Blanchard inducted into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship
(New Orleans – Sept. 29, 2016) – Dr. Lynn White Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service and associate clinical professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was inducted into the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES). The induction ceremony was held at the International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement annual conference in New Orleans.
ACES’ mission is to provide expertise to policymakers, higher education institutions and organizations, community leaders, and national and international entities interested in addressing complex societal issues through the effective engagement of higher education with community members and organizations. ACES selects as members persons in communities and higher education institutions who have been recognized by their peers as exceptional in their accomplishments in engagement. Members then draw on that expertise to further the application of engagement for addressing the challenges and issues of community and higher education partners.
Patricia M. Sobrero, president of the ACES board of directors, presented a blown glass engagement trophy to Blanchard recognizing her lifetime commitment to mutually beneficial engagement with communities outside the university.
Blanchard’s contributions to community engagement scholarship
Blanchard has contributed to the field of community engagement scholarship since 1992. Early community engagement roles include serving as a school teacher, associate director at the Family Support Network, faculty in the UNC School of Medicine and the Gillings School of Global Public Health, and vice-chair of Community Health and Health Studies at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network. Since 2002 she has served as director of the Carolina Center for Public Service, a pan-university unit which engages and supports faculty, students and staff in addressing the needs of North Carolina and beyond through engaged teaching, research and service. Throughout her career she has worked in partnership with communities to address complex problems, developing engagement strategies and networks.
Blanchard contributes to the field of community engagement scholarship as a teacher, researcher and administrator. She has taught several service-learning courses, including Community Health Activism: Dealing with HIV/AIDS; The Role of the University in American Life—The Engaged Institution; Philanthropy as a Tool for Social Change, and Promoting Change in the Nonprofit Sector.
As director of the Center, she oversees the Center’s programming, including the APPLES Service-Learning, Buckley Public Service Scholars and Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars (FES) programs. FES brings together selected faculty from across campus to engage in a two-year experiential, competency-based curriculum designed to advance their engaged scholarship.
Blanchard also oversaw Carolina’s successful application and reapplication to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching for the community-engaged classification and chairs the Carolina Engagement Council. She also chaired the Provost’s Task Force on Engaged Scholarship in Promotion and Tenure and oversees implementation of the resulting recommendations. In each of these roles, she has influenced, advocated for and supported community engaged scholarship by sharing her knowledge and coaching future scholars.
She has authored 15 community engagement scholarship articles and given more than 72 workshops and presentations to professional and community groups.
Blanchard has enhanced understanding of community engagement scholarship by creating strategies to ensure a consistent community presence and voice in her work, including engaging and supporting the attendance of community members for campus events and supporting the FES community course director and faculty course director.
A Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar best summarized Blanchard’s impact, “My work with the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars program has been transformative in helping me recognize the need to not just work with, but to actually form an alliance with community partners…if not for FES I would have continued to conduct my research in a unidirectional rather than bidirectional way.”
The academy’s work
Founded in 2014 by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, ACES is a consortium of leading community engagement scholars and practitioners who are recognized for advancing scholarship that serves the public good. Community engagement scholarship focuses on ideas and raises questions that are important to communities and higher education institutions. The work is carried out in a mutually beneficial collaborative manner. ACES highlights scholarship that has direct societal impact on complex societal needs and issues.
Through its members, ACES assesses the current state of community engagement scholarship and provides critical examination ways in which scholarship can be enhanced to impact complex societal and community issues. It provides recommendations, upon request, to inform local, national and international policy agendas. ACES also works to ensure that scholarly activities, and ensuing policies, take into account the needs, voices and perspectives of the community stakeholders, that there is openness and transparency of the scholarly enterprise, and that shared authority and responsibility for outcomes is as important as academic rigor.
To learn more about the Carolina Center for Public Service, visit ccps.unc.edu.