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Webinar: Clarifying Our Purpose, Setting Our Course: Engaged scholars reflect on how the current moment is shaping their professional identities, commitments, practices, and relationships
Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM CDT
Category: Events

Clarifying Our Purpose, Setting Our Course: Engaged scholars reflect on how the current moment is shaping their professional identities, commitments, practices, and relationships

As we grapple with the overlapping impacts of the pandemic, racial justice uprisings, and climate change, engaged scholars are called to reflect on the limitations and possibilities of our work in advancing a more just and equitable world. How might we re-examine our identities, roles and commitments? How do we sustain, adapt, and strengthen our interpersonal relationships and community networks? How do we shape our work to respond to the urgency of the moment?

The IARSLCE Special Programming Committee invites you to participate in a webinar where we will frame out a dialogue to collectively explore and advance our thinking related to imperatives, opportunities, and challenges of our current context. Participants will engage in small group conversations to clarify our individual and collective purpose related to the work of higher education community engagement.

Elaine Ward, Assistant Professor of Higher Education, Merrimack College
Elaine Ward is Assistant Professor of Education at Merrimack College teaching in both the Masters in Higher Education and Masters in Community Engagement programs. She teaches graduate courses on community engagement, higher education leadership and policy, teaching and learning and research methods.  Dr. Ward earned her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.  Dr. Ward has worked in higher education in the States and in Europe for 14 years, 10 years at UMass Boston.  In 2010, she  was awarded the Arnold F. Graves Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Dublin Institute of Technology’s Higher Education Policy Institute where her research focused on the social value of arts and humanities research and European higher education policy.  Dr. Ward  has numerous publications and is currently working on her book for Michigan State University Press –Women’s Ways of Engagement: Gender, Community Engaged Scholarship and Institutional Change.  She is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement and is a Board Member for the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement.  She is a long time reviewer for the Annual Lynton Award and is a NERCHE Visiting Scholar.  Dr. Ward consults with Community Colleges, Campus Compact and the American Association for State Colleges and Universities on issues of faculty development, organizational change and community engaged research.  Her current research interests include, faculty community engaged scholarly identity, institutional transformation, and graduate students as public scholars.
Zahra Ahmed, St. Mary’s College

Zahra Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of Politics at St. Mary’s College of CA.  She earned her Masters degree in Social Work from Georgia State University and her PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine. Zahra is committed to addressing socio-political issues through higher education as a means of creating more socially just communities.  

She is a state-certified conflict mediator, a restorative justice facilitator, and she has over 20 years of experience with social policy analysis and community engaged qualitative research.  Her research focuses on contemplative justice within social movements, political mobilization among people of color, and pedagogical practices that facilitate political efficacy among youth.

Karla Díaz, Universidad San Francisco de Quito

Karla Díaz is the Service-Learning Coordinator at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ, Ecuador), where she is also a professor at the undergraduate and graduate programs of Education in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. 

She has 17 years of experience teaching service-learning and various education classes.  She received her PhD from Capella University in Professional Studies in Education and has an MSW from Portland State University with a concentration on community work.  

Her research interests include: Service-learning in Ecuador, best practices in service-learning worldwide, global service-learning, learning transfer, adult learning, and online learning.  

Michael Rios, UC Davis 

Michael Rios was appointed Vice Provost of Public Scholarship at UC Davis in July 2019. As Vice Provost, Michael coordinates university-wide efforts to support faculty, student learning, and community engagement. Beginning in 2017, he facilitated a multi-year participatory action planning process involving over 1,000 individuals representing university and non-university constituents leading to Public Scholarship for the Public Good: An Implementation Framework for UC Davis. 

With over 20 years of community-based research, teaching, and practice, Michael has collaborated with numerous public agencies, municipalities, and community groups. Michael has been recognized for these efforts, including the Association for Community Design Service Award (2005), the Prize for Creative Integration of Practice and Education from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (2003), and the University of California Chancellor's Award for Community Partnerships (2000).

A faculty member at UC Davis since 2007, Michael is professor of urban design in the Department of Human Ecology and served as chair of the Community Development Graduate Group (2011-2015). He has authored or co-authored over twenty journal articles and book chapters, and has co-edited several books including Diálogos: Placemaking in Latino Communities (2013) and Community Development and Democratic Practice (2017). 

Michael was born in Brooklyn, New York. He holds a bachelor's degree in architecture and urban studies from Lehigh University, master of architecture and master of city planning degrees from UC Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in political geography from The Pennsylvania State University. 

Ashley Smith-Purviance, Providence College  

Dr. Ashley L. Smith-Purviance is an Assistant Professor in Black Studies with a joint appointment in the Department of Public and Community Service Studies at Providence College. Dr. Smith-Purviance's research examines the various forms of discipline and punishment, anti-blackness, and gender violence Black girls experience in schools and society. Additionally, her research explores the necessity of community-embedded educational spaces created by and for Black girls in middle school. Her research stems from her community-engaged work with young Black girls that began in 2016 when she served as a co-facilitator for the Oya Sisters’ Black Girls Group at Hawthorne Elementary School. Since then she has created an identity-based, after school Black girl space, also known as Black Girl Magic, developed curriculum, and co-facilitated sessions at various K-12 schools alongside Black women from the community. 

Dr. Smith-Purviance's teaching and scholarship addresses community activism, organizing and engagement, community-engaged Black girl spaces, Black critical theory, Black feminism, Black girlhoods, education policy, school discipline. 

Dr. Smith-Purviance received her doctoral degree from the Department of Educational Policy Studies and a doctoral minor in Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research has also appeared in the Journal of Negro Education and The Black Girlhood Studies Collection (Canadian Scholars Press). 

Online registration is now closed. If you would like to attend, please send us an email.