What is the Community-engaged History Collaboratorium?

It is a collaborative research and learning space where outstanding undergraduate students are provided paid internships to work under graduate student and faculty mentorship on research projects that are developed and executed in partnership with communities. The projects meet shared community and faculty objectives while providing meaningful learning opportunities and research experiences for students.

This Collaboratorium is a physical space on campus for student training, research, and analysis, and it is also a mechanism for building long-term community-university partnerships.

How does it measure success?

Success is measured not only by the quality of the research, but by the satisfaction of the community partners. As such, community-university dialogue is highlighted throughout the designing of the research, the execution of the research, the interpretation of the research findings, and the ultimate communication of those findings. Measures of success highlight community appraisals as well as scholarly merit.

So how does it work?

After consultation and conversations to design the research project, a community partner enters into a contract with the university to cover the costs of the student internships.

The Collaboratorium provides the students with space, academic supervision, administrative oversight, and resources. Supervisors are graduate students or faculty with applicable research interests.

Students are also expected to spend as much time with community partners as the community partners deem appropriate.

For the first two weeks, the Collaboratorium provides all students with intensive training in research methods designed specifically to meet the needs of the partner’s projects.  This includes training in cultural protocols, oral history, and archival skills. Throughout the rest of the summer students are provided ongoing training updates and professional development.

what does the university get out of this?

The Collaboratorium is designed to advance key objectives within the College of Arts and Science as relates to Indigenous-engagement, community-engagement, undergraduate research experience, and mentored experiential learning. It clearly situates the College – and in particular the History Department – as national leaders in Community-Engaged Scholarship (CES). It will serve to attract and retain top undergraduate students while it simultaneously serving as a feeder to graduate studies within the College.