Engaged Department Grant Program

Engaged Department Grant Program

The purpose of the Engaged Department Grant initiative is to advance the institutionalization of public engagement at the University of Minnesota by furthering the integration of public engagement into the programmatic features of the department. Grants of up to $7,500 were awarded to nine departments to plan, establish, implement, and evaluate strategic initiatives that advance the integration of public engagement into the departments’ research and teaching activities. These are the 2016-2017 participants of the Engaged Department Grant Program:

American Indian Studies

The Department of American Indian Studies is planning to expand its available language curricula and continue conversations and collaborative efforts with partner communities by traveling to the 11 reservation communities in the state. The department also intends to better compensate elders for their community engagement. Additionally, the department will host a one-day, on-campus retreat to determine how it can better prepare students to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The proposed work focuses on promoting a greater sense of community.

Team Members:

Brittany Anderson, Community Outreach Coordinator

Brendan Fairbanks, Assistant Professor

Katherine Hayes, Department Chair

Neil McKay, Dakota Language Instructor

Center for Learning Innovation, Rochester Campus

Using public engagement strategies, the Center for Learning Innovation intends to expand its community focus by collaborating with existing engagement teams, as well as by supporting faculty members who aim to integrate community engagement into their curriculum and/or their research. The Center for Learning Innovation hopes to better understand how faculty in the department understand engagement, how they are and would like to be engaged, and what obstacles they experience that prevent their involvement. With its deeper understanding, the Center wants to support deeper engagement in the community by providing resources such as small grants and workshops to overcome barriers.

Team Members:

Norman Clark, Administrative Director of Academic Programs

Sam Duke, Community Engagement Program Manager

Gemma Punti, Faculty

Yuko Taniguchi, Faculty

Communication Studies

The Department of Communication Studies plans to train University of Minnesota students to volunteer as judges for the Minnesota Urban Debate League (MNUDL), which provides debate programming to 800 middle and high school students in Minneapolis and St. Paul. University of Minnesota students will volunteer, provide evaluation, and reflect on their volunteer experience through essays as part of course curriculum. As a result of their participation, students will witness the increase in self-confidence, critical thinking, and self-advocacy skills of MNDUL participants, and will become knowledgeable about adjudicating debates based on logic and persuasiveness. By using public engagement strategies alongside classroom study, the department seeks to address the pervasive and systemic opportunity gap within K-12 education.

Team Members:

Amy Cram Helwich, MN Urban Debate League Executive Director

David Cram Helwich, Senior Lecturer

Monica Finke, MN Urban Debate League Volunteer Coordinator

Ron Greene, Department Chair

John Nordin, Senior Lecturer

Catherine Squires, Professor

Educational Psychology

The Department of Educational Psychology aims to engage roughly 10 faculty members with Anishinabe Academy, a Minneapolis Public School with a robust American Indian student population. In working with the Academy, the department of Educational Psychology intends to create new networks within the department, thus expanding a department culture that promotes addressing issues of societal importance in a collaborative manner. The department intends to build a model of engaged partnership work and scholarship that is intensive enough to be sustainable and impactful, and that will provide insight to beneficially influence teaching and future service.

Team Members:

Geoffrey Maruyama, Professor and Department Chair

Jennifer McComas, Professor

Scott McConnell, Contributor to LENA Start early childhood initiative

Michael Rodriguez, Campbell Leadership Chair in Urban Education

Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

In connecting their mission to community engagement, the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies hopes to formalize external community partnerships through linking undergraduate curriculum and education with faculty research and local K-12 curriculum. GWSS research and teaching will be greatly enhanced by implementing youth-led participatory action research and digital storytelling curricular projects on the community level. These projects will build upon the department’s technological capacity, and will focus on the themes of asset-based community research, anti-violence youth organizing, and race, nation, caste, and disability within the Twin Cities community.

Team Members:

Jigna Desai, Professor and Department Chair

Caitlin Gunn, Graduate Student and Digital Humanities Fellow

Lena Palacios, Assistant Professor

Kari Smalkoski, Post-Doctoral Fellow

Institute on Community Integration

The goal of the Institute on Community Integration (ICI) is to create an infrastructure to grow and develop ongoing community engagement, and to facilitate new initiatives and promote engaged learning on community based action research. In doing so, the ICI hopes to broaden its ecological perspectives on effective community based engagement and community based research. Understanding the importance of early intervention in local cultural and linguistically diverse communities, the work of the ICI ultimately aims to develop community leaders to engage the community around Autism Spectrum Disorder and other neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Team Members:

Amy Esler, Assistant Professor-Pediatrics and LEND Faculty

Anab Gulaid, Community Project Coordinator

Jennifer Hall-Lande, Research Associate

Amy Hewitt, LEND Training Director and LEND Faculty

David Johnson, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Policy

Fatima Molas, Somali Cultural Liaison

Kelly Nye-Lengerman, Project Coordinator

Liliana Torres, Latino Cultural Liaison

Pla Vang, Hmong Cultural Liaison

Interior Design

The goal of the Interior Design program in the Department of Design, Housing and Apparel is to develop community engagement projects in the sophomore level design studio course and to organize a workshop on social responsibility for interior design students. Additionally, the department will build upon existing connections and knowledge to positively impact the health, safety, and wellbeing of the community. As a result, the department intends to enrich students’ learning and offer them practical experience of problem solving, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking in real-life settings.

Team Members:

Abimbola Asojo, Professor

Elizabeth Bye, Professor and Head of Department of Design, Housing and Apparel

Tina Patel, Teaching Specialist

Stephanie Zollinger, Associate Professor

Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The aim of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Pharmaceutical Science is to build upon its commitment to the health and wellbeing of underserved, rural, and indigenous communities by hosting informational forums and meetings regarding drug use. Using public engagement strategies, the department will focus on three primary goals: 1) provide additional education for the medical and Carlton County communities regarding heroin and opioid use, 2) organize and implement a program to educate healthcare providers on how to avoid opioid overdose and the use of naloxone, and 3) educate middle and high school students in Carlton county about the dangers of prescription drug abuse. This project will align many faculty interests and stimulate new scholarly contributions and collaborations while assisting Carlton County and other communities.

Team Members:

Grant Anderson, Associate Professor and PPPS Department Head

Amy LaRue, Public Health Educator

Laura Palombi, Assistant Professor

Paul Ranelli, Professor

Mark Schneiderhan, Associate Professor

Tim Stratton, Professor and Senior Associate to the Dean for Assessment and Accreditation

Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences

By stimulating discussions and conversations regarding community engagement, the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences will work to create inroads towards communication with several key communities, such as Somali, Hmong, African American, and Latino communities, which could lead to research and teaching collaborations with those underserved populations. Additionally, networking opportunities will enhance the department’s knowledge base, research, and teaching, and will help to keep its programs innovative to attract the best researchers and students possible.

Team Members:

Arlene Carney, Professor

Mark DeRuiter, Associate Department Director

Marilyn Fairchild, Clinical Specialist

Robert Schlauch, Professor and Department Chair

Sheri Stronach, Assistant Professor