Building Students’ Professional Skills in Community Development: Toward a New Integrated Model

This blog post was written by CESI Research Associate, Dr. Mary Ferguson

I have been working with CESI as a part-time Research Associate for the last 7 years, beginning my work here at around the same time as I began work on my PhD in Rural Studies, completed in 2018. I was attracted to CESI because it provides experiential learning for students and supports community-based non-profits and charities with research services that they would otherwise not have access to.

Building Ethical and Sustainable Long-Term Community Partnerships Across Short-term Course Structures

*This blog post is based on a conference presentation first offered at the 2019 Teaching and Learning Innovations Conference at the University of Guelph by Lindsey Thomson and Dr. Melissa Tanti. The content has been adapted by Lindsey Thomson.

A core part of CESI’s collaborative work is listening to and gaining a deep understanding of community partners’ priorities and long-term visions, in order to harness strengths and momentum to address a range of complex social issues.

Three students standing beside a PowerPoint presentation, pitching their solution at the Improve Life Challenge.

U of G Students Hack the Farm in 2020 Improve Life Challenge

Every year, the Improve Life Challenge brings together students from across the University of Guelph to develop solutions to challenges faced by businesses and organizations in the community. Over the course of a day, students work in interdisciplinary teams to analyze their community partners' problems, design solutions, and pitch them to judges. This year’s theme, "Hack the Farm," focused on challenges faced by the agriculture and food industries.

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