Volume 13 - Issue 2 - Home Page

Message from the Interim Associate Provost

Laurie Van Egeren, Interim Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement

Dear Engaged Spartans and our partners in Michigan and around the world,

As 2020 draws to a close, we recognize the challenges every member of the MSU community has faced this year, including those of our faculty and staff researchers and our partner communities. Just as community-engaged researchers have devoted this year to adapting to restrictions and obstacles, so community partners have faced extreme hardships caused or exacerbated by COVID-19.

In the new year, faculty will be eager to resume research collaborations with the communities from which they have been distanced. But what will this look like? What should faculty consider before they begin to reconnect?... Read more

Featured MSU Engaged Scholars

City of Unalakleet, Alaska.

No Place Like Home: Addressing the Need for Safe and Healthy Housing in Alaska

A home should be a safe place of refuge from all types of assaults, of which 2020 has had many, including the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus. For Alaska Native communities, these difficulties come on top of the housing challenges they already faced due to increasing environmental and social pressures—challenges that threaten the safety and wellbeing of their places of refuge.

Kristen Cetin is part of a team of researchers working on a project that addresses housing vulnerabilities due to climate change in rural Arctic regions. According to Cetin, overcrowding, poor indoor air quality, high costs of electricity and fuel, permafrost thaw causing structural issues to building foundations, coastline erosion requiring communities to move their buildings away from the coast, and housing stock being built without consideration of local community values are issues contributing to a housing crisis ... read more

Dawn Goldstein directs the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program at MSU's College of Nursing.

Partnering with Clinicians to Transform the Nursing Preceptorship Experience

In the early spring of 2020, Dawn Goldstein was happily absorbed in connecting with clinics and hospitals, setting up placement opportunities for students in the MSU College of Nursing's Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. Goldstein is the program director and an assistant professor in the College.

Then COVID-19 hit, swiftly followed by near-total lockdown. Goldstein's problems were more urgent than some. Because clinical placements involve close contact onsite with both patients and medical staff, many important decisions had to be made on the spot. Some students who had already started their placements were sent home and told not to return. Clinical partners who had initially agreed to sponsor a student backed out over the summer ... read more

Dante Dixson, assistant professor in the College of Education, is principal investigator of The Hope Laboratory. Dixson believes in a broad shift in thinking about student achievements. He advocates for the inclusion of hope and positivity in American education policy.

Teenagers, Academic Achievements, and The Science of Hope

Dr. Dante Dixson conveys infectious enthusiasm when he talks about his work with teenagers, despite the fact that his research addresses some of the most challenging topics in education. Dr. Dixson specializes in understanding variables that increase students' academic achievement during adolescence and how to construct interventions that guide students toward success, especially minority or disadvantaged young people.

"I do this work because I want to make a difference," says Dixson. "The people I work with want to make a difference." ... read more

Looking for Community 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, University Outreach and Engagement may be able to help you. Our staff and researchers have connections across the state in areas such as education, mental health, human services, business, and government. For more information, contact Burton Bargerstock, Executive Director of the Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship, at (517) 353-8977 or bb@msu.edu.


We would like to hear from you. Contact us with comments, suggestions, announcements, or "engaged scholar" project information for future e-newsletters. Send to: engaged.scholar@msu.edu.


MSU Graduate Certification in Community Engagement
This 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.

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

Transformations in Higher Education: The Scholarship of Engagement Series
Available from Michigan State University Press

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