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ACE Series

Attention: Faculty, Academic Staff, Post-Docs, and Graduate Students, new or experienced with Academic Community Engagement

Academic Community Engagement (ACE) integrates meaningful community partnerships with higher education for the mutually beneficial exchange
of knowledge and resources in a context of collaboration and reciprocity. The purpose is to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; enhance 
curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal
issues; and contribute to the public good.

Implementation strategies range from direct service to advocacy to research, and more! Through presentation and discussion, attendees of the ACE Series
will learn how to get started or enhance what they are already doing and connect to a network of peers and resource supports. If you are interested and not
able to attend or would like one-on-one consulting, please email the Center for Community Engagement team to discuss ideas, plans, and/or partnership
support at

Building Outcomes Around Engagement Experiences

April 14, 2023 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Location: Zoom

Join us for a dynamic panel discussion exploring the importance of clearly defined learning outcomes and effective assessment strategies in community engaged scholarship. 

Learning outcomes are essential in community engaged scholarship as they set clear expectations for student learning and guide the design of the educational experience. They specify the knowledge, skills, and values that students are expected to gain, and how these will be demonstrated in the context of community engagement.

Panelists include: 

  • Robynn Shannon, Director of Curriculum Development, West Virginia University. As director of curriculum development, Dr. Robynn Shannon provides individual and group consultative support and professional development programming related to teaching and course design, assessment of curricular and co-curricular student learning, program review, and curricular revision for faculty and unit-level administrators. In addition, Shannon is active on several Faculty Senate committees and is a member of the Academic Advising Council Executive Committee and the Women’s Leadership Initiative at WVU. She is an active member of the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, the Association for Institutional Research, and the Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education.  Dr. Shannon joined WVU in 2018 as assistant director for assessment and quality assurance in the Teaching and Learning Commons, bringing experience as both director of institutional assessment and effectiveness and STEM learning coordinator from her previous institution, Fairmont State University.  Prior to earning her Ph.D., she worked as a research assistant at both the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her teaching career began as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ghana, teaching biology, chemistry and physics to secondary school students. She has also served in a volunteer capacity as an ESL tutor and in a transitional housing facility for women.
  • Kristi D. Wood-TurnerAssistant Dean of Community Engagement and Director of the Center for Community Engagement, West Virginia University.  As the Assistant Dean of Community Engagement at West Virginia University and the Director of the Center for Community Engagement- Extension, Dr. Wood-Turner is passionate about providing equal opportunities for all students to engage and learn by offering solutions that impact communities. She cherishes every opportunity to promote diversity, belonging and justice, reciprocal partnerships that inspire community growth. With 21 years of experience in the field, Kristi has made tremendous contributions to building community engagement structures, creating community connections, focusing on volunteerism, and supporting social advocacy for the students at West Virginia University. She brings with her passion and energy for education, service, equality and community. Her strengths center on her excellent analytical skills, mastery of context, and desire to work in harmony as we move forward together. Dr. Wood-Turner holds a Doctor of Education, Educational Leadership Studies, a Master of Arts, Applied Social Research, and a Bachelor of Arts, Sociology and Anthropology. Her active participation and membership in various boards and associations exemplify her commitment to service, which inspires many. She believes social media is an avenue to build relationships and communication necessary to meet targeted goals. Classroom teaching gives her purpose and you can often catch her leading discussion on ethics, family dynamics, and intro to sociology.

The ACE series is free and open to the public.

Register for this event here!  

Community Engaged Research: Honoring Community Relationships and Upholding Social Justice Values

March 23, 2023 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Location: Zoom

This ACE Session is for all scholars and community partners who are passionate about community engagement, collaboration, and dissemination of knowledge. This session will focus on campus-community partnerships invested in research, by giving priority to community perspectives, honoring mutually beneficial relationships, and upholding social justice values. This session aspires to showcase how higher education's active involvement in community engaged scholarship can be an impactful avenue for nurturing healthy communities.  We will discuss community engaged research through discussions, resource sharing, best practices, and case studies. 

Panelists include: 

  • Emily Eddins Rountree, PhD, Associate Director for Community-Engaged Learning, Center for Service Learning, University of Kansas.  Dr. Rountree focuses on community partner and faculty engagement with service and community-engaged initiatives across campus.  She chooses to work in service-learning because of its complexity, global-local significance, and the belief that collaborative processes between universities and surrounding communities can enact real social and environmental change.

  • Nigora Erkaeva, PhD​, Program Associate with SEMIs, Eastern Michigan University.  Dr. Erkaeva's research focuses on ecojustice education, place-based education, ecofeminism, settler colonialism, postcolonial theory, social justice, indigenous wisdom, and the connection of local to global situation. She uses her research to build communities that are based on diversity of experiences, democratic decision-making for social and ecological sustainability and justice, and addressing structural injustices. Her research informs her work in education and at schools. 

  • Ethan Lowenstein, PhD, (He/His), is a Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Eastern Michigan University (EMU). Ethan serves as the Director of the SEMIS Coalition. His responsibilities include forming and nurturing strategic partnerships, strengthening the webs of relationships within our transformative community, and working with staff to actualize their visions. He has over two decades of experience in school systems change and designing and facilitating teacher professional learning in civic and place-based education.

Dr. Denis Scott, Associate Professor – Extension Specialist, Assistant Director for Academic Engagement,​ West Virginia University​, will welcome participants and serve as the moderator for this event.  

The ACE series is free and open to the public.

Scholarly Outreach and Equitable Collaboration for Sustainable Impact

February 8, 2023 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Location: Zoom

This event is for all WVU scholars whose work involves community engagement and collaboration. At this ACE Session, you will build foundational knowledge for nurturing equitable campus-community collaboration through discussions, resource sharing, and case studies. 

Panelists include: 

  • L. Chris Plein, PhD​: Professor of Public Administration, ​Eberly Family Professor for Outstanding Public Service, West Virginia University

  • Jared Anderson, JD: Land Use Attorney, Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic, College of Law, West Virginia University

  • Tony Michael, JD​: Program Director – Family & Community Development, Extension Professor​, West Virginia University 

Dr. Denis ScottAssociate Professor – Extension Specialist, Assistant Director for Academic Engagement,​ West Virginia University​, will welcome participants and serve as the moderator for this event.  

The ACE series is free and open to the public.  

Engaged Scholarship and Promotion and Tenure

Jan. 17, 2023 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Location: Zoom

This seminar will seek to provide examples of successful engaged scholarship used in promotion and tenure, the impact of this change on a land grant institution, and tips on documenting and framing their community engagement . As both a Land-Grant and R1 research institution, WVU is proud of the scholarship the faculty produce and the impact it has beyond the walls of the institution. Please join us for a broad discussion on how faculty can report contributions to the fundamental knowledge of their field and not only enhance their own portfolio but share this critical information with others.     

Guest Speakers include:

Dr. Kristi D. Wood-Turner, Assistant Dean of Community Engagement, will welcome participants and serve as the moderator for this event.  

Foundations of Community Engaged Scholarship: 

A Panel with Faculty from Multiple Institutions

Dec. 9, 2022 | 9:30 – 11 a.m.

Location: Zoom

Interested in learning more about community engaged scholarship? This session is designed to introduce new and varying perspectives of academic community engagement (ACE) through representation from other institutions. The panel will introduce you to community engaged scholars who have created ACE partnerships with impact.  The panel will discuss elements of strong partnerships to effectively co-create academic community engagement. Hear examples of successful faculty/community partnerships, discuss considerations for initiating and sustaining partnerships, and explore resources to assist you in partnership development or enhancement. Panelists will also discuss how their ACE work has been impacted by Covid-19. Finally, this session will provide a preview for the spring series of workshops on academic community engagement.

Panelists include: 

  • Tami Moore, PhD: Associate Professor Educational Foundations, Leadership & Aviation, Oklahoma State University

  • Donte Pennington, PhD: Assistant Research Professor of Human Physiology and Program Leader of Family and Consumer Sciences, West Virginia State University

  • Sarah Worley, PhD: Associate Professor of Communication, Director of Community-Engaged Learning, Juniata College

Dr. Jorge H. Atiles, Dean of Extension and Engagement and director of West Virginia University Extension, will welcome participants and offer an overview of academic community engagement.

    The moderator for this event is Dr. Erin McHenry-Sorber, Assistant Professor of the Higher Education Administration Program, West Virginia University.