Community Engagement and State Legislative Research

Community Engagement and State Legislative Research

By Anna Mitchell Mahoney, Newcomb Institute at Tulane University

Scholars’ engagement with the community can enhance their own scholarship and teaching while expanding the influence of their research for the public good. My experience demonstrates the positive effects of this model of scholarship and the institutional support needed to practice it. Universities under pressure to demonstrate their public value are encouraging more public scholarship “that addresses important civic issues while simultaneously producing knowledge that meets high academic standards” (Bridger and Alter 2011) or scholarship of application in which researchers’ engagement with society inspires and produces knowledge for the public good (Boyer 1990). In a PS symposium on this same topic, Bullock and Hess (2021) defined “civically engaged research” as “the systematic and rigorous production of knowledge through reciprocal partnerships with people beyond the academy that contributes to the improved governance of social and political problems.”

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