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“Beyond just the work that I’m doing, being a part of this group has been powerful for me. It was helpful to meet folks across campus who are in different fields but are using similar methodology and working with community partners in similar ways.”
-Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar Cheryl Bolick


The Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars (FES) program brings together selected faculty from across campus to engage in a two-year experiential, competency-based curriculum designed to advance their engaged scholarship. Scholars participate in sessions in community settings to learn from Carolina faculty and their community partners. While developing individual projects, each class of scholars forms a learning community along with the faculty and community course directors to support one another’s projects and community partners. The growing network of Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars reports outcomes including new interdisciplinary collaborations, successful grant applications and both traditional and non-traditional products of scholarship.

Dr. Ronald Strauss serves as faculty director, and Melvin Jackson is community director.

Community Engaged Scholars Directory »

The Community Engaged Scholars Directory showcases individuals from across UNC-Chapel Hill who conduct community engaged scholarship. The Carnegie Foundation defines such engagement as “the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.” If you’d like to be listed in the directory, submit through the CCPS application and nomination portal.

Program benefits

  • Award amount of $5,000 per year, for each of the two years ($10,000 in total)
  • Interactions with like-minded colleagues from a variety of disciplines around issues related to engaged scholarship
  • Support from experienced faculty and community partners
  • Information on engaged scholarship via a series of workshops, panels and case studies by leading UNC-CH faculty, community and national experts and funding program officers


Scholars participate in a highly interactive, experiential and competency-based curriculum involving field visits, exposure to a number of ongoing projects and discussions with community members and faculty partners. Sessions address such topics as funding and dissemination of engaged scholarship, navigating disciplinary expectations while addressing community needs and partnering with local communities in North Carolina and beyond.

Scholar selection

A faculty committee selects eight to 10 faculty members every other year to participate in the two–year program. Since 2007, 63 faculty members have been selected from 10 professional schools and the College of Arts and Sciences, representing more than 25 departments. For information about the participants, see the scholars webpage.

Given the uncertainty and challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, CCPS has decided not to begin recruitment of a new class of Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars during fall semester 2020. If you’d like to be added a list to be notified once recruitment begins, which may be during spring semester 2021, please email Margaret Barrett.

The Carolina Center for Public Service at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for its events and programs. If you need accommodations, please contact or call 919-843-7568. Every reasonable effort will be made to implement accommodations in an effective and timely manner.