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Over the course of this week and next, the EPE department will be hosting clinical assistant professor candidates Rachel Williams and Alycia Elfreich. Both candidates are delivering presentations while on campus—see the following for more information.

 

“Traversing boundaries: The role of qualitative research methods in creating collaborations and building communities”

Friday, February 17 from 11 – 12:15 in TEB 122

Williams’s presentation examines how qualitative research methods can be used to build communities and create multi-institutional collaborations. Using examples from her own recent research, Williams talks about how qualitative methods can be used to understand issues in professional roles and organizational collaboration. One study discussed in this talk uses qualitative interviews to examine how public librarians navigate their professional boundaries when providing information and resources to people experiencing homelessness. The other study highlighted in her presentation looks at the confluence of librarianship and education by exploring how public librarians facilitate innovative learning opportunities in makerspaces in public libraries. These two projects underscore the importance of conducting rigorous, community-oriented research that supports advocacy and encourages meaningful collaboration.

 

“Collaboration and advocacy: A community-school-university partnership and the well-being of children”

Wednesday, February 22 from 11 – 12:15 in TEB 122

Elfreich’s research presentation examines a case study of a community-school-university partnership in a small Midwestern suburban town. A collaborative youth initiative  was created alongside a local university, public schools, and other community organizations to promote a holistic approach to child development and well-being. Specifically, this project reflects on the collaborative efforts of all entities involved, while also addressing embedded tensions that comes with community growth and changing demographics.  Finally, this project uses a translational approach to qualitative research that acknowledges the embedded tensions of collaborative partnerships and calls for more transparency to challenges of cross-cultural work.