It’s powerful to put students in a working relationship with practitioners doing the development work they’re trying to learn about.
About the Fellow
- Professor, Department of Global Development, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
- Faculty co-director of a national consortium of over 100 colleges and universities, called Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
- Scott Peter’s faculty profile and website
- 2018-19, Faculty Fellow in Engaged Scholarship
- 2015-16, Faculty Fellow
Access, Equity and Justice; Arts, Communication, Media and Design; Children, Youth, Seniors and Families; Education; Food and Agriculture
Effective storytelling can advance the work of nonprofits by spurring action, attracting funding and creating champions for their cause. In partnership with Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments, Inc (VINES), a nonprofit in Binghamton, New York, that establishes community gardens, urban agriculture and rural-urban food links, Scott Peters and students in the Community Food Systems minor are producing stories to deepen public and scholarly conversations about community food systems. Current projects include oral histories of volunteers with VINES, a student-written book about their three-month engaged practicum with VINES, and a documentary being produced in conjunction with public television station WSKG.
During the fall 2015 semester, Peters taught DSOC 4700, which is the capstone course for undergraduate majors in Development Sociology. The purpose of this course is to provide seniors in the major an opportunity to synthesize — and bring to bear — the theoretical knowledge, research skills and intellectual interests they have acquired as students. Peters used engaged pedagogies in his approach to this course. Students participated in a community-initiated action research project called “Ripples of Change,” in partnership with a group of diverse grassroots community leaders connected to the Natural Leaders Initiative (NLI). The project sought to discover and analyze the theories and practices of grassroots leadership development, civic engagement and community capacity-building that are at play in NLI graduates’ lives and work, and to impact how the larger community understands, prioritizes, practices and funds community capacity-building. Students helped NLI graduates develop rich narratives about their leadership development. The class met at least three times during the semester with the community leaders, and engaged in reflective conversations about what those narratives can teach us about the processes of grassroots leadership development, civic engagement, community development and social change. They also explored the practice of developing effective, respectful, inclusive community-campus partnerships that democratize participation in the creation of new knowledge.
Why He Does It
Scott Peters’ rationale for pursing an Engaged Learning and Research Faculty Fellowship was to build his own knowledge, skills and capacities for utilizing engaged learning and research approaches in an undergraduate course. Peters enjoys being a part of a learning community of other faculty who are working with undergraduates. He hopes to continue to learn new methods and skills that will help him to productively engage undergraduates in engaged, community-based learning and research.
Engaged Cornell Grants
Engaged Curriculum Grant: Equitable eEngagement
Grant for Faculty Research on Engagement: Transforming Upstate New York from Rust to Green
Engaged Undergraduate Research Grants: Rust to Green Binghamton: Living with Water Initiative
Engaged Opportunity Grant: Public Narrative Workshop
Engaged Curriculum Grant: Community Food Systems Minor
Engaged Faculty Fellowship Program
A yearlong cohort program in which faculty dive deep into the theory and practice of community-engaged learning; meet monthly to discuss readings, share projects and workshop challenges; and help transform what it means to teach at Cornell