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Community-Engaged Scholarship

Woman leadning against wall with windowSusie Porter is a professor in History and Gender Studies at the U. She got involved with UNP when it was first forming. She helped develop the first Spanish language version of the Westside Leadership Institute course through UNP and Neighborworks, and taught the class for almost 15 years. She has served as co-chair of the UNP Advisory Board and supported UNP's growth over the years.

As Chair of Gender Studies, Susie worked to  create systems to better support community-engaged scholarship. For example, she helped launch the gender Justice Scholars engagement program, bring on two new engaged scholars, and built out a tenure-track position focused on engagement. In 2021 she received the Presidential Societal Impact Scholar Award. 

UNP supports community-engaged scholarship (CES) addressing topics across our partnership areas. The goal of CES is to simultaneously advance knowledge and address social issues through equitable, mutually-beneficial partnerships between scholars and communities. CES blurs the lines between research, teaching, and community engagement. It is rooted in a respect for locally-grounded knowledge and a commitment to scholarship serving the public good.

CES is an umbrella term for a diverse range of research and teaching methodologies. In the realm of research, CES includes approaches like action research, community-based participatory research, design research, and youth participatory action research. In the realm of teaching, CES can manifest as community-engaged learning, service learning, activist pedagogy, and critical pedagogy, among other approaches.

Check out our publications page for reports on the practice of CES, and a bibliography of scholarship that has emerged from UNP-supported partnerships.

Community Scholar in Residence/Community Resident in Action

The UNP Community Scholar in Residence and Community Resident in Action are awards offered by UNP to enable university and community partners to engage in the work in a project-centered way. These financial awards support faculty and community residents’ involvement in mutually beneficial partnerships that promote systemic change and increase access to higher education for youth and families living in Salt Lake City’s west side neighborhoods.

Community Research Collaborative

The Community Research Collaborative (CRC) is an interdisciplinary group of university researchers and community leaders, representing diverse racial, cultural, and linguistic communities in the Salt Lake Valley. Through training, publications, events, grants, and our community review board, the CRC is working to advance community-based research in Utah and across the country.

West Side Community Review Board

The West Side Community Review Board (WSCRB) advises on and reviews research done in west side Salt Lake County neighborhoods. Its goal is to ensure that studies are carried out in collaboration with, and to the benefit of, west side communities. It works with academics and other researchers as well as residents and community-based organizations looking to initiate research projects in the area.

Community-Based Research Grant Program

The Community-Based Research Grant Program is sponsored by the Vice President for Research. The goal is to encourage collaborative, mutually-beneficial research that involves the university and community partners at the local, regional, and/or statewide level. Two types of awards are available — a relationship building grant for new partnerships, and an implementation grant for existing partnerships, which can be up to $30,000.

Community-Engaged Learning

In collaboration with the Bennion Center, UNP supports a range of community-engaged learning (CEL) courses across the disciplines. These courses enhance academic learning through on-the-ground collaboration with west side partnerships.