USF Sarasota-Manatee Professor Earns the Engaged Scholarship Research Award

SARASOTA (November 16, 2012) – University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee’s Jody Lynn McBrien was recognized for her outstanding research in the field of engaged scholarship by the Florida Campus Compact.

Qualified research includes “utilizing community-based inquiry that results in a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources,” according to the FLCC website.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award, as it indicates to me that the Florida Campus Compact recognizes work not only in local, but also global communities,” McBrien said.

Over past three years, McBrien has done research on the war-affected town of Lira, Uganda. The people in this northern Uganda area suffered from over 20 years of war with the Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), forcing most residents into ill-equipped internally displaced people’s camps (IDPs).

“Five years into peace, there remains much to be done,” McBrien said. “It is a joy to work with the survivors, who have so much resilience and passion to bring their town back to a thriving place.”

The award is given based of several principles in mind:

  • Value of the research to the broad field of service-learning and engaged scholarship.
  • Value of research to the applicant’s discipline, program, or institution.
  • The extent to which the research tied to the applicant’s area of expertise is of benefit to the external community, is visible and shared with community stakeholders, and reflects the mission of the institution.
  • Number and variety of publications and presentations.
  • Research rigor

“Research is critically important in higher education, both in serving the global community of scholars and policymakers and in serving our students,” McBrien said. “It is what separates teaching and learning in community colleges and state colleges from research universities. Research professors constantly bring new information to their classes, keeping their teaching fresh and relevant. My students tell me and write course evaluations stating they are inspired by my teaching because of the passion I bring to it. That passion is created by my desire to inform my students about what I am learning through my research.”