Department of Political Science

Liberal Arts funds three new community and civic engagement projects 

Published on Jan 31, 2020

Every year the College of Liberal Arts funds community and civic engagement projects proposed and carried out by its faculty, and associated with teaching and research. The projects must include non-university collaborators, and the funds, in the amount of $1,000 per award, may be used for any university-approved expenditure related to the project. Funding may be renewable for an additional year based on the viability and merit of the project. 

The College of Liberal Arts is pleased to announce this year's winners, they are Dr. Jay Mittal (Department of Political Science - Community Planning), Dr. Felicia Tuggle (Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work – Social Work), Dr. Rosetta G. Caponetto (Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures - Italian) and Dr. Danilea Werner (Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work – Social Work)

Dr. Mittal's community engagement proposal involves graduate classes CPLN 7600 Synthesis Studio and CPLN 6970 Principles of Real Estate Development and the project is entitled, “Planning for Brownfields in Pell City, AL.” Their community partners are the planning department of the City of Pell City, AL and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM). The important goal of this program’s community engagement is to better prepare our graduate students for professional challenges by exposing them to the real time community issues and challenges via class project, thus fostering active engagement, and enriching students learning outcomes.

Dr. Tuggle's project is to integrate a youth participatory action research (YPAR) framework into the existing SOWO 7080 Policy Practice and Social Justice course. YPAR is an innovative approach to positive youth and community development in which young people are trained to conduct systematic research to improve their lives, their communities, and the institutions intended to serve them. This advanced practice elective course (SOWO 7080) promotes the development of advanced research, policy practice, advocacy, and evaluation skills and techniques necessary for promoting social and economic justice.

Dr. Caponetto and Dr. Werner are developing a partnership between Auburn University and Lee County Youth Development Center (LCYDC) called "Fostering Communities in the Kitchen and Garden," which provides foster youth with cooking skills and training to grow fresh food through a community garden setting. This program represents a unique opportunity to address the complex needs of young adults transitioning out of the foster care system while utilizing their own strengths to advance food security in Lee County.