We work with Brown faculty in a range of ways to advance teaching, research, and scholarship: strengthen students’ understanding and abilities as outlined in the curricular goals; and support efforts to extend the expertise and skill of faculty and students to benefit local and global communities.

About the Engaged Scholars Initiative

"At the heart of what I do is building relationships, in the community, with others." - Rick Benjamin

The Engaged Scholars initiative is an opportunity to celebrate, support, and strengthen the experiences of faculty and students who seek a purposeful integration of teaching, research and practice with a goal of advancing scholarship and producing a public benefit. The initiative supports the university’s mission of creating knowledge and “producing graduates committed to a life of usefulness and purpose” by identifying faculty exemplars who, through a unique alignment of research, teaching and practice are informing and shaping public discourse on a range of issues. The initiative seeks to advance goals on a number of levels: 

  • Provide resources and support for individual faculty teaching and research;
  • Develop and support a community of scholars at Brown engaged with this work;
  • Recognize and expand engaged scholarship across campus; and
  • Contribute to the national practice of engaged scholarship.

Click here for a list of courses currently taught and developed by Swearer Center staff.

Recent Scholarship

PVD Foodshed Justice Mapping Project: Representing the collaborative work of nearly 300 Brown University students, community members, and faculty over several years, the Providence Food Justice Mapping Project was a course-based, multi-year engaged scholarship project that explored the opportunities and barriers to food justice in the Providence, Rhode Island Foodshed. The recently launched website highlights a few of the key questions explored through the project: what does it mean to "map" a food system, and can we expand the idea of mapping beyond the circumscription of biophysical spaces? How can Providence citizens foster a more socially, ecologically, and economically justice food system, in the face of societal trends that foster homogenization over diversity; industrialization over environmental health; and concentrated profits over equity? With the support of the Swearer Center, faculty and students have explored these questions in myriad ways, while learning more about themselves and the Providence Foodshed along the way.