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Design for Community: Perspectives from Professors, Students, and Community Partners

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Engaging Community through STEM partnerships

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jessica A. Kuczenski Santa Clara University

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Dr. Jes Kuczenski joined the engineering faculty at Santa Clara University in 2014 and currently serves as the Director of General Engineering. She obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame and her B.S. from Iowa State University all in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Kuczenski has been teaching since 2007 and focuses on courses which are commonly found in first years of an engineering education (e.g. introduction to engineering, engineering graphics, statics, and dynamics) or are heavily based in engineering design.

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Santa Clara University has a commitment to educating students of competence, conscience, and compassion. To support this goal of producing technically-proficient, empathetic graduates, engineering education has a need for more real world, hands-on, and team-based problem solving. This paper aims to showcase a collaboration between an engineering course, Community-Based Engineering Design (CBED), and Bronco Urban Gardens (BUG), a Food Justice Outreach Program, which has successfully incorporated student learning and social justice through project-based learning.

As part of this paper, we will discuss three different perspectives of participants involved with this collaboration, specifically detailing participation goals, success definitions, and challenges from each point of view. Some specific student-produced design solutions will be given as examples of this effort. Overall, this partnership has been successful, delivering student projects which have added educational dimensions to the school gardens and created a positive visual impact to the spaces. Both students and community stakeholders are mutually benefiting from the relationship formed through engagement, clearly indicating how partnerships can support the creation of projects which offer inclusive learning opportunities for all participants. While challenges exist, the class will continue to evolve and hopefully the partnerships will continue to be meaningful to all involved.

Kuczenski, J. A. (2019, June), Design for Community: Perspectives from Professors, Students, and Community Partners Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32600

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