Message from the Vice Provost

Kwesi Brookins, Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement

Let’s Get Engaged!

As we approach the end of October, our vibrant MSU campus is bursting with fall color and a rich tapestry of activity—academic classes, sporting events, an array of arts and cultural activities.

Likewise we at University Outreach and Engagement (UOE) have had a productive start to the academic year. We have facilitated events and professional development opportunities to further enhance community-engaged scholarship here at MSU and beyond.

  • We co-hosted the 2023 Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) Conference, welcoming thought leaders and practitioners of community-engaged scholarship from across the United States and the world. Nearly 600 participants gathered for the Oct. 4-5 conference, representing 118 universities from 39 states, the Menominee Nation, and Colombia, Malaysia, Paraguay, South Africa, Uganda, and the United Kingdom. Pre-conferences provided opportunities for participants to delve deeper into special topics.

    Participants exchanged ideas and learned about best practices for community-engaged scholarship, hearing presentations on ways universities and community partners together meet the challenges of artificial intelligence, food security, gender equity, racial justice, youth empowerment, and more. We engaged with one another as well, both in formal roundtable discussions and the less formal interactions around meals, poster sessions, and social events.

  • We welcomed industry experts, business leaders, entrepreneurs, government entities, students, and scholars to the 12th annual Innovate Michigan! Summit, hosted by the Center for Regional Economic Innovation at UOE’s Center for Community and Economic Development. The Aug. 17 event highlighted innovative economic development tools, programs, and policies designed to fuel economic growth across the state of Michigan.
  • UOE’s Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) co-hosted a Spartan Day of Service on Oct. 14, when approximately 400 students volunteered at 10 sites in the Lansing area and two in Detroit. CCEL, with the Office of the President, also offers the MSU Community Engagement Scholars Program, an academic year program that pairs undergraduate students with community organizations to design and implement a project, participate in professional development workshops, and learn from one another.
  • This fall, UOE also launched a new Community-Engaged Research Fellows Program, in partnership with the Diversity Research Network and the Office of Faculty and Staff Development. The program offers MSU early- to mid-career faculty and academic staff the opportunity to strengthen community-engaged (CER) skills, develop CER projects in partnership with communities, and generate scholarly products. Each of the eight fellows selected for the program is paired with a senior MSU faculty member, who will guide and advise the fellows on steps toward impactful community-engaged research.
  • Meanwhile, we have additional professional development opportunities in the pipeline for faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students. UOE offers a Broader Impacts Workshop Series to introduce participants to all aspects of building your broader impacts plan. You can also register for our fall series on Special Topics in Community-Engaged Learning, a strategy that integrates meaningful community partnerships with instruction and critical reflection to enrich the student learning experience, teach civic and social responsibility, and strengthen communities. Additionally, we offer regularly scheduled write-ins for faculty, extension and academic staff, post-docs, and graduate students.

MSU is recognized as a national leader in community-engaged scholarship. Through the ESC conference, economic development activities, the Fellows program, days of service, and other opportunities, we hope to find new ways to expand upon our collaborations with community partners. Thank you for joining us in these efforts!

Kwesi Brookins Signature

Kwesi Brookins,

Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement

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