Volume 16 - Issue 1 - Home Page

Message from the Vice Provost

Kwesi Brookins, Vice Provost for University Outreach and Engagement

Looking Back and Moving Forward

As we begin a new year, many of us will take time to reflect on the joys and challenges of the past 12 months and the opportunities for growth that lie ahead. That’s especially true for me, as January 1 marked one year since I returned to MSU to become vice provost for University Outreach and Engagement.

What I have most enjoyed also happens to be what matters most to me: relationships. It’s been rewarding to get to know our diverse, talented team here at UOE and, by extension, our partners on campus and across the community. I have also appreciated the warm welcome from our students, faculty, staff, and senior leadership at MSU.

Looking back, I am proud of the ways UOE has engaged with the broader community this past year. We have introduced several initiatives, including ... Read more

Featured MSU Engaged Scholars

Science teacher Shirley Brezzell (left, at picnic table) shares her experiences with other teachers who participated in a professional learning community as part of Teaching Science Outdoors: Urban Partnerships.

Teaching Science Outdoors: Planting the Seeds of Curiosity

When Detroit public school teacher Shirley Brezzell introduced a unit on squirrels and their habitats, she took her eager third graders outside.

The children looked all around the school grounds, but they did not see a single bushy tail. She asked them to think about why.

“They realized that there were no trees,” she recalled. “So there were no squirrels.”

Brezzell took matters into her own hands, launching a transformation of the school grounds that has provided her students with an outdoor oasis where they can learn about science—and just be kids ...


The HeardAI project includes scholars, students, and community members representing diverse backgrounds, including (from left): Nihar Mahapatra, Jia Bin, Caryn Herring, Anne Marie Ryan, Megan Arney; J. Scott Yaruss, all from MSU; and Hope Gerlach-Houck, assistant professor of speech, language, and hearing sciences at Western Michigan University.

Building Voice AI That Works for Everyone

For people who stutter, Siri, Alexa, and other voice-activated artificial intelligence (AI) technologies can feel like foes rather than friends.

These technologies—hailed by most for their efficiency and convenience—fail on all counts for people who stutter like Jia Bin, an MSU doctoral student from China who leads the East Lansing chapter of the National Stuttering Association and belongs to the World Stuttering Network ...


Mekong River with small grassy islands dispersed throughout the river with mountainous hills in background.

Amplifying the Voices of the Mekong River Basin

The Mekong River has long been referred to as a “biological treasure.” The river winds through six countries in Southeast Asia—China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam—providing an abundance of resources, including fresh water, food, and transportation, for the nearly 60 million people who live along its 2,700-mile-long bank. The biodiversity of the river is said to rival that of the Amazon, with thousands of species of plants, fish, birds, mammals, and more calling the Mekong “home.”

In recent years, the river has begun to experience the detrimental effects of industrializing agriculture, water grabbing (unequal distribution ...


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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