OMAHA – The Engagement Scholarship Consortium recognized six outstanding posters at its 17th annual conference, hosted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) on Oct.11-12, 2016.
An expert panel of six judges rated 40 posters, submitted from a wide variety of institutions. Conference attendees represented higher education institutions in 37 states and five countries.
A winner was announced in six categories: People’s Choice; Community Outreach and Development; Engaged Teaching and Service Learning; Institutional Polices and Practices; Global, Civic, and Engaged Research; and Best Overall.
A list of 2016 poster award recipients follows.
People’s Choice (voted on by event attendees via the ESC app)
Social Impact: Connecting Classroom and Community through Wood Street Communications
Heather Starr Fiedler, Point Park University
The Wood Street Communications initiative partners students in upper-level communications courses with non-profits in the region to produce communication materials in a mutually beneficial relationship. The goal of the initiative is to serve a minimum of 30 non-profits in the Pittsburgh region each semester, work with at least 25 students each semester, and produce successful, useful communications material.
Community Outreach and Development
Volunteer Program Assessment: Engaging Students in their Community through Service
Sheridan Trent, Kelly Prange, and Joseph Allen, UNO
Volunteer Program Assessment (VPA-UNO) is a nonprofit outreach initiative developed to provide nonprofits with capacity building insights into volunteers’ experiences within their organizations. Faculty sponsored and led, graduate and undergraduate students volunteer their time to engage in the VPA assessment process, thereby learning the consulting processes that build nonprofit volunteer program capacity and effectiveness.
Engaged Teaching and Service Learning
An Interprofessional Approach to Community Wellness Screenings
Margaret Williamson and Eva Dubois, Auburn University
The objectives of this project were to develop the infrastructure for an interprofessional team that consists of nursing and pharmacy to enhance health care to underserved populations; pilot an interprofessional mobile approach that builds on the current initiatives of nursing and pharmacy; and determine the impact of an interprofessional model as a means to educate future practitioners and its ability to provide sustainable outreach services.
Institutional Policies and Practices
A "Colorado Idea": Building the 21st Century Public Flagship University
David Meens, University of Colorado Boulder
This paper proposes a new iteration of the idea of a publicly engaged comprehensive university, based on a vision of the "21st Century Flagship" that places outreach and engagement at the center of our understanding of university research and creative work, teaching, and service. Meens explored arguments for this vision that draw upon epistemic, ethical, and political rationales, and offered the pairing of CU-Boulder's Office for Outreach and Engagement and CU Engage Center for Community Based Learning and Research as an example of how complimentary nodes of institutional support can successfully advance such a vision.
Global, Civic, and Engaged Research
Feasibility Study: UNO's Role in Connecting Students with Board Service
Del Bharath, UNO
This feasibility study looked at whether UNO should act as a pipeline to connect Master of Public Administration (MPA) students to nonprofit board service opportunities, and address the needs of both populations. Additionally, the study looked at the programmatic considerations and the feasibility of these if the proposed program is implemented. The study found that there is interest in all sectors for this type of opportunity but there are barriers to implementation that need to be addressed.
Connecting Higher Education Institutions and Grass Root Women: A HERS-EA Case Study of Women Empowering Women Through Reusable Sanitary Pads in Eastern Uganda.
Naomi Lumutenga, Meghan Millea, Margaret L. Khaitsa, Florence Wakoko-Studstill, Ruth Muwazi, Irene Naigaga, and Loyce Hamba
Higher Education Resource Services, East Africa (HERS-EA); Mississippi State University; Columbus State University; Makerere University, Uganda
HERS-EA partnered with African Village Support, a non-governmental organization that has developed an affordable reusable sanitary pads prototype with rural women in Bulambuli District, Eastern Uganda. Researchers conducted a Needs Assessment to identify challenges related to this subject. Basic business skills were offered to women in the Bulambuli district who in turn trained the women in the Butaleja district. Potential research areas were identified.
This year’s Engagement Scholarship Consortium conference brought together roughly 500 attendees from 94 universities and colleges in 37 U.S. states and five additional countries, including Canada, England, Nigeria, Paraguay, and South Africa.
The conference was a great fit for Omaha, complementing UNO’s metropolitan university mission: a dedication to engaged leadership and service within the greater Omaha area to improve people’s lives.