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! 

Announcements News

Engage Dallas participates in Interdisciplinary Institute research cluster

During the 2020-21 academic year, the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute (DCII) is sponsoring 25 Research Clusters exploring a varied and exciting range of topics. Engage Dallas will be participating in a research cluster entitled “At the Intersection of Nonprofits, Higher Education and Community Engagement.”

Led by Drs. Sondra N. Barringer, B. Kathleen Gallagher, and Alicia C. Schortgen, the cluster seeks to focus on the intersection of nonprofits, public administration, higher education, and sociology. The research cluster seek to expand understanding of the relationships between higher education institutions and nonprofit organizations in the DFW metroplex.

Engage Dallas is “excited by the possibility of expanding our SMU network and what that can mean for informing our work in South and West Dallas”, said Dr. Dustin Grabsch. Grabsch is co-lead of Engage Dallas’ Assessment and Research sub-team. Engage Dallas implementation team members will participate in planned activities this academic year.

Planned activities include four working group meetings and a symposium with a guest speaker.