The Engaged Scholarship Initiative

At Penn State, engaged scholarship is defined as out-of-classroom academic experiences that complement in-classroom learning. Members of the University community are working on ways to elevate the role of engaged scholarship in undergraduate education and to create more opportunities for students to have such experiences.

We invite you to learn more by exploring this site, attending an event, talking to your peers and colleagues, connecting with College and campus resources, and contacting us. We also invite you to contribute to this site by sharing examples, additional resources, and more. Please contact us with your contributions, questions, or suggestions.

VIDEO: Engaged Scholarship in Action at Penn State

This month we’re highlighting Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) at Penn State. GEW at Penn State is a weeklong event that spans across the Penn State campuses and University Park. A variety of events allow student entrepreneurs to connect with their local communities and mentors to learn from each other’s experiences. Watch as students at University Park experience all that GEW Week has to offer.



View our archived videos here

Engaged Scholarship News

Students talk about Engaged Scholarships, benefits and opportunities

November 18, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – From serving as president of the Nittany Lion Fund to interning at Super Bowl XLIX, Penn State students are always moving beyond the classroom and furthering their studies with real-life experiences.

Ten “lightening” presenters took to the stage during the Engaged Scholarship Expo in Heritage Hall last night, inspiring students in a series of brief speeches to follow their academic passions. During the second half of the expo, students gave presentations about their extra-curricular experiences in the Noontime Lounge as well.

“Engaged scholarship is out-of-classroom learning experiences that complement classroom learning,” Janine Gautiere, marketing communications chair for the Council on Engaged Scholarship, said. “What we’re really looking at in engaged scholarship is practical application of the skills that are learned in the classroom.”

Read the official story on Penn State News.

Student completes NSF International Research Experience in Austria

November 12, 2015

READING, Pa. – Penn State Berks biochemistry and molecular biology major Margaret “Maggie” Neiman completed a National Science Foundation (NSF) International Research Experience for Undergraduates (iREU) at the University of Graz, Austria, in August 2015. Offered through Syracuse University, this competitive summer research program is for students who have a serious interest in chemistry and prior research experience.

Neiman’s summer research experience focused on X-ray crystallography, a tool used for identifying the atomic and molecular structure of a crystal. She studied how the single crystal X-ray diffraction machine works, learned how to operate computer programs to build chemical structures, and analyzed various chemical samples.

“My NSF-iREU experience opened my eyes to not only other techniques and aspects of chemistry, but also to the many cultures found throughout Europe. This experience gave me more knowledge of chemistry and its applications in order to succeed within my career,” said Neiman, who is currently a senior.

Read the official story on Penn State News.

Students to solve global engineering challenges as Grand Challenge Scholars

November 3, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Chemical engineering student Nicole Bernstein and bioengineering student Nick Frazzette are leaders in a new program that will allow students to take the skills they learn in the classroom at Penn State and solve real-world engineering challenges across the globe.

Bernstein and Frazzette are the first students in Penn State’s implementation of its own Grand Challenge Scholars Program — a combined curricular and extra-curricular program with five components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century.

Read the official story on Penn State News.

Journalism students travel to Hong Kong for real-world international reporting experience

October 13, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In late 2014, protesters flooded the streets of Hong Kong in opposition to proposed reforms to the region’s electoral system. Known as the Umbrella Revolution, the movement made international headlines.

Penn State College of Communications Foster Professor of Writing and Editing Tony Barbieri, course leader of an international reporting class that takes an annual trip abroad, said this was one of the reasons he chose Hong Kong as the class’ spring 2015 destination.

Read the official story on Penn State News.

Political science students, faculty work to advance human rights research.
McCourtney Institute for Democracy funds project to bring more than 14,000 human rights reports online

October 12, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For decades, organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights, and the United States Department of State have compiled reports on human rights around the globe. This summer, Chris Fariss, assistant professor of political science at Penn State, along with a team of graduate and undergraduate students, digitized more than 14,000 of these reports and made them publicly accessible online.

“This information has been publicly available for years, but this is the first time it will be publicly accessible in digital form,” said Fariss, the Jeffrey L. Hyde and Sharon D. Hyde and Political Science Board of Visitors Early Career Professor in Political Science.

Read the official story on Penn State News.

Electrical engineering student does collaborative work in robotics lab

October 8, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Growing up with an electrical engineer as a father, Chris Miller, a Penn State senior from Audubon, knew at a young age that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an electrical engineer. He’d tinker around with his dad’s tools and create his own projects. When his father passed away, he continued to use the gadgets and felt they helped him cope with his grief.

As a first-year engineering student at University Park, Miller knew he wanted to earn his degree in electrical engineering, had a four-year plan laid out, and was focused on working in robotics. But during his first semester, while searching for labs on campus, he stumbled upon one in the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering: the Intelligent Vehicles and Systems Group advised by Associate Professor Sean Brennan. Miller applied to join, and by his sophomore year he was the lead electrical engineer working on creating an autonomous wheelchair for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, patients, alongside Brennan and a graduate student.

“Dr. Brennan has really given me a unique opportunity,” said Miller. “I get to build hardware, write software, debug circuits and design algorithms. I feel like I’ve become a jack-of-all-trades in robotics. I’m working on one end goal but I get to work on various tasks and learn a lot to get there.”

Read the official story on Penn State News.

Students explore global sustainability challenges in EMS LEAP course

September 11, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — In one of her first experiences as a Penn State student, Callan Glover went caving in Jamaica to see the island’s underground aquifer system.

“We learned about Jamaica’s water system and how that relates to sustainability on the island. We got to see underground aquifers where water goes. It was a great first-hand experience,” said Glover, a first-year student majoring in geosciences.

Glover and 14 other first-year Penn State students spent a week in Jamaica as part of their Learning Edge Academic Program (LEAP) offered through the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS).

Read the official story on Penn State News.

Penn State Brandywine students contribute to national science wiki

September 4, 2015

MEDIA, Pa. — The ideal pairing of Penn State Brandywine communication arts and sciences major Mattie Mylonas and former Brandywine geography student Judy Smith has resulted in a project that will help students, researchers, professionals and educators learn about geology and geophysics.

With guidance from Laura Guertin, professor of earth sciences, Smith and Mylonas teamed up to create a series of geology and geophysics “101” information pages for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ (SEG) wiki page.

Read the official story on Penn State News.

View these archived Engaged Scholarship news stories

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