Engaging U Newsletter - 10/18/12

Engagement Profile

Photo of Andrea Leinberger-Jabari

In upcoming editions of Engaging U, we will feature University of Minnesota engagement units and centers. If you have suggestions for upcoming profiles, please contact Amber Cameron (acameron@umn.edu).

For our first Engaging U spotlight, we meet Andrea Leinberger-Jabari, a coordinator in the Office of Community Engagement for Health within the Clinical Translational Science Institute (CTSI). In the interview below, Leinberger-Jabari provides highlights of her office's engagement work in the surrounding communities.

Describe the work of your office.

The Office of Community Engagement for Health is housed within the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at the UMN Twin Cities campus. The goal of the OCEH is to create and maintain an infrastructure to support community engagement in health related research. We believe that if communities are engaged throughout the research process (inception through implementation and dissemination), then the results of that research will be more meaningful and usable by communities. We work with both community-based organizations and faculty to create more avenues for such engagement to occur.

What is a current engagement project your unit is working?

A current project I am working on that I am most excited about is a new project we are calling the “Community Research Institute.” The goal of the CRI is to bring community organizational representatives to campus for a 6-week workshop series designed to provide them with opportunities to enhance their research skills, network with other organizations and faculty interested in community-based research, and direct one-on-one technical assistance from faculty willing to coach them on a research project. The Office of Community Engagement for Health is joining forces with the Center for Health Equity and the Program in Health Disparities Research to offer this workshop series to community organizations. This is the first year we are embarking on this and we have selected 11 organizations to participate. The community response to this opportunity has been overwhelming and we already have a “wait list” for the next cycle!

What communities are you partnering with for this project?

There is an extremely diverse group of organizations participating in the Community Research Institute. We are working with community-based non-profits from Minneapolis and St. Paul, new immigrant organizations, rural county public health and small private clinics. We are really excited to see what networking occurs amongst these groups.

What impact is this project expected to have?

We hope that the organizations that participate in this workshop series will gain additional skills in conducting health related research and will actually begin to formulate a research project they have defined so that they can then apply for research grants. The OCEH annually issues a call for proposals for community-engaged research and pairs community organizations with academic partners; I can see the potential for these organizations to be in a place where they may be interested in applying for these or similar funds.

To learn more about the Office of Community Engagement for Health visit: http://www.ctsi.umn.edu/community/office-community-engagement-for-health/index.htm.

Updates and Announcements

Engagement Academy coming to University of Minnesota (October 31-November 2)

Over 100 engagement leaders, half from the University of Minnesota and half from institutions across the country, are attending the Engagement Academy for University Leaders later this month. The Engagement Academy, normally housed at Virginia Tech, is a nationally recognized workshop designed for executives that have the ability to influence or participate in planning activities that develop strategic operations and policies that further the institutionalization of community engagement at their home institutions.

University of Minnesota, Morris featured on the U.S. Department of Energy website

The University of Minnesota, Morris is featured on the U.S. Department of Energy website in a piece titled: “Morris, Minnesota: Creating a Sustainable College Campus and Local Jobs.”

The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education

Andrew Furco, associate vice president for public engagement at the University of Minnesota, co-authored a paper titled The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education. The paper was presented to the board of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities to further the inclusion of engagement work in higher education. A copy of the paper can be found in the September 2012 issue of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. View paper

Upcoming Events

Featured Resource

Cover of Principles of Community Engagement book

The second edition of Principles of Community Engagement provides community based leaders, professionals, and individuals with guidance for engaging partners in health projects and for understanding the principles of community engagement in health. Readers will learn about community engagement facilitation and promotion of population health. The key goal of this book is to help assist in the efforts of those in the health field attempting to engage communities. The full text is available on the University of Florida’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute.

Funding and Awards

  • Institute on the Environment Mini Grants (Deadline: November 1)
    Faculty, staff, and students from across the University system are invited to apply for funding to spur new collaborations across disciplines, units, and campuses.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows (Deadline: November 14)
    An opportunity for midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists with an interest in health and health care policy. Fellows participate in the policy process at the federal level and use that leadership experience to improve health, health care and health policy.
  • Healthy Food, Healthy Lives Community-University Partnership Grant (Deadline: November 19)
    Grants available to fund innovative community-university partnerships related to food, nutrition, and health. Projects should include action research, or other creative strategies to address community-identified problems. More information (PDF)
  • National Endowment for the Arts Our Town (Deadline: January 14)
    Organizations may apply for creative placemaking projects that contribute to the livability of communities and place the arts at their core.

Call for Proposals and Papers

  • Asset-Based Approaches to Campus-Community Partnerships (Deadline: November 15)

    Minnesota Campus Compact is compiling case studies for a book focused on campus-community partnerships that have effectively employed the principles of asset-based community development. For more information on ABCD, visit http://www.abcdinstitute.org. With questions or ideas for potential case studies, contact John Hamerlinck (john@mncampuscompact.org).
  • Community University Expo 2013: Engaging Shared Worlds (Deadline: November 15)

    A Canadian-led international conference designed to showcase best practices in community-university partnerships worldwide and to create opportunities for innovative and successful collaborations which strengthen our communities.


  • Employment Opportunity: Extension Educator—Leadership and Civic Engagement (Moorhead, MN)
    Located within the Extension Center for Community Vitality, this position will support programs and applied research that help communities strengthen social capital, develop and strengthen capacity for local leadership, civic engagement and productive public discussion, collaboration, and decision making. More information: https://employment.umn.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/Welcome_css.jsp (job #: 9905)

If you have items you would like included in Engaging U, please send them to Amber Cameron (acameron@umn.edu)