Since its first meeting in 1999, the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) has been building partnerships between institutions of higher education and the communities they call home. Comprising nearly 40 state and private universities across the country, the ESC most recently welcomed Dickinson—the consortium’s first liberal-arts college—to its roster.
“Community engagement is one of the pillars of a Dickinson education,” says interim President Neil Weissman, noting that the college recently received a significant grant for civic engagement initiatives from the Mellon Foundation. “As an institution that regularly partners with our local communities, and reaches into them with both research and service initiatives, Dickinson is excited to become a part of the consortium.”
ESC’s mission includes promoting research on and study of the impacts of community-campus partnerships, educating the public on effective programs for community change and conducting national and international meetings, workshops, institutes, symposia and conferences to discuss future goals and challenges of moving initiatives forward.
“The ESC has been able to articulate an approach to engagement that uses scholarship as a tool not only to connect with communities but also to edify them,” says Weissman. “Its mission dovetails well with the many ways that Dickinson supports civic engagement, such as the Community Studies Center; the Center for Service, Spirituality and Social Justice; the Greater Carlisle Project; and the social innovation and entrepreneurship certificate program, and Dickinson will bring a lot to the table in this new relationship.”
Dickinson’s president-elect, Margee Ensign, will provide an additional bridge between the ESC and the college, as ESC’s vice president. It's fitting then, that Dickinson's entry into the ESC is in line with Ensign's vision for the college. As she told Dickinson community members during her recent visit to campus, "We’re going to be known as the place that is solving the problems not just in the U.S., but those big ones that we all face around the world.”
Published April 4, 2017