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SMU to host Community Engagement Symposium on October 3 and 4

PBCE Symposium Invite 2022
You’re Invited to the Place-Based Community Symposium

Join Engage Dallas for the Place-based Community Engagement Symposium on October 3 and 4 on the SMU Dallas campus.

Most universities recognize they lack the strategic focus and resources to maximize and sustain their impact on communities in the effort of engaging their campuses in their surrounding community. Place-based community engagement (PBCE) is an innovative tool that connect campus and community to foster positive social transformation. SMU adopted the PBCE model to launch the Engage Dallas initiative as part of the university’s approach to introduce students to place-based community engagement opportunities.

Engage Dallas and its partners will host a kickoff the Place-based Community Engagement Symposium on October 3 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom from 11:30-1:00 pm with a free keynote and luncheon. The keynote is headlined by Dr. Erica Yamamura and Kent Koth, authors of the book Place-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education: A Strategy to Transform Universities and Communities.

Erica K. Yamamura Ph.D. is the former Associate Professor and Program Liaison Coordinator of the Student Development Administration Program in the College of Education at Seattle University. As a faculty member, she utilized service-learning and community-based projects as part of her pedagogy at Carleton College, Texas State University, and Seattle University. Kent Koth is the founding director of the Seattle University Center for Community Engagement. In this role, Kent has overseen a rapid expansion of campus-community partnerships that have received national recognition, including the 2012 President’s National Community Service Higher Education Award.

The two scholars distinguished place-based community engagement as more beneficial than traditional community engagement strategies like traditional service-learning pedagogy and anchor institutions. Learn more about PBCE and the Engage Dallas initiative at the keynote.

Additionally, a la carte sessions will also be offered at the symposium on October 4 as follow up sessions. Sign up for additional community engagement sessions including:

  • Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium Post-Keynote Faculty Workshop: One of SMU’s strategic plans is to increase faculty and student engagement in co-curricular activities beyond traditional coursework in each Residential Commons, the university undergraduate housing system. Adaption of PBCE model for the Engage Dallas initiative has helped maintain the strategic plan in focus. This post-keynote workshop for faculty will be facilitated by the authors to: (1) reflect on key takeaways from the keynote, (2) discuss benefits of PBCE to pursue racial equity, and (3) how to build faculty capacity for community engagement. Faculty will have the opportunity to reflect and ask questions about the PBCE model and the goal of the Engage Dallas initiative. RSVP Today; Space is Limited. Tuesday, October 4 from 9:45 – 10:45 am
  • Tagging Your Courses Workshop for the Community Engagement Proficiency: This workshop, facilitated by SMU’s Office of General Education, is designed for instructors, and will cover in detail the process of tagging your courses with the Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience on the Common Curriculum. This course is ideal for instructors who have community engagement or plan to include a place-based community engagement activities in their courses. RSVP Today; Space is Limited. Tuesday, October 4 from 2 – 3 pm

The university’s adoption of this strategy has seen success already as the budding initiative has led to widespread participation and enthusiasm from students, who help lead the initiative’s implementation and contribute to a Residential Commons-specific social cause in monthly service events.

Join us as we work to embed place-based community engagement into life on the Hilltop.

The event is cosponsored by: Residence Life & Student Housing, Center for Teaching Excellence, Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, and Office of General Education.

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Announcements News

#TBT… Ideas, Insights, and Innovation

Meadows School of the Arts’ Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA) 2375 – Communication Research & Analytics class had a special task this past spring semester. Under the watchful eye of their professor, Dr. Dustin Grabsch, and with insight from the Engage Dallas team, 17 students were tasked with conducting a communication and engagement assessment for Engage Dallas. The students designed, collected, and analyzed data via a survey and focus group protocol. They also conducted statistics to analyze results for a final presentation for the Engage Dallas staff at the end of the semester.  

The final presentation of finding to the Engage Dallas team.

The students’ research was centered around helping Engage Dallas answer the following questions:

  • What is the preferred communication platform of SMU students for service-related events? 
  • Describe the experiences of involved and uninvolved SMU students in Engage Dallas. 
  • How do students intend to complete the Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience (CEPE)? 
  • What are the perceived barriers to participation in Engage Dallas? 

Throughout the process, they learned about research methods, and analytical techniques, and were able to practice using them to serve a real-world client.

 

The students of CCPA 2375 at the final presentation of their research to the Engage Dallas staff.

The students were able to identify two main suggestions that would bolster the Engage Dallas presence on campus.  

  1. Utilizing creative options for students to share reflections beyond written essays via video recording software like HireVue.
  2. Diversifying communication channels across campus through Canvas announcements, newsletters, and campus partnerships. 

The Engage Dallas team has already started to implement some of these changes and looks forward to continue gathering student feedback as the program grows.  

Thank you to the CCPA 2375 students and Dr. Grabsch for taking us on as a client! 

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Announcements Boaz Commons Community Partners Event McElvaney Commons MHPS Commons News Reflections

#TBT… Engage Dallas Has Some “Big iDeas”

This past spring, in partnership with the Housing Unification Board and The Office of Engaged Learning, Engage Dallas hosted the second annual Big iDeas pitch event. Each Commons was tasked with creating and pitching an event aimed at supporting the needs of one of their Engage Dallas Community Partners with three Commons being awarded financial backing to carry out their pitch. For the first time ever, Mary Hay/Peyton/Shuttles Commons and  McElvaney Commons tied for first place with each being awarded $3,000 and Boaz Commons was awarded $1,000 for placing third overall. 

As a first-place winner, Mary Hay/Peyton/Shuttles Commons (MHPS) invited Heart House, an Engage Dallas Community Partner, to campus.  

Heart House children playing games during the MHPS Engage Dallas event.

MHPS, who focuses on Immigration and Refugee Support as their social problem, used their award to facilitate an afternoon of fun at SMU. Outfitted in self-made tie-dye shirts, made with SMU students the week before, 35 Heart House students, ranging from ages 5-13, participated in activities such as a magic show, dance lessons, science experiments, and campus tours during their visit.  

Engage Dallas Student Director, Cydney Curtis, worked with MHPS leadership to organize 33 volunteers who helped throughout the day. MHPS’s Faculty-in-Residence brought his family out to serve, and they led music and dancing throughout the day. Curtis shared, “It was a day of joy and volunteering, and I think that everyone had a really good time… It was a successful event that I believe impacted not only the kids but the residential community as a whole. As we can see from the success of this event, Engage Dallas has the capability to put on large-scale events like this. What it takes is dedication, a lot of advertising, proper communication with your non-profit, and perseverance. I could not have done this alone, but I am very proud to have put it on and to have made what I hope is a memorable weekend in the lives of the kids and the residents.” 

Heart House student painting during the MHPS Engage Dallas event.

McElvaney Commons used their $3,000, first place award to purchase two pallet jacks with built in scales for their Community Partner, Brother Bill’s Helping Hands. Brother Bill’s Helping Hand has been serving the West Dallas community for more than 75 years. Its core programs include a grocery store, where neighbors have access to healthy food, access to quality healthcare for the uninsured, and education programs that include English classes, computer courses and fitness programs. The new pallet jacks are able to help them process and sort donations quicker and with more ease. 

Boaz students at CitySquare to drop off their donation and sort food items for the week.

To support the work of their Community Partner, CitySquare, Boaz Commons was able to purchase $1,000 of meat to stock CitySquare’s food pantry. CitySquare is a broad nonprofit organization that offers a comprehensive array of social services that address the four key areas related to the persistence of poverty: hunger, health, housing, and hope.  

Boaz Commons Engage Dallas Student Director, Jonathan Liu, shared “CitySquare was an amazing experience. We were able to help restock CitySquare’s food pantry for the next week with the meat that we had brought the day before, as well as help restock produce for the next week”. 

The Big iDeas pitch competition was a huge success this year and we cannot wait to see what new big ideas come out of next year’s competition. 

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Announcements Boaz Commons Community Partners Event Kathy Crow Commons Loyd Commons News Reflections Ware Commons

#TBT… One Night for Dallas

On April 13, Engage Dallas, along with the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE) co-hosted the inaugural One Night for Dallas community partner reception. This reception honored the collective work of SMU service organizations, faculty and staff members, and community partners who work together throughout the year to make a positive impact and create sustainable change in the Dallas community. In attendance were students affiliated with Engage Dallas, The Big Event, and Mustang Heroes, SMU faculty and staff members, and community organizations.  

Danielle Palomo welcoming guests to One Night for Dallas.

Attendees enjoyed dinner and dialogue and heard remarks from our very own Jennifer “JJ” Jones, Executive Director for Student Development and Director of SCIE, as well as Dr. K.C. Mmeje, Vice President for Student Affairs.  

We also honored students, staff, faculty, and community partners who have done outstanding work this year. Award categories and winners below:

 

Do Good for Dallas award winner, Jonathan Liu.

Do Good for Dallas – Vikas Bobba, Lilly Chapman, and Jonathan Liu

This award is presented to three first- or second-year students who engaged in service for the 2021-2022 school year. These students are rising stars within their residential community or service organization and demonstrated leadership qualities that has benefited both SMU and Dallas.

 

Outstanding Student Director award winner, Kirk Thomas.

Outstanding Student Director – Kirk Thomas 

This award is provided to an Engage Dallas Student Director who has gone above and beyond through planning service projects and educating their commons on the importance of their social problem and the impact of serving. 

 

Outstanding Student Leader award winner, Connor Healy.

Outstanding Student Leader – Connor Healy 
This award recognizes one student leader from Mustang Heroes, The Big Event, or Alternative Breaks who has dedicated their time to serving their community and serves as a leader to their peers and organization members.

 

Outstanding Faculty/Staff award winner and Kathy Crow Commons Faculty-in-Residence, Daniele Forlino.

Outstanding Faculty/Staff – Daniele Forlino

This award highlights one faculty or staff member who supports students in planning or leading service projects throughout the year. Additionally, this recipient serves as an advocate and connector between SMU service organizations and the greater SMU student population. 

 

Outstanding Community Partner – Legacy Senior Communities and Rebuilding Together North Texas 
This award honors two community partners who have actively participated in SMU’s service programs during the 2021-2022 school year and work closely to create engaging service opportunities for students. 

Congratulations to all of our winners! To our students, staff, faculty, and community partners…thank you for all that you do! 

One Night for Dallas attendees congratulating all of the winners.
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Announcements Armstrong Commons Virginia-Snider Commons Ware Commons

It’s not goodbye, but see you later!

This past spring, Engage Dallas celebrated three of their own student leaders graduating!

Eduardo Yanez Pastene earned a B.A. in Markets and Culture with a minor in Advertising. He is currently pursuing a career in product development. 

Kirk Thomas graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science with a security specialization. After graduation, he’ll be working in corporate technology at Allstate. 

Gigi Kinani completed a B.A. in Economics and will be doing marketing and business development for a software company in Dallas. 

Thank you again, Eduardo, Kirk, and Gigi for all you’ve done for Engage Dallas. We can’t wait to watch you continue to think big and do good beyond your years on the Hilltop.