Faculty Funding

Engaged Scholar Prize

Celebrating extraordinary community-engaged teaching, learning and research

Read about the 2017 Engaged Scholar Prize recipient, Max Zhang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.


A celebration of faculty achievement, the annual Engaged Scholar Prize recognizes a faculty member whose innovative approaches to connecting community engagement and scholarly activities stand out and serve as inspiration to students, colleagues and community partners alike.


The Engaged Scholar Prize carries an award of $30,000 to further expand and deepen community-engaged activities through support to essential participants, including community partner(s), the faculty member and Cornell students—undergraduate, graduate or professional.

Public Presentation

The Engaged Scholar Prize represents Cornell’s commitment to supporting faculty members who teach, research and act in ways that demonstrate higher education to be a critical partner in confronting the world’s most challenging questions. With this distinction, the recipient is asked to give a public presentation or workshop in a venue appropriate to their work. An additional stipend will be provided to support the participation of key community partners in this presentation.

2018 Nominations

The Office of Engagement Initiatives will announce the recipient of the 2018 prize by mid-April.

Award Criteria

The Engaged Scholar Prize recognizes excellence in multiple aspects of community-engaged learning, teaching and research, including:

  • integration of community engagement across the following:
    • teaching and mentoring;
    • research and scholarship;
    • creation of public goods and networks (e.g., exhibits, websites, groups);
  • demonstration of reciprocity and mutuality in community-based partnerships;
  • commitment to assessment of impacts and learning outcomes for all participants.

Nomination Process

Nominations for the Engaged Scholar Prize may be submitted online until February 26, 2018.

Candidates for this award may be self-nominated or nominated by others. All actively tenured and tenure-track faculty, and non-tenure-track faculty are eligible.

The nomination should be in the form of a brief letter that speaks to the award criteria, above. Nominees will also submit a package of supporting materials, described below.

Submission Package Checklist

  • Narrative description, including:
    • history of the nominee’s involvement with community-engaged teaching, learning and research;
    • integration of community engagement within teaching, learning and research activities;
    • evidence of the impact of the work on students and communities and/or community partner(s);
    • evidence of research, service or creative products resulting from the partnership.
  • Letters of support from:
    • dean;
    • department chair;
    • community partner(s);
    • other colleague(s).
  • Nominee’s CV
  • Website or other material of the community partner(s) stating the public purpose of the partner(s)



Max Zhang, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering


Bruce Levitt, professor of performing and media arts

Questions about the prize?

Contact the Office of Engagement Initiatives. We’re here to help.