Community Engaged Research Opportunities Information Session

This roundtable discussion includes panelists from across disciplines to describe various types of community engaged research practices, values, methodologies and results. The session ends with an announcement about future CER funding opportunities at WSU Pullman.

Event Details

Time & Place

Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at 1:00 – 2:00pm, Lighty 405, WSU Pullman and Zoom.


  • Kim Christen, Associate Vice President and Associate Vice Chancellor Pullman for Research Advancement and Partnerships


Listen to Session Recording

This recording does not include video.

Dr. Kim Christen: I’m Kim Christen I’m the Associate Vice President for Research Advancement and Partnerships….Okay. Sorry…So, I want to welcome everybody to our community research opportunity.

Dr. Kim Christen: We’re going to have a roundtable. And so today we have this fabulous panel that I’ll introduce in a minute. Who’ve all done community engaged research, so it’s going to be an informal set of questions. I’ll ask them and we’re going to go round and we’ll have responses. And then with about 10 to 15 minutes left, we have an announcement of an exciting new community engaged research program that I’ll be making that will that encompasses several different components.

Dr. Kim Christen: And so we’ll talk about that a little bit at the end. So first I’ll, introduce our panel members and then I will get going with the questions. So we have Elizabeth Weybright, who’s an associate professor in Human Development. And then we have Jacqui Wilson, who is an assistant professor in the School of Music, Stephany RunningHawk Johnson, who is an assistant professor in Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education.

Dr. Kim Christen: And Pilar Fernandez is an assistant professor in the Allen School for Global Health. So as you can tell, community engaged research. These are four different colleges for different disciplines, four different departments on purpose. So you can see that community engaged research can happen across any discipline, any research topic in any place at WSU. So I’m going to go ahead with our first question and I will kick it off with how about Stephany? So, Stephany, our first question is how do you define community engaged research? What are the central components of it for you?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: So I do a lot of work with Indigenous folks. I am a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation. And so the way that I think about research is really from my background, of working with tribal entities and thinking about what really like this definition is really about. What does the community that I’m working with want and need? And what I really try to approach it from, from a stance that most of these communities already know want and what they need. They’re really smart and they’ve got it figured out and oftentimes they just need a little bit of help for those of us who work in.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: An institutional academy. And so I really try to think about.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: How can I listen really carefully to what they’re saying that they need? So as an example, one of the projects that I’m currently working on is with a group of folks who live in Costa Rica and Panama, the Ngäbe folks. And so I’m working with a group here where we take Indigenous students from across the U.S. and we go down to Costa Rica and work on science like hard science research projects with the Ngäbe.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: And so when we go, one of the things that we’re really working on right now is, is what they’re telling us they need. So we have a medicine man there, he’s a traditional healer and he wants to catalog the plants that he uses to heal people. And so he wanted us to help him with the with the catalog.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: Of these items. He’s got all of this knowledge, and it’s incredible when you talk with him how much he knows. But he doesn’t know how to use a computer and he doesn’t know how to put together…Basically, we’re making a book out of it. So that’s that’s kind of our contribution in that particular case. But it’s really about listening and really about what is the community asking for and how can I use my skills to help them get what they need?

Dr. Kim Christen: Pilar, you want to answer that same question?

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Sure. And I have working with a lot of very, very different communities from indigenous communities in Northern Argentina to suburban communities in the eastern U.S. And now I’m working at we have a local project, so I’m working here more in rural areas, engaging with farmworkers. Most of my work has to do with diseases, zoonotic disease transmission. So one of the key components of my research is to try to understand the burden of disease in these populations, in the affected populations.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: And for that one of the things is we always go…So it’s a little bit of a different approach where. We have certain diseases that we want to tackle, but also kind of build bridges with the communities and understanding what’s the perspective of the disease, how is it affecting them? And as you mentioned, the usually affected communities have a lot of not from experience, but also because they care about the issues that have a lot of knowledge. And so that conversation that back and forth has been really helpful to inform how we approach some of the research which key elements we should be focusing on.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Because at the end of the day, what we want to do or what I want to do in my research is to identify those leverage points where we can track, where we can act or do interventions to reduce disease transmission. That’s not possible, if you don’t have that perspective from the community. So it’s always that back and forth and building bridges and building that communication that has been key in the research.

Dr. Kim Christen: So, Jacqui, what do you think? How do you define community engaged research?

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: Yeah, very similar. Especially to what Stephany was saying about asking people what they need. But for me, it’s interesting because I’m a classical musician, so research is a bit different for me. I don’t research per se, we, in fact, say creative activity instead of research. So a lot of what I do is performance based because I’m a performance-based classical musician: I play the bassoon.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: And so for me, it looks many different ways. And in fact, I was thinking about this preparing for today. And I was like, I guess it kind of started off selfishly because I’m Native American, I’m a Yakama person. But as a classical musician, if I just went about my career in the way that it’s kind of set out or constructed, it would be very possible for me to not interact with any other Native folks at all.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: And so for me and my cultural and personal concept of who is important to be in relationship with concepts of relevance and how can I make my art match up with who I am and my priorities and ideals, and how can I serve community through this art? And so some of that is in where I choose to perform.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: A lot of times I choose not to perform in Brian Hall. And also how I choose to perform. I don’t really like a formal recital, you know, “No cell phone, clap at the right time, everyone wears formal black.” I like to be in relationship with my audience. And so I do kind of more of a lecture recital, storytelling based format with my performances.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: And I nearly exclusively perform the works of Native American and Indigenous composers. And so it’s really about artistic sovereignty and self-representation and starting the conversations that I want to, but using my bassoon as a vehicle with which to do that. But one of my recent projects has been on the Coeur d’Alene reservation where I just go and teach music classes for these third graders, because on in this community there are there’s one music teacher at the elementary level and none at the tribal school, and none at the middle school or the high school.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: And so to just being in relationship with other Plateau people, called up my friend Sheena and said, What do you need? And she said, We need time and brown faces in front of these kids, and assemblies. And it’s like, Well, okay, I can do that. And so just having that accountability for being in relationship with my community and then listening and responding.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: So, I guess, it’s really echoing myself, what you said.

Dr. Kim Christen: Elizabeth do you want to round us out with how you see community engaged research and what the components are?

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: Sure. I think I’ve heard listening and that definitely resonates with me as well. I really view community engaged research on a continuum and there are ends of that continuum that I don’t want to engage in. And that’s really where where we are engaging community in a performative way to check a box because it may look good and trying to avoid that end of the continuum.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: But from my perspective, I often have to balance things like funder requirements, scope of a contract or a grant. And so I try to be really transparent when approaching communities of: here on the grounds with which we’re working in, and this is what we need to do for now. But maybe we can plan something bigger or more fully community engaged for later. But for now it’s going to be in an advisory capacity and we can work towards something else.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: I think that’s the other piece of seeing that. What fits for this particular project or the particular community at this moment in time with the resources that we have. And so I think really matching those pieces is important for me. That’s it.

Dr. Kim Christen: Okay, so we’re gonna kind of switch gears and I’ll go a couple of questions for each person.

Dr. Kim Christen: So Pilar, how did you get started working with the communities you’re working with now, and what has been the process to go through to keep those relationships?

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Yeah, so that that is a super interesting question. And I think in a way people that are working on community engagement or the [unclear] part of the research, it’s a self-selecting group in a way. We all have this kind of curiosity or like people-driven personalities. For me, it was because my training, it’s not at all like social sciences or anything.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: I come from STEM and it’s very math focused, technology focused, but we do a lot of fieldwork. And so when I was doing my Ph.D., I was working in these indigenous communities, working on Chagas disease, which is transmitted by a vector. And I spent sometimes a month and a half, two months in those communities. So you start building relationships and you start seeing things, learning about how how do they became a problem, how did Chagas disease became a problem.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: And then you start understanding the history, the social issues that surrounded how people view, you know, how people view disease transmission, what it means to them and how it affects them. So just building relationships and spending time. With the people. Just talking, just not just collecting data and just going there, collecting data and just talking to people and engaging with them. It’s been I think that’s how it started for me. And then I realized and a part of my Ph.D. kind of feedback from that, because then I am I started seeing things about transmission and how that socioeconomic context was playing a big role in transmission that we had not seen.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Like we came with this idea with very ecological focus, which is focus on the vector, and then we start seeing all this other like the context and where what’s happening, who is affected. And then I started doing work for that socioeconomic and cultural component as well, because that culture of how people move, that affect the transmission, but also it is part of who they are as people.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: And so I incorporate that into my research, not on purpose, like it’s not the first thing I thought of, and it came up as and then…as a really integral part of my Ph.D. and then it’s like I decided that that is the route I want to go and then I recognized working on other systems and

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: When I started doing Postdoc I started working on tick-borne diseases from different contexts. I would say almost the opposite context. But I also started to engage in conversations with people doing household surveys and collecting ticks in people’s yards. And so as part of it, you engage and you can not just collect the data and by that it was part of me like just talking to people.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: And that really builds into the research and it opens new questions. So I think that kind of started it and then from there I started collaborating more with people with more formal training on social sciences: behavioral scientists, anthropologists, sociologists and just reading a lot out of my field, really.

Dr. Kim Christen: So would you say that it’s changed…I hear you saying that maybe it’s changed your STEM training or added something to it, taken you in a different direction.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Yes. So it opened kind of the scope and how I see the problem in a more systemic way. And is it more systemic approach that I would just be focusing maybe on just one or two components of disease transmission, which we always talk about, like how important is social context and cultural and political context transmission to incorporate that formally in the research.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Usually it’s about like ticking boxes. We acknowledge that it’s there, health disparities are there. But how do we actually incorporate that into the research and how do we treat that information? It’s basically understanding that interrelationships between how we got to the point what are the ecological and biological factors that affect disease transmission, but also how are they intimately to other social and cultural components.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: So this definitely has extended my view, and that’s what I say. I work at social–ecological systems because I try to integrate both systems. So it definitely added to my discipline. I don’t want to say that I’m not an expert on, but I like collaborating and I learn enough to be able to talk to other disciplines that have the expertise to work in more formally understanding the the cultural aspects.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: For example, medical anthropologists and sociologists that have more formal training in that.

Dr. Kim Christen: Elizabeth, what about you? How did you get started working with the community you’re working with now, or one of the communities that you work in?

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: Sure. I came in 2014 and I was hired in with an extension appointment. And so partly that was built into what my position should look like cause I need to be collaborating across the state of Washington with extension, with extension and the communities in which they serve. So I feel like I was already that was already built into what I was doing.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: But that doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to happen just because it’s in your title. You’re going to be engaging in our community engaged research. And so what I did when I started is I went to a couple extension offices around the state and I’m like, Can I just hang out with you and see what you do? And can I shadow you for a day?

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: And I did. And I saw what’s happening on the ground and how is research used or oftentimes not used or sometimes not used in the programing that’s delivered. And so it really helped my understanding of, okay, what are some of these gaps that we’re moving forward? I also joined an existing group. I was fortunate to have a more senior faculty in the department who also had an extension appointment with projects that were ongoing, and she immediately brought me in and said, “You’re going to be the evaluator on this project.” And eventually, after a number of contracts, I took that project over and so I had someone senior to mentor me, which is really a luxury and

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: a privilege. And I know not everyone has that, but I would say seeking someone out like that or finding someone like that who’s willing to kind of take you under their wing and show you some of those ropes or give you an opportunity to connect with some of their connections as well.

Dr. Kim Christen: So I think we’ll move on to the next question. So, Stephany, how has or what has been the highlight for you for pursuing community engaged research?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: Um, I think for me this one’s really very personal answer. And so as an Indigenous woman, I didn’t grow up in my indigenous community. I grew up far away from that. And so it’s really something that it gives me a way to connect back to to who I am, not just like what I do but I feel like a piece of who I am is doing work with communities. And so. I’ve been really…I grew up in in Oregon, in the Willamette Valley, and I was able to make a lot of connections through the U of O because I did my master’s there. And then I went and was teacher, taught middle school for a while and then came back and did a Ph.D. And so being able to be in that place and create those connections and learn from those…those people about about teaching. But also kind of about being a good human being was really important. And so I’ve been able to then take that and create those connections that I had with folks at Oregon and bring them here with me, right?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: So when one of my main advisors is from Yakama Nation. And so I have a lot of connections with that Yakama Nation but it’s really about. You know, thinking through how…how I am in the world in order to think about how engage with communities to do research in good ways. And it’s really been kind of a process of learning more about myself while I’m really trying to do something for a community or with the community, because that’s as an Indigenous person and that’s really important to me. It’s it’s my mentor will tell me it’s good to have individual achievement, but it’s not about you, it’s about that individual achievement for the larger community and for the larger group. And so I really try to think about. What am I doing and how is this work affecting other people? Right? Like, yeah, I’m good at this, but. What is that? What am I doing with that? How am I using that? How is that going forward? How is that going into communities? And how…I think, I mean because I’m in education, a lot of my work is for kids and so, how does the work that I do give back to kids, you know?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: And Yakama Nation, I’ve done some work with the Coeur d’Alene, [indistinct] the Colville.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: Yeah I’m not sure if that really answers your question.

Dr. Kim Christen: I guess I’ll just follow up with a question. How have you seen some of that go into some of those communities? And what has it done? The impact?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: Yeah, thank you. I think, so some of the work that I started with my dissertation actually with Yakama Nation was why…So they had a program in their environmental science degree program where they were doing some indigenous ways of knowing and teaching. And so I was doing program evaluations for my dissertation work. But what I’ve. Been able to do is continue to do that work with them and so see how they’ve adapted the teaching that they do there over the last, oh gosh, it’s probably been about eight years now. And so that has changed the way that they most of that work is actually done with instructors and professors. who are not Indigenous but do work with Indigenous students.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: And so. How can we help them to be better teachers and be more responsive and to be able to bring in…If they’re not indigenous, that’s great. And they had…But how did they then bring in those pieces? So we’ve definitely seen changes there of instructors. Also helping to create some curriculum for for Coeur d’Alene, for Colville, and for Warm Springs for their tribal schools. They’re already doing science teaching and we’ve really just kind of were able to translate to the state of Washington to say, yeah, look at their reading, the standard, they’re already doing this work. Right? But but having that expertise and one of the standards and what it could teaching look like. Just kind of you know, translating that in a way so that the state recognizes some of the work that they’re doing. And you know, bringing in some culturally relevant curriculum for these students, Right?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: Yeah. And just kind of giving people the. Yeah, this is really good work, right? Like, let’s do this, let’s bring it incorporate it. We can do science in the language classroom. Right? Yeah.

Dr. Kim Christen: Jacqui, what’s been your highlight for community-engaged creative practice?

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: Yeah, very similar but kind of a different pathway. So I did grow up in my community. I grew up in eastern Washington, but a lot of classical music training is very individual-focused: insular, achieve, higher, faster, louder. It’s a competition based field with more supply than demand. You’re encouraged to sit in a room by yourself to be first chair to have solos, that type of thing.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: It’s just a very individual enterprise and you’re encouraged in the training to be really self focused and even programing a work. Like, why am I programing this? Because I like it. So I think an audience should attentively sit and listen to me, do it for an hour, like, okay.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: But that’s not something that we really question in music. We’re don’t encourage…We don’t like challenge each other in that way. It’s working, right? But in my first academic position, I was at the University of Wisconsin, a player which is very close to the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe community, and the American-Indian Studies program is thriving. And there I had mentors for the first time who were Indigenous who were like, “Okay, baby, but why? For who? For what?”

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: “Who cares? For you? Okay, that’s enough. Good job. You know, enjoy the applause,” you know, and people who really challenged me to think about, yeah, everything we’ve been talking about, building relationships, serving, collaborating. And so that’s when I really started to think about, you know, how does this identity intersect with this profession? And historically, you know, classical music entered in to native communities in the boarding school era as a tool of assimilation.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: And unearthing that three degrees in was kind of a traumatic experience. But seeing the subsequent reclamation and continuation of the practice as a way to assert one’s cultural identity has been this really cool reclamation. And there’s community, even amongst other indigenous classical musicians in the field. And so performing work of a Navajo composer or of a Chickasaw composer, that is is community in its own way, even if it’s presented very kind of typically.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: But one thing that kind of stands out as a special moment is my first faculty recital here I did at the Cultural Center, and I did it with Jules Aini, who told us her stories, and Tyler Williams, who’s this Nez Perce-Mackaw-Umatilla photographer. And we had his photography up. And so Jules would tell a story and I would play a work, and it was just this very it was not classical music.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: I was very rejecting all of that. And afterwards, this auntie came up to me and I played this piece that was every movement was supposed to be inspired by a different powwow dance. And she said, “I turned my program over so I could see if I guess the…the dance accurately. And I got every one right.” That I thought, you know, that this, but I would only get that doing this in this way, you know, so that was just so.

Dr. Kim Christen: And do you feel supported at your department here at WSU and like changing the field? To me it sounds like you’re change…shifting the field.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: Yes, absolutely. At WSU, in the School of Music, in CAS, I feel very encouraged and supported and like my work is acknowledged. Before I came here I was teaching in Missouri and literally the only Indians on campus were me and the former mascot. And so to be at a campus that’s like I drive up and I literally see an architectural longhouse every day on my way to work; land grant mission.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: Like, no place is perfect, but it feels like a big difference being on this campus for sure. I pinch myself many times.

Dr. Kim Christen: So, Elizabeth, we’ll shift to the next question. How has your research changed or been challenged by working closely with communities?

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: Yeah. So the biggest is that I have to be so flexible and I’ve learned to be so very flexible and have a lot of contingency plans. You know, I’ll give you an example of some of our we have federal grant funding to deliver a community based program and we adapted the program. We gathered input from communities. We have extension members who are on the grant proposal, proposal the decision making to how do we who do we engage in, how do we deliver the program and how do we adapt it and how do we disseminate the research through the entire process.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: But when you’re delivering programing in the community, it doesn’t exactly go according to plan all the time, right? How you propose it. So being flexible of my community partners saying, “we can’t deliver this, only three families signed up and we can’t make it go.” Okay, what do we do next? Are we still meeting grant deliverables if we’re not, I need to go to the funder and talk about what we are doing to try to address this and how we’re adjusting along the way.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: And I think when I first started, I was a bit more rigid and I was a bit more anxious about it. But I don’t know. This is what we propose to do. And now that I’m trying to balance it with the needs of the community are what’s most feasible. It’s not going to work like the original plan. And so one of the things I’ve learned along the way is how to build in some of that flexibility from the get go as we’re engaging communities to think of where might this go wrong or where might it go a different way from how we’re planning and how can we adjust proactively for that.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: And so we’ve done a lot of that. And even to the point where a paper that we have under review is about how do we even recruit participants and how did we adjust along the way when recruiting rural adolescents for a particular study. So trying to not only work with funders to be flexible, but also to work within ourselves and educate others on how do we do this and do it well with the information that we’ve learned with our communities.

Dr. Kim Christen: And I will say over the last 15 years, funders have become more flexible in this particular area, with working with community engaged research with different types of communities and understanding that that because there’s a larger national conversation, I think about this and the federal funders have finally responded to that. And so there is a little more flexibility, but we don’t often think there is. So that’s a really great point. Pilar, what about you? What’s been your greatest challenge or change something that’s changed?

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Well, we’re often in my field, we’re faced with this skepticism when we’re trying to do any type of community engagement work or it becomes this helicopter intervention science type of thing, which I also don’t agree with. And it has to do with that in a way that rigidity. Like, we’re not just this is what we came to do.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: We’re going to do this. And this is what we were funded for and we just had to do it. And and that’s not what science should be, I don’t think, especially when we’re talking about issues that affect people directly. And so I think, you know, I tell you how many times we have done this, like, okay, we’re going to implement this research project in this community and see how that’s going to work. People are not going to listen to you. People are not going to join. And it turns out that people are worried about some of these issues because it effects them directly. And when you get the space and we need to have a genuine conversation and not just like this is what we’re doing, we’re going to just inform you that we’re doing this. I think people are super receptive and it has surprised a lot of the people I have worked with, and it’s like, “oh, we never knew people were gonna respond this way”, and I’m like, “you should probably have a little bit of faith in people!”

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: And I think in that sense it has been it’s always pushing a little bit of the boundaries, especially on my field which tends to be like, you know, you get a grant to just work on this project. And as I mentioned, it can take you in unexpected ways because when you start engaging with the communities and having these conversations, maybe you start thinking about questions that didn’t even apply before because you were just not thinking about that.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: So I think it and I can do it, but it’s challenging. At the same time.

Dr. Kim Christen: Do you see things changing in your field?

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: I think slowly. There’s definitely one of things that was a major barrier. In our work in my field to do this kind of work was funding on depending on where the funding was coming from, it was accepted or it was not accepted to do more community engaged. And so now I think there’s more grants that tend to focus on human behavior, which gives us the opportunities to engage with communities. How are you going to get any type of information regarding human behavior or how people make decisions without acknowledging that you need to engage with the community? There’s new interdisciplinary grants that have allowed for this work to increase. I still feel like there’s a long way to go and just remove people from their discipline really, really try to listen. But I think we’re going the right direction slowly, but it’s still a challenge.

Dr. Kim Christen: But so almost all of you are assistant professors. How do you feel about going out for tenure and promotion under the current guidelines, given the research that you do? And I have to… I didn’t tell you guys about that question. It’s a wildcard question! Jacqui, do you want to give it a try?

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: Uhh…Good? [laughing] Yeah, maybe.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: I’ve been able to I guess. I guess like how I came into this is I’ve been able to try to make sure that I’m most excited about doing and the work that I understand the university and School of Music want me to be doing and seeing how I can serve both masters essentially. So one of my recent projects was I did a collaboration with a group of Maori Indigenous New Zealand composers, and that was very much in alignment with all of this work that I talked about doing. But it also gave me an opportunity to perform internationally, present my work on Native composers in New Zealand. And so that translates very easily. And so it’s kind of like sometimes I speak this jargon in this way and sometimes I speak this…or present it in this way. I guess it’s essentially code switching, but you just kind of figure out how to navigate the systems that you find yourself in. I guess.

Dr. Kim Christen: Stephany, what about you?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: Yeah, I think there there’s something challenging about when you do community engaged research, it’s not a fast process and so it takes time and building relationships with the community is really the important piece of doing this work. And so that takes time. And so that does make it harder, right, you got to get those publications out there. At the same time, I’m looking at going up for tenure a year early. So, I think like Jacqui was just saying, right, kind of we’re all real good at playing school and so we kind of know how these systems work. So being able to just think about: OK, this is the work that matters and they need to do it in a good way. And how can I also meet those metrics and work towards those standards that we currently have? Because…We all knew that coming in. Like, you know, that’s the deal.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: That’s, that’s how this works. And so, how to be strategic, sometimes. One of my other big things is working collaboratively. So if I’m working with other people and working on different projects all at the same time, I can see a way to keep moving work forward without thinking on one thing at a time.

Dr. Kim Christen: So Elizabeth, what advice might you have for your former self or someone just getting started with community engaged research?

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: Actually one of them was, kind of think of the timeline and think what you need to the markers of success and how can you achieve that was really thoughtfully. I think, the other panelists spoke to that. And how do we I appreciate this perspective of how do we do what we want to do with community engaged work, but also be able to pitch it in a certain way to be successful. I would say: listen. I mean, I think a lot of the panelists spoke earlier about the importance of going somewhere and listening and what communities are you’re trying to engage with. And have you really sat down and heard what they want? Because if you bring the things that you think are right, it likely will not work or be sustainable or, you know, from my perspective, my the work that I do, it’s really about supporting health promotion and substance use, injury prevention within communities.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: And none of that is going to be effective and sustainable if I can’t engage communities in doing and buying into the work themselves. And so I think for long term sustainability, that listening piece is really critical despite it taking a significant amount of time and patience. To be honest, I think I wanted things to go a little faster than they, you know… Than they were actually going. I think there are really nice resources out there of what is community engagement and how do you talk about it. One of the conferences I go to hopefully this year is about engaged work. So I think there’s a national movement toward this, you know, appreciating, valuing community engaged research. And we’re still working through how to demonstrate that, how to show our impact.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: But it’s I’m glad it’s still a part of the conversation. So I think those are the big takeaways. There are places to learn about community based research, places to start are listening or working with people who were already doing it and working from them and being very patient.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: Pilar, if you were looking at your former self, what advice might you get her?

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Yeah, well, the pieces are. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This takes a lot of time, which yeah, sometimes doesn’t align with the…our expectations or the pace of academia in general. But…if you feel like that’s a valuable part of the research, which I believe is yeah, definitely be patient in time and make sure that you have plenty of time to just engage in those conversations.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: And also look for partners and collaborate and learn from people that have the expertise. And especially I’m talking about people that come from my field or STEM that really want to…or it’s important to them, to have community engagement research and have that is a big part of their research enterprise. We’re not training this, so that’s not something that we know what we’re doing.

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: We might be very empathetic, we might have really good intentions, but that’s not enough. We really need to learn from the people that have been working in this field and collaborate and [unclear].

Dr. Kim Christen: So last question before we take some questions. What can WSU as an institution do to support community engaged research and creative activity? Jacqui?

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: Just one thing. Yeah, I think I mean, I think I see a lot of third-year review was last year I did see the directive of, “Hey, you’re doing something community engaged. You need to make sure to denote it on your CV in this specific way.” And directives to the committee saying, “We are acknowledging this type of work and it needs to be viewed in a different way.”

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: And that was gone over in my faculty retreat this Fall of like, “Hey, this is what the faculty manual says about this type of work.” And so you may not be reading the faculty manual for fun, but when we look at portfolios, this needs to be updated in your mind. And so that was something that as a creative person, I really appreciated seeing and appreciated my director making it a point to put in the minds of senior faculty for sure.

Dr. Kim Christen: I will say as a former chair, I used to read the faculty manuals, not so much for fun, but I have read it a lot. And there is. So if you don’t know, there are…now, the faculty manual’s a lot different than when I started in 2005. And there are particular things called out for community engagement, interdisciplinary research, that value these things. So there is that shift. Stephany, what about you? What’s something that you as an institution might be able to do to support this work?

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: Yeah, I think and I don’t know about everybody else here, but a lot of the times getting the money to do this grant has to come from grant funding. And so. So having some funding to to support the work I think is really one way to show that support and value

Dr. Kim Christen: Pilar?

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Yeah, I would and I’m a little bit new…newish. I started 2020 and it’s been challenging because getting out of COVID and everything and starting new projects, having a challenge to do this type of work. And I would say the institution help support acknowledging interdisciplinary work. It’s it’s an invaluable especially, for those who are pre-tenure. Um, the other things that I am still struggling a little bit. It’s to engage with the extension office. I would love to have a better way. And they see that they have it. But it seems challenging to me. And I know in part is because one of the things that happening with COVID and lockdown is that we went back to our assignments and we hadn’t had that cross institutional communication. And for me, coming in during COVID is like, I don’t know all the resources there are, so I’m still learning. But and I think, yeah, that would be on my end, something that would definitely help, especially for the research projects that we have more locally here.

Dr. Kim Christen: Elizabeth, one thing?

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: Yeah, I think…I’m happy to connect you with extension folks. I think events like this are helpful to, to increase awareness and to build capacity among the folks that are already at WSU who are doing this kind of work. And when I think the folks that we have in communities already, like extension folks, summer staff, summer faculty, I think building the capacity among some of those folks of what is research and how do we how do we successfully engage with researchers.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: And the same for researchers. If you want to go work group extension, there’s a thoughtful way to do that that’s going to be more successful than going to them and saying, “Hey, can you distribute my survey for me? So on both ends and building capacity just for doing community engaged work.

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: So we’ll open it up for a few questions. And then the last 10 minutes, I have our special announcement. So anybody on Zoom or anybody in the room have a question for anyone on our panel or the whole panel together?

: So, yes, thank you. This has been a wonderful panel. I’ve really found there to be a challenge after COVID, as you mentioned. So before COVID, my community fellowship hinged on me meeting with community members. And I think when we took that to Zoom, I struggled a lot. Have you seen. How did you deal with that in your community work? Because I know, for example, the roundtable I worked with got stuck like stuck around on Zoom instead of meeting in-person again. And we kind of fizzled out at that.

Dr. Stephany RunningHawk Johnson: And for me, it being in education. We just…When everybody jumped to Zoom, I just jumped to Zoom too. It’s actually…I honestly, I don’t know if it was, but it was sustainable. We could do it that way. And so. Also, I think for me it’s easy because as education’s come back to being in-person that just jumped back into the classroom, although I still do a lot of research, especially for working with folks, who are not close…

Dr. Pilar Fernandez: Yeah, to me it’s been Zoom has been super challenging and this type of work, I feel like engaging in-person is definitely different for me. And for some people it’s easier because it can be whatever, but for some people I work with so the work that I’ve done, connectivity has been an issue. So it’s like even if you can jump on Zoom it doesn’t really work because it doesn’t work, they don’t have that connectivity to do it. So I feel like we’re slowly getting back to that, to doing more in space events and and conversations and focus groups or town halls type of events. But it’s been I don’t know, it’s been a challenge and I don’t really have a good answer for I haven’t had a way to replace that face to face interaction

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: I think a lot of the folks that I work with, and communities, are burnt out. There’s a lot more on their plate and there’s just kind of this, I don’t know, this just stress that hangs out or this extra workload or duties or whatever it may be that this makes it more challenging. I have seen we do prioritize on our projects having in-person retreats, and it’s even hard to find a day where we can all come together. But those are so valuable to get us all at the table and talking to one another. So I don’t know. I think it’s going to look different. Maybe it won’t be the same intensity or the same schedule, but can we piggyback on other events that are going on? Can we…Extension has this lovely distributed conference model. Can we get in pockets around the state to connect via Zoom?

Dr. Elizabeth Weybright: So I think we just are going to have to look at how we can meet in-person differently than we have in the past.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: …Yeah, it shifted. It changed a lot for me because performing obviously stopped. But the height of COVID coinciding with the death of George Floyd in classical music, this diversity priority all of a sudden emerged. So I found my community engagement a lot more with the classical music community as like educator, panelists. And so Pilar, you said, you’re not trained as a social scientist.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: Like I’m not trained to be a spokesperson for my race or, you know, all social issues and that type of thing. But it kind of shifted over Zoom to be a time for conversation. And so I found my work changing in that way. And in many ways, that I think has been my biggest challenge so far, because if I could go back and I do a little bit more on that.

Dr. Jacqui Wilson: But yeah, so they kind of shift my focus and who I was working with I guess shifted.

Dr. Kim Christen: So can you all help me thank our four wonderful panel members? [applause] And as I said, now let’s switch to…Will told me I have to stand here. Okay. I’m really happy to announce that as part of this institutional support for community engaged research and creative activity that we’re launching, this Inspire program that’s run out of the Office of Research with support from the Pullman Chancellor.

Dr. Kim Christen: And so this has several components of it and part with part of it…Who asked for funding? Stephany? So we have the funding.

Dr. Kim Christen: I read your mind.

Dr. Kim Christen: And everybody else’s. So we have we have two main tiers of funding that the tier two is for up to $10,000, and that is for people who haven’t done community engaged research, but want to get started doing engaged research. As part of that, a requirement of receiving that $10,000 will you will be part of a cohort to go through a set of workshops and information sessions.

Dr. Kim Christen: And I’m happy to say we’re partnering with the Center for Civic Engagement and Ben Callabretta is sitting right there. Ben, did you want to say anything about this partnership or the training? A little bit?

Ben Callabretta: I wasn’t planning on…We are looking forward to working with you and I’m happy that it’s just elevating all this work.

Dr. Kim Christen: If you don’t know the Center for Civic Engagement, they’re huge with helping WSU faculty get connected to community groups, they’ve had a community engaged scholars program for a long time. So I said, “Hey Ben, what about a community engaged research program”? So, I mean, I think it’s really crucial because what all of you said is getting started.

Dr. Kim Christen: You want to understand what the landscape is and how you do it. So that’s why we paired that first tier of funding with these programs. The second tier of funding is for people like y’all, who’ve already been doing community engaged research, but maybe you can’t get an NSF right now because you have this gap, or there’s something else that you need to do before you apply for that really big NIH grant or whatever it is.

Dr. Kim Christen: And so the this funding will be ongoing at least for the next three years. The funding, however, is only available for Pullman faculty because it is funded by the Pullman Chancellors Office. So that is why that stipulation is in there and so that all this information is on the website for anybody who’s registered. Say we’ll send you information on the website, we’ll be blasting that out to everybody later today.

Dr. Kim Christen: But you all heard first to go check it out. And so that’s the first part is the funding. The second thing is we will have in the Spring and ongoing for next year as well, Grant Writing Fundamentals specifically for Community Engaged Research. And so, Maureen Bonnefin is going to be running those. And Maureen, do you want to say a few things about the spring workshops?

Maureen Bonnefin: Sure. So I’m Maureen Bonnefin. I used to actually work for ORAP, and then within the last year I ran consultancy program, partially because of this gap that we see between researchers who engage, want to engage with communities and community partners, not having enough resources to do. And so I’m bridging that gap. And this workshop we’re going to do in the spring is to look at ways in which you can write more competitive grant proposals while actively engaging with your community partner and doing it in a meaningful. And. Well articulated way in a way that is cognizant of their needs. And again, as again, it’s also listening to them thinking about that really long timeline with this because you’re not going to be able to do that in the short timeline, you can’t just quickly turn around a grant opportunity came out. So we’re going to be discussing all of that. We’re going to be discussing how do you find a partner and how do you onboard the partners, how do you make sure that you’re working with them? A lot of the things you guys talked about today gotten a little bit more data. And then talk about how you get a more competitive grant to align with that.

Dr. Kim Christen: And so the grant workshop is actually open to anybody system wide applications are November 3rd. That sounds like it’s really quick, but it’s a very short application. Again, we’ll be putting all of this on the website and then the workshop will be for four sessions over four weeks. So you’ll be meeting once a week for four weeks. And then the final thing is we will also be having information sessions.

Dr. Kim Christen: So like this, I think that was one of the other things you all said. I was wondering what you might say. And so also since I’ve been doing this and so we have information sessions like this featuring faculty featuring administrators, featuring different people who’ve been doing community engaged research. So this was the first one. Ben and the CCE are going to do one next week or in two weeks, and then we will and I’ll be doing one on November 1st.

Dr. Kim Christen: That’s just about the Seed Grant program. But throughout the spring we will be having information sessions every few weeks that deal with various issues around community engaged research and creative practice at different scales, at different timings and what that means. So I really think that providing funding without also allowing people to say, Hey, I don’t really know what that is, or I want to know more about it and shoots ourselves in the foot.

Dr. Kim Christen: So we’ve tried to package that all together. So all of these things will be kicking off in the next week or so. So if anybody needs any help or support with that, you just go to the ORAP website, email us me, email one of the folks that are in the ORAP office and we’ll be happy to help. So I know we’re about ready to wrap up, but are there any questions either here in person or on Zoom about the grants or the information sessions or the grant writing workshop about this?

Dr. Kim Christen: Okay. Well, then I will take the panelists one more time and thank all of you for showing up in person. I really wanted to do this in person because of all the what you said to me about community engage research. We really need to be together. So I know there’s more people on Zoom, but I appreciate those of you who made it over to today.

Dr. Kim Christen: And once again, thank you to all of you.