Workshop Descriptions

Day 1 (Tuesday, May 17th)

21st Century Community Engagement

The higher education landscape is changing, and universities of the future may bear little resemblance to the institutions that have existed for the past 100 years. This workshop will help participants understand the intersections between a changing higher education landscape and community engagement. Participants will explore new models for organizing academic work (i.e., teaching, research, and service) in ways that promote student success and address community-identified needs.

Initiating & Sustaining Community-University Partnerships

This workshop presents “5 Simple Steps” for initiating and sustaining community-university partnerships.  Participants will move through the 5 steps to consider the unique aspects of community-university partnerships, the importance of deliberate and intentional conversations to find mutual mutual benefit, and knowing when/if to terminate the partnership.

Ethics & Critical Reflection in Community-University Partnership

This workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to consider how community engagement requires special ethical consideration beyond traditional research and teaching approaches.  Participants will explore case studies to reflect on ethical considerations such as data ownership, blurred boundaries, and changing roles and needs of evolving partnerships.

Day 2 (Wednesday, May 18th)

Intro to Community-Engaged Research and Service Learning

The purpose of this workshop is provide participants with an introduction of community-engaged research (CEnR) and service learning (SL) at VCU.  Academics will be encouraged to think of the 3 traditional aspects of academic work (research, teaching, and service) as doors that they can open to collaborate with community partners in an integrated portfolio of scholarship.  Community partners will be encouraged to consider how community initiatives align with academic aspects of research, teaching, and service.   

Evaluating & Assessing Engagement Work

Community-engaged research and teaching involve collaboration between higher education institutions and their larger communities for the mutually-beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources. This session will explore the ways in which the impact of this type of community-engaged academic work can be evaluated. Participants will review Boyer’s scholarship model and learn to use a framework for determining the extent to which community-engaged academic work benefits both the academy and members of the broader community.

Communicating & Disseminating Information

This workshop reviews best practices of communicating about the work of university-community partnerships.  Participants will hear real world examples of how VCU’s Center on Society & Health has broadly communicated their engaged work on national level and on a more targeted level locally.

Inclusive Collaboration

This workshop introduces foundational concepts related to diversity and inclusion in university-community engagement and applies these concepts to the early stages of initiating and stewarding partnerships for community-engaged teaching and research.

Day 3 (Thursday, May 19th)

Day 3 of this year’s institute will offer an RVA immersion experience.  We will embark on a walking tour a historically black neighborhood and visit a local museum to learn more about how African-Americans defined the Richmond area, from early settlement and slave trade to the establishment of local businesses and rich communities.  Day 3 culminates in a facilitated workshop, taking everything we’ve learned and creating a road-map to our future work together.