Community Engaged Scholarship: Addressing the Complexity of the Work

Community Engaged Scholarship: Addressing the Complexity of the Work

On February 11th, 2015, CESI hosted a full-day event on community-engaged scholarship to explore themes of complex partnerships, research tensions, and how to structure and lead engaged projects. Over 40 faculty, staff and students attended from various departments at the University of Guelph. The event featured two panel discussions in the morning, followed by two skill-building workshops in the afternoon.

Panel 1: Leading Complex Partnerships - Challenges and Successes in Local Engagement

The first panel explored three local community-university partnerships, featuring both academic and community researchers and their experiences leading and participating in complex collaborative projects. Project featured were:

Wellington Sexual Assualt and Domestic Violence First Response Protocol Evaluation

  • Sly Castaldi, Executive Director, Guelph Wellington Women in Crisis
  • Mavis Morton, Assoc. Professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology

Waste Management Project

  • Vivian DeGiovanni, Supervisor of Program Development, Waste Resource Division, City of Guelph
  • Kate Parizeau, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography

Toward Common Ground: multiple projects

  • Sarah Haanstra, Coordinator, Toward Common Ground
  • Linda Hawkins, Director, Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship

Panel 2: Complexity in the Work

The second panel focused on tensions pertaining to community-engaged scholarship, such as how to engage community partners in an ethical and meaningful way, how to navigate analytic authority, as well as issues for research administrators. Panelists included:

Both panels created lively discussions about the challenges and triumphs of community-engaged scholarship. They drew attention to the rich, ongoing partnerships which happen between the university and the community. After the panels, participants joined together in workshops to explore mechanisms supporting the implementation of complex and large-scale projects.

Workshop 1: Structuring complex partnered research projects and proposals

The first workshop guided participants through conversations around the topics of project generation, roles, governance structures, conflict agreements, and authorships when structuring and managing large engaged projects. This workshop was facilitated by Belinda Leach, and panelists included:

For more information, view the structuring complex partnered research projects and proposals presentation.

Workshop 2: Structuring short term, classroom, and thesis partnered research projects

In the second workshop, participants shared their experiences leading short-term partnered research projects. This workshop focused on project generation, managing expectations, ethics procedures and agreements, and strategies for managing partnerships while in between courses or contracts. This workshop was facilitated by Mavis Morton, and panelists included:

  • Sandra Auld, Director of Research Ethics, University of Guelph
  • Lindsey Thomson, Community Engaged Learning Manager, Institute for Community Engaged Scholarship
  • Jeji Varghese, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology/Anthropology
  • Melanie Lang, Director, Centre for Business and Social Entrepreneurship

For more information, view the structuring short term, classroom, and thesis partnered research projects presentation.

All attendees were encouraged to bring their own ideas or draft projects to the workshops, to serve as a basis for discussion or work to develop them further with the help of experienced researchers.

 

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