As associate director for community-engaged curricula and strategy, Amanda Wittman leads programs focused on the development and assessment of faculty efforts in community-engaged pedagogy and research. She supports grant applicants and faculty fellows through workshops, institutes and consultations for faculty and staff.
“I believe that CEL can transform how we understand higher education — by making new forms of pedagogy viable, centering community expertise and participation, and broadening our answers to epistemological questions about knowledge and who holds it.”
“I love meeting with faculty, students and staff to brainstorm, develop and advance their community-based learning projects and research. From de-worming goats to improve local food systems to choreographing community-based dance routines in Virtual Reality to Janelle Monae’s music, the breadth of community-engaged activity at Cornell blows me away.”
Amanda received her Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh in political science and international relations. Her research questions examine the (im)probabilities of radical change agendas in institutions, with applications in higher education and institutions of politics. She has a long history with practices of the feminist classroom, but she found her way to service-learning and community engagement when she served with Americorps VISTA after she completed her Ph.D. She learned the ropes of faculty development at Northeastern University and brings to Cornell her experience as the director of academic and strategic initiatives with Campus Compact, a national nonprofit that supports service-learning and engagement at 1,100 campuses across the nation.
Amanda’s current research investigates the creation of “engaged learning economies” that align community and economic engagement in community-campus partnerships focused on impact. She is also working with a colleague to develop a single case study of engagement growth at the community-college level. She has a strong interest in measurement, assessment and program evaluation.
Amanda served on the Board of AmericaSCORES Boston, a nonprofit dedicated to using soccer and poetry to inspire Boston youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. She also supported local agriculture and food justice through Union Square Main Streets and the Union Square Farmer’s Market in Somerville, Massachusetts.