blog posts 2022 Engaged Unit Program (EUP) Announcement Dec 21, 2022 8:30 am by Wanda E. WardThe Office of the Chancellor – Public Engagement established an Engaged Unit Program (EUP) this fall. This program is designed to identify and implement action steps for furthering the institutionalization of community-engaged research and/or teaching in academic units. Six colleges and schools were selected to plan, establish, and implement strategic initiatives (three to five action steps) that advance the integration of public engagement into the units’ research and teaching activities that address post-COVID issues. We are pleased to announce the first cohort of awardees. They are the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, the College of Education, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the College of Media, the School of Information Sciences, and the University Library. Below please find a brief abstract of what these units will be undertaking to further the institutionalization of public engagement in their unit. Carle Illinois College of Medicine Unit Team Leader: Margarita Teran-Garcia, M.D., Ph.D.Unit's Chief Administrator: Mark S. Cohen, M.D.Team Members: Ifran S. Ahmad, Ph.D., Michelle Mao, Ifeanyi Opoku, M.D., Bara Saadah, Annabelle Shaffer Growing Up Together: Journey from Prenatal and Postpartum to the First 1000 Days of Life with Medical Trainees Through the Engaged Unit Program (EUP), Carle Illinois College of Medicine (CIMED) will expand upon its experiential service-learning (ESL) opportunities available to medical students. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education requires ESLs; thus, by institutionalizing public engagement, CIMED will further fulfill critical accreditation criteria. CIMED will collaborate with Avicenna Community Health Clinic (ACHC) and Illinois Extension to create new ESLs. Their diverse team will develop and execute the Maternal Health Empowerment Program (MHEP) for pregnant and newly postpartum patients during the first 1000 days of life. MHEP will allow students to apply classroom knowledge with patients of diverse cultural backgrounds and complement several curricular requirements by providing opportunities to learn how to reduce harmful health disparities. Illinois Extension translates evidence-based knowledge from the university into practical programs and offers multiple modalities of valuable service-learning engagement for students, including developing health educational materials and delivering workshops to improve lay-term communication skills. Following the EUP, CIMED will have increased longitudinal ESLs, research opportunities, and an understanding of the college’s role in public engagement. College of Education Unit Team Leader: Emily Stone, MPHUnit's Chief Administrator: Chrystalla Mouza, EdDTeam Members: James Harden, Ph.D., Erica Mason, Ph.D., Victor Perez, Ph.D., Gloriana González Rivera, Ph.D. Building on a decades-long legacy, the College of Education is a national leader in education-based public engagement in teaching and research. This work would be strengthened by a coordinated, long-term strategy to address timely issues, such as the intersection of social justice and education. The college proposes to develop a collegewide strategic action plan for public engagement that centers community partners in the process, basing their work on the principles of the research-practice partnerships model. Therefore, the college’s leadership will collaborate closely with twelve community partners to host invited feedback sessions with the broader community. The strategic work proposed will be supported by rotating members of the college’s recently established Public Engagement Faculty Fellows program. The central goal is to develop a strategic plan that improves the quantity, quality, and sustainability of the college’s community-engaged research and teaching partnerships. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS) Unit Team Leader: Wendy Heller, Ph.D.Unit's Chief Administrator: Venetria Patton, Ph.D.Team Members: Philip Anderson, Ph.D., Jacob Bowers, Ph.D., Donna Kaufman, Kathryn Leskis, Ph.D., Jarrett Lewis, Ph.D., Dynesha Mason Grissom, Ph.D., LCP, Silvina Montrul, Ph.D., Crystal Newman, Ph.D., Karen Rudolph, Ph.D., Rachel Whitaker, Ph.D., Maryalice Wu, Ph.D. Based on a recent survey of public-facing projects, the College of LAS is home to a great many community-based projects, and there is a tremendous breadth and depth of interest in this domain. Currently, however, there is no central office or clearing house for tracking projects that are ongoing, for sharing information or resources, or for organizing and promoting collaborative synergy. Despite the interest on the part of faculty and students in public engagement, some forego important and potentially transformative projects due to lack of knowledge regarding where to start, how to reach out, and to whom to reach out. For those that do initiate and carry out projects, each individual or group is essentially starting from scratch in their community outreach efforts. As part of participating in this project, the college will develop a comprehensive infrastructure that will catalog and track public engagement activities as well as provide support for those individuals and groups who wish to pursue university-community partnerships. As a result, there will be enhanced collaboration across faculty, students, and community partners, increased opportunities for faculty and student engagement, improved initiation and maintenance of activities, thanks to new and shared resources, and higher rates of successful outcomes. College of Media Unit Team Leader: Stephanie Craft, Ph.D.Unit's Chief Administrator: Tracy Sulkin, Ph.D.Team Members: Angela Aguayo, Ph.D., Josh Heuman, Ph.D., Michelle Nelson, Ph.D., Megan Tucker Zwilling The College of Media seeks to institutionalize public engagement by building capacity to develop long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships for initiatives that will bolster media literacy outreach, curricula and instruction, and research. The college has had success in initial public engagement efforts, but wants to do more to build and sustain lasting partnerships to address media-specific community needs and interests, especially in a media environment that too often perpetuates barriers to full participation by marginalized communities. The college’s goals are to foster greater understanding of the design, execution and evaluation of publicly engaged research; to develop a collegewide infrastructure for continuing education and support for public engagement initiatives and collaborations; and to improve knowledge of best practices in public engagement. To help them reach those goals they plan to: invite experts in publicly engaged scholarship for short-term “residencies” to conduct workshops, visit courses and mentor faculty; host community “summits” during which they can talk with organizations about opportunities to do publicly engaged research projects and experiential learning activities; designate public engagement as the primary focus of the work of their Dean’s Fellow for 2023-24; and send faculty representatives to an engaged scholarship conference to learn more about best practices. School of Information Sciences (iSchool) Unit Team Leader: Martin Wolske, Ph.D.Unit's Chief Administrator: Eunice Santos, Ph.D.Team Members: Brandon Batzloff, Ph.D., Lisa Bievenue, MPH, Maria Bonn, Ph.D., Alvarez Dixon, Rebecca Hodson, MSL, Kyungwon Koh, Ph.D., Eugene Moore, Ph.D., Linda Smith, Ph.D. The School of Information Sciences (iSchool) has been at the intersection of inquiry and engagement since its founding as a university unit nearly 130 years ago. While the iSchool has a strong history of publicly engaged research and teaching, successes have depended on the commitment of individual faculty and that commitment often wanes when those faculty transition to new grants or research frames and spaces. The iSchool finds itself at a critical juncture, being in a period of rapid and significant growth of faculty, degree programs, and enrolled students. A unitwide action plan will support the iSchool’s agenda to “...engage with social issues through research and education, contributing to the public good and future scholarship.” The 18-month project will develop a specific framework and plan to support a more tightly coordinated and sustained engagement effort using identified best practices which can be applied specifically within the disciplines of the information sciences across changes in faculty foci and grant funding. Such conceptual clarity will better highlight the value of engaged scholarship to enhance teaching and research. Such a unitwide plan will also help begin a process of defining and codifying engagement and engaged scholarship for the purpose of promotion and tenure. University Library Unit Team Leader: David Ward, MLSUnit's Chief Administrator: Christopher Prom, Ph.D.Team Members: Megan Anderson, MEd, DoMonique Arnold, MLIS, Monica Carroll, MLS, Maria Emerson, MLIS, Kirsten Feist, MLIS, Celenia Graves, MLS, Kristine McCoskey, Ed.M., Rachel Miller-Haughton, MLIS, Janis Shearer, MLIS, Kelli Trei, MLIS, Todd Wilson, MEd, Jen-chien Yu, MLIS As one of the largest public university research libraries in the U.S., the University Library has an established history of public engagement through its collections. The planned summer bridge program expands Library faculty and staff knowledge and skills related to local community engagement, especially for Illinois high school students. The goals of this EUP are: Institutionalizing public engagement in the Library’s teaching program Facilitating partnerships and the inclusion of community engagement Addressing long-standing issues with information privilege, and its impact on local communities and library services To address these goals, a Library-led team will collaborate with campus partners and the Rantoul Township High School to design a summer bridge program to introduce the University Library and existing university programs for academic support and career planning. The program will also help students develop and strengthen lifelong success, academic readiness, and critical thinking skills. The program will be implemented in 2023 and the evaluation of impact will conclude in 2024. The Library will gain experience and expertise to engage Illinois high schools and their students thus, expanding the unit’s capacity to support community-based teaching and learning.