Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice

Get Involved at CCSJ

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 produced through 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.

Characteristics of Engaged Scholarship at Loyola:

  • Often combines the traditional work of research, teaching, and service.
  • Can take the form of pedagogical activity, including service-learning teaching and course development, as well as publications focused on pedagogy.
  • Can take the form of “traditional,” peer-reviewed scholarship.
  • Is frequently interdisciplinary and collaborative.
  • Places a special priority on under-resourced communities in the Baltimore area. 

Examples of Engaged Scholarship

Drew Leder's Book, 'The Distressed Body'

Drew Leder, (Professor, Philosophy): In his introduction to The Soul Knows No 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. "A latter-day Socrates." —Cornell West

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) was produced through 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). "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."—Michael Pemberton, Director, Georgia Southern's Writing Center

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 in recognition of extraordinary contributions to Loyola students, community partners, and institutional mission through sustained involvement and excellence in engaged scholarship. Learn more on our Awards page.