Symposium puts spotlight on engaged scholarship

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State's inaugural Engaged Scholarship Symposium provides an opportunity to learn more about engaged scholarship and how it enriches student learning. The symposium, planned for March 25 at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State's University Park campus, is open to faculty, staff and students from all Penn State locations.

Engaged scholarship, which encompasses a wide variety of out-of-classroom academic learning experiences that complement in-classroom learning, is recognized as an important component for student success, both while earning a degree and after graduation. Members of the University community are working on ways to elevate the role of engaged scholarship in undergraduate education and to create more opportunities for students to have such experiences.

To that end, the symposium will feature a panel of visiting experts, a faculty panel and a student panel, whose presentations will address such questions as:

-- What can engaged scholarship do for students, faculty and Penn State?

-- What is the priority of engaged scholarship from the perspective of University leaders?

-- How can engaged scholarship impact learning and research?

-- What are some examples and outcomes of engaged scholarship initiatives?

-- What are best practices surrounding engaged scholarship?

Penn State President Rodney Erickson will deliver opening remarks. Ken O'Donnell, senior director of Student Engagement and Academic Initiatives & Partnerships at California State University will be the luncheon keynote speaker. O'Donnell works on statewide curriculum, with a focus on student engagement and success and the state’s shared coursework in general education. In 2008 he was named by the executive vice chancellor as state liaison to the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U) national project, Give Students a Compass, which seeks to infuse high-impact educational practice into the lower-division college curriculum. In 2012 he created a new department in the Office of the Chancellor, leading system office work around Student Engagement and Academic Initiatives & Partnerships. The department’s work was recognized in the 2013 AAC&U publication Bringing High Impact Practices to Scale, which he co-wrote with George Kuh.

Craig Weidemann, vice president for Outreach and vice provost for Online Education, will moderate the panel of visiting experts. The full lineup of panelists will be announced soon but will include:

-- Hiram Fitzgerald, university distinguished professor in the Department of Psychology and associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University.

Rob Pangborn, vice president and dean for Undergraduate Education, will moderate the faculty panel. Faculty panelists are:

-- Isabella M. Cattadori, assistant professor of biology.

-- Laurie Grobman, professor of English and women's studies and coordinator of the Penn State Berks Center for Service Learning.

-- Keith Aronson, associate director, Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness.

-- Burt Staniar, associate professor of equine science.

Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, will moderate the student panel. Student panelists and their majors are:

-- Megan Draper, psychology.

-- Curt Eckard, supply chain and information systems.

-- Marcy Herr, education and public policy.

-- Kara Morgan, aerospace engineering.

Click here for more information and to register for the conference. Those unable to attend in person can register to view a live stream.

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Last Updated February 17, 2014