Public Scholars Group
Public Scholars Group
The Public Scholars Group is launching its second year beginning in February 2022. This calendar-year project has come together through a partnership between the Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring, the Hall Center for the Humanities, and the Office of Research. The Public Scholars program is a valuable professional development opportunity for faculty to make the relevance of their scholarly research visible beyond academia.
In its second year, the program will bring together a new inter-disciplinary and diverse cohort of 20 faculty and provide them with training and peer support to use public scholarship platforms for accessible yet research-based communication that enrich public discourse. During the 2021 pilot year, participants published writings with Scientific American, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and other publications. Both tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty are encouraged to apply.
Each new participant will receive $500 (as summer stipend) and will be enrolled in a training with the nationally recognized Op-Ed Project (“Write to Change the World” workshop), which helps aspiring public scholars learn to communicate broadly and persuasively, with an emphasis on promoting diverse voices. After this initial training, the group meets bi-weekly during the calendar year (with a pause for the summer). Once a month we meet as a whole group for a training, and once with a mini group of 10-12 colleagues to workshop writings, pitches, and ideas. During the past year, participants received professional trainings on different forms of public scholarship, from opinion pieces to science writing, by nationally recognized writers and editors including Dr. Jennifer Wilson (The Nation, New York Times), Dr. Adam Rutherford (The Guardian), Brian Rosenwald and Kathryn Brownell (“Made by History,” The Washington Post), and others.
We invite past participants to continue to be part of the project for an additional year as associates (without compensation) and avail themselves of new trainings. Our hope is to have a mix of more and less experienced public writers to foster peer mentorship. We ask participants to commit to writing and pitching 2 pieces of public writing (or equivalent public scholarly activities such as a media appearances or podcasts) in the course of the calendar year.
Ani Kokobobo (Slavic and Eurasian), Jennifer Raff (Anthropology), and Patricia Gaston (Journalism) have agreed to coordinate the group’s activities. Both Ani and Jennifer have done extensive public writing over the years, their work appearing in high-profile outlets such as The Washington Post, The Conversation, The Chronicle of Higher Ed, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New York Times, Forbes, and The Guardian. Patricia Gaston joined the University of Kansas after a long career at The Washington Post, where she was an editor who worked on several desks including National, Foreign and Editorial.
This project has been made possible through funding by the Center for Faculty Development and Mentoring, Office of Research, and The Hall Center for the Humanities.