Announcing the winners of the 2006 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement

Glynda Hull, Julia Lupton, and Katherine O'Donnell have been awarded the 2006 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement. The award recognizes early-career faculty who practice exemplary engaged scholarship through teaching and research. Recipients are selected on the basis of their collaboration with communities, institutional impact, and high-quality academic work.

Glynda Hull

Glynda Hull, Professor of Language, Literacy and Culture in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley, has deepened the development of the scholarship of engagement and helped to institutionalize academic service-learning on her campus. She incorporates challenging community-based experiences with in-class instruction as a means for students to explore important, complex social issues.

In 2001 she co-founded DUSTY (Digital Underground Storytelling for Youth), a community technology center developed using a multi-disciplinary approach. Her graduate and undergraduate students work closely with children and youth, parents and community members, in creating multi-media stories about their communities, their families and their lives. Participating K-12 students, most of whom began the program with poor literacy skills, become highly motivated to read and write. In the process Hull’s students translated in-class explorations of educational problems into productive pedagogical strategies for addressing those problems. The “cascading leadership model” for service-learning in which graduate students work with undergraduate students who work with K-12 students has become a model for other academic service-learning courses at Berkeley.

In collaboration with her graduate and undergraduate students and community members, Hull has published extensively on her work. She is recognized on her campus as having made substantial contributions to advance outreach and engaged scholarship at UC Berkeley, which now aims to have at least one academic service-learning course in every department.

Julia Lupton

Julia Lupton, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, translates theoretical academic research in British Renaissance literature into terms and activities that make sense to teachers, students and community members outside the university. She is the founding director of Humanities Out There (HOT), an educational partnership involving students and faculty from the University of California, Irvine and K-12 students and teachers from the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), a low performing, largely Latino/a urban school district.

Now in its eighth year, HOT engages eight graduate students and more than 200 undergraduates a year, along with faculty and staff, in developing standards-based curricula in history and literature in Santa Ana classrooms. K-12 student improvement has been documented using pre- and post-writing samples and standardized test scores. The program combines educational and civic goals including boosting reading, writing and critical thinking skills through content-rich materials of historical, artistic and scholarly significance and building academic, professional and civic ties among universities and school districts through collaborative teaching and research. Through a partnership with GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) the program is being disseminated locally and nationally.

As a direct result of Lupton’s work, UCI created a new category of distinction in the academic personnel process: excellence in public scholarship.

Katherine O'Donnell

Katherine O’Donnell, Professor of Sociology at Hartwick College, is a faculty member whose collaborative community-based scholarship and integrative pedagogical approaches span three decades. Her work has had a strong institutional impact through the development of new courses, programs and centers.

O’Donnell’s approach to pedagogy involves identifying a social need, gathering concerned students and engaging them with community organizations to address the need. Throughout her project, she reflects about the experiences through scholarly writing and develops new courses that integrate the concepts and substance of community engagement. In the early 1980s, she focused on the integration of engaged students with communities to form community-action teams and praxis groups around the themes of social justice, reproductive freedom and peace. This early work resulted in the birth of a Women’s Center on campus, a Women’s Studies program and a number of new courses, including service-learning and interdisciplinary courses. Her work then expanded to include collaborations with local high schools, colleges, health organizations and multiple community partners in the region.

In the late 1990s O’Donnell replicated her integrative pedagogical model in Chiapas, Mexico in projects that included developing fundraising and service programs to assist school clinics, supporting the building of a natural dye production facility and building an organic garden as well as a training and meeting center. O’Donnell’s advocacy efforts at Hartwick have had an institutional impact that resulted in the President creating an advisory group to assess strategies encompassing service-learning.

Honorable Mentions:

For more than two decades, Barbara Israel, Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education in School of Public Health at University of Michigan, has applied her public health expertise to the needs of under-resourced communities through community-based participatory research. Her students, drawn from a wide array of disciplines, work in teams with community members on projects that have often have a community organizing component. Nationally known for her scholarship of engagement, she organized and chaired a school-wide committee appointed by the Dean and which remains today as a standing committee to foster community-based teaching and scholarship throughout the school.

Elizabeth Paul, Associate Professor of Psychology at The College of New Jersey, involves undergraduates in providing program and evaluation services to enhance the lives of children living in poverty in the Trenton area. Through her projects and courses, students receive training in both applied social research and the skills necessary to produce a professional research report. Beyond this, the experience allows for intensive career exploration which interests many of her students in the fields of public health, public policy, social work and applied psychology and positions them to become the next generation of community leaders and activists to serve the public good.