In 2013-14, the Obermann Center is piloting a new program we are calling the Obermann Public Scholar. The program is designed to support research on campus, but also to facilitate partnerships that connect the campus with innovators outside the University. Scholars will have extensive experience in developing projects which solve problems and enrich the quality of life in their communities. Obermann Public Scholars will benefit by meeting throughout the year with a group of campus artists, scholars, and researchers whose work intersects with that of the Public Scholar. At the same time, the Obermann Center and the University will benefit from the knowledge and experiences of an accomplished leader in the public sector.
The Director of the Obermann Center will work with the Public Scholar to constitute an informal think tank of University of Iowa faculty and researchers. This group will act as a sounding board through the year as the Scholar’s project develops; the group will also explore possibilities for future campus-community collaboration.
The Fellow will be invited to participate in the Center’s programs, to meet with graduate students in the Obermann Graduate Institute on Engagement and the Academy, and to share the project more broadly as a speaker in the Obermann Afternoons series. The scholar may propose a symposium for participants from inside and outside the University to share problem-solving strategies related to the Scholar’s community-based project. Up to $5,000 will be available to support a Scholar-organized symposium.