Cassandra E. Simon, Ph.D.
The release of this issue of JCES coincides with the 2012 National Outreach and Scholarship Conference being held at the University of Alabama, October 1-3, 2012. The manuscripts in this issue continue to add to the ongoing and increasingly complex body of engagement scholarship knowledge. The topics presented in this issue are as varied as engagement scholarship itself. This particular selection of manuscripts seeks to contribute to strengthening methodological, theoretical, and practical applications relevant for engagement scholarship and our understanding of it. One manuscript demonstrates the successful application of concept mapping and influence diagramming through a community and university partnership. A community sidebar accompanies this piece and represents JCES’ first publication of such a piece. As a scholarly peer-reviewed journal, we recognize and appreciate the role of communities’ voices in engagement scholarship and look for different ways to have it acknowledged and included as part of the scholarly process.
Other manuscripts evaluate the effectiveness of a civic youth engagement program and assess the culture of engagement. Whether it is through articulation of how learning with as opposed to learning from survivors of trauma changes participants, processes, and outcomes or power dynamics and their influence on different constituent groups in engagement projects, this issue is sure to have something of relevance to engagement scholars of all varieties. We hope you will find something interesting and exciting…something that will inspire you to partner with others to effect change.
Partner! Inspire! Change! This is the theme of the 2012 NOSC conference and it is in that spirit that we present an essay submitted by Cheryl Keen, Ph.D. The essay is not your typical scholarly piece; nor is it a manuscript that JCES would have normally reviewed. We, the local JCES production team, did decide, however, that it had a certain kind of scholarly merit, especially with the NOSC conference upcoming and publication of this issue of JCES for release at the conference. Our publishing this piece represents our willingness to do what engagement scholarship dares to do, and that is to fulfill our commitment to you to be a high quality peer-reviewed journal, unafraid to try something new, and not restricted to what already is. We hope you enjoy the essay, as well as the rest of this issue.