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Swearer Center receives multi-year grant to enhance engaged learning

Three-year grant allows Swearer Center to expand existing programs, create new opportunities

By
Contributing Writer
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Swearer Center is planning to enhance the Engaged Scholars Program by adding concentrations to the 12 existing options as well as strengthening the initiatives at the center that promote learning.

The Swearer Center plans to enhance the existing Engaged Scholars Program and create new opportunities for faculty and students  to promote engaged learning after receiving a three-year $225,000 grant from the Davis Educational Foundation, said Assistant Dean of the College and Director of Engaged Scholarship Allen Hance. This upgrade will include adding concentrations to the 12 concentrations that are a part of the ESP and strengthening initiatives at the Swearer Center that promote engaged learning, such as the Royce Fellowship program, Hance added.

The grant also includes the creation of a new Engaged Scholarship Faculty Fellows Program that will allow five faculty members to expand their work through engaged scholarship and facilitate faculty learning communities. The faculty fellows will come together to “have conversations on specific topics relevant to community engagement,” Hance said. The center anticipates the fellows will “meet, communicate and collaborate to expand their knowledge and work around engaged scholarship” in addition to working with other colleges and universities to expand opportunities for engaged scholarship outside of Brown, according to a Swearer Center press release.

Assistant Professor of American Studies Kevin Escudero is one of the professors piloting the program before its official rollout in 2018. “Engaged scholarship is really helpful in allowing for people who are doing research or creating scholarship to see the impact it has outside the University,” Escudero said. In his course ETHN 1750A: “Immigrant Social Movements: Bridging Theory and Practice,” students have the “opportunities to work with a couple of local community-based organizations,” he added.

Escudero is also a faculty fellow for the Royce Fellowship, a Swearer Center program which Hance said will be bolstered by the grant. The fellowship promotes engaged undergraduate research projects across a variety of academic disciplines.

“We’re not creating knowledge about particular communities, but we are creating it in conversation with and alongside them,” Escudero said.

The grant comes from the Davis Educational Foundation, a group which supports undergraduate programs at colleges and universities across New England. The foundation helps institutions “improve their teaching and learning processes,” said Leanne Greeley Bond, director of grants and programs for the Davis Educational Foundation. “With the Swearer Center having a mission in this regard and Brown’s overall mission, we thought that they had demonstrated that this was a priority project for them.”