Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program

Scott Peters

Scott PetersA 2015-16 Engaged Faculty Fellow, Scott Peters is a Professor in the Department of Development Sociology in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and serves as faculty co-director of a national consortium of over 100 colleges and universities, called Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life. Read his faculty profile or website for more information.

About the Project

During the Fall 2015 Semester, Peters taught DSOC 4700, which is the capstone course for undergraduate majors in Development Sociology. The purpose of this course is to provide seniors in the major an opportunity to synthesize–and bring to bear–the theoretical knowledge, research skills, and intellectual interests they have acquired as students. Peters used engaged pedagogies in his approach to this course. Students participated in a community-initiated action research project called “Ripples of Change,” in partnership with a group of diverse grassroots community leaders connected to the Natural Leaders Initiative (NLI). The project sought to discover and analyze the theories and practices of grassroots leadership development, civic engagement, and community capacity-building that are at play in NLI graduates’ lives and work, and to impact how the larger community understands, prioritizes, practices and funds community capacity-building. Students helped NLI graduates develop rich narratives about  their leadership development. The class met at least three times during the semester with the community leaders, and engaged in reflective conversations about what those narratives can teach us about the processes of grassroots leadership development, civic engagement, community development, and social change. They also explored the practice of developing effective, respectful, inclusive community-campus partnerships that democratize participation in the creation of new knowledge.

Why He Does It

Scott Peters’ rationale for pursing an Engaged Learning and Research Faculty Fellowship was to build his own knowledge, skills and capacities for utilizing engaged learning and research approaches in an undergraduate course. Peters enjoys being a part of a learning community of other faculty who are working with undergraduates. He hopes to continue to learn new methods and skills that will help him to productively engage undergraduates in engaged, community-based learning and research.


Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program

A yearlong cohort program in which faculty dive deep into the theory and practice of engaged learning; meet monthly to discuss readings, share projects and workshop challenges; and help transform what it means to teach at Cornell

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