About community engagement

 

Our commitment as a public university means we are a critical partner in helping to address the challenges of our region and the world. Our values integrity, diversity, excellence, collaboration, innovation, and respect — extend from our campus to people and organizations around the Puget Sound, the Northwest, and the world. Community engagement is at the heart of our work.

Community engagement at the University of Washington is defined as collaboration between the UW and our larger communities (local, tribal, regional/state, national, global) for the equitable, mutually beneficial creation and exchange of knowledge and resources. These collaborations with public, private, non-profit, and individual partners span disciplines and sectors. They are grounded in reciprocity, entailing co-developed definitions of problems, solutions, and measures of success; and they are asset-based, where community partners’ strengths, skills, and knowledges are respected and incorporated. 

Community engagement enhances curriculum, teaching, and learning; prepares educated, engaged citizens; strengthens democratic values and civic responsibility; supports the vitality of our surrounding communities; and contributes to the public good. This fulfills our mission as a public university.

In addition to driving our work, community engagement serves as a lens by which the efforts of UW faculty, staff, and students may be understood. Such efforts may include but are not limited to community-based research, public scholarship, service-learning, direct service, communication, civic action and participation, and institutional planning and partnerships. Examples in scholarship, teaching and learning, and service follow.

Research and scholarship

Community-engaged research, scholarship, or creative activity is that which uses community-engaged approaches and methods.

  • Citizen science, community-based participatory research, or other means of research, scholarship, or creative activity is community-engaged if it incorporates a reciprocal partnership with community.
  • Outreach, public scholarship, applied research, open scholarship, science communication, and other means of translation or broader impact may be considered community-engaged if undertaken in a context of partnership and reciprocity. 

Curriculum and service-learning activities

Community-engaged curriculum and learning activities are those that use community-engaged approaches and methods.

  • This may include service learning, community-led curriculum and instruction, studio courses, or other ways of teaching and learning if they are undertaken in partnership with community. 
  • This should align with the tri-campus definition of Community Engaged Learning courses
    • Community engaged learning (CEL) courses are hands-on, skill-building opportunities for you to engage with community partners through the mutually beneficial exchange of creativity, knowledge, and resources.

Community partnerships

Community-engaged service includes other individual or organizational activities that happen in reciprocal partnership with community. This may include:

  • The mutually beneficial inclusion of community partners on UW councils and committees. 
  • Faculty, student, or staff service on external committees or boards, wherein the resources, including labor, political capital/will, funds, or other, of the UW can be brought to bear in mutually beneficial service to the outside organization’s mission.
  • Volunteerism, direct service, or other co-curricular or service activities may be considered community-engaged if they are undertaken in reciprocal partnership with community.

Community engagement steering committee

Meet the committee members.

Ed Taylor, Vice Provost and Dean (Co-Chair) 

Undergraduate Academic Affairs
edtaylor@uw.edu; 206-616-7175

Joy Williamson-Lott, Dean (Co-Chair)  

Graduate School
joyann@uw.edu; 206-543-5139

Branden Born, Co-Director

Livable City Year
bborn@uw.edu; 206-543-4975

Iisaaksiichaa Braine, Tribal Liaison

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity
dabraine@uw.edu; 206-616-6056

Renee Cheng, Dean 

College of Built Environments
rycheng@uw.edu; 206-616-2442

Sally Clark, Director

Regional & Community Relations
salclark@uw.edu; 206-616-8401

Catherine Cole, Division Dean of the Arts 

College of Arts and Sciences
colecat@uw.edu; 206-543-7045

Jennifer Davison, Program Director

Urban@UW
jnfrdvsn@uw.edu; 206-240-6903

Butch de Castro, Associate Dean

School of Nursing
butchdec@uw.edu; 425-352-3237

Hilary Godwin, Dean 

School of Public Health
hgodwin@uw.edu; 206-685-6643

Lisa Graumlich, Dean 

College of the Environment
graulic@uw.edu; 206-221-0908

Mary Gresch, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer 

University Marketing & Communications
mgresch@uw.edu; 206-685-3710

Rickey Hall, Vice President and University Diversity Officer 

Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity
rickey1@uw.edu; 206-543-2441

Michaelann Jundt, Associate Dean

Undergraduate Academic Affairs
mjundt@uw.edu; 206-221-1871

Lisa Thomas, Associate Vice President 

University Advancement
thomasl@uw.edu; 206-616-9289

Mia Tuan, Dean 

College of Education 
mtuan@uw.edu; 206-616-7854

Edwina Uehara, Dean 

School of Social Work
eddi@uw.edu; 206-685-2480

STAFF

Christopher Partridge, Curriculum

Specialist Graduate School
chrisrp@uw.edu; 206-543-9973

Micah Trapp, Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost and Dean

Undergraduate Academic Affairs
micahlt@uw.edu; 206-616-1446

Stories

  • Welcoming back Tent City 3 to the UW, As one part of the community’s response to homelessness in the region, the University of Washington will welcome back Tent City 3 — an organized tent-city community — on its Seattle campus for 90 days during winter quarter 2021.
    Welcoming back Tent City 3 to the UW

    Welcoming back Tent City 3 to the UW

    As one part of the community’s response to homelessness in the region, the University of Washington will welcome back Tent City 3 — an organized tent-city community — on its Seattle campus for 90 days during winter quarter 2021.

    Read story
  • Creating communities that care, Across Seattle, UW School of Social Work students and community leaders are working together to encourage healthy behaviors in young people — and set them up for success.
    Creating communities that care

    Creating communities that care

    Across Seattle, UW School of Social Work students and community leaders are working together to encourage healthy behaviors in young people — and set them up for success.

    Read story
  • I climb up the ladder, Growing up on the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, Auston Jimmicum vividly remembers meeting University of Washington students for the first time.
    I climb up the ladder

    I climb up the ladder

    Growing up on the Makah Reservation in Neah Bay, Auston Jimmicum vividly remembers meeting University of Washington students for the first time.

    Read story

More stories

Martin Luther King, Jr.

MLK Week: Day of Service activities – The University of Washington’s MLK Week was organized to remind us of the history and the fight that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and many other lives have put up for freedom and equality.


Portraits of homelessness

UW Honors students use art to disrupt the narrative on homelessness – Students in the Interdisciplinary Honors class “Citizen Acts to Challenge Poverty” collaborated with Real Change to bring the exhibit Portraits for Change to the UW campus.