The Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER) pilot launched in summer 2017 by the Mindich Program for Engaged Scholarship in collaboration with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. PCER introduces students to the field of engaged scholarship, which seeks to advance the public purpose of higher education through scholarship that has impact within and beyond the academy through the discovery, integration, application, and communication of knowledge. Employing an asset-based approach, and focused on reciprocal relationships with community collaborators, engaged scholarship recognizes the perspectives, knowledge, and expertise present in communities and the academy are of equal value.
The Field-based Harvard College-Mindich Program in Community-Engaged Research (PCER-Field) is typically a 10-week immersive experience focused on community-engaged inquiry projects. The program will provide a small team of Harvard undergraduate researchers the opportunity to learn about collaboration and reciprocity in a research context, working on a pre-designed project alongside Harvard faculty in collaboration with community partners as part of a multidisciplinary research team. PCER fellows will develop skills necessary to carry out research that is academically rigorous as well as responsive to community interests and priority action areas.
2020 PROJECT DESCRIPTION
The summer 2020 PCER-Field experience will be with Walter Johnson, Winthrop Professor of History and Professor of African and African American Studies, and part of the Commonwealth Project, an ongoing partnership with local non-profits, community groups, activists, artists and cultural producers in St. Louis, MO. Students will be part of an 8-week community-engaged, multidisciplinary, ongoing research collaboration in St. Louis. Up to two Harvard undergraduate students will work with Dr. Johnson in collaboration with community partners. In this immersive experience, students will work on a variety of projects in the public arts, oral history, environmental health and justice, historic preservation, and urban/rural organizing. Students selected for this project will work directly with local community members, community organizers, civil rights activists and attorneys, environmental groups, legislators, social workers, and environmental scientists. PCER students will be part of a team comprised of up to 5 Harvard undergraduates and 1 graduate student.