Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program

Jack Elliott

Jack ElliottA 2013 Engaged Faculty Fellow, Jack Elliott is an associate professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis in the College of Human Ecology. Read his faculty profile for more information.

The Story

Jack Elliott used his time as a fellow to increase his capacity to infuse his community-engaged design projects with additional outreach experience in order to enhance student learning. In both the Dominican Republic and Ghana, Jack and his students designed and developed sustainable building approaches. Additionally, they coordinated and built an assembly space for an AIDS clinic in Punta Cana while strengthening community ties in the goldfields of Ghana, involving both private and public sector support.

“Despite all of the environmental benefits of this building system, one of the key selling points for this initiative was the inclusion of a Cornell student participation component.  I want to make sure that this aspect of the program is done right, with the greatest benefits to the students, as well as to the stakeholders and to the clients.”

The Strategy

  • Developed a long-term relationship with a spontaneous Haitian settlement known as Veron
  • Researched about the provision of significant public works to help create a greater sense of place and identity, qualities that are both currently in short supply in this Haitian settlement
  • Designed and built a new assembly space for an AIDS clinic in the Veron settlement
  • Introduced a new approach to building that Jack developed at Cornell, which uses a bamboo-based spaceframe that reduces local forestry pressures, sequesters carbon, and extends the life of the building through its design for disassembly and reuse.  The design can also phyto-remediate contaminated soils, reduce soil erosion, and most importantly, introduce a new form of local revenue and employment.

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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