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New Issue of the eJournal of Public Affairs


Special Issue on Public Engagement and Literacy Research
Literacy scholars embrace community engagement as a way to become involved in critical contemporary conversations. Yet, researchers should not be seduced by romantic, well-intentioned motives of community work and fail to acknowledge who is being served by their research?  We invited submissions for a special issue on the challenges and opportunities of public engagement and literacy research.

From the Editor: A Kudos Moment | Andrew P. Lokie, Jr., Missouri State University
From-the-Editor-Cover-Image-Vol-6-No-2The eJournal of Public Affairs is pleased to announce our new website that will house all previously published and upcoming content. This new site is designed specifically to give readers a more attractive, easy-to-use interface with plenty of options for accessing premier public affairs articles written by scholars across the nation.
Read the full article here.

Introductory Essay
Taking up the Challenges and Opportunities of Public Scholarship: Literacy Scholars Engaging with Communities | Carolyn Colvin, University of Iowa
Vol-6-No-2-Cover-ImageAs guest editor, I welcome readers to this themed issue of the eJournal of Public Affairs focusing on publicly engaged scholarship and literacy research. The contributing authors—including myself—are deeply committed to the methodologies of public engagement, which not only inform our literacy research but are significant for the literacy learners with whom we work and the contexts in which we choose to work. As the authors describe, we value community engagement and dialogue because, together, they create spaces in which literacy scholars can understand and make claims about the diverse and complex forms of literacy that individuals use to make meaning and construct representations of their worlds. We are pleased to have access to a forum like the eJournal to make our case for publicly engaged scholarship.
Read the full article here.


The Stories They Tell: Giving, Receiving, and Engaged Scholarship with/in Urban Communities | Ashley N. Patterson, The Pennsylvania State University; Valerie Kinloch, University of Pittsburgh, and Emily A. Nemeth, Denison University
The-Stories-They-TellIn her 1993 book, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Maya Angelou poignantly describes the importance of giving to others—giving that enriches life and symbolizes love, liberation, and humanity. Drawing on Angelou’s belief that “giving liberates the soul,” this article pushes for a more critical and nuanced way of understanding what it means to “give” and “receive,” as realized through a social justice framework. This is particularly important in work that involves young people and adults advocating for sociopolitical change within historically disenfranchised communities. To insist on a nuanced understanding, this article analyzes qualitative data from a three-year service-learning and community engaged initiative, “Bringing Learning to Life,” within an urban school district and community in the U.S. Midwest. It addresses the following questions: What educational, social, and political possibilities emerge when young people and adults collaborate on publicly engaged scholarship in urban communities? How do they refrain from negative narratives of giving/giver and helping/helper and, instead, reconcile such dichotomous positions through acts of solidarity around shared concerns? How do they see themselves as agents of change? What are the stories they tell?
Read the full article here.

The Absent Dialogue: Challenges of Building Reciprocity through Community Engagement in Teacher Education | Meghan E. Barnes, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
The-Absent-DialogueApproaches to education founded on the principles of community engagement provide faculty and students with a means for encouraging greater communication between universities and communities. Community-engaged teaching practices are particularly important within university-based teacher education programs. The increasing divide in the United States between the demographics of pre-service teachers (PSTs) and students in K-12 schools presents teacher educators with unique challenges: to prepare PSTs to work with diverse populations of students and to consider the community when developing lessons and curricula. This literature review examines current research and theory related to PSTs’ conceptions of the relationship between teaching English language arts and their knowledge of the community. Few of the studies reviewed inquired into the identities and experiences of PSTs before they entered teacher education. By evading a consideration of the experiences and backgrounds of their PSTs, however, teacher educators who endeavor to build greater connections across communities and their students fail to model the type of reciprocity necessary for community engagement, potentially contributing to PSTs’ limited understandings of diverse populations of students when they enter schools as teachers.  This article highlights ways in which dialogue and reciprocity serve as methods for teacher educators to address and overcome some of the critiques and challenges of community-engaged teaching.
Read the full article here.

Now We Need to Write Something that People Will Read: Examining Youth Choices as Perspectives of Literacy Research | Joanne E. Marciano and  Vaughn W. M. Watson, Michigan State University
Now-We-Need-to-Write-Something-that-People-Will-ReadIn this article, the authors examine opportunities and tensions that arose when youth co-researchers, collaborating in two in-depth, qualitative, participatory research studies, challenged modalities for sharing literacy research findings in academic forums such as peer-reviewed journals and at professional conferences. The authors frame the youths’ contributions as new forms of civic participation, highlighting the ways in which the youth co-researchers—Black youth and youth of color in a large city in the northeastern United States—sought to: (1) share research findings with “kids like us,” and (2) make the research relevant across multiple contexts. The article discusses implications for researchers and educators who seek to involve youth as designers, creators, and distributors of publicly engaged knowledge with communities grounded in partnership and reciprocity.
Read the full article here.

Reciprocity in the Practice of Publicly Engaged Scholarship: Reflections from a Transnational Literacy Project | Kate E. Kedley, Rowan University and Flores, Fe y Alegria, Honduras
Reciprocity-in-the-Practice-of-Publicly-Engaged-ScholarshipIn this article, the authors examine the concept of “reciprocity” in publicly engaged literacy scholarship. The idea of reciprocity suggests that projects using a publicly engaged research model should comprise two-way partnerships that strive to balance benefits to the researcher and to community partners. The authors (a researcher and a community partner) explore this dynamic by considering their own experiences working on projects with groups of youth in Honduras and in the United States. The groups shared their cultures and experiences through writing and technology, and challenged ideas about security and public space. Given the national, racial, cultural, economic, linguistic, and power dynamics inherent in these publicly engaged scholarship projects, reciprocity was a theme to which the authors paid close attention and about which they were in constant discussion.  The authors address a series of questions about reciprocity and scholarship, and find that through their experiences they have learned to define both concepts in ways that are not traditionally measurable and cannot be mapped out as directional.
Read the full article here.

Going Public: Teaching Undergraduates How to Write for Broad Audiences | Amy Lannin and Nancy West, University of Missouri
Going-PublicIn this article, the authors examine a common question that emerged within a large writing-across-the-curriculum program and throughout multi-disciplinary collaborations: How do faculty and students step into the roles of public scholars and public intellectuals? Whether the focus is on science communication with the general public or an initiative to connect public audiences with the arts and humanities, interest and need are joining forces in higher education. To take advantage of this, the authors—two faculty members at a large research university—developed and taught an undergraduate course called “Public Intellectuals/Public Scholarship.” This semester-long course involved a group of undergraduates, all from different majors, in reading a broad sampling of texts from the arena of public scholarship and public intellectuals. Through these readings, the students explored issues of both public and personal importance. By considering audience, purpose, context, and form, the students then wrote several pieces for a public audience, resulting in publishable products. Students went from being fearful of the idea of being a public intellectual to discovering that their words did matter in the public space. This article itself exemplifies a form of public scholarship as the authors describe the course they taught in order to share it—and its implications—with the broader educational public.
Read the full article here.

Guidance for the Release of the 2016 NSLVE Reports


At the end of August, 2017, the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University released National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) reports to each of their 1000+ participating campuses. The reports contain student voting data, including information about the number of students eligible to vote on a campus, the number and percentage registered, and the number and percentage who voted in the 2012 and 2016 elections.

The Students Learn Students Vote Coalition (SLSV) has compiled a list of “next steps” for campuses to follow after they receive their NSLVE reports (For more information see the FAQ below):

  1. Make the report easily and publicly available (i.e, on the institutions’ website).
  2. Share the report with the ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge (if participating).
  3. Plan a meeting with the campus’s democratic engagement working group to evaluate efforts implemented in 2016 for effectiveness.
  4. Use the data in the institution’s NSLVE report to inform the development of a democratic engagement action plan for 2017 and 2018.
  5. Actively inform other campus stakeholders, such as faculty, student government, student organizations, and community partners of the availability of NSLVE reports for the institution by writing an executive summary, and/or holding events and forums about the report’s findings.


How can I find out if a campus I’m working with participates in NSLVE?
Over 1,000 campuses across all 50 states participate in NSLVE. You can find the list of participating campuses here.

Why should a campus make its report public?
Making an NSLVE campus report public increases the transparency and accountability of a campus’ democratic engagement efforts. It also allows campuses to easily compare their reports with their own past performances and with the performances of other campuses from year to year. Faculty, students, and community partners can also all access the data they need to improve efforts to engage in our democracy.

Many campuses have made their NSLVE reports public and you can find the list of some of those campuses here.

Where is the best place on a campus’ website to post their NSLVE reports?
The best place to post a link to the campus NSLVE report is on a page dedicated to the campus’ democratic engagement efforts, but if such a page does not exist then you should post it wherever it makes the most sense for the campus, whether that be on a page dedicated to a center for service learning or institutional research.

Who is typically the report recipient on campus?
Participation in NSLVE must be authorized by someone with signing authority for an institution, which means that typically a President, Vice President, Dean of the college, Dean of Students, Provost, Registrar, or Institutional Research Director receives the report. The authorizer may also designate another person to receive the report.

How do I help connect my campus contact with their campus’ NSLVE report recipient?
All inquiries regarding a campus’ participation in NSLVE will be referred to the individual discussed above. IDHE does not release the contact information or identity of any campus’ report recipient, and a campus faculty or staff member must complete NSLVE’s campus report inquiry form to have the request shared with the campus’ report recipient. NSLVE will then contact the report recipient with the requester’s role on campus and contact information and the report recipient can then decide how to proceed. Students who wish to see the report must work with a faculty or staff member to submit the inquiry form, which can be found here.

What if a campus is concerned about student data privacy?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) allows colleges and universities to share student lists and certain identifying information, which is often used for research purposes. NSLVE complies with FERPA requirements. Find more information about NSLVE student data privacy here.
For more information, visit the Students Learn Students Vote (SLSV) website.

Job Opportunities with PIRG Campus Action

Campus Organizer: Multiple Locations

At PIRG Campus Action, our full time organizers work on college campuses across the country to empower students to make a difference on critical environmental and social issues. If we’re serious about climate change, we can’t afford to drag our feet—so we’re pushing cities and states to commit to 100% renewable energy, now. We rely on bees to pollinate our food, yet we’re allowing some pesticides to drive them toward extinction—so we’re working to ban these bee-killing pesticides. The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms is putting millions of lives at risk — so we’re urging big chains like KFC to stop doing business with these farms. In short, we’re organizing to make a difference right now. We’re looking for people who have the passion and the drive it takes to win positive change on these important issues, and who aren’t afraid of hard work. If that sounds like you, consider working with us. What you’ll do If you become an organizer with PIRG Campus Action, you’ll organize and build the campus chapter into something that works — now, and for years to come. You’ll recruit hundreds of students to volunteer and get involved, and teach them how to plan and run effective campaigns through internships and on-the-ground training. You’ll build relationships with faculty and administrators, while organizing news events and rallies, and generating the grassroots support it takes to win campaigns. During the summer, you’ll run a citizen outreach office, building the organization by canvassing and training others to canvass. And you’ll learn from some of the best organizers in the country—people who have been doing this work for more than 30 years. Locations We’re hiring organizers to work on college campuses in California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Oregon and a few other states. Pay & benefits The target annual compensation for this position is $25,500 in the first year. PIRG Campus Action offers a competitive benefits package. We also offer an excellent training program and opportunities for advancement.

Apply here today!


ADP’s Civic Engagement Newsletter | June 2017 Edition

To view this newsletter in its original online format, go here.

ADP CE Newsletter HeaderWelcome to the second issue of ADP’s ADP’s Civic Engagement Newsletter in our new format. We hope you’ll take a moment to catch up on our latest work and learn about upcoming events and opporunities for engagement.

Be sure to also subscribe to the ADP blog for the latest news and updates!

– Jen Domagal-Goldman, ADP National Manager

ADP Civic Engagement Award Recipients

On Thursday, June 8, ADP honored three outstanding leaders in civic engagement: The Barbara Burch Award is granted to a senior faculty member; the William M. Plater Award is granted to a chief academic officer; and the John Saltmarsh Award is granted to an early-career faculty or staff member.

ADP 2017 Award Recipients_CLDE17_3

Danielle Lake, Philip Rous and Shala Mills (left to right). Photo by Greg Dohler.

The 2017 award recipients are:

  • Barbara Burch Award: Shala A. Mills, chair and professor of political science at Fort Hays State University (Kans.)
  • William M. Plater Award: Philip Rous, provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
  • John Saltmarsh Award: Danielle Lake, assistant professor of liberal studies & inclusion and equity faculty associate at Grand Valley State University (Mich.)

Learn more about these fantastic award recipients and our annual awards program here.

2017 Civic Learning & Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in Review

CLDE17 visual journalist image

Visual Journalism of the CLDE 2017 Opening Plenary by Ellen Lovelidge

More than 600 faculty, students, administrators, community partners and representatives from our national sponsor and partner organizations gathered in Baltimore, Md. earlier this month for our 2017 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) meeting. Learn more about the conference, the speakers and our new emergent theory of change here.

And be sure to save the date: we’ll reconvene in Anaheim, California for our 2018 CLDE meeting from June 6-8.

Digital Polarization Initiative | #DigiPo

ADP’s Digital Polarization Initiative, or “DigiPo”, is an effort to build student information and web literacy by having students participate in a broad, cross-institutional project to fact-check, annotate, and provide context to the different news stories that show up in our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Check out these articles about DigiPo to explore more:

This NeimanLab story highlights how DigiPo encourages students to consider the context and origin of information in today’s highly saturated digital environment.

A recent EDUCAUSEreview article provides an in-depth explanation of DigiPo’s mission, means of operation, and collaboration with non-profit to create a “DigiPo toolkit.”

To get involved in our DigiPo initiative, visit our wiki.

  • June 6-9, 2018: Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE) 2018
    (Anaheim, Calif.)


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