Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program

Mary Jo Dudley

Mary Jo DudleyA 2013 Engaged Faculty Fellow, Mary Jo Dudley is a senior extension associate in the Department of Development Sociology and director of the Cornell Farmworker Program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Read her faculty profile for more information.

The Story

Through the Faculty Fellows in Engaged Learning and Research Program, Mary Jo enhanced her capacity in regards to “Student and Faculty Engagement with Farmworkers: How Can We Better Measure Our Impacts?”  in three critical areas: 1) learning about approaches to better assess our impact on farmworkers and their families; 2) developing strategies to better document our impact to identify funding sources to ensure the program’s financial viability.  Mary Jo greatly benefited from this opportunity by sharing ideas, and exploring theories and pedagogical models to address some of the practical challenges faced as students are engaged with faculty and farmworkers.

Through this project, Mary Jo examined ways to overcome these challenges, and explored successful approaches to assessing the impacts of engaged learning and research on farmworkers and other similar populations.

“It can be challenging to establish culturally and linguistically appropriate and meaningful approaches to assess short and long-term impacts of programs that work with low literacy migrant populations.  Community engagement with the current farmworker population requires that we are mindful of culture, language, and literacy as well as the time and financial constraints farmworkers experience when interacting with students and faculty.”

The Strategy

  • Asked colleagues about their experience and knowledge in this area
  • Conducted a literature review to ascertain what has been written about how other organizations effectively evaluate their efforts with similar populations
  • Returned to some farms and gained better insights from farmworker participants on their perspectives on assessment and evaluation
  • Convened a group of workers that are interested in developing a more effective and comfortable way of assessing how they experience interactions
  • Learned more about effective strategies for measuring both short term and long term impacts on how students and faculty are affected as a result of their interactions with farmworkers
  • Shared what is learned and discussed challenges with other Faculty Fellows
  • Explored other approaches to better assess and document student learning, especially how there can be better documentation of long-term learning with participating Cornell faculty

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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