Dr. Laurie Maffly-Kipp, Professor of Religious Studies, was one of eight Carolina faculty members honored recently for distinguishing themselves as engaged scholars through their commitment to connecting their research and teaching to real-life issues. As part of the Faculty Engaged Scholars program, these professors further developed connections to strengthen university-community partnerships through projects like integrating refugee children into local schools and developing custom assistive technology products for people with disabilities.
“My participation in the Faculty Engaged Scholars program, and particularly conversations with other scholars interested in reaching beyond the walls of the university, not only gave me new ways to think about my research and its significance, but also inspired me to consider all of my work in terms of broader outcomes,” said Dr. Maffly-Kipp. “I was encouraged—indeed pushed—to think more creatively and imaginatively.”
The program is an initiative of the Carolina Center for Public Service and has the goal of promoting engaged scholarship at the university. The curriculum is highly interactive and experiential, involving on site-visits and discussions with other Carolina faculty members and their community partners.
Dr. Maffly-Kipp worked to educate various communities about religious diversity and to encourage and facilitate more open dialogue of religious differences. Her work as a Faculty Engaged Scholar ranged from leading seminars for high school teachers around the nation to writing articles on Mormonism for the New York Times and the Congressional Quarterly. She also leads talks for audiences seeking to better understand the nature of religious faith in American political life.
The first class of Faculty Engaged Scholars was selected in October 2007. At least eight new scholars enter the program every other year. To date, 34 Faculty Engaged Scholars representing 21 departments have participated in the program. The third class graduated from the program on Nov. 2.
Read more about the 2012 graduating class of Faculty Engaged Scholars here.
About the Carolina Center for Public Service
The Carolina Center for Public Service engages and supports the faculty, students and staff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in meeting the needs of North Carolina and beyond. The Center strengthens the University’s public service commitment by promoting scholarship and service that are responsive to the concerns of the state and contribute to the common good. This award was established in 1995 to recognize the importance of graduate student mentorship to the health and vitality of UNC’s intellectual community. Faculty members are nominated through letters submitted by their students and are selected through an intensive review process.