Undergraduate Research and Community Engagement Symposium

Community engagement and community-based learning such as service learning projects are all part of undergraduate research.  Faculty and students are encouraged to submit abstracts about their community engagement work inside or outside of the classroom (especially joint projects between faculty and students).

The Undergraduate Research and Community Engagement Symposium is a chance for undergraduates to share with the university community how faculty, staff and students are applying teaching/learning, research and service to address community needs.  It provides a forum where students can showcase projects that build on and enrich community engagement across the disciplines.  It is an opportunity for students, faculty and the community to come together to celebrate the learning happening through service and community engagement.  It is a place for students to learn about research and other community outreach activities at UofL.

2018 Symposium

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

12:30 - 4:00 PM

Shumaker Research Building, Room 139

View pictures from the 2016 Symposium


Symposium participants gain valuable experience in oral and graphic presentation.  Students can include their presentations on resumes and graduate school applications.  The symposium includes projects from all disciplines, allowing students to learn from each other about a broad range of exciting research and engagement topics.  Community engagement projects/presentations are particularly encouraged.

Refer to Instructions for Abstract Poster Presentations for more information on how to create a professional poster.  Deadline: April 4, 2018

Sample Abstract Size

Civic Engagement:Using Leadership to Inspire Community Based Involvement in Change.

J.D. Smith and R.M. Jones

Civic engagement is an essential leadership concept where individuals work to make a difference in the civic life of their communities and develop a combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference.  Examples include people active in volunteering, as well as promoting involvement in issues of government, health, poverty, helping those in need, and promoting a positive outlook on the community.  Through interviews and research we learned that relationships, personal and professional, are critical to civic engagement.  We found that people become leaders when they have been empowered, encouraged, and inspired by other leaders who made civic and community engagement their priority.  This includes facilitating each individual's own strengths and skills to participate in their community and work for change.  We also learned that change in society takes a community working collectively to achieve specific goals as opposed to pursuing them unaccompanied by like-minded individuals.  There are many resources for those wishing to be active in or learn more about civic engagement.  In the context of the Relational Leadership Model, civic engagement falls primarily in the inclusive and empowering components, this includes understanding and engaging diversity and seeing multiple perspectives of various issues.  This project helped us to learn that the most important skills for civic engagement are talent development, practicing renewal, gate-keeping skills, persistence, encouraging or affirming others, and sharing information.  We conclude that civic engagement is more than just caring for the community; it is the desire to make a difference and encourage others to join and participate in projects that benefit society as a whole.

Preferred presentation: Power point and poster