Grenfell Office of Engagement PE Toolkit

By Pamela Gill

A project undertaken by a team at Grenfell Campus’s Office of Engagement aims to assist faculty, staff and students as they venture into the exciting and, at times, challenging, world of “public engagement.”Led by Dr. Mery Perez, a post-doctoral fellow who worked closely with the engagement office, the project has culminated in a Public Engagement (PE) Toolkit.

Mery Perez collaborates with colleagues and public partners at a Thriving Regions session held by the Harris Centre.The toolkit, elements of which will be featured in Tandem in the months ahead, draws primarily on Memorial University’s Public Engagement Framework as well as Grenfell Campus’s five-year strategic plan, Committing to Communities.

“Obviously one single document cannot cover everything there is to know about engagement, so this toolkit will include links to additional resources and contacts,” said Dr. Perez, who is currently the project co-ordinator for the soon-to-be-completed Centre for Research and Innovation in Corner Brook, which was announced last July. “We hope that this toolkit is a helpful guide for all who want to follow the path of engaged scholarship and projects.”
One of the main goals of Grenfell’s Office of Engagement is to create spaces and provide supports to make this happen.

“Recognizing the strength of relationships among Grenfell Campus, Memorial University and the broader community, we’re striving to implement significant engagement and collaborative initiatives, including engaged research and experiential learning among faculty, students, and staff. This toolkit is one facet of that learning component,” said Ken Carter, director, Research and Engagement, Grenfell Campus.

In future issues of the Tandem, readers will learn more about public engagement through the different toolkit components:

  • Section 1 explores Memorial’s definition of engagement and some key questions to assist in planning engagement initiatives
  • Section 2 discusses what engaged scholarship is and how it can help strengthen careers of faculty and students
  • Section 3 explores the topic of knowledge mobilization and how is differs from and overlaps with engagement
  • Section 4 offers a list of funding opportunities for engaged projects

As mentioned by Dr. Perez, the toolkit compiles additional resources that may help researchers and staff members implement best practices in their initiatives. “We’re hopeful the toolkit will also bring to the forefront some familiar challenges in engagement as well as provide ideas on how to address these,” said Dr. Perez, adding the toolkit lists contact information for various units and departments within Memorial University for assistance on important topics.

Next time: Tune in for the first installment of the toolkit, "Memorial’s definition of public engagement and some key questions to assist in planning engagement initiatives."

Pamela Gill is the Communications Manager,  Offices of Research, Graduate Studies and Engagement, at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. 

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