Community-Engaged Fellows advocate for community engagement and pursue community-engaged work. During the academic year, Fellows serve as ambassadors for CCESL, mentor undergraduate students, learn and reflect with their peers, and develop and implement a community-engaged project. Through these community-engaged projects, Fellows connect their academic and professional endeavors to supporting thriving communities.
This is a paid position open to graduate students and 3rd year and above undergraduate students enrolled for the entire 2023-2024 academic year.
The 2023 - 2024 application is now closed. Check back in February 2024 for the next application cycle.Previous Year Position Description
Fellows develop and implement a mutually beneficial collaborative project with community partner(s) that aligns with their personal, professional, and academic development goals.
Fellows help promote community engagement at DU by giving presentations, tabling, and supporting community-engaged events.
Fellowship & Peer Learning
Fellows participate in weekly professional development trainings/workshops in an engaging and fun atmosphere that allows for long-term friendships and personal growth.
Each Fellow mentors a small cohort of undergraduate students, providing guidance and facilitating critical reflection in action-planning, relationship development, and topics specific to the students’ community engagement projects.
Fellows engage in ongoing reflection and support the reflective practice of the undergraduates they mentor. All CCESL students, including Fellows, create a critical reflection ePortfolio (website) to curate artifacts, document and assess their learning, and make connections between their work and their field of study, professional identity, etc.
Fellows are paid 10hours/week. Fellows also have access to project funds, community-engaged research opportunities, professional development, and mentorship.
Graduate students and 3rd year and above undergraduate students enrolled for the entire 2023-2024 academic year.
Fellows must be able to commit 10 hours a week to the program. That commitment includes a weekly 90-minute Fellows meeting and biweekly 1 on 1 meetings with a CCESL staff member. Fellows are expected to spend at least 4 hours a week in the CCESL office and/or at CCESL-sponsored events.
In the past, I've approached the work from the mindset of my value, what I could add, how I can help. This year, I’ve been intentional about slowing down and letting relationships and trust guide me. I've moved away from places of comfort in acting and thinking and spent more time connecting and reflecting and being in community. The community knows what it needs, and I only hope to support where they want me. Community Engaged Fellow
2023-2024 Fellows Projects
Woman, Life, Freedom/Against the Otherness
Against the Otherness:
This project aims to create and empower the sense of belonging between and within academia and the community by embracing diverse cultures and identities through education. It provides an opportunity for the indigenous and emigrant members of DU and the community to present their cultural identity through workshops, events, and exhibitions.
Woman, Life, Freedom:
WLF project is an ongoing one, started last year in support of the women-led Iranian movement for women's rights in Iran. It is a project including several cultural and artistic events engaging DU and the Iranian community in Colorado.
Did You Eat Yet?
The purpose of the "Did you eat?" project is to create a platform and framework that fosters meaningful connections and interactions between Asian American elders and youth. This initiative aims to address the growing generational gap within the Asian American community by promoting understanding, cultural exchange, and shared experiences between older adults and younger individuals. The project recognizes the rich heritage, wisdom, and life experiences of Asian American elders while leveraging the fresh perspectives, energy, and potential of the youth.
Inter-generational Bonding: The primary goal of the project is to establish strong emotional bonds between Asian American elders and youth. By facilitating regular interactions and shared activities, the project aims to foster mutual respect, empathy, and friendship.
Cultural Preservation and Transmission: The initiative seeks to create a space where Asian American elders can share their cultural traditions, stories, and history with the younger generation. This helps preserve cultural heritage while allowing youth to gain a deeper appreciation for their roots.
Mentorship and Guidance: The project aims to provide a platform for elders to serve as mentors and guides for the youth. Through their life experiences, elders can offer valuable advice, life lessons, and insights, which can aid young individuals in making informed decisions and navigating challenges.
Reducing Social Isolation: Many Asian American elders experience social isolation due to language barriers, cultural differences, and changing family structures. By integrating them into an inter-generational community, the project aims to alleviate feelings of loneliness and disconnectedness.
Empowering Youth Leadership: The initiative also focuses on empowering youth to take leadership roles in organizing events, workshops, and initiatives. This provides them with valuable skills, builds their confidence, and encourages them to actively contribute to the community's well-being.
Cultural Exchange and Learning: Through collaborative activities, workshops, and events, both generations can engage in cultural exchange. Elders can learn about contemporary issues and trends, while youth can gain insights into traditional values and practices.
Community Strengthening: The project's overarching goal is to strengthen the Asian American community by bridging the gap between different generations. By nurturing a sense of belonging and shared identity, the community becomes more cohesive and resilient.
YO is a youth civic engagement initiative in which young people address a social justice issue based on the principles of community organizing. Supported by the CCESL Student Programs Manager, a team of CCESL scholars and Community-engaged Fellows serve as coaches and work closely with DMLK high school students in the class Socially Just Education to identify, research, and take action on social justice issues that students care about within their school and community.
STEM Mentorship Project - Promoting Education Equity and Developing Transformative Leadership
The STEM Mentorship Project connects STEM-majored undergrads in DU with high school seniors from Westminster High School. The aims of this mentorship project are:
- setting role models and encouraging high school seniors, especially traditionally unrepresented groups in STEM, such as females and students of color, to explore and embrace STEM subjects as they make decisions about their post-secondary education and career paths;
- develop leadership, equity mindsets and empathy among DU undergrads using STEM expertise to serve communities, commit to the public good, and engage in social justice issues. DU undergrads will meet high school seniors online per week and in-person per quarter to provide mentorship in various STEM-focused areas, such as college and scholarship application and internship searches.
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2022-2023 Fellows Projects
What Does It Mean to Belong?
Jackie’s project explores how sense of belonging and connection are fostered and sustained in various communities. Focusing primarily on mutual aid and civic engagement spaces, she is identifying the group strategies and commitments that allow for the creation of safe, brave, and welcoming environments, both in-person and virtually. She seeks to create:
1) a belonging and connectedness “toolkit” so that these learnings can be adapted to more traditional spaces, and
2) a photo storytelling project on how different people define and experience community and belonging.
Buddhist Teachings & Values as Pedagogical & Research Methods
Shipra's project is focused on trying to understand how best we can make use of Buddhist teachings and values as pedagogical, program, and research methods at DU. Shipra is hoping to build upon the past two years of work, and come up with a concrete plan on how these methods can be applied into research and teaching. This includes exploring how it would look like for gallery/museum exhibitions and examining ways to demonstrate them in a decolonized manner that does justice to indigenous and local communities.
Participatory Action Research Project on Community Music Programs in Denver
Ash will assist the Arapahoe Philharmonic in their community engagement programming. This will include revitalizing previous projects that were paused due to COVID as well as developing a new program for young composers.
Stories of Researchers
Surrounded by researchers who study social problems such as homelessness and human trafficking Natcha is inspired by their leadership, impact, and their story leading up to today. Natcha plans to use these connections to create a project involving creative writing or a visual which will tell the inspiring stories of 5-6 researchers she is closely connected to (from DU, CU Anschutz, UC Denver, and MSU).
Metro DNA Liaison & Valverde Movement Project
The Metro Denver Nature Alliance (Metro DNA) is a growing coalition of non-profit, government, research, and private sector members seeking to align nature-based efforts to ensure more equitable access to nature and to promote healthy people, communities, and natural places. Jenna Wyatt assists with organizational/project management and logistical support for the Regional Equity and Conservation Assessment. She is also supporting the Valverde Movement Project (VMP). VMP supports the Valverde Neighborhood Association in a quest to expand community health and wealth in Valverde.
Valverde Movement Project
Colleen is planning to work on the Valverde Movement Project as a community-engaged fellow. The Valverde Movement Project is a project that focuses on naming harm, centering harm, and building on collective strengths. She will be building an organizing committee that has goals of movement building in and for the community.
Empowering Girls through Education
Lusungu plans to collaborate with different charities that focus on empowering and keeping girls in school and keeping them from child marriages.
Derek will be continuing two projects, both of which center on ecological minded education and care. For the last two years, Derek has been part of a research team that is a collaboration between the Graduate School of Social Work, Metro State University, and Denver Public Schools. They are currently co-creating a ecological minded professional development curriculum with a team of teachers from the district. This effort is running parallel with another project with similar goals, but focuses on working youth activists in DPS. For his second project, Derek will continue mentoring DU undergraduate students, helping them craft sustainability curriculum for STRIVE Prep, a middle school in DPS.
K-12 Education Equity
Naichen will work on a K-12 equity project alongside a CCESL-connected faculty member who has been collaborating with Westminster High School on a STEM mentoring program.
Environmental Justice in Denver
Bennett will be researching environmental justice in the Denver Metro area by focusing on the health and wellness benefits of urban green spaces, as well as issues of access and equity in those spaces.
Revival of Roots & Heritage
Mona will work on a series of projects whose objective is the revival of the ancient roots and cultural heritage of the colonized people and emigrants, and to dissolve the otherness in a multicultural society providing familiarity, engagement, and inclusivity.
cultural decolonization; activism against racial, gendered, and ethnic oppression through academic research, education, art, music, and public events.
Brandon and Dani Chavez will support youth organizing with high school students at Dr. Martin Luther King Early College. Guided by community organizing principles, their team will aid DMLK students to learn the power of their voice and to identify, research, and take action on an issue they are passionate about.
Dani Chavez and Brandon Arneson will support youth organizing with high school students at Dr. Martin Luther King Early College. Guided by community organizing principles, their team will aid DMLK students to learn the power of their voice and to identify, research, and take action on an issue they are passionate about. Dani will also be working with Valverde Movement Project on youth community outreach to better understand community needs.
Leveling Up for All: Celebrating Diversity in Online Gaming Mental Health Spaces
Calvin is interested in exploring how online media platforms (social media, gaming, Twitch, etc.) influence individual and community identity formation in ways that are similar and different than in other environments. Calvin is also interested in understanding how these modalities affect the experiences of individuals and communities holding marginalized identities.
John Macikas, Student Programs Manager
Note: CCESL programs, including this one, undergo an antiracist, anti-oppression review at least annually. In 2022, the review process led to revision of the position description and application materials.