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Volume 7

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THE ENGAGED SCHOLAR MAGAZINE focuses on collaborative partnerships between Michigan State University and its external constituents/partnerships forged for mutual benefit and learning, with an emphasis on research. This issue addresses equitable and sustainable approaches to coping with the social, technological, and economic complexities of life in the 21st century.

Diversity and Inclusion

  • ARTICLE:  Being the Change: MRULE
  • Being the Change: MRULE
  • "Be the change you want to see in the world"—a somewhat idealistic phrase that is attributed to Mahatma Gandhi, and also a popular ...more
  • ARTICLE:  Teaching Englishes
  • Teaching Englishes
  • Literacies. Englishes. Pedagogies. Rhetorics. Hip-hops, even. David Kirkland is a pluralist, no doubt about it. His conversation is ...more

Residential College in the Arts and Humanities

MSU's Residential College in the Arts and Humanities has a longstanding partnership with Peckham Industries, one of the largest and most ethnically diverse vocational rehabilitation communities in the U.S.

Since 2009, students in the RCAH's civic engagement courses have been working alongside the Peckham team to complete a 40' x 200' mosaic of individual paintings by Peckham team members. The mosaic, titled "Art at Work," will be installed at the company's northwest Lansing factory.

In 2011, MSU's College of Engineering joined the collaborative project and has been providing technical expertise as the installation develops.

McNair/SROP is co-named after the 1986 Challenger space shuttle crew member and funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The McNair program encourages first-generation, low-income college juniors and seniors to enter doctoral study. McNair runs simultaneously with SROP, an undergraduate research program that gives minority students the opportunity to acquire the research skills necessary to be successful in graduate school. SROP is funded by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and Michigan State University.

A major component of the joint initiative is assisting students in their search for faculty mentors; this mentoring process is vital to having students develop expertise in their chosen field.

The program's outcomes are measurable and results have been positive. McNair/SROP scholars have taken their research skills and knowledge to some of the top graduate schools in the country, including UCLA, Purdue University, Cornell University, Case Western Reserve, Emory University, Northwestern University, Boston University, University of Michigan, Washington University in St. Louis, and Michigan State University. For more information visit msu.edu/~oss/mcnair/.

JSRI director Rubén Martinez talks to the media.
JSRI director Rubén Martinez talks to the media.

MSU's Julian Samora Research Institute (jsri.msu.edu) serves the needs of Latino communities in the Midwest by generating a program of research and evaluation to illuminate the social, economic, educational, and political conditions of Latino communities; transmitting its research findings to academic, government, community, and private sector audiences; providing technical expertise and support to Latino communities; and developing Hispanic human capital.

  • Current research/outreach initiatives target the areas of economic development, education, and families and neighborhoods. A database is also being developed to serve as a resource on and for Hispanics.
  • Recent events include the Transnational Labor Symposium Series on Union Feminism, Sexual Politics, and Transnational Labor Activism (March 2012) and the Statewide Summit on Latino Education in Michigan (December 2011).
  • Community partners in Michigan include Centro Multicultural la Familia, Pontiac; Cristo Rey Church and Community Center, Lansing; Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation; Lansing Area Hispanic Business Alliance; Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; North Central Region Center for Rural Development, East Lansing; and Migrant Education Program, Van Buren ISD, Lawrence.
  • The JSRI Endowed Scholarship supports undergraduate and graduate students engaged in scholarly activities focusing on Latinos in Midwestern communities.
  • Publications include policy, demographic, and research reports about Latinos in Michigan and the Midwest, the NEXO newsletter, and books/e-books.


Greater Lansing Guide to Aging Services for the LGBTQI Community

The number of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and intersex (LGBTQI) individuals in the United States is about three million and increasing. LGBTQI elders, like everyone else, are entitled to services that allow them to age with dignity. However, prior research has found that older LGBT people are reluctant to approach the aging services network, citing reasons such as worry about discrimination and poor service, homophobia and heterosexism, and profound policy discrimination in housing, hospitals, care centers, benefits, and legal rights.

Anne Hughes and Rena Harold, faculty members of MSU's School of Social Work, conducted an exploratory survey of Michigan providers, which was published in the Journal of Gerontological Social Work, to better understand how the aging services network was responding to LGBT older adults. The responses tell the story of a system that needs attention. The vast majority of agencies do not offer services or activities specifically for LGBT older adults, and few have plans to do so. There is very little outreach to the community, and few agencies have materials acknowledging LGBT aging issues.

As a first step in addressing this gap, Hughes and Harold (with assistance from students Kristen Admiraal, Janet Boyer, and Melissa Crosby) developed a Greater Lansing Guide to Aging Services for the LGBTQI Community with funding from the Lansing Association of Human Rights and the School of Social Work. The guide is available online at socialwork.msu.edu/research_publications/docs/GuideToAgingServicesColor.pdf