Volume 13 - Issue 3 - 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,

One of the great privileges of the Office of University Outreach and Engagement is recognizing and awarding the exceptional engaged work of our faculty, staff, students, and community partners. Our annual celebration of their accomplishments declares how deeply MSU values their commitment to meaningful collaborations that reflect both scholarly integrity and real-world impact.

Each partnership we celebrate highlights diverse expressions of experience and knowledge, enacted in ethical and equitable ways to address challenging issues locally and around the world ... Read more

Featured MSU Engaged Scholars

Blueberries are an important crop in southwest Michigan.

La Cosecha (The Harvest): Growing Sustainable Farming Businesses

New farmers attempting to establish a profitable farming business face daunting challenges: a steep learning curve, expensive acreage and equipment, federal and local guidelines, the need for credentials and business savvy, stiff competition, and a declining labor force, to say nothing of pest damage and climate concerns. For Latino/a farmers, these challenges can be intensified by cultural and linguistic barriers. For new farmers to be successful, access to funding and up-to-date information is indispensable.

David Mota-Sanchez, assistant professor in MSU's Department of Entomology, directs La Cosecha, a three-year training program for first and next generation Latino/a farmers, that seeks to help farmers access the resources they need to establish sustainable farms that can potentially be passed to the next generation ... read more

Brad Willcuts in the MSU Auditorium lobby.

Commemorating the Year of COVID in Dance and Spoken Narrative

Dance is for the most part a social thing. People tend to dance together. So you might think doing collaborative dance projects during a pandemic lockdown would be impossible.

Brad Willcuts thinks otherwise.

Willcuts is an assistant professor who teaches musical theatre and choreography in MSU's Department of Theatre. He has a long-standing interest in virtual reality and other technological enhancements to the performance experience.

He is also always on the lookout for projects that engage with the public. Currently he has several irons in the fire ... read more

Left to right, Johannes Bauer, director, MSU Quello Center; Keith Hampton, director of academic research, MSU Quello Center; Craig Robertson, Ph.D. student; Laleah Fernandez, assistant director, MSU Quello Center

Critical Connections: Rural Broadband Access and School Learning Gaps

In groundbreaking research led by Keith Hampton, professor in MSU's College of Communication Arts and Sciences, and Johannes M. Bauer, professor and MSU Quello Center director, there is now evidence that middle and high school students who cannot connect sufficiently to the Internet at home are falling behind in educational accomplishments. It has been called the homework gap, but it's so much more than that.

Partnering with Merit Network, a Michigan nonprofit with extensive roots in technology development and advocacy, Hampton and Bauer worked with a dedicated network of collaborators to measure and quantify the realities of broadband access in rural communities, and what it means for educating Michigan's students ... 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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