Watch on CornellCast.

What impact can theater have on the lives of incarcerated men in a maximum security prison? Bruce Levitt, Cornell professor of performing and media arts, is working with inmates to find out. Honored as the inaugural recipient of the Engaged Scholar Prize for his work as a facilitator for the Phoenix Players Theatre Group at Auburn Correctional Facility, Levitt delivered a lecture on his time with the troupe and his corresponding documentary, “Human Again,” Oct. 28, 2016.

Following the lecture, Levitt participated in a panel discussion with Roadside Theater Artistic Director Dudley Cocke, who has taught theater at Cornell as an artist in residence; and Sandra Folasewa Oyeneyin ’14, a production coordinator for National Geographic Studios, who volunteered with the Phoenix Players as a Cornell student.

The Engaged Scholar Prize honors a distinguished faculty member who inspires students, colleagues and the community through innovative projects that integrate community engagement with scholarly activities.

Town-Gown Awards recognize recent collaborations

togo_winnersThe sixth annual Cornell Town-Gown (TOGO) Awards ceremony, held Nov. 19 at Ithaca High School, celebrated the connections between Cornell University and local communities and highlighted the achievements of local leaders who have left or are leaving high-profile positions.

Kate Supron, Engaged Cornell Cooperative Extension Liaison and former mayor of  Cayuga Heights, was among the community leaders recognized this year.

In addition to the partnerships receiving TOGOs, Cornell Interim President Hunter Rawlings noted several other town-gown collaborations, including those that Engaged Cornell has made possible: a project that mentors girls and underrepresented minority students in Ithaca middle and high schools interested in computer coding; a legal research clinic that provides pro bono work by law students; and a course that includes a project to develop new exhibits with Ithaca Sciencenter staff.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

East Hill Notes: The Increasing Influence of Engaged Cornell

In his Tompkins Weekly column, Gary Stewart, associate vice president in the Office of Cornell Community Relations, highlights Engaged Cornell projects with local community ties.

Read the column in Tompkins Weekly.

Students, faculty present Engaged Cornell projects

Faculty, students, staff, and off-campus partners celebrate recent and new grantees who are advancing community-engaged research and learning on campus and around the world in Baker Portico Oct. 28.Months and years of research were showcased Oct. 28 at the Engaged Cornell grant recipients’ poster session, where students and faculty had the opportunity to share research projects supported by grants from the Office of Engagement Initiatives.

The office provides a number of different grants for curriculum development, research, scholarship, travel, leadership and other community-engagement projects. The event showcased projects ranging from empowering youth through writing to addressing health disparities among rural women.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Bruce Levitt sees prison theater as means of redemption

Bruce Levitt receives the Engaged Scholar proze from Judith Appleton before he speaks on the power of prison theater in Physical Sciences Bldg.

What impact can theater have on the lives of incarcerated men in a maximum security prison? Bruce Levitt, Cornell professor of performing and media arts, is working with inmates to find out.

For the past six years, Levitt has served as a facilitator for the Phoenix Players Theatre Group (PPTG) at Auburn (N.Y.) Correctional Facility, a program described as “transformative” by the inmates who organize and participate in it. In his weekly visits to the prison, Levitt collaborates with the men as they express themselves through theatrical performances that range from Shakespeare to personal narratives.

Honored as the inaugural recipient of the Engaged Scholar Prize for his work with the troupe, Levitt delivered a lecture on his time with the Phoenix Players and his corresponding documentary, “Human Again,” Oct. 28 in the Physical Sciences Building.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

New website helps faculty, staff Navigate travel planning

A new website called Navigate, launched Oct. 2, is designed to help Cornell faculty members and staff handle the operational complexities of off-campus teaching, research and engagement, domestically and internationally.

Read full article in the Cornell Chronicle.

AAC&U article: Community-Engaged Learning Bridges Past and Future at Cornell

These days, many universities incorporate community-engaged experiences into their curricula and cocurricula. At Cornell University, working with neighboring communities is not a novel concept; in fact, it’s been a part of the university’s mission since its founding as New York’s land-grant institution in 1865. A new program, Engaged Cornell, is focusing on bringing community-engaged experiences to a wide range of undergraduate students, updating the university’s longstanding commitment to community engagement for the twenty-first century. Continue reading on the Association of American Colleges & Universities website.

 

Burton, Aching are Provost’s Fellows for Public Engagement

 

Faculty members M. Diane Burton and Gerard Aching have been named the next Provost’s Fellows for Public Engagement.

In their roles, they will work with staff members in the Office of the Vice Provost and Office of Engagement Initiatives, and with administrators in Student and Campus Life, Undergraduate Education and Global Cornell, to contribute to the broad mission of public engagement at the university, with a focus on Engaged Cornell.

The fellows report to Vice Provost Judith Appleton, who announced the appointments.

“Gerard and Diane are wonderfully suited to their roles because of their academic backgrounds and scholarship,” Appleton said. “Gerard studies colonialism, and we’re delighted to have a faculty voice in public engagement who comes from the humanities. And Diane Burton is a social scientist who is very embedded in the business world and entrepreneurship, with a strong interest in the social sector.”

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle

 

Engaged Curriculum Grants support courses, curricula

Fourteen new projects funded with 2016 Engaged Curriculum Grants are underway. With an additional eight teams receiving renewal funding, these grants involve 93 faculty and staff team members, 29 academic departments and nearly 60 community partners. The 37 planned and active courses are expected to reach more than 1,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Proposals for 2017 curriculum grants are being accepted, as are proposals for other grants supported by Engaged Cornell.

The 14 newly funded projects are summarized below, with abstracts posted on the Engaged Cornell website …

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle

New grant opportunities launched

The Office of Engagement Initiatives is pleased to announce the 2017 Request for Proposals (RFP) available to Cornell faculty, students, and staff. To browse the opportunities and apply for funding for community-engaged work, visit engaged.cornell.edu/funding.

Proposals currently being accepted:

The Office of Engagement Initiatives supports the creation of new community-engaged curricula, research, and opportunities, as well as the further development and curricular integration of current community-engaged teaching and research initiatives through several grant programs. If you have specific questions about any of these, please get in touch with the Office of Engagement Initiatives through this contact form.

Engaged Cornell names 2016 faculty fellows

Twelve faculty members from seven Cornell departments have been named Engaged Cornell faculty fellows for the 2016-17 academic year. This selective program supports faculty who do community-engaged teaching or research and use their scholarship to address challenges in the world beyond campus.

“In this yearlong learning cohort, fellows collaboratively explore cutting-edge theories and practices of community-engaged learning and research,” says Anna Sims Bartel, associate director of community-engaged curricula and practice in the Office of Engagement Initiatives. “They advance their own courses and projects as they build relationships with each other across disciplines, weaving a network of engaged scholarship across communities and curricula.”

Some fellows’ projects span the globe, while others have a local focus, addressing such topics as climate change, racial justice, cybersecurity and social-impact investing.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle

2016 Engaged Curriculum Grant Recipients

The Engaged Curriculum Grants bring a new wave of community-engaged learning and discovery to Cornell. The twenty-two funded projects involve ninety-three faculty and staff team members, thirty-five academic departments, and more nearly sixty community partners. The thirty-seven planned and active courses will engage more than 1,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students once all curricula are implemented.

For more information and a complete list of 2016 Engaged Cornell Curriculum Grant Recipients, click here.

Supron joins staff as Engaged Cornell Cooperative Extension Liaison

supron460Kate Supron has begun as the Engaged Cornell Cooperative Extension Liaison and is focused on increasing opportunities for community-engaged research, learning, and service projects. The liaison position was created to strengthen collaboration among Cornell students, faculty and staff, and the 57 CCE association offices across the state.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Food science seniors sweeten flourishing businesses

foodscienceclass460_2The organic graham crackers must stay fresh in the packaging, the wine-infused mustard requires shelf stability, and the all-natural frozen Greek yogurt needs a safety plan. Welcome to Food Science 4000, the capstone course where Cornell seniors draw on their knowledge to aid New York food businesses and strengthen enterprises.

This course is supported by a 2015 Engaged Curriculum Grant.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Social justice student projects receive additional funding

The seven Cornell student projects that were presented at the Clinton Global Initiative University annual meeting in April have received additional funding from Engaged Cornell. The funds will support students as they seek innovative solutions to pressing global challenges in education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

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Bruce Levitt awarded inaugural Engaged Scholar Prize

Professor of performing and media arts Bruce Levitt is the inaugural recipient of Cornell’s Engaged Scholar Prize, Vice Provost Judith Appleton announced May 11.

Administered by Engaged Cornell, the annual prize recognizes a faculty member who inspires others with innovative integration of teaching, learning, and research involving public or community-based partnerships. Levitt was nominated for the prize by the Department of Performing and Media Arts (PMA).

In his teaching, Levitt has developed classes around community-based theater as a catalyst for social change, exposing his students “to the integral relationship of theater to its cultural context, helping them to grow through enhanced understanding of civic engagement and social action,” PMA department chair Nick Salvato said in his nomination letter.

Since 2011, Levitt has been the lead facilitator for the Phoenix Players Theatre Group (PPTG) at Auburn Correctional Facility, a program initiated by inmates in 2009 with assistance from Stephen Cole, late professor emeritus of theater arts.

Read the full story on the College Arts & Sciences website.

Rebecca Stoltzfus appointed vice provost for undergraduate education

Professor Rebecca Stoltzfus, the provost’s fellow for public engagement and key member of the Engaged Cornell leadership team, has been appointed vice provost for undergraduate education for a five-year term effective July 1, 2016. She will oversee initiatives enhancing undergraduate instruction and related programs, in collaboration with academic leaders and units across campus.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Showcase honors engaged students, faculty

Engagement at Cornell is alive and well,” said Richard Kiely at the fourth annual Community Engagement Showcase, which attracted more than 200 people April 11.

Kiely, director of engaged learning and research for Engaged Cornell, called the showcase a time to “celebrate, collaborate and learn, and be inspired.”

Undergraduate and graduate students and faculty presented 42 projects that highlight community engagement at Cornell and span the globe from Ithaca to Honduras to India. The featured work developed out of class-based projects as well as co-curricular activities.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Nine projects receive undergrad engaged research funding

Nine teams at Cornell conducting research from Ithaca to India were recently awarded Undergraduate Engaged Research Programs grants, administered by Engaged Cornell.

The awards, new in 2016, fund research projects that will involve 34 faculty and staff members across 18 academic departments and units in all Cornell undergraduate colleges, as well as an anticipated 136 undergraduate students and 16 community partners.

Read more in the Cornell Chronicle.

 

Students tackle global challenges at Clinton conference

It takes more than just hard work to turn an idea for advancing social justice into a successful reality. It also takes inspiration, a strong network and a lot of support, encouragement, and advice.

That’s exactly what 10 students received when they participated in the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) annual meeting, April 1-3, at the University of California, Berkeley. Each year, CGI U hosts students, topic experts, and celebrities to discuss and develop innovative solutions to pressing global challenges in education, environment and climate change, peace and human rights, poverty alleviation, and public health.

Read more in the Cornell Chronicle.

Students explore criminal justice through new minor

Many of today’s Cornell students are acutely aware of the problems with the U.S. criminal justice system. Ask a class of students how many African-American men are incarcerated and they can give you the stats: one in six. How many people are in prison or jail in the U.S.? About 2.2 million, more than any other country in the world.

“Students are studying and reading about criminal justice policy on their own because they realize this is a major issue they’ll need to address in their lifetime,” said Jamila Michener, assistant professor of government and one of the key faculty members behind the new interdisciplinary Crime, Prisons, Education and Justice minor offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Showcase celebrates community engagement April 11

The fourth annual Community Engagement Showcase will be held Monday, April 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Physical Sciences Building Atrium. A celebration of local and global community-engaged projects, the showcase promotes high-impact learning, experiential education, critical reflection and community partnerships.

Read more in the Cornell Chronicle.

Engaged Cornell graduate grants fund 10 Ph.D. students

Ten Cornell doctoral students will work with community partners in New York state and around the world on individual research projects supported by Engaged Cornell. The first Engaged Graduate Student Grants were announced by Vice Provost Judith Appleton.

The grants support and enhance partnerships while providing opportunities for Cornell doctoral students to conduct critical research and scholarship. Doctoral students in all fields of study are eligible for the grants, which support work relevant to their doctoral dissertations, including training and learning experiences. Applications for the next round of grant funding will be announced in the fall.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Grants address critical needs of New York communities

This summer a multidisciplinary team of students will give voice to farmers in Tioga County, New York, shedding light on their challenges and triumphs, motivations for becoming farmers and plans for the future. The project, “Our Farms; Our Stories,” is one of three to receive grant funding in the inaugural round of Engaged Cornell Cooperative Extension Student Projects.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

2015 Engaged Curriculum Grant descriptions

The inaugural Engaged Curriculum Grants bring a new wave of community-engaged learning and discovery to Cornell. The eighteen funded projects involve ninety-nine faculty and staff team members, thirty-two academic departments, and more than forty community partners. The thirty-seven planned and active courses will engage more than 1,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students once all curricula are implemented.

Read descriptions of all eighteen 2015 grant recipients.

Karen Nicholas joins CCE as Engaged Cornell liaison in NYC

Cornell Cooperative Extension New York City (CUCE-NYC) recently welcomed Karen Nicholas to its staff as the Engaged Cornell NYC liaison.

Nicholas’ work will involve expanding the capacity and interest of Cornell faculty and students to develop and enhance community-engaged scholarship and teaching efforts involving New York City communities, organizations, and residents.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Speaker series to explore community engagement

A spring 2016 speaker series at Cornell will feature practitioners and scholars who will share diverse perspectives on local community engagement.

Speakers will explore opportunities in local community partnerships, how to strengthen communities through storytelling, how to use analytics to enhance community-engaged teaching, and innovative methods to teach students about social impact. Free and open to all.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Announcing CCE candidate proposals

Step 1 of the 2016 Engaged Cornell Cooperative Extension Student Projects RFP process has been completed with the submission of proposals by CCE Associations that describe county-based projects seeking student and faculty participation.

Step 2 seeks faculty proposals from all colleges and schools to address seven CCE candidate proposals.

Symposium sets tone for ‘new wave of leaders’ at Cornell

Cornell’s leadership and mentoring initiatives will be strengthened through increased coordination and with deeper integration of community engagement. This was the consensus among the more than 125 faculty and staff who participated in the “A New Wave of Leaders” symposium hosted by Engaged Cornell December 8.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Bishop, Jackson-Smarr, and Barrett Wittman join Engaged Cornell team

Engaged Cornell recently welcomed three new staff members: Mike Bishop is directing Engaged Cornell’s leadership programming; Rochelle Jackson-Smarr is an assistant director of engaged learning and research; and Amanda Barrett Wittman is an associate director of engaged learning and research.

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Leadership Symposium on December 8

Cornell faculty and staff will share strategies for student leadership development at a symposium, “A New Wave of Leaders,” December 8 from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in G10 Biotech.

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Announcing Two Grant RFPs and New Faculty Prize

Engaged Cornell has announced three funding opportunities for 2016:

  • Undergraduate Engaged Research Programs
  • Engaged Curriculum Grants
  • Engaged Scholar Prize

Learn more at an upcoming info session.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Help Wanted: Engaged Cornell/Cornell Cooperative Extension Seeking Liaisons

Cornell University has postings for two new positions — one in New York City and one in Ithaca, New York — charged with supporting Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and Engaged Cornell in facilitating access to community-engaged research, learning and service experiences for students, faculty, and staff.

Ithaca-based position

New York City–based position

Basil Safi Appears on WHCU’s All Things Equal

Engaged Cornell’s executive director, Basil Safi, appeared on WHCU radio’s All Things Equal to speak with host Gary Stewart about his experiences as a new resident of Tompkins County and the future of Engaged Cornell.

Download or listen to the show here.

New Opportunities and Resources for Students

With the semester fully underway, a new Engaged Cornell funding opportunity and a course-selection resource are now available to students.

“The initiative officially launched on September 1, and it’s great to be able to roll out these community-engaged related items of interest to students,” says Basil Safi, executive director. “We look forward to providing more details throughout the semester and the academic year.”

Community-Engaged Learning Course Guide
To help students more easily take advantage of dynamic learning opportunities, Courses of Study now includes a listing of community-engaged courses. Courses are offered from various colleges and disciplines to engage students, faculty, and community partners on issues relating to poverty, literacy, education, access, health care, immigration, hunger, affordable housing, environment, and others.

Community Engaged Student Grant Program
Available now, these grants provide funding to Cornell students participating in service-learning and/or community-based research domestically or internationally. The goal of the program is to make engaged learning financially accessible for students across the university and to help ensure that the cohort of participants in engaged learning experiences more fully represents the diversity at Cornell. The grants are administered by, Engaged Learning and Research, with applications submitted via a new streamlined system, the Off-Campus Opportunity Fund.

Law School Farmworker Clinic Funded by Engaged Curriculum Grant

The Cornell Chronicle has published a story about a new course in the Law School that is taught by new faculty member Beth Lyon. The Cornell Farmworker Legal Assistance Clinic is one of the only legal clinics in the U.S. to assist farmworkers and one of the first to serve rural immigrant communities. Lyon and her team received an Engaged Curriculum Grant to support the development of the course.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

First Engaged Curriculum Grants Awarded

Engaged Cornell has awarded its inaugural Engaged Curriculum Grants to 18 projects initiated by faculty across the university. The grants, totaling $930,299, support work that places community-engaged learning at the heart of the Cornell student experience.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Engaged Curriculum Grants Update

Engaged Cornell’s Year Zero has been a busy year for the Engaged Cornell executive committee and the Public Engagement Council as well as the existing and newly hired staff. The executive team hired an executive director, Basil Safi; a financial specialist, Hei Hei Chan, and a communications director, Aaron Goldweber.

The Engaged Cornell team also rolled out the first major funding initiative, the Engaged Curriculum Grants. The grants were designed to offer departments, programs, and cross-disciplinary groups a funding opportunity to create courses that connect learning in the disciplines through direct interaction with a community. The goal of this initiative is to encourage faculty to develop an understanding of the intersection of community engagement with teaching, learning, and knowledge-creation and to apply that understanding to their curricula and to their research.

The campus responded enthusiastically to the first round of Request for Proposal for the Engaged Cornell Grants. In February, 47 teams from 42 departments across eight colleges and schools submitted Letters of Intent (LOI). The LOIs were reviewed Public Engagement Council members, who provided feedback to the submitting teams. On April 30, 25 teams from 42 departments, across the eight colleges and schools submitted full proposals for consideration. Altogether, 135 Cornell faculty are involved in these programs. Most of the teams applied for Development Grants, but we received a few Advancement and Planning grants (http://engaged.cornell.edu/grant-types/). Over a third of the faculty involved in these proposals came from the College of Agriculture and Life Science, and approximately 20 percent teach at the College of Arts and Science. The rest of the applications came from the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, the College of Engineering, the College of Human Ecology, the College of Veterinary Medicine, from the School of Industrial and Labor Relations and from the Law School. The proposals are currently under review.

We plan to continue this grants program for the next several years, so look for the second request for proposals to be announced in late fall.

Basil Safi Named Executive Director

Basil Safi, team leader at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs and director of field programs for its Knowledge for Health Project, has been named executive director of the Engaged Cornell initiative, Vice Provost Judith Appleton announced March 26. Safi will begin his new position June 11.

Read the full story in the Cornell Chronicle.

Welcome to Year Zero!

As we look forward to the start of Year 1 of Engaged Cornell in August 2015, the leadership team hopes to use this site to share information, make introductions, and report progress. This first installment will serve to update on Year Zero activities.

The first programmatic initiative is the Engaged Cornell Curriculum Grants Program. Letters of Intent from faculty teams were submitted in February. 47 letters from 42 departments and academic programs were submitted. Full applications are due on April 30 and awardees will be notified in June. These grants are intended to support the planning and development of new curricula, or to improve existing curricula, that incorporate community engagement into disciplinary study.

The Engagement Hub, to be located on the second and third floors of Kennedy Hall, is in the very early stages of planning. The space will welcome students, staff, faculty members and community partners, promoting interactions among people and programs, while also providing workspace and meeting space. A number of units that share missions relating to community engagement will co-locate there, including Engaged Learning and Research, the Public Service Center, Cornell Commitment, the Cornell Prison Education Program, Undergraduate Research, the Education Minor, CLASP, and Ag in the Classroom.

We are also in the process of filling a few key staff positions. Currently, Engaged Cornell is staffed by a financial specialist, Hei Hei Chan. Hei Hei arrived in January. Engaged Learning and Research added a new associate director, Anna Sims Bartel, who dived in immediately with workshops to support the teams writing Engaged Curriculum grants. Executive Director Basil Safi will begin his role in June. We are in the midst of a search for a senior director of communications.