Center For Public Scholarship And Social Change

About the Center

The Center for Public Scholarship & Social Change brings together teams of faculty, students, and members of the community to engage collaboratively in research for public purposes. Aiming to leverage the ability for shared research on public issues, the Center for Public Scholarship lends assistance and expertise in identifying research issues, developing research designs, collecting data, writing up results, disseminating results, and working with policymakers and practitioners to resolve issues affecting local, regional, and global communities.

Goals for the Center include the following:

  • Organize and direct focused research on public issues and develop new models, provide expertise, create linkages to support public impact activities, and help initiate and guide public policy decision-making;
  • Collaborate with community organizations to define and prioritize the issues on which such research focuses;
  • Help raise the level of public awareness about and responsiveness to public issues;
  • Coordinate faculty and visitor colloquia, workshops, and conferences to bring awareness to and support the development of community-based scholarship; and
  • Offer funding opportunities for individual faculty members, visitors, students, and student organizations to subsidize community-based research activities.

Program Staff

Dr. Carrie Smith, Program Coordinator 
Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change
Phone: 717-871-7478
Office: McComsey 231

Lori Leaman, Program Administrator
Center for Public Scholarship and Social Change
Phone: 717- 871-7622
Office: Second Floor, Huntingdon House

Student Research Assistants

Ana Carolina MunarAna Carolina Munar, Graduate Assistant
Program: Master of Science in Technology & Innovation

"I enjoy creating social innovation and being part of the Center brings me the opportunity to understand the processes of social change that contribute to transforming conditions of inequality as well as improving my research skills."


Brittany LefflerBrittany Leffler
Program: Master of Social Work

"I enjoy working with other MU students and faculty, as well as community stakeholders, on the Bridging the Gap/ Paper Trails qualitative research project." 


Rachel PreibishRachel Preibisch
Program: Masters of Social Work 

"Social work is a profession that utilizes research to improve services and to further the profession, and the CPSSC gives me the chance to push myself to explore this skill."


Matthew HesserMatthew Hesser
Major: Sociology with Criminology concentration
Minor: Spanish Language Studies

"I would like to gain experience and knowledge in my field of study, to learn from other students and faculty, and to help the community through research projects."


David LenigDavid Lenig
Major: Sociology with Criminology concentration

"My motivation is to give back to my school and community while also preparing myself for a future in criminology research."


Elizabeth RohrbackElizabeth Rohrback
Major: Sociology with Criminology concentration
Minor: Psychology

"My motivation to join CPSSC is that in my future, I would like to focus on working on law enforcement, mental health, and drug addiction."


Not pictured:
Camila Huber

Karizma Pomales
Major: Communication and Theatre

"I appreciate this opportunity to grow, expand, and learn research skills from my peers to improve professionally."