Current Community Partners

The Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change fosters collaborations across disciplines and sectors through empowering and assisting the local community. Below are all of the Center's current community partners, as well as the Center's role in each project and team members. 

Ambassadors for Hope

Ambassadors for Hope is an advocacy group whose purpose is to strengthen families impacted by incarceration. Ambassadors for Hope strives to educate and advocate about the needs of children in Lancaster County who have a parent in prison.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

The CPSSC provides research support to Ambassadors for Hope and connects it to other resources available. For instance, student help with community outreach, updating and creating media posts, and setting up arts and crafts tables for local events. 

Project Leader: Dr. Mary Glazier 

Team Members: Ashely Coblentz and Kristen Snyder

Compass Mark


Compass Mark is a non-profit whose mission is to reduce the incidence, prevalence, and consequences of the harmful use of and addiction to alcohol and other drugs. For years, Compass Mark has been focused on guiding children, teens, and adults in Lancaster County to lead stronger, more fulfilling lives.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

The Lancaster County Family Services Advocate, who provide services to children with incarcerated parents, is housed at Compass Mark. The Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change supports the work of the Family Services Advocate through consultation on tracking outcomes and research on best practices. 

Most Recent Report: Family Services Advocate (Lancaster) Program Evaluation 2019-2020

Project Leader: Dr. Carrie Smith

Team Member: Helen Schirf


Tenfold cultivates partnerships and resources to increase the availability of quality, fair, and affordable housing throughout Lancaster County.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

CPSSCC works with TenFold on community mobilization and research in the Southwest Neighborhood Improvement Program. The Center also works with SoWe, which is a community group focused on revitalizing the Southwest part of Lancaster City. In the Fall of 2021, students helped survey Southwest Lancaster residents to assess the impact of SoWe programs and initiatives on the local community. 

Most Recent Report: Southwest Lancaster Resident Survey Analysis September 2016

Project Leaders: Dr. Carrie Smith and Jenna Graeff

Team Members: Samuel Mackey, Ellie Rohrback, Helen Schirf, and Kristen Snyder


MUSPA is a 6-session program where students learn more about community policing, different areas of criminal justice system, and the role of diversity in law enforcement from state, city, and local law enforcement professionals.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

CPSSC evaluates whether the academy increased participants’ interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement, and whether the participants gained knowledge about law enforcement and if attending the academy influenced participants’ perceptions of policing. 

Most Recent Report: Millersville University Student Police Academy: Improving Diversity in Policing March 2021

Project Leader: Ellie Rohrback

Team Members: Helen Schirf 

People & Places

As part of a larger project to explore best practices to assist the unsheltered, the People & Places team is gathering insights and ideas about what is most needed in this community by interviewing those who have experienced unsheltered homelessness. This project aims to incorporate their ideas about the community’s needs into the recommendations that they can share with city administration, social service providers, and the community at large.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

The Center helps by examining the needs of the homeless population in Lancaster by conducting observational research in public spaces in Lancaster City and interviewing stakeholders (e.g., outreach workers, first responders, community volunteers, etc.) surrounding those spaces.

Most Recent Report: Two Sides of the Same Coin: Homelessness as Environmental Injustice

Project Leader: Dr. Jennifer Frank

Team Members: Jenna Graeff, Brittany Leffler, and Dawn Watson

Point-in-Time (PIT) Count

The PIT count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered people experiencing homelessness that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires each Continuum of Care (CoC) nationwide to conduct in the last 10 days of January each year.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

Several students from the CPPSC signed up to participate in the annual count. Through this experience, students were able to connect with outreach workers, as well as talk to those who are experiencing homelessness.

Volunteers: Jenna Graeff, Brittany Leffler, Ellie Rohrback, Helen Schirf, Kristen Snyder, Dawn Watson, and Emma Wright

Stepping Stones

By partnering with the Factory Ministries, YWCA of Lancaster and Tenfold, Dr. Frank and her students have been studying the impacts of corresponding with a pen pal could have on loneliness and one’s willingness to engage with the community.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

As researcher participants, students write letters monthly to an individual identified by the Factory Ministries through their community outreach programming. This facilitates human connection with the goal of combating social isolation. For student researchers, their role is to read through all the letters, code the qualitative data, and look for key themes within the letters. 

Dr. Jennifer Frank and her team have been featured in the LNP! To learn more about this amazing project, click here to read the full article. 

Project Leader: Dr. Jennifer Frank

Team Members: Jenna Graeff, Brittany Leffler, Rachel Preibisch, and Dawn Watson

HDC Mid-Atlantic

HDC Mid-Atlantic are developers and providers of, and advocates for, affordable housing. They believe that housing is a human right and are committed to ensuring everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home.

How is Center for Public Scholarship Involved?

The CPSSC is currently working with HDC Mid-Atlantic by examining whether using on-site services affects residents' health and wellness. 

Most Recent Report: Housing Development Corporation 2019 Residents Survey Analysis

Project Leader: Dr. Carrie Smith

Team Members: Jenna Graeff, Samuel Mackey, Helen Schirf, and Kristen Snyder


  • Past Community Partners

    Lancaster Safety Coalition

    The Lancaster Safety Coalition enhances Lancaster’s community safety through video safety, safety by environmental design, and educating the community.

    How was the Center involved?

    CPSSC conducted research on the effectiveness of the video evidence in resolving prosecutions in criminal court. 

    ADVOZ: Mediation and Restorative Practices

    ADVOZ is a restorative justice program provides facilitated dialog to victims and youth offenders, and services to reduce reoffending.

    How was the Center involved?

    The CPSSC worked with the ADVOZ to promote greater awareness of restorative justice programs.

    The Spanish American Civic Association (SACA)

    SACA's mission is to uplift and restore marginalized communities through human, economic, and social services, while supporting cultural identities.

    How was the Center involved?

    SACA partnered with the Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change to revitalize the southeast part of Lancaster City. SACA was interested in gathering residents' input on the way they want to revitalize their community.