The purpose of this study was to explore faculty members’ perceptions of their roles as boundary spanners, the expectations they have for professional competencies related to boundary spanning, and how these faculty were prepared to successfully perform in their boundary-spanning leadership roles. In the context of higher education community engagement, boundary spanning refers to the work that is critical in overcoming the divide between the institution and the community (Weerts & Sandmann, 2010). This study revealed boundary-spanning faculty leaders’ perceptions of their roles, competencies for effective community-engaged teaching and scholarship, and ways in which institutions may cultivate and support boundary-spanning leadership among current and future scholars and educators.
The authors undertook a campus-wide scan of community-engaged learning (CEL) initiatives at a large University. With collaboration from staff and leadership of the campus Centre For Community-Engaged Learning, the researchers designed an open-ended qualitative interview and questionnaire for senior administrators and faculty leaders across all local undergraduate faculties. Guiding questions for this project included: How do the various faculties and schools within the university define their relationship with community? What activities are considered CEL? How do students engage in these activities? What are the benefits of engaging with community? From these came specific interview questions that were administered to senior administration from each faculty, and further interviews were sought with identified faculty leaders. Findings are listed by faculty, with examples and definitions, and a concluding section offers insights and discussion around strategies to strengthen and enhance CEL.
This paper explored community-university engagement that integrated a short-term treatment facility for Indigenous youth, a social enterprise organization that focused on healing through horticulture therapy experiences and an interdisciplinary academic team. The focus was to discover whether a horticulture therapy (HT) approach held promise in terms of an appropriate way to expand community service-learning (CSL) with Indigenous peoples and to encourage more diversity of voices in community service-learning experiences. Youth participants took part in a photovoice study and further semi-structured interviews to document their perspectives on the meaning of their horticultural experiences. Findings revealed that youth valued the overall HT experience itself; being connected to the gardens and nature and the social interactions exploring spirituality and the self were significant and meaningful for them. Further, findings demonstrated that a collaborative partnership that engaged multiple service agencies to explore novel ways for engaging youth in healing activities with a university team that guided the research approach holds promise as a CSL with Indigenous youth. We conclude with recommendations on the significance of community-university engagement in delivering therapeutic horticulture programs for Indigenous youth as a community service-learning initiative.
Incoming immigrants to places like Canada tend to be religious and thereby have sympathies counter to prevailing secularizing trends that emerge in research praxis. This paper presents an illustrative case study of Community-Based Research (CBR) that starts from the community to be studied. We illustrate how CBR can be an effective tool for engaging community stakeholders in solving community problems when stakeholders are part of faith-based institutions. This is accomplished by drawing on Ochocka and Janzen (2014) and Janzen et al. (2016), who discuss the hallmarks of CBR that we used to structure a case study with The Salvation Army (TSA). This paper focuses on TSA as a religious institution and how CBR supports TSA’s adjustment to enhance its relationships with a community it finds itself serving: newcomers. We first outline the hallmarks of CBR and show how they are expressed in our case study. Second, we extend Ochocka and Janzen (2014) and Janzen et al. (2016) by focusing on the functions of CBR to illustrate further the outcomes that can emerge from this sort of approach and make recommendations for researching with faith-based institutions.
Community-based arts practice is programming that informs and fosters essential components of well-being and belonging, including resilience, community attachment via interpersonal connection and exchange as preventive to mental health stressors. Our Art Hive is in a centre-city high school with immigrant and refugee youth in St. John’s Newfoundland, where newcomers often face an insider/outsider dynamic of disconnection. The pop-up Art Hive is a publicly accessible and community-located art-making space grounded in Adlerian theory, collaborative community development, feminist thought, and social justice. Through a community-situated arts-based participatory process, we sought emergent themes. An earlier phase of our collaborative project involved visual art-making and exploring experiences of inclusion and belonging. A second phase of the project included some of the same youth and new members, adding local students invited by the immigrant and refugee youth. This phase explored resilience and hope as a feature of well-being and functioning and as having a relationship with immigrant and refugee youth experiences in smaller Canadian centres. The Art Hive, a form of community art therapy practice, is structured along seven social parameters: focus on intentional art-making, no critical commentary (positive or negative), non-evaluative in nature, no forced participation, witnessing, sharing, and participatory involvement of facilitators. The participant-planned and hosted final exhibit contributed to learning, sharing, and group cohesiveness. A focus group generated data on how the Art Hive informs cultural experiences and feelings of hope.
In this paper we explore how place-based poetry mediated online enabled community self-representation. Located in the urban core of a large cosmopolitan Canadian city, the PhoneMe project brought together academic researchers and community members into a collaborative educational creative space. Community members created poems about specific places within their neighbourhood, dialed a designated phone number, and recorded the poem by leaving a voice message. Upon receiving the message, the academic team geotagged it on an interactive map, uploaded the poem’s text, featured a Google Streetview image of the location, and shared the post via social media. As the result, a new vision for this distinctive physical space emerged and reached the wider audiences via engagement with the poetic digital media. Plans have included include collaboration with urban libraries, the development of a new app, and have encouraged the use of engaged research-creation as a research method.
Community engagement is a hallmark of Canadian health and social science research, yet we lack detailed descriptions of pragmatic peer engagement possibilities. People personally affected by a study’s topic can actively contribute to design, data collection, intervention delivery, analysis, and dissemination yet the nature and scope of involvement can vary based on context. The shift from academic to community-based research teams, where peers who share participant identities assume a leadership role, may be attributed to the HIV/AIDS response where community co-production of knowledge has been a fundamental component since the epidemic’s onset. This article discusses four health and social science studies from a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework and synthesizes the strengths and limitations of community engagement across these endeavours to offer lessons learned that may inform the design of future CBPR projects.