Faculty » Community-Engaged Learning Fellows

MSU Community-Engaged Learning Fellows

The Community-Engaged Learning Faculty Fellows program is a 3 week-long faculty development program that provides an opportunity for selected faculty and staff members to integrate community-engaged learning into their teaching, research and public service work, while becoming recognized campus leaders in community-engaged learning pedagogy and community engagement. The program aims to integrate the philosophy, pedagogy, and process of community-engaged learning into the MSU academic environment. The fellowship includes a $1000 faculty development award after completing the program. The proposed program was adapted with permission from the faculty fellows programs at University of Alabama and University of Georgia.

Applications for 2022-2023 will be available in January 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Community-Engaged Learning (CEL)?

A: Simply put – CEL is a teaching strategy that connects the classroom to the environment beyond it. This connection happens through community engagement (CE), reflection, reciprocal partnerships, and dissemination. It is critical to the success of CEL that students reflect on their experiences as well as engage in a mutually beneficial exchange with an external partner. Students and partners should share knowledge and learn from each other.

Q: What do you mean by external partner?

A: Probably one of the most common misconceptions about CEL is that you have to work with a non-profit organization in order for it to “count.” Some great projects occur in partnership with schools, businesses, or other common interest groups and individuals, though. As MSU’s definition points out, there is more to community than geographical boundaries. There are also great connections to make beyond someone’s tax-exempt status.

Q: Does CEL have to take place within Starkville?

A: No! All types of projects occur throughout the county, Golden Triangle, state, and southeast region. Local projects are more common, but it is not a requirement of CEL.

Q: I have no experience with CEL. Can I apply?

A: Absolutely. We have had CEL Fellows who haven’t tried CEL before but have a passion and/or interest in enhancing their teaching and student learning. The only requirement for an individual to apply is to be an MSU faculty or instructional staff member.

Q: I don’t think my curriculum or research aligns with CEL. Moreover, I don’t know how to align or introduce CEL. How can I find this out?

A: Let’s talk! The easiest way to learn more is to contact the Center for Community-Engaged Learning (CCEL) and have a conversation. Also, reviewing the MSU model of community engagement is informative too. The diagram outlines how CE manifests itself in teaching and learning, service, and research and scholarship. You can view it on CCEL’s website at https://www.ccel.msstate.edu/about/whatis/.

Q: Can any discipline be adapted for a CEL course?

A: Probably not, but CEL has been undertaken successfully across many disciplines – chemical engineering, education, math, agriculture, fashion, architecture, geosciences, communication, food science, philosophy, sociology, graphic design, veterinary medicine, and economics just within our fellowship!

Additional questions? Please email ccel@msstate.edu.

Community-Engaged Learning Fellows 2020-2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 CEL Fellows cohort met online via WebEx in May 2020. This fellowship class represents four academic colleges, eight departments, and the MSU-Meridian campus.

Dr. Chris Ayers Dr. Chris Ayers

Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture
Dr. Thu Dinh Dr. Thu Dinh
Associate Professor

Department of Animal & Dairy Science
Dr. Antonio Gardner Dr. Antonio Gardner
Assistant Professor

Department of Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion
Dr. Austin Himes Dr. Austin Himes
Assistant Professor

Department of Forestry
Dr. Ashley White Jones Dr. Ashley White Jones
Assistant Clinical Professor

Meridian Division of Education
Dr. Sarah Lalk Dr. Sarah Lalk
Assistant Clinical Professor

Department of Geosciences
Dr. John Linhoss Dr. John Linhoss
Assistant Professor

Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering
Dr. Molly Nicodemus Dr. Molly Nicodemus
Associate Professor

Department of Animal & Dairy Science
Dr. Saeed Rokooei Dr. Saeed Rokooei
Assistant Professor

Department of Building Construction Science
Mr. Bob Swanson Mr. Bob Swanson
Instructor/Lab Coordinator

Department of Physics & Astronomy

Community-Engaged Learning Fellows 2019-2020

The 2019-2020 CEL Fellows met for 3 weeks in May 2019. The class represented 5 academic colleges and 10 departments. More information about their seminar in MSState Newsroom: MSU Community-Engaged Learning Fellows create new opportunities through collaborative program

Dr. Terri Hernandez Dr. Terri Hernandez
Assistant Professor

Dr. Caroline Kobia Dr. Caroline Kobia
Associate Professor

School of Human Sciences
Dr. David Lang Dr. David Lang

Plant and Soil Sciences
Dr. Stephanie Lemley Dr. Stephanie Lemley
Associate Professor

Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
Dr. Tamara Dimitrijevska Markoski Dr. Tamara Dimitrijevska Markoski
Assistant Professor

Political Science and Public Administration
Dr. Milena Melo Dr. Milena Melo
Assistant Professor

Dr. Amanda Stone Dr. Amanda Stone
Assistant Professor

Animal & Dairy Science
Dr. Mary Love Tagert Dr. Mary Love Tagert
Assistant Extension Professor

Ag & Bio Engineering
Dr. Kathleen Thomas Dr. Kathleen Thomas

Finance and Economics
Ms. Danielle Young Ms. Danielle Young
Assistant Lecturer

Math & Statistics

Community-Engaged Learning Fellows 2018-2019

The 2018-2019 CEL Fellows program took place in May 2018. Due to high interest, the inaugural class consisted of 15 members. Funding support from the Provost was essential in expanding the class size. Members spent 3 weeks learning ways to incorporate community-engaged learning into current or new courses. As part of the fellowship, each fellow received a $1000 stipend and submitted an application to have their courses designated as CEL. Fellows will teach their redesigned courses during the 2018-2019 year.

Ms. Silvina Lopez Barrera Ms. Silvina Lopez Barrera
Assistant Professor

School of Architecture
Dr. Wen-Hsing Cheng Dr. Wen-Hsing Cheng
Associate Professor

Department of Food Science, Nutrition, Health Promotion
Dr. Renee Clary Dr. Renee Clary

Department of Geosciences
Dr. Amelia Fox Dr. Amelia Fox

Department of Plant & Soil Sciences
Dr. Kristin Javorsky Dr. Kristin Javorsky
Assistant Professor

Department of Curriculum, Instruction & Special Education
Ms. Silvina Lopez Barrera Dr. Melanie Loehwing
Assistant Professor

Department of Communication
Ms. Christina Loftin Ms. Christina Loftin
Animal Health Technician

School of Veterinary Medicine
Dr. Dong Meng Dr. Dong Meng
Assistant Professor

Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering
Dr. Thessalia Merivaki Dr. Thessalia Merivaki
Assistant Professor

Department of Political Science and Public Administration
Ms. Suzanne Powney Ms. Suzanne Powney
Associate Professor

Department of Art
Dr. Angela Savage Dr. Angela Savage
Instructor& Director

Social Work – MSU Meridian
Dr. Holli Seitz Dr. Holli Seitz
Assistant Professor

Department of Communication
Dr. Ashley Vancil-Leap Dr. Ashley Vancil-Leap

Department of Sociology, Gender Studies Program
Ms. Kimberly Walters Ms. Kimberly Walters

Department of Mathematics & Statistics
Dr. Joe Witt Dr. Joe Witt
Associate Professor

Department of Philosophy & Religion

Learn more about CEL Fellows 2018 class here.