Anna Sims Bartel
As the Einhorn Center’s associate director for community-engaged curricula and practice, Anna Bartel works with faculty, supporting both individual and network development through learning cohorts, grants for curricular development and other kinds of consultation and relationship.
“Community-engaged learning (CEL) important to me because the purpose of knowledge is to improve human and ecological well-being, and higher education can do much more than it is. CEL helps students learn better; faculty live out their public purposes better; and communities find better partners for advancing their health, broadly conceived. I like being a part of that win-win-win.”
“The favorite part of my job is working with faculty to think about what’s possible in terms of CEL, and helping them develop solutions and approaches that can work. It’s a real joy seeing their excitement.”
Once described as “part activist, part administrator, and part academic,” Anna earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Cornell. Her background includes faculty work, consulting and public humanities as well the development of community-engagement capacity, culture and infrastructure; her current work primarily supports faculty growth and network development.
Her research interests are broad and all center on making the world a better place: public humanities; climate fiction; the US agrarian novel; the intersections of social innovation and civic engagement, and networked models of social change and faculty development. Her most accessible publication, “Why Public Policy Needs the Humanities, and How,” appeared in 2015 in the Maine Policy Review; she has co-developed concepts of democratically-engaged assessment with national peers; Cornell University Press published her co-edited volume, The Scholar as Human: Teaching and Research for Public Impact, in 2021; and she is co-editing a new series for CUP on Publicly-Engaged Scholars: Identities, Purposes, Practices. Mostly recently, Anna co-authored a study on “E-Engagement: Approaches to Using Digital Communications in Student–Community Engagement,” which was published in the December 2021 issue of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement (JHEOE).
Anna enjoys the things that support chronic hope: the chaos of her young family; being in, on, or near moving water; the smell of dirt and the good things that grow in it.