Duquesne and Community Leaders Collaborate to Enhance Engagement
Duquesne's Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR) has enlisted local community leaders as part of its new planning process to strengthen the University's relationships in and involvement with Pittsburgh's neighborhoods. The project was made possible by an anonymous grant.
Community leaders including Grant Ervin, chief resiliency officer for the City of Pittsburgh, Bill Generett, president and CEO of Urban Innovation 21 and Sunanna Chand, learning innovation strategist of Remake Learning are among those who've been tapped by CETR to collaborate with Duquesne administrators, faculty and staff to identify which of the University's significant assets and resources can be even better matched with the concerns and needs of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Additional community members on the committee include Rod Harris, deputy director of Community Health Promotion and Disease Prevention for the Allegheny County Health Department, and Terri Baltimore, vice president of neighborhood development for the Hill House Association.
"Duquesne University has a long tradition of meaningful and sustained community involvement, flowing from our Spiritan founders' Catholic mission," said Duquesne President Ken Gormley. "We are thrilled to launch this new initiative, taking advantage of the expertise of top community leaders to widen the reach of the University's impact and service here in the local Pittsburgh community."
CETR supports community-engaged teaching, learning, and research that promote knowledge creation, civic development and community transformation. The Center supports and facilitates partnerships and activities among faculty, students and community partners with the aim of positively impacting the community.
"I have seen first-hand the power and promise of Duquesne University's successful community engagement efforts. These efforts have and continue to increase the quality of life of some of our region's most vulnerable communities," said Gennerett. "Urban Innovation21 is just one small example of the many community-based efforts that would not have happened without the University's support. As the Pittsburgh region's economy continues to grow its economy, we must accelerate our work to make sure our most vulnerable communities are not left behind. Through this strategic planning process, I am excited to help CETR build upon the University's solid community engagement foundation."
Representatives from Duquesne's Offices of the President, Mission and Identity, and Research, as well as the Center for the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, Advancement, deans and the University's endowed chairs in mission and global competitiveness will participate in the project.
The committee will be led by a team of external consultants that includes Nancy Franklin of Franklin Solutions; Jamillia Kamara formerly of Public Allies; and Megan Good, formerly of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
"Together, this team of consultants understands the national landscape of community engagement practices within higher education and has intimate knowledge of the assets and strengths found within Pittsburgh's communities," explained Dr. Lina Dostilio, director of CETR.
Duquesne University has a rich history of serving the region, its people and community partners through initiatives such as the Tribone Center for Clinical Legal Education and its eight community clinics; the Duquesne University Pharmacy in the Hill District; and the Community-Based Health and Wellness Center for Older Adults, among others.
The University continues to be one of the nation's select institutions to receive the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's Community Engagement Classification because of its engagement with neighborhood communities through teaching, research, student volunteerism, economic development involvement, and public-serving centers and institutes.
The committee, which meets for the first time in August, will work on the planning process through June 2017.
The Center for CETR Receives Planning Grant
The Center for CETR received $10,000 from an anonymous donor for the planning, strategizing, and implementation of community-engaged teaching and research efforts.
2016-2017 Gaultier Fellows Announced
The Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR) has announced its 2016-2017 Gaultier Community-Engaged Teaching Fellowship class. The new Gaultier Fellows are Dr. Melanie Turk, associate professor in the School of Nursing, and Dr. Emad Mirmotahari, associate professor of English in the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts. The Gaultier Fellows work closely with Duquesne instructors and students by sharing successful community-engaged teaching strategies and best practices, and by serving as strong advocates for the benefits that the University’s community-engaged programs provide.
Duquesne faculty Wins Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award
Ed Schroth (Environmental Studies), one of the most popular and influential environmental educators in Western Pennsylvania for the past 50 years, will be honored with the 2015 Western Pennsylvania Environmental Award, announced today by Dominion and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC). Mr. Schroth will accept the award at the Western Pennsylvania Environmental Awards Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at the Westin Convention Center Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. The award is presented by Dominion and PEC for leadership, effectiveness, and results in making an impact on the environment and includes a $5,000 donation. Schroth is best-known as a teacher of biology, water ecology and environmental science at Quaker Valley High School, and later at Duquesne University. At Quaker Valley, he started the “Up the Creek Gang,” a project where students studied the ecology of Little Sewickley Creek and its watershed. He later teamed with the China Association for Science and Technology to take high school students in to Beijing and Qingdao China for environmental studies three times. This China partnership continued when he took Duquesne University science majors on four more trips. Through his passion for environmental education and his unique teaching style, students received first hand experience at data collection and measurements. As a leader in service learning at Duquesne University, he has set the standard for student-community engagement with such organizations as the Allegheny Land Trust, the Little Sewickley Creek Watershed, The Ballpark Urban Farm, and others. All entries were judged on the basis of their relevance to local environmental priorities,evidence of their impact on the environment, their approach to solving an environmental problem, and the environmental benefit of their work.
Duquesne faculty has been named The Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (NECTFL) Mead Leadership Fellow for her community-engaged scholarship
Lucia Osa-Melero's (Modern Languages and Literatures) community-engaged project is entitled "Niños y niñas bilingues y biculturales." Osa-Melero's spanish language students deliver a 3-week program on basic vocabulary, geography, history, and contrastive cultural features of Spanish-speaking countries for mainly monolingual English-speaking children, ages 3 to 5 attending preschool.The NECTFL Mead Leadership Fellowship provides support an individual in the development of a project that contributes to the foreign language teaching profession and advances quality language instruction.
Essay in Chronicle of Higher Education Highlights shift from Service-Learning to a more collaborative form of engagement
Today's Chronicle of Higher Education included a commentary about a collaborative orientation to community engagement that is very similar to the kind being promoted within Duquesne's new model of community-engaged learning, especially at the foundational level. The commentary explores positioning students as listeners. The author, Stephanie Bower, suggests: "Our course takes a different approach. We position students as listeners rather than experts, and community partners as holders of knowledge rather than as objects of charity or study. Such reversals destabilize the assumptions that enable students to view those on the outside as inferior or undeserving. They suggest, too, another path for service learning, one premised on reciprocity and self-reflection, rooted in a commitment to look at the world through the eyes of those disadvantaged by it. If we expand our repertory of service-learning projects to include collaboration as well as the more traditional tutoring and volunteering, what new types of learning might we discover?"