Community Engagement

Addressing the needs and interests of our diverse communities locally, statewide, nationally and internationally.

2024 UofL Engaged Scholarship Symposium

The UofL Annual Engaged Scholarship Symposium is an opportunity to network and share current research and teaching activities involving community partners and service to the community.

University of Louisville 2024 Engaged Scholarship Symposium -  Friday, March 22, 2024  

Theme: Community-University Collaboration: Working in Partnership with Our Community

Sponsored by The Office of Community Engagement

The theme for the 2024 Engaged Scholarship Symposium is Community-University Collaboration: Working in Partnership with Our Community. There are many university-community collaborations taking place through engaged-research, engaged-teaching, and outreach activities. These collaborations are making a difference in the lives of community members, our students, and our faculty.

The 2024 Engaged Scholarship Symposium explores the various ways the community and university are collaborating on projects to address disparities in the community and the ways we are positively impacting communities we work with. 

   KEYNOTE SPEAKER - Lorilee R. Sandmann, Ph.D.*

 Working in Partnership with our Communities: Collaboration as Strategy, Collaboration as Scholarship

Communities and universities working in partnership is not just a choice; it is an imperative for creating solutions for complex societal challenges, both local and global. We will explore the transformative power of collaboration as both strategy and scholarship. By adopting a community-centric approach to developing strategies; inclusivity, responsiveness, and innovation can be fostered. Collaborative engaged scholarship that goes beyond conventional academic boundaries can create a dynamic ecosystem where learning and action coalesce. Let's respond to the call and work towards a dynamic future where collaboration becomes a critical cornerstone

*Lorilee R. Sandmann, Ph.D., is professor emerita in Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy at The University of Georgia (UGA), USA. For 50 years, she held administrative, faculty, extension, and outreach positions at the University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, Cleveland State University, as well as The University of Georgia. She is also the former editor of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Dr. Sandmann’s research, teaching, writing, advising, evaluating, and consulting focus on leadership and organizational change in higher education, emphasizing the institutionalization of community engagement and faculty roles and rewards related to community-engaged scholarship. She received the Distinguished Researcher Award from the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement and UGA’s Outstanding Faculty Scholarship of Engagement Award. She has been inducted into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship and the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. She was the co-director of the National Review Board for the Scholarship of Engagement. She has led the Engagement Academy for University Leaders and currently serves on its faculty. She is also a core reviewer and is on the National Advisory Committee for the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement. Dr. Sandmann holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.\ She can be reached at


The Office of Community Engagement- 9th Annual Engaged Scholarship Symposium

Friday March 22, 2024

Founders Union Building - Shelby Campus




9:00     Welcome – Dr. Henry Cunningham, Director of Community Engagement 

9:05     Remarks, Dr. Ann Elizabeth Willey, Professor & Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education 

9:10     Remarks, Dr. Douglas Craddock, Vice President for Community Engagement 

9:15    Community Engagement and Sustainability Awards Presentation

9:40    Keynote Address – Working in Partnership with our Communities: Collaboration as Strategy, Collaboration as Scholarship, Dr. Lorilee R. Sandman, Professor Emerita, University of Georgia

10:35 – 10:50        BREAK




10:50 - 11:50         Concurrent Session 1


ROOM 211

Presenters: Laura Krauser - Center for Geographic and Information Sciences, Waggener High School Black Student Union

Depression screening in perinatal women with HIV: A training program for healthcare providers in Ghana, Africa

HIV is a major health problem in the Sub-Saharan African countries. In Ghana, West Africa, 7 out of 10 HIV cases are female, identified during antenatal visits. Pregnant and postpartum women with HIV who experience depressive symptoms are likely to be non-adherent to treatment, leading to faster progression to AIDS and mother-to-child transmission. Due to healthcare providers’ lack of knowledge and skills on depression screening in Ghana, this project aims at training healthcare providers in three hospitals in Ghana on screening for depression in perinatal women with HIV, followed by program evaluation.

Presenters: Ratchneewan Ross - School of Nursing

Age-Friendly Louisville: Creating a More Livable Community for All

Collaborating with Metro Louisville, AARP, and KIPDA, the University of Louisville Trager Institute implemented a strategic plan from 2018-2021 to make Louisville the 120th Age-Friendly city in the nation, addressing the aging population's needs. Using Community Capacity Theory, they formed workgroups focusing on social participation, mobility, community support, and housing. Aligned with the university's 2023-25 plan, AFL engaged students and garnered support from 1,132 members. The AFL initiative concluded its five-year plan in 2021, and a new survey highlights social inclusion, outdoor spaces, and housing as priorities for the 2023-2025 plan, with workgroups actively forming for implementation.

Presenters: Pam Yankeelov - Trager Institute

                   Barbara Gordon - Trager Institute


10:50 - 11:50         Concurrent Session 1

Lightening Talks

Room 136 B

Integrating UofL Students in Planning & Supporting Americana World Community Center Programs for Immigrant Youth

Recently, immigrant populations have exponentially grown in cities that are non-traditional immigrant destinations in the South. Upon entering the U.S. as newcomers, immigrant youth face unique challenges affecting their sense of belonging and integration in local communities. Americana World Community Center (ACC) is a local, non-profit organization, which provides holistic, comprehensive programs to immigrants, refugees, and low-income individuals in Louisville. Dr. Gast’s SOC 450 Immigrants & Identity undergraduate students are engaged in a partnership with ACC by interviewing ACC youth participants to report on their challenges and experiences and to support ACC’s youth mentoring programs.

Presenter - Melanie Gast - Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences

Promoting Action Research for Students to Engage with Community Partners

Nonprofits are often challenged by a lack of resources to evaluate the efficacy of their programmatic initiatives. This presents a pedagogical opportunity for faculty who teach evidence-based research and how it can be applied in organizations. We will share an example of how a need from a community partner that provides educational scholarships turned into a faculty-student action research project. The development of this multi-year evaluation study offers an example of engaged scholarship mutually benefiting UofL students and nonprofit stakeholders. Conceivably, it could also impact current and future recipients of these financial awards as the findings may indicate opportunities.

Presenters: Denise M. Cumberland - LEAD Department, College of Education and Human Development

                   Brianna Roberts - Doctoral Student, College of Education and Human Development

Future Engineers in the Philippines: helping a community one class experiment at a time

This presentation will focus on the most recent International Service Learning Program (ISLP) trip to the Philippines in December 2023 and the work of the engineering students, who were able to expand on the project thanks to the grant. The lessons developed on energy generation and water purification planned will be discussed, focusing on the purpose, execution, and results. There will also be a brief discussion on the history of the ISLP program, the work done at other destinations and the impact this program has had in many communities. We hope everyone interested in the effect students can have in communities abroad will attend.

Presenters: Ximena Flores Rivera – Student, Speed School of Engineering

Olive Dreckman – Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement

Digital Literacy Train the Trainer Program

The Digital Literacy Train the Trainer program is an 8-week program through the Digital Transformation Center designed to train 100 community trainers who will then train ten community members to digitally upskill and reskill over 1,000 community members in Metro Louisville. The topics for this program include Collaboration Tools, Microsoft Forms, Conversational Artificial Intelligence, and Power BI Data Analytics. Community Trainers select one of the topics they have learned during the program to train at least ten community learners. Once all program requirements are met, the community trainers earn a $500 stipend.

Presenters: LaKiesha Jones – Digital Transformation Center

Amie Schaefer – Digital Transformation Center


10:50 – 11:50        Concurrent Session 1

Roundtable Conversation

ROOM 136 A

Intersecting Identity and Community: Toward Equity and Reciprocity in a Community-Engaged Learning Partnership between Common Gardens and Bellarmine University

Interested in building critical reflection of identity into community-engaged learning? We will discuss how identity intersects with community to support or hinder equity and reciprocity, highlighting a four-year partnership between Bellarmine and Common Earth Gardens. Participants will come away with tools for implementing critical reflection in community-engaged courses and scholarship.

Presenters: Martha Carlson Mazur - Environmental Studies Department, Bellarmine University

                   Amelia Baylor - Common Earth Gardens of Catholic Charities



11: 50 – 12:40                 LUNCH



12:45 - 1:45 Concurrent Session 11


Room 201



Where is the Scholarship in Community-Engaged Scholarship?

Preparing for promotion and tenure or responsible for such for your unit? This workshop for tenure and tenure-track faculty, term faculty, faculty leaders, department chairs, and others interested in community-engaged scholarship will focus on framing, disseminating, and documenting engaged scholarship for review, promotion, and tenure decisions.


Through this session, you will gain a deeper understanding of:

-Framing and presenting work consistent with characteristics of quality engaged scholarship

-Documenting engaged scholarship for review by promotion and tenure committees

-Collaborating with other faculty and evaluators in your units to increase awareness and understanding of engaged scholarship within your field.

Presenter: Lorilee R. Sandmann - University of Georgia

12:45 – 1:45          Concurrent Session II

Panel Presentations

Room 136 A

UofL Dining and Community Engagement

We will report on how, over the past year, UofL Dining has positively impacted UofL students, and the Louisville community at large. We will share community engagement opportunities, and how we support student’s mental health, small community businesses, and other groups. We will communicate how we have continued to build on relationships we’ve built and how they continue to grow.

Presenters: Lindsay Klingenschmidt - Ashly Whited RD, LD and Christany Smith, HR Manager -  UofL Dining

BEATS Week: Engaging Emerging Entrepreneurs

In Fall 2023, UofL Libraries and the College of Business partnered with local business Black Complex and the Jack Harlow Foundation to host the inaugural BEATS Week. BEATS (Business, Equity, Arts, Technology, and Sciences) Week is a week-long series seeking to remove barriers while strengthening Louisville’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Made possible with help from 18 campus and community partners, the week connected students and underrepresented entrepreneurs with research, resources, and community. Learn from a panel of BEATS Week partners on the inaugural week’s impact and plans for future iterations.

Presenters: Courtney Shareef - University of Louisville Libraries

                Aaron J. Barnes - College of Business

                Alexandra Howard - University of Louisville Libraries

                Nile Rowe - Student, Elementary Education Major

Gathering to Reclaim Chatino Prayers and Political Speech

We will show how University of Louisville (faculty and students) and Chatino language activists, from Oaxaca, Mexico, came together to reclaim Chatino Prayers and Political Speech. Twelve of these texts were published by anthropologist Carmen Cordero in her 1986 book, “Stina Jo’o Kucha (Our Sacred Father Sun).” The texts were written by hand in an orthography that contemporary Chatinos cannot read. This partnership will empower and make it possible for Chatinos to reincorporate this lore in their daily rituals as well as allowing larger society a window to these magnificent oral traditions.

Presenter: Hilaria Cruz - Comparative Humanities, Department of Classical and Modern Languages, College of Arts & Sciences

12:45 – 1:45          Concurrent Session II

Lightning Talks

Room 136 B

Reclaiming Wellness: Healing, Africana Herbalists, and the Community Herbal Gathering (Louisville, Kentucky)

"Reclaiming Wellness: Healing, Africana Herbalists, and the Community Herbal Gathering (Louisville, Kentucky)" is a lightning talk that discusses the establishment of the Community Herbal Gathering, a workshop series focused on reclaiming Africana traditions through medicine making. The short talk highlights how organizers conceptualized the series, lessons learned from organizers and plans for the 2024 Community Herbal Gathering.

Presenters: Shelby Pumphrey - Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department and Pan African Studies Department

                  Kristen Williams - Play Cousins Collective

Creating Community Partnerships in the 1L Classroom

How can we convince law students to engage more fully with the material they must learn in their first year, and at the same time provide a vital community service? This short presentation explores possibilities for achieving both ends by creating self-help legal packets in the 1L classroom to be used by community organizations.

Presenter: Dan Canon - Brandeis School of Law

Fatherhood Engagement: Exploring the Role of Black Fathers Residing in Louisville, KY

The objective of our study was to explore the perceptions of fatherhood engagement as it relates to maternal and child health outcomes within underserved communities in the greater Louisville area. We hope to further understand the role of fathers by investigating: 1) fatherhood involvement in pregnancy and early childhood, 2) barriers to fatherhood involvement, and 3) how fatherhood engagement improves maternal and child health outcomes. We conducted focus groups with caregivers who participated in Healthy Start Louisville and its subsequent groups, 502 Fathers.

Presenters: Felicia Pugh - School of Public Health and Information Sciences

                   Madeline Tomlinson - Bellarmine University

A Community Engaged Feasibility Study of hrHPV Self-Sampling: Primary Cervical Cancer Screening in Sexual and Gender Minorities

Cervical cancer screening (CCS), commonly called Human papillomavirus (HPV) and Pap testing, is an integral part of preventative care. However, CCS is not easily accessible for sexual and gender minority (SGM) communities which increases the risk of cervical cancer. This health disparity could be caused by stigma and discrimination experienced in healthcare environments like experiencing healthcare providers with a lack of SGM knowledge, cis-gendered healthcare spaces, and lack of communication during CCS. Subsequently, our research team conducted a study investigating SGM CCS health behaviors, the impact of CCS, and the acceptability of HPV self-sampling for CCS in Kentucky SGM communities.

Presenter: Jennifer S. Tinman - School of Nursing


1:55 – 2:55          Concurrent Session II

Panel Presentations

Room 136 B

Integrating Mental Toughness Training for Mental Health Enhancement in High School Staff

Presenting on findings of our project supported by the Gheens Mini Grant. Our project addresses a critical community need, focusing on the deteriorating state of mental health within Martha Layne Collins High School, a rural Kentucky institution.

Presenters: Andreas Stamatis - School of Medicine

                   Brett Hayes - UofL Health

                   Kate Tucker - Collins High School 

Looking Forward: A Community Partnership Between Goodwill Industries of Kentucky & the University of Louisville School of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology

This community partnership functions to collect gently used eyeglasses through the Goodwill Industries of Kentucky logistical network, to process donated glasses through ReSpectacle student volunteer events, and to facilitate glasses redistribution to underserved communities worldwide. In addition, the partnership encourages community members to establish long term eye care at the University of Louisville, to both prevent and treat the progression of chronic eye diseases.

Presenters: Lily Wilding - ReSpectacle Louisville Chapter

                   Shorye Durrett - School of Medicine

                   Mark Daniel - Goodwill Industries of Kentucky

Healthcare Heroes - Next Generation: A Revolutionary Collaboration Aiming to Educate Future Black Nurse Leaders about Successful Career Pathways

According to the American Association of Colleges in Nursing (AACN), 6.3% of registered nurses in the U.S. are Black or African American despite black patients making up 13.6% of the U.S. population. Patient outcomes for black patients are improved when black nurses manage their care. Targeted programs must be implemented to expose black students to nursing career pathways to increase the number of black nurses in the workforce. The Healthcare Heroes: Next Generation program is a collaboration between a metropolitan, predominantly white institution and a community center that services students from marginalized racial and socio-economic backgrounds.

Presenters: Britney Corniel - School of Nursing

                 Jade Montanez Chatman - School of Nursing


1:55 - 2:55             Concurrent Session III

Panel  Presentations

Room 211

Re-Opening the Parkland Neighborhood Library: A Community and University Effort

Winning the Gheens Mini-Grant was significant to the Friends of Parkland Library (FOPL), because the grant provided opportunities for promotional activities that support and engage the residents in the neighborhoods of Parkland, Chickasaw, California, and Park Hill about the re-opening of the Parkland Library which was closed in 1986. The goal is for residents to have a sense that this is their Library and that they are part of it. And that they are needed for the library to be successful, not only as patrons, but also to serve as volunteers, to share their knowledge and skills.

Presenters: Fannie M. Cox - University Libraries

               Judy Lippmann - Friends of the Parkland Library

               Pam Osborne - Friends of the Parkland Library

               Susan Harmansky - Friends of the Parkland Library

               Marilynn Johnson - Friends of the Parkland Library

               Attica Scott - Friends of the Parkland Library

"This was the Time": Community Experience and Perceptions of Solar Over Louisville

This presentation explores the outcomes of interdisciplinary research about Solar Over Louisville (SOL), a local government-based solarize campaign to expand residential photovoltaic systems in Louisville and surrounding counties. We discuss the findings of our project, which was conducted in collaboration with Louisville Metro Government’s Office of Sustainability to assess the first year of the program in 2022. We explore perceptions of the program and impacts on the lives of participants, as well as perspectives on solar energy and related topics from neighbors. We focus on the equity-based framing of the project and its outcomes for energy and housing justice.

Presenter: David Johnson

                 Angela Storey - Department of Anthropology

                 Jordan Chatellier - Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology

"Program Evaluation Design for Community Resource Resiliency

This project leverages an emerging collaborative partnership between the University of Louisville and the Charlestown, Indiana community to facilitate praxis of graduate program content and concepts into practice through the development of a program evaluation design for the Arts & Enrichment Center in Charlestown, Indiana.

Presenter: Patrick C. Exmeyer - Department of Urban and Public Affairs

1:55 - 2:55             Concurrent Session III

Lightening Talks

Room 136 A

"The Journey of Diabetes Prevention

Type 2 diabetes can be delayed or prevented. Data from the Louisville Metro Health Report 2017 reveals health disparities within our city. To decrease the gap of appropriate access and care, the University of Louisville collaborated with the Compassion Clinic, the Bluegrass Lions Diabetes Project and the Redeemer Lutheran Church to screen participants for prediabetes and diabetes at the church’s Annual Block Party and Health Fair. The results from the screenings will be presented.

Presenter: Beth Ackerman – Department of Medicine

"Breathing Inequity: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Rubbertown's Air Quality Problem

Louisville Metro Government has a multitude of quantitative data on demographics, health, and air quality in Rubbertown fenceline communities. This study explores how community level research allows us to have a more robust understanding on the impact of environmental injustice. Spatial data will be synthesized with a semi-structured interview to better understand these gaps. This study improves our understanding of community needs and adds a narrative to the existing data; providing a foundation for policy work that would truly benefit the community and address the health injustices faced.

Presenter: Mikayla Pitmon – Student, Department of Environmental Studies

"Home grown: Creating Community in and Through CEnR

"Home grown" presents CEnR as a way to create community. Drawing on their experiences as co-P.I. of the project “Homing In: Community Engaged Research on LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness in Louisville Kentucky”, Snyder explores the forms of home and worldmaking that emerged from this research lab.

Presenter: Cara Snyder – Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

"Heavy Metals Contamination Does Not Alter Soil Microbes in Urban Vacant Lots

Urban green spaces offer numerous benefits in cities, including improved food security and enhanced biodiversity. Converting abandoned lots to functional urban green spaces can increase canopy cover and utilize available land. However, heavy metal soil contamination poses a significant concern, affecting human health, plants, wildlife, and soil organisms. This study examines the impact of heavy metals on soil microbial activity in vacant lots in Louisville, KY. Results reveals that heavy metals have altered soil microbial diversity. Interventions like phytoremediation may be necessary to restore soil health in urban areas.

Presenters: Julia Kachanova – Biology Department

                Sarah Emery – Doctoral Student, Biology Department

3:00 -5:00 Reconstruct Challenge Reception





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