2020 Faculty Institute on Engagement and the Academy

Recognizing that graduate students need strong faculty mentors, the Obermann Center will offer a one-time Faculty Institute on Engagement & the Academy in January 2020 in place of our annual Graduate Institute on Engagement & the Academy. The Faculty Institute will take place January 13–16, 2020 (the week before spring semester classes begin). It will meet from 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Monday through Wednesday (Jan. 13–15) and 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Thursday, January 16.

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We will hold an information session on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, from 4:00-5:00 p.m. in the Obermann Center library. (No RSVP needed.)

The co-directors will be Teresa Mangum, Professor of Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies, and Director of the Obermann Center, and Darryl Heller, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies, in collaboration with Jennifer New, Associate Director of the Obermann Center.  Mangum and New were two of three founders of the Graduate Institute. In 2009, in collaboration with the Center for Teaching, Teresa and then UI Professor David Redlawsk led an earlier Faculty Institute. Heller, who has a PhD in American Studies, has spent over 20 years in human services, community development, and political activism in Washington DC, Boston, and New York City. Most recently, he brought his extensive work in communities together with his academic training and teaching experience as Director of the Indiana University South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center (CRHC).  

The Institute will both support UI faculty members' community-engaged work and prepare them to be successful mentors for graduate students. Participants will discuss effective, responsible strategies for integrating engaged practices into their art, scholarship, and research. They will meet engagement professionals from across campus, including the Office of Outreach and Engagement. Sessions will also feature faculty, staff, and graduate students who have long and deep experience in collaborating with public partners in the work as well as with community partners who can offer firsthand advice about the benefits and challenges of working with the University.

Faculty who actively mentor graduate students are eligible to participate.  

Several funding agencies are now offering seed grants and fellowships to support publicly engaged scholarship in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. Scientists are expected to have clear and thoughtful plans for community impact. In addition, faculty members who work with graduate students can be more effective mentors if they have a deep rather than superficial understanding of myriad ways to develop projects with public partners that are rooted in reciprocal, respectful, responsible collaborations and that both further disciplinary knowledge and meet the needs of partners. Therefore, we will work with participants to identify an internal or external grant opportunity and throughout the week, we will ask participants to develop grant narratives that translate their real or imagined publicly engaged projects into working drafts of grant narratives. We hope this will lead to a number of grant applications in the near future or in the next few years. However, we also encourage graduate faculty to apply even if you have only a tentative project in mind. This will be an informed, supportive environment in which to stretch your thinking, your arts and research practices, and your intellectual community of scholars committed to a more collaborative, just campus, community, and world.

As an example of the kind of grant for which we are hoping to prepare fellows to apply, please review these recent winners of the Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship. 

Participants whose positions at the UI allow them to accept special compensation payments will receive a $500 stipend. Note that to receive the stipend, you must be available to attend the full institute, which will run 3 1/2 days.

Please visit obermann.uiowa.edu/programs/faculty-institute-engagement-academy#!apply for application details. The application deadline is October 8, 2019, 5:00 p.m.