Community-Engaged Teaching Fellows: faculty development centering co-creation

By Community-Engaged Teaching and Research at Northeastern University
August 8, 2023

During the 2022-2023 review year, the Community-Engaged Teaching (CET) Fellows Program facilitated the collaboration of a passionate group of four Northeastern faculty members and four community-based organizations. Together, they embarked on an exciting journey of course co-design, guided by principles of ethical engagement.

One faculty member, Associate Teaching Professor of English Emily Avery-Miller, teamed up with Cynthia Wilkerson, the Program Director at Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (LBFE), to emphasize collaboration, collegiality, and mutual benefit. Their efforts led to redesigning Emily’s first-year writing and (CAMD) advanced writing courses.

This coming fall, LBFE, an organization that fosters intergenerational partnerships, will join forces with students in Emily’s writing classes. The students will work on creating oral histories and podcasts based on the stories of elders from the Operation P.E.A.C.E Senior Center in Dorchester.

The impact of this collaboration will be extensive and meaningful. For LBFE, it represents an opportunity to enhance digital equity and access for older adults. Apart from having their stories archived, the elders will also contribute to the creation and production of new digital artifacts. Emily’s Northeastern students will benefit from the chance to explore collaborative writing and construct narratives that amplify voices other than their own.

Emily and Cynthia are set to present their work in October at the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) annual conference in New Orleans. Their presentation is titled: “Enacting a Co-Created Service-Learning Course: Community and Faculty Perspectives from an Intergenerational Oral History Project.”

Besides Cynthia and Emily’s work, here are some instances of collaborative course co-design projects carried out by other faculty fellows and their community partners in the Community Engaged Teaching program this year:

  • Mariana Valencia-Mestre, an Assistant Teaching Professor in Marine & Environmental Science, collaborated with Latifa Ziyad from the Neighborhood of Affordable Housing. Together, they developed a capstone course that focuses on addressing environmental challenges through student research and incorporating community input.
  • Panagoula (Youly) Diamanti-Karanou, an Associate Research Professor in International Affairs, worked with Shannon Coyle from the United Nations Association of Greater Boston. They co-designed an experience for students in Youly’s Globalization & International Affairs course, allowing them to participate in and support UNAGB’s Model U.N. Conference for middle school students in the Boston area.
  • Julia Garrett, an Associate Teaching Professor in English, joined forces with Magalis Troncoso from the Dominican Development Center/DDC. Their collaboration aimed to involve students from Julia’s Advanced Writing in the Health Professions Course in research activities and the creation of materials for DDC programming related to community health and healthy aging.

Unveil the full story of our remarkable efforts and groundbreaking initiatives on our 2022-2023 year-in-review web page!

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