UNCW’s Lee and WCU’s Wall-Bassett named Engaged Faculty Scholars for 2017-18

July 10, 2017

NC Campus Compact is happy to announce the selection of our 2017-2018 Engaged Faculty Scholars: Dr. Jacquelyn Lee, an assistant professor of social work at UNC Wilmington, and Dr. Elizabeth Wall-Bassett, an associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Western Carolina University. Lee and Wall-Bassett are the third cohort of NC faculty members to fill the Engaged Scholars role.

As Engaged Faculty Scholars, Lee and Wall-Bassett will receive support from the Compact and from their respective institutions as they undertake a research or administrative project designed to deepen the scholarship of campus-community engagement at their school. They will also serve as consultants to another campus in the network that is seeking to expand academic service-learning.

Dr. Beth Wall-Bassett (Photo: WCU)

For her project at Western Carolina, Dr. Wall-Bassett will lead the planning and implementation of a “faculty community engagement development institute.” The institute will involve 10 faculty participants in a year-long program related to the practice of service-learning and community engagement (SLCE). Through the institute and a review/ revision of the SLCE course designation process, Wall-Bassett aims to increase the number of designated SLCE courses at WCU. She will also evaluate the institute to inform future training, and she will research faculty perceptions of SLCE in order to aid in the development of peer review tools for improved SL course design. In addition to involving WCU faculty, Wall-Bassett will open the program to interested UNC Asheville faculty.

In recommending Wall-Bassett for the program, Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences Douglas Keskula points to her “successful track record across her career in the area of service-learning.”

In her application, Wall-Bassett described how she has learned by making service-learning a feature of her teaching:

Since 2008, I have actively incorporated SLCE concepts in my interdisciplinary and Nutrition courses, [and] helped other faculty and students understand SLCE key concepts through successful application and scholarship with local and overseas partners… . I have learned the value of group dynamics, the importance of developing capacities to work together, the power of mutually beneficial partnerships, and the need to create innovative research and educational projects.

Dr. Jacquelyn Lee. (Photo: UNCW)

At UNC Wilmington, Dr. Lee will also focus her efforts on faculty learning through the development of a “civic engagement collaborative” — a community of faculty committed to positively influencing society through civic engagement, with a focus on pedagogy and scholarship. Dr. Lee expects the group will meet regularly for professional development, support and consultation, and collaboration on shared projects, including planning for a conference on applied learning that UNCW will host and undertaking an interdisciplinary, applied learning project focused on social justice next spring.

Dr. Stacey Kolomer, director of UNCW’s School of Social Work, recommended Lee for the Engaged Faculty Scholars program, noting that “her service has been very strong in the college, across UNCW, and in the larger community” and that she “always reflects on how projects can benefit community partners and students.”

In her application, Dr. Lee drew parallels between the practice of social work and the pedagogy of service-learning:

Just as social workers co-create spaces that facilitate the empowerment of individuals and communities through acknowledging strengths, increasing access to resources, removing barriers, advocacy, and respecting the dignity and worth of all people, educators and their allies can do the same to encourage the empowerment of students. In my view, the integration of civic and community engagement is curricular manifestation of empowerment-in-action, as these pedagogical practices champion the capacity of students and build the skills necessary for them to make meaningful contributions to the world.

Each Engaged Faculty Scholar will receive a stipend of $1500, travel reimbursement for consultation visits to the partner institution, and a professional development budget to their participation in a conference or professional meeting. Both UNCW and WCU agreed to provide a match of cash, course release, or other resources and recognition. The scholars also agree to present their projects at the network’s annual PACE Conference and other venues.

The Engaged Faculty Scholars program began in 2015-2016 with Dr. Annie Jonas of Warren Wilson College and Dr. Ashley Oliphant of Pfeiffer University. In 2016-2017, Dr. Maggie Commins of Queens University of Charlotte and Dr. Cara Kozma of High Point University were selected.

The Scholars application opens in March and closes mid-May. Learn more about the program and past recipients.