On and Off Campus Stakeholders Connect at 7th Annual Community Engagement Institute
Through interactive workshops presented by 18 scholars, institute participants explored the power and potential of community-academic partnerships from a variety of angles.
By Jenny Pedraza
Sixty-seven people, representing more than 40 VCU units and five external organizations, attended the 7th annual VCU Community Engagement Institute held May 14 and 15 on campus. As the Division of Community Engagement’s flagship training opportunity, the free institute allows attendees to learn in collaboration with a diverse group of both on- and off-campus stakeholders and earn a certificate of completion at the end of the two-day training.
“The institute provides a unique opportunity for VCU faculty, staff, and graduate students to learn together with off-campus community stakeholders about the value, principles and practices of high-quality community-academic partnerships,” said Lynn Pelco, Ph.D, associate vice provost of community engagement. “Participants were able to network with community-engaged scholars, learn from expert presenters, and engage in partnership development activities.”
Through interactive workshops presented by 18 scholars, institute participants explored the power and potential of community-academic partnerships from a variety of angles, focusing on best practices for community-engaged teaching and research. This year’s keynote speaker was Gerry Moeller, M.D., director of the Wright Center for Clinical and Translational Research, who is harnessing community-academic partnerships to move the needle on the opioid epidemic.
In addition to breakout and networking sessions, four partnerships were spotlighted, including presentations on the RVA Street Singers; the Health Hub at 25th; the Richmond Health and Wellness Program; and the Richmond Open Air Project.