Volume 10 - Issue 2 - Home Page

Featured MSU Engaged Scholars

'Alzheimer's is a family disease that tests the family foundation,' says Irving Vega, MSU College of Human Medicine.

Fighting Alzheimer's Disease in the Latino Community

Irving Vega studies cell changes in neurodegenerative disorders. Recruited from the University of Puerto Rico, Vega's emphasis on Alzheimer's disease, translational research, training, and community-based interventions made him a solid addition to the College of Human Medicine expansion. He joined the University in September 2014, and is based in the new MSU Grand Rapids Research Center.

As a native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Vega is particularly interested in the high rate of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that affects Latinos, and the extra stressors it adds to those immigrants in the United States. His research has identified biomarkers that appear to be associated with Alzheimer's, and he is committed to translational research that has practical applications for communities ... read more


Vashti Sawtelle's research focuses on how students universally might become confident science students.

Can Physics Educators Create a More Encouraging Environment for Black, Latino, and Native American Science Students?

Vashti Sawtelle is a physics education researcher who is deeply interested in ethnic, racial, and gender equity. Her work during the past ten years has focused on how students from diverse backgrounds experience science.

It is a topic that Sawtelle considers timely, as well as imperative. There are not enough minorities or women in the field of physics, and the statistics are dispiriting.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) tracks the data via its Statistical Research Center, which is the source for information about education and employment in physics, astronomy, and other physical sciences ... read more


Map by Joseph Messina

Using Satellite Data to Help Communities on the Ground

Joe Messina is known in many quarters for his work using geographic information to map tsetse fly habitat in Africa, putting an important tool in the hands of governments seeking to curtail the spread of the parasites that cause sleeping sickness. With geographic information systems (GIS) (computer systems that a researcher uses to gather, organize, and display geographic data) and remote sensing (extracting information without being in direct contact with the subject, often using satellites or drones), Messina has been very successful in identifying actual and potential tsetse fly habitat.

Messina is more than the "tsetse fly guy," however, as he and his graduate students continue to work with governments, communities, and researchers around the world, applying geographic data to important local issues—from agricultural resilience in the face of climate change in Southeast Asia to determining whether a community should build a new hospital in southeast Michigan. Their work illustrates how a constellation of relationships and partnerships propels research forward ... read more


Looking for Project Partners?

Collaboration and partnership with communities are at the core of engaged scholarship. In all of its work, University Outreach and Engagement emphasizes university-community partnerships that are collaborative, participatory, empowering, systemic, transformative, and anchored in scholarship. If you are a faculty or academic staff member wanting to establish a community partnership to work on a specific research issue, University Outreach and Engagement can help you. Our staff, specialists, and researchers have established connections across the state in a number of areas such as education, mental health, human services, business, and government. For more information, contact Laurie Van Egeren, Interim Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement at (517) 353-8977, or vanegere@msu.edu.


ES 360° Feedback ...

We would like to hear from you. Contact us with comments, suggestions, announcements, or "engaged scholar" project information for future e-newsletters. Send to Carla Hills: esenews@msu.edu or call (517) 353-8977.

MSU Graduate Certification in Community Engagement
Program prepares graduate students for careers that integrate scholarship with community engagement. It offers students a transcript notation indicating that they have completed the program.

Transformations in Higher Education: The Scholarship of Engagement Series
Available from MSU Press

Community Engagement Toolkits
Designed by the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement to guide and support MSU faculty, students, staff, and community partners.

Tools of Engagement Learning Modules
Online curriculum modules are available for use by MSU faculty to introduce undergraduate students to the concept of university-community engagement.

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