Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice

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Community-Engaged Scholarship

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Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J., calls for work that connects the university to human society, human life, and the environment. The university supports that work by supporting community-based research and civic- and community-engaged learning and scholarship.

Engaged scholarship at Loyola University Maryland is ideally a product of reciprocal, mutually beneficial partnerships between the university’s knowledge centers—the faculty, students, curriculum, classrooms, and library—and community agencies, persons, and other resources. By advancing social justice, engaged citizenship, transformative learning, and disciplinary knowledge, such partnerships are an example of Loyola’s Jesuit mission in action.

Examples of Engaged Scholarship

Drew Leder's Book, 'The Distressed Body'

Drew Leder, (Professor, Philosophy): In his introduction to The Soul Knows Know Bars (Rowan & Littlefield, 2001), Cornell West describes Philosophy professor Drew Leder as a "latter-day Socrates." The book is co-authored by Leder and a group of maximum-security prison inmates who together explored the works of philosophers including Heidegger, Nietszche, and Foucault. Library Journal described the book as "a startling revelation . . . In stark contrast to the popular image of criminals, the inmates are keenly aware of moral complexities and responsibilities as well as the price they have to pay for the unspeakable miseries they have caused their victims. They are also aware that poverty, suffering, and injustice provide the breeding grounds for crime."

Partners In Literacy, Book Cover

Partners in Literacy: A Writing Center Model for Civic Engagement (2016), by Allen Brizee (Associate Professor of Writing) and Jaclyn M. Wells (University of Alabama Birmingham) centers on a three-year partnership between the Purdue University Writing Lab and two community organizations in Lafayette, Indiana: the Lafayette Adult Resource Academy and WorkOne Express. This partnership resulted in the development of adult literacy resources for the globally known Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). Michael Pemberton, Director of Georgia Southern's Writing Center, writes that "Brizee and Wells offer a remarkably readable and deeply personal account of what it means and what it takes to engage in a research project whose primary foci are community outreach and civic engagement." Brizee is currently working with service-learning students on a long-term project with the Richnor Springs neighborhood and the GEDCO/CARES agency to research and promote online literacy resources.

Jean Lee Cole (Associate Professor, English) developed a multimedia GIS-enabled tour, “Baltimore Bookstores, Then and Now” for the Be Here: Baltimore project funded by the MuseWeb Foundation tracing the history of bookselling in Baltimore. Using archival research, personal interviews, and site documentation, the tour emphasizes the importance of books and booksellers in Baltimore’s social and intellectual history and highlights issues facing independent booksellers today.

Jenn Watkinson (Associate Professor, School Counseling), in partnership with Harford County Public Schools, developed mentoring and transformative leadership practices for elementary school counselors and received an Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program (ESSCP) Federal Grant Award.

Faculty Development

The Faculty Fellows Seminar, held each May, provides faculty an opportunity to learn about community engagement and service-learning pedagogy and community-engaged scholarship. Participation in the Seminar is a requirement for attaining service-learning designation for any course. Download the invitation and application to join the Faculty Fellows Seminar.

Faculty are encouraged to participate in CCSJ’s Thinktank for Community Engagement, a faculty group convened by the Faculty Director of Community-Engaged Learning and Scholarship. Contact CELS@loyola.edu if you'd like to join.

Grants and Awards

To promote community-engaged research for social justice, the university sponsors the Kolvenbach Grant Program.  These grants are available to undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, administrators, and staff.  Accepted proposed research is done in conjunction with community partners and aimed toward both helping the organization achieve its goals and advancing knowledge in the field.  Applications are due by the first Friday of the spring semester.  For more information, see the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs page; contact CELS@loyola.edu with any questions.

To recognize engaged work done by our faculty, the Faculty Award for Excellence in Engaged Scholarship is given annually to one tenured faculty member who demonstrates extraordinary contributions to Loyola students, community partners, and institutional mission through sustained involvement and excellence in one or more types of engaged scholarship (including service-learning).  Learn more on our Awards page.