Faculty & Staff


10th Anniversary


Engaged Faculty Scholars program supports research, collaboration

The Engaged Faculty Scholars program supports two NC faculty members for one year as they work to deepen the practice of community engagement at their own campus and support the development of community-engaged teaching at another school in the network.  We are currently accepting applications from faculty ready to take on this role in the 2017-18 academic year.

Our current Engaged Faculty Scholars — Dr. Maggie Commins of Queens University and Dr. Cara Kozma of High Point University — are more than half-way through their term. Both are carrying out individual research and working together to support faculty service-learning practice at Davidson County Community College.

But the work of these scholars doesn’t end when their term of service concludes. Our inaugural team of faculty scholars – Dr. Annie Jonas of Warren Wilson College and Dr. Ashley Oliphant of Pfeiffer University – recently shared updates that illustrate how projects begun during their year as Engaged Scholars continue to shape engagement on their campus.

Dr. Jonas offered this update:

My project for the Engaged Scholars year focused on exploring how civic identity could be launched through an intentional focus on it in the First Year Seminar. In summer 2016, I trained First Year instructors on the concept of civic identity and the developmental aspects of civic identity development. I worked with instructors during the course to evaluate how this was happening throughout the semester and to explore how to better nurture and develop the knowledge, skills, values and collective action that comprise civic identity. During the fall semester, I also collected data about how First Year students were responding to this intentional emphasis and collected data about faculty perspectives on teaching through this lens. I received a semester sabbatical this spring to analyze that data and write about the results. I am excited to share some of this knowledge at the Gulf South Summit and am working on a journal article to share results and possible implications. This research will impact my work with First Year students and instructors in future semesters. Over the past year, my focus on the developmental aspects of civic identity has expanded to impact the college more broadly. Civic identity is now included as a core outcome within our college’s new general education program and forms the basis for development of the college’s Civic Action Plan.

Dr. Jonas (center) joined Warren Wilson College students participating in a national day of service on MLK day. (Photos by Chris Polydoroff)

Dr. Jonas (center) joined Warren Wilson College students participating in a national day of service on MLK day. (Photos by Chris Polydoroff)

Dr. Oliphant shared this report:

My Engaged Faculty Scholar experience yielded the FUSE (First-year Undergraduate Service Experience) program. In its pilot year, the FUSE program has engaged every freshman student in group service twice. In Fall 2016, the Pfeiffer Journey first-year seminar professors participated with their students in service opportunities organized through the Francis Center for Servant Leadership. Activities in September included harvesting food in the university’s Hunger Relief Garden, preparing and serving that food at The Community Table, and serving in a Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief workday in eastern NC. In January, Pfeiffer used its Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service grant from NC/CC to facilitate seven days of service, with activities including moving the Hunger Relief Garden across campus and more than doubling its size. Following the service activities in both semesters, students worked with their first-year writing professors to compose graded written reflections of the experiences for their portfolios. As the program moves beyond the pilot and into its first full year beginning in 2017, Francis Center administrators plan to focus the issue area for FUSE service on hunger relief. The activities in the pilot year made it possible to expand the garden space so that it would have the capacity to host larger groups. Additionally, officials with campus dining services have agreed to use some of the food grown in the campus garden to prepare dining hall meals. As well, dining services has been donating excess food from the cafeteria to the Francis Center’s food recovery program. This recovered food and the produce from the university’s garden are now being used to serve low-income residents at local soup kitchens. Now that all of these programs are working simultaneously, first-year students have the opportunity to work in a variety of ways to help Pfeiffer fight local hunger.


Benefits of the program to selected Scholars include:

  • Financial stipend of $1500
  • Up to $500 travel reimbursement for visiting the partner institution (the mileage reimbursement rate is .555 per mile)
  • Up to $500 for professional development (e.g. conference or training attendance support)
  • At least one free civic engagement publication

Colleges and universities are also encouraged to provide a match of cash, course release, and/or other resources and recognition.

Applications to be a 2017-18 Engaged Faculty Scholar are due on May 12.
Learn more and apply.

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