Penn State recognized for excellence in community-engaged scholarship

September 13, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has been selected by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) to receive the 2021 Ryan, Moser, Reilly Excellence in Community Engagement Institutional Leadership Award.

The announcement was made today (Sept. 13) during the first day of the 2021 ESC International Conference, which is being held virtually through Sept. 15, with more than 800 representatives participating from higher education institutions in 41 states and seven countries.  

Penn State received the award for "exemplary leadership in advancing the field of community-engaged scholarship." Penn State Provost Nick Jones and Penn State Outreach Vice President Tracey Huston accepted the award on behalf of the University.

“We are deeply grateful that the ESC has recognized Penn State for its leadership and commitment to community-engaged scholarship. Our campuses, colleges, interdisciplinary institutes and administrative units have all contributed to this important mission,” Huston said. “This national award is a really nice recognition of our faculty, students, staff and community partners who have dedicated themselves to this scholarly work for many years.”

“Addressing every major challenge in our global society — from individual and population health to climate change and sustainability, among others — requires dedicated scholarship,” Jones said. “Community engagement with that scholarship represents a vital bridge from researchers and practitioners at Penn State to people who will benefit from the results of those activities. Being recognized by this consortium for leadership in advancing the field of community-engaged scholarship is a tremendous honor, and we’re grateful for it.”

Two former Penn State Outreach and University leaders — Jim Ryan, vice president emeritus, and Craig Weidemann, vice president and vice provost emeritus — joined Jones and Huston to receive the award.  

The award is named for Ryan (Penn State), Bobby Moser (Ohio State) and Kevin Reilly (Wisconsin-Extension) for their vision and pioneering efforts in establishing the National Outreach Scholarship Conference, which helped lead to the creation of the ESC and what is now known as the ESC International Conference.

“Penn State University has been an institutional pioneer in the field of community-engaged scholarship for more than three decades,” said Samory T. Pruitt, president of the ESC board of directors and vice president for community affairs at the University of Alabama. “Its leadership continues to elevate the field and set an example to which other engaged institutions may aspire. The Engagement Scholarship Consortium is pleased to present this well-deserved recognition.”

The ESC is the premier resource for higher education institutions and their faculty, staff, students and community partners focused on promoting excellence in the scholarship and practice of engaged scholarship locally and globally.

Visit the Engagement Scholarship Consortium website for more information.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 13, 2021