Fourteen chosen for Public Engagement Faculty Fellowships


Fourteen University of Michigan faculty members have been named 2022 Public Engagement Faculty Fellows by the Center for Academic Innovation.

The group will spend five weeks this spring in an intensive program designed to help them build engagement skills, understand key public-engagement concepts and reflect together on how public engagement fits into their scholarly identities.

The fellowship, offered by the Center for Academic Innovation in partnership with units across campus, also provides financial and in-kind support for potential future public engagement projects.

“The PEFF community is a clear signal of our faculty’s commitment to the university’s mission of creating, communicating, preserving and applying scholarship for larger societal impacts,” said Ellen Kuhn, PEFF program manager. “It also demonstrates the breadth of ways that faculty are generating those impacts, from designing exhibits to working with policymakers to conducting community-engaged research projects.”

The spring program, called the Studio Experience, will be a hybrid of in-person and online activities and networking opportunities that showcase the variety and depth of public-engagement expertise and resources across the campus community. There also will be readings and reflection exercises for the intergenerational and interdisciplinary learning community.

“We are excited to launch PEFF in 2022 after learning so much about successfully engaging faculty in serious learning and reflection in virtual environments the past two years. This year offers us the opportunity to take the best of what worked online and also mix in in-person elements for deeper community-building,” Kuhn said.

The cohort is a mix of fellows and mentor fellows. Fellows have less experience in public engagement and are looking for significant growth. Mentor fellows have more experience but are still looking to build skills and share how public engagement has been a critical part of their scholarly journey.

2022 Public Engagement Faculty Fellows and Mentor Fellows

The 2022 fellows are:

  • Patrick Barry, program director of writing and academic support and clinical assistant professor of law, Law School.
  • Jacinta C. Beehner, professor of psychology and of anthropology, LSA.
  • Margit Burmeister, professor of human genetics, of psychiatry, and of computational medicine and bioinformatics, Medical School; and research professor, Michigan Neuroscience Institute.
  • Ashley Cureton, assistant professor of social work, School of Social Work; and assistant professor of education, School of Education.
  • Charles H.F. Davis III, assistant professor of education, School of Education.
  • Sam Hansen, assistant librarian, University Library.
  • Irene Hwang, lecturer in architecture and urban planning, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.
  • Don Peurach, professor of education, School of Education.
  • Stephanie Preston, professor of psychology, LSA.
  • Parth Vaishnav, assistant professor of environment and sustainability, School for Environment and Sustainability.

The 2022 mentor fellows are:

  • Mark Clague, associate professor of music and associate dean for collaborations and partnerships, School of Music, Theatre, & Dance.
  • Deb Gordon-Gurfinkel, arts education program coordinator and lecturer, Residential College, LSA.
  • Melanie Manos, lecturer in art and design, Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.
  • Craig Regester, student affairs program manager and lecturer, Residential College, LSA.

The first phase of the fellowship is a five-week Studio Experience focused on skill development, reflection, exploration, networking and project planning. It also forms the basis for a campuswide interdisciplinary learning community focused on public engagement.

Using the skills and connections they gain during the Studio Experience, fellows can propose a public-engagement project and be eligible for up to $10,000 in funding and in-kind support from the center and other campus units.

The model is designed to support opportunities for innovation, interdisciplinarity and bringing together the many public engagement communities on campus.


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