For the second straight season, the Syracuse University football team has qualified for a bowl game, the first time the Orange have secured back-to-back postseason appearances since the 2012 and 2013 seasons. After closing out the regular season with a…
Grants from the Engaged Humanities Network Support 11 Community-Oriented Projects
Sports teams that succeed are those that feature athletes who work well together and bring different skills to the field. Humanities scholarship is no different. When College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) Dean’s Professor of Community Engagement Brice Nordquist founded the Engaged Humanities Network (EHN) in 2020, one of the guiding principles was to seed, support and foster collaborations among publicly engaged researchers so they could address a range of pressing issues and amplify a diverse range of voices. As Syracuse University moves forward with a new Academic Strategic Plan focusing on experiential inquiry and engaged citizenship as two of its pillars, the work of EHN aligns closely with the mission and goals of the University.
To build on the community-engaged work already happening across the University, city and region, Nordquist and his team established the Engaged Communities (EC) initiative in 2021. This program provides faculty, students, staff and community partners with support for publicly engaged research, programming and creative work. Inspired in part by a desire among faculty, staff and students to collaborate with communities beyond the University, the program provides project teams with seed money for their work over the next academic year. Nordquist says critical to the prolonged success of this effort is forming collaborations among project leaders that enhance the scope and reach of their work.
“While many of us are deeply invested in improving the well-being of our communities, there are few structures that bring us together to share resources, collectively problem solve, align efforts, and better understand and invest in each other’s work,” says Nordquist. “Engaged Communities is designed to draw more people into a network of mutual support to improve the efficacy and sustainability of community-engaged research, creative work and programming.”
With funding from A&S, the Academic Affairs’ Office of Strategic Initiatives and external grants awarded to EHN, a record 11 publicly engaged projects received mini-grants through the Engaged Communities initiative, an increase from last year’s cohort of six, and five the year prior. Project leaders come from four different schools and colleges and from 17 different departments and units, making this a truly interdisciplinary effort.
Over the course of the year, the 11 teams will convene regularly in the Tolley Humanities Building on campus to workshop project ideas, exchange resources, work through challenges, collectively advocate and collaborate across projects and communities. Members of previous years’ EC cohorts will also participate in those meetings so that their projects continue to grow along with this expanding network, notes Nordquist.
One example demonstrating the benefits of this collaborative structure is a partnership between Write Out and the Natural Science Explorers Program, two projects that received mini-grants in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Write Out is a youth storytelling initiative run by students and faculty in the Department of English’s creative writing program and NSEP is a science exploration program for children at the North Side Learning Center organized by students and faculty from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Biology. Together, they have held joint creative writing and science workshops at the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) and the North Side Learning Center–a testament to EHN’s mission of fostering collaboration between faculty, students and communities.
2023-24 Engaged Communities Mini-Grant Recipients
The Body Project
Creative Art Lab: Cradle to Cradle Open Art Studio, Exhibition & Story Space
Exploring the Intersection of Math Education and Geography through Youth-Centered Community-Engaged Research on Environmental Justice
Family Pictures Syracuse
Fermenting Stories: Exploring Ancestry, Embodiment and Place
Imagined Identity / Identidad Imaginada
Not in a Book: Haudenosaunee Elders Series
- Onondaga Community Trauma Task Force’s Community Healing Series
- Onondaga Language Project
- Syracuse University Research in Physics (SURPh)
- Unearthing Black Girl Literacies ‘In Place’
Visit the College of Arts and Sciences website to learn more about the 2023-24 engaged communities mini-grant recipients.