Public Humanities and Community-Engaged Learning: Building Strategies for Undergraduate Research and Civic Engagement

LiRA explores the intersection of the public humanities and community-engaged learning as a powerful strategy to strengthen undergraduate research and civic engagement. The humanities enable interpretation of the past and envisioning of the future. They emphasize analysis and exchange of stories and ideas and, in doing so, help us to engage more thoughtfully with our surroundings, including diverse cultures. This section will show how by linking the public humanities to community-engaged learning we can build meaningful strategies to strengthen both undergraduate research and civic engagement.

Community-Engaged Learning Projects

Students enrolled in Clara Román-Odio’s Introduction to Chicano/a Cultural Studies (SPAN 380) were divided in four groups to work on community–engaged learning (CEL) projects addressing important goals of the local Latino/a community, including better educational opportunities for the youth and increasing social representation of Latinos in the local community. Students worked a minimum of 30 hours per semester in the CEL projects, kept a short journal, and gave a formal class presentation on outcomes. The CEL projects consisted of:

  1. Translating interviews (from Spanish to English, Spanish to English).
  2. Archiving bilingual interviews in Digital Kenyon College.
  3. Creating and disseminating a primer to document Latino cultural norms, needs and aspirations.
  4. Supporting the local the Salvation Army in the creation and implementation of a college-preparation course for Latino youth to improve ACT/SAT scores.

This program is made possible in part by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, finding conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily reflect those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Submissions from 2015


SAT/ACT Prep Class: Kenyon College and Mount Vernon Salvation Army


Bilingual College Preparation in Mount Vernon, Ohio: A Community Based Learning Project with the Salvation Army, Andres Herrera, Bridget Murdoch, Alexa McElroy, et al.


Latinos in Rural America (LiRA) A Primer to Assist Cross Cultural Interactions, Sonia Prabhu, Jonathan Urrea-Espinoza, and Hannah Celli


CBL Project Presentation: LiRA Translations, Rob Recio, Jessica Bolter, Maggie Stohlman, et al.


Latinos in Rural America: Stories of Cultural Heritage, Value, and Aspirations, Clara Roman-Odio, Amelia Dunnell, and Patricia Mota Ms.


Latinos in Rural America, Clara Roman-Odio, Patricia Mota Ms., and Amelia Dunnell