Engaged Scholars Initiative


In 2008, Campus Compact convened an intentionally diverse group of ten engaged faculty and staff who named themselves the Engaged Scholars for New Perspectives in Higher Education. Over the last decade, they have published and presented collaboratively and taken on new leadership roles in their institutions and the field. Many consider the group’s initial retreat a formative experience: in their words, it “was a catalyst for developing my scholar practitioner identity,” “one of the most joyful experiences of my career,” and a central element of “my story of leadership development and what keeps me grounded in the work I do.” In order to offer this kind of opportunity for more emerging leaders across the United States, Campus Compact is piloting a regional cohort in the Eastern Region this year, with an eye towards future replication in other regions.

“The time we spent together was instrumental to me personally and professionally. I’ve utilized that time and inspiration and best practices I learned from [the group]… The work we did as a group inspired me to live into my scholar-practitioner role and contribute to the field through scholarship.”
– Patrick Green, Executive Director, Center for Experiential Learning, Loyola University Chicago
“Working alongside [the Engaged Scholars] has been one of the most joyful experiences of my career. I feel blessed that since our time [initial retreat] in Rhode Island, many of us have been able to stay in touch and work together, writing and presenting.”
– Micki Meyer,  Lord Family Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs – Community, Rollins College
“I talk about my experiences with Campus Compact and the other cohort [California Campus Compact’s Bridge Building Leadership Initiative] a lot when I tell my story of leadership development and what keeps me grounded in the work I do in different roles I’ve played.”
– Rowena Tomaneng, President, Berkeley City College

About the Engaged Scholar Program

The purpose of the Engaged Scholars cohort is to develop, support and connect leaders who can advance co-created knowledge, critically engaged pedagogies, institutional change, and collaborative action to address societal issues. The overall goals are to:
1)  develop engaged scholars and scholar-practitioners who are committed to addressing power dynamics and advancing equity and full participation in institutions and communities;
2)  advance scholarly objectives (research, teaching, and/or application) of each participant’s choosing;
3)  strengthen professional networks by building deep relationships among participants;
4)  expand the perspectives and types or sources of knowledge incorporated and highlighted in the field; and
5)  generate individual and collaborative work that translates participants’ insights into publications, conference presentations, or other educational and community resources.

The Engaged Scholars Cohort members commit to an 18-month ongoing learning and leadership process. This experience includes: 
NETWORK DEVELOPMENT: Fostering deep connections with fellow cohort members, Campus Compact and Swearer Center staff, and mentors.  

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Professional advancement through a combination of in-person and online meetings, retreats, and conferences.

COLLABORATION: Working with colleagues and cohort members on scholarly projects (publications, presentations, etc.) that advance teaching & learning, practice, and/or research and creative works. 

Strategic Partners

The Engaged Scholars Initiative is designed to leverage and enhance local, regional, and national knowledge, experience, and assets within the Compact network. The Eastern Region Campus Compacts is partnering with the Swearer Center at Brown University, whose thought leadership, in-kind staffing, and financial support has been critical to co-designing and launching this initiative. 

About the Swearer Center: The Swearer Center at Brown University is a community of scholars, students, practitioners, and community members that work together to build on community strengths and address community challenges. The Center’s work engages all as co-learners, co-teachers, co-actors and co-creators of knowledge and action. Through the creative capacities of our students, faculty and community partners we explore, build and implement collaborative and strategic projects, programs and initiatives. The Center’s work yields transformative learning, and positive sustainable change, through collective action.