Public Scholarship Resources

IU Indianapolis faculty exemplars

Articulating public purposes and identities in professional academic life—scholar stories

Lisa Staten, Associate Professor, Fairbanks School of Public Health

Description of the video:

It's a pleasure to be here and I have to say, I'm thrilled to see so many people attending and interested in this topic. I have to kind of somewhat embarrassingly that when I was at your stage of my education, I didn't even know what community engagement wise I was an a field I was at Biola. I'm I still am a biological anthropologist, but it was a field where we spent a lot of time studying people and not really doing anything to apply the knowledge that we gained. And I was very lucky that I ended up doing a post doc in a, at the University of Arizona where they were forming a new school of public health. And like Dr. Maria just mentioned, seeing the more community engage approach was very attractive. And it actually made me realize that this is what I had been searching for for a long time and was able to be part of a project where a community had approached the University about a problem related to diabetes, that they were having something that was showing up and weigh in ways that they had never seen before. And they approach what a lovely example of community-based participatory research. They actually approached the university and the university responded. And as the post-doc that was kinda floating around, people brought me into the project. And it was at that point that I saw the true value of active engagement in partnership with communities and what that could accomplish. I also during that time salve examples of academics and the setting that I was a little and I was embarrassed five, because of the arrogance when they walk into the room, expecting everybody to kind of listen to them no matter what they said and discounting all of the local value that I saw. And so it was it was something that I realized that's not who I wanted to be. And it was also a process of partnership that I wanted to make sure was part of the work that I did from then on. So I was there for about 15 years, worked with a number of communities, those same communities. Over those 15 years, those partnerships have still continued together. Great piece about good community engagement is being able to have multiple people involved so that if you leave the project, that partnership doesn't die. And so there's some great people there who I walked in on their hotels and then they've managed to have other people keep that going. I came to Indianapolis to also help start a new school of public health. I'm the chair of the department of social behavioral sciences, community engagement. Based on my diagram that you see is I have a very hard time distinguishing the three areas. And to me it's kind of an artificial distinction to separate all of these. Community engagement is at the heart of our department, our courses, we try to have as much community engagement as possible, not just having the commute, using the community to provide a mentorship to our students, but also everything has to have an impact for those community agencies are those community residents. And so when I say impact, it's not about me, it's not about impact factor journals. It's about how doing work that is actually really valuable and has benefit for the community. As I was involved in at the University of Arizona and a large diabetes prevention and control project. I'm actually lucky enough to be a principal investigator on a diabetes prevention and control project that is working with three communities in Indianapolis. Where we have based around the idea of collective impact, meaning we're all trying to make sure we're all have similar goals. We have three steering committees made up of residents who drive a lot of the project, as well as organizational partner, multiple or organizational partners. To me, this is the only way we should be doing academic work. And I guess maybe not some of the lab-based stuff. But I hope that you will figure out how to maneuver through the system in order to do this kind of work. If you are if this is the drive that you have. Because I think it is so valuable that we as academic, show that we have practical implication on practical value to the community and that we actually get back to those communities. So thank you.
E. Angeles Martinez-Mier, Professor, IU School of Dentistry

Description of the video:

Good morning everyone. Thank you for spending your day with us learning about our life path or journey of professional identity and openness. And so I want to start by sharing with you how I got to be who I am. In an effort to show you that there are many different hats to arrive to a similar destination. And so I have a confession. I do not start my company or my thinking, oh, I'm going to be a civically engaged or a health researcher. No. I did not know what that last when I started, I just wanted to be humble dentist. I wanted I always had an interest of helping people, of bringing them back to health or a health and specific. I always wanted to be a helper, but I didn't know how and I didn't know what would be my path to have the largest impact. It has been through learning with others and attending workshops like this, and finding allies and finding people who might mean that I came to define my professional identity efforts in so I start my career desk. This, I didn't know. I started my career by thanking them. Or health is a universal right. That in this day and age we can disagree how to pay for it, who has to pay for it? Who's responsible? But we have to start from the, from the universal value that right, oral health as a right. Starting with that, with that. Throughout my journey, I learned that if I'm going to be affected and in order to truly make an effect that change and make an impact, I needed to partner with my, my community. I needed to find out what those I wanted to help. That IBM Watson is this traditional model of Dr. Nelson at all. And I'm going to tell you what you need to do to get better. What's important for me? And it wasn't working for dentistry in general. We still had a lot of needs and so I started thinking maybe there's different way and maybe we can learn from our communities, from our patients. And through doing that, I'd arrive to the conclusion that that was a must. That if I wanted to have an influence at a larger level, that is what I needed to do. And so throughout my journey, somebody already shared that they've been doing this for 28 years. I can I can share with you that this is my third year as a dentist. I graduated dental school 30 years ago. And if you do the math to figure out how old I am going to be upset. That's how long I've been doing this. And so throughout those 30 years, I have to find what I do in I provide preventive services to my community, trying to learn what the community identifies as. Indeed, I teach that in public health and I conduct research and carries and Prevention in partnership with my community. And I'm here to tell you that there are different paths to do this within academia by working within the system or disrupting the system. My path has taken me, work with them, the system and to make those little changes or those large changes that I needed to push this new way of approaching professional development and approaching or you want to do. And so there's only 24 hours in the day. And the only way to do this is pursuing integration. And so I have integrated my activities and research, teaching and community engagement. I conduct research and has driven by community needs. I teach what I research, and then I singles and integrate my, my community activities didn't even go to the next slide is just a graphic illustration of how I started this journey and where I ended. So I started in private practice as a general dentist and then I moved to the safety net. So I make in the prison system in Mexico City. And then I realized that if I wanted to have a larger impact, I wanted to be an educator, a researcher. And so I moved into an academic role and I became an instructor that I became a professor. And I've been growing up to now where I'm a full professor. And along the way, I figure out that depending on who you ask, they will tell you, I have a gift of leadership or I really bus, you can, you can pick whichever one you like. And so I figured out that drew my my ability to become a leader. I could be an administrator and facilitate that change within the system. I also figure out that there are rather institutions outside of academia that have an impact on love with G. And so I'd become a consultant. I've become an advisor to the regional health equity network, to the Environmental Protection Agency, to the CDC in so I tried to tackle this new way of doing things from multiple avenues. And if we go to the last one, I would be totally lying to you if I didn't tell you that. That's how my life feels at times. I've I've wanted to tell you that. Yes, it is not easy. Any path we choose, not just as any path we choose. Going have to juggle everything. You're going to have to develop Athenians. You're going to have to come up with tactics and changing the script of how you're told things are done. But it is doable. It is to a bomb. You have to find others who think like you. What approach, thanks to the way, the way you want to approach them, learn from them, partner with them, and know, just bounce, bounce your life balance, what do you do? There will be, there will be a positive outcome if you do what you believe. And your partner will also help you get there. And key.

Lasana Kazembe, Assistant Professor, IU School of Education  

Description of the video:

For that, welcome everyone. So happy to be sharing this space with you this morning. This is a just have a couple of slides that sort of helped me to document the work that I do. Not only the work but the approach to the work. And of course, this first slide deals with my educational philosophy and my pedagogy. Essentially illustrating the fact that they stem from and are informed by a genealogy that we call in the culture we call it the African black intellectual tradition. Which is why it's at the center of this graphic. And that is a deep well-spring of Information. Stories, history, culture, tradition, heritage, all of those things and what I call a usable past on actionable pass. And these are things that they represent mythology and philosophy and history. And essentially the cultural assets that's sort of brain and hold people together and keep them bound. So what I do, the corpus or the wellspring of what I do sort of us comes from my interrogation of that space. The black intellectual tradition, introducing students to this as a genealogy. And I referred to it as a genealogy because it is a living thing with the Great West African philosopher hmm Patek Bach called a living tradition. So it is something that is very much alive. And we try to interrogate this in my work, in my research to have a relationship with these ideas and with these IBM makers. That is as, as, as immediate as the context of right now. So, and so I try to introduce and my work introduce students to this genealogy. Just the genealogy, but also the possibilities of that genealogy. I'm from Chicago, born and raised, been in Indianapolis now for about for just over four years. And so my work across the last 28 years has taken place in schools, communities, so-called juvenile detention centers in prisons. In working with these particular knowledge communities in these populations. Not just to unseat and disrupt deficit narratives about how they are perceived. Lacking resources, having subaltern, historical experiences, lacking assets and culture. But instead I take a different approach, a different tack. That is to honor and value of the folks in community spaces wherever their community happens to be. And actually for as a default position, seeing the value and seeing that cultural knowledge and the heritage knowledge that they bring to any learning opportunity, to any learning situation. So right off the bat, that's a different approach than is taken by a lot of people who would go into communities. And working with so-called marginalized populations is seeing them as blank slates or empty vessels in need of fixing. So that right there is a master narrative or racist narrative that I never really bought into at all. But it is something that I will have to work actively to unsee and disrupt the pre-service teachers that I encounter. I'm an assistant professor working teaching, researching, writing and the School of Education, Urban Teacher Ed Department and also in Africana studies. So that work summed up or described, we call it in the culture, a jagged. And jagged is a master teacher that comes out of the Amharic tradition. We can go to the next slide. And so did enter it. Interrelated zones of my work have to do with these three whirls, this pan African black intellectual tradition. Of course, these. And the thrust fuels this education for liberation. And the interrogation research writing that I do in the world of arts learning and arts pedagogy. So it's within those three spaces. And the interstitial spaces between those spaces that I do. The work that I do in schools and communities in different populations across the city and throughout the Midwest. Next slide, please. And of course you have to have a value system. As African people, everything that we've ever touched, we'd had a value system and a tradition set to away you talking about the hip hop movement or you're talking about any other global arts movement. It was always a system of values that fed it. And so this work around, along these culturally informed principals comes out of the research of the grandmaster Doctor Joyce came. And she's given us these wonderful values that we can use and utilize in order to build on the content and pedagogy. So these values are sort of threaded through all aspects of my work, my thinking, the theorizing that I do, the teaching, scholarship and these values are also deeply interwoven into my community engaged, community focused practices. So hopefully we'll get a chance, maybe during the breakout session to talk a little bit more about these in right there. Thank you. Thank you.

Desmond Kemp, Doctoral Candidate, American Studies, IU School of Liberal Arts

Description of the video:

Good morning everyone. Does. Lin and I am excited to be your first moderators today. And I would like to begin by tell them my public purpose story, my Publius story is quite interesting. When I began this work, I initially had just graduated from undergraduate. I went to knock it on an ansi and but I graduated. I had all the instances to be a news anchor. And as a young African-American, dark-skinned male, opportunity was not available for me at that time because I look every bit 16 and I did not match the ideal phase for the news demographics. Therefore, during that time I was, I will go to r this then different things and to just to try to get my exposure and opportunity. But I was an executive mainly because of how young I look and how my scandal was at the time and just, it just wasn't a market for me. And I found what about the AmeriCorps vista program? And as an AmeriCorps member, they taught me so much about public work and what it meant to be a transformational leader. And in this process, I gain a tremendous amount of experience that allow me to work with public groups, nonprofits, and S bill with was education and sees an end those educational entities, I was afforded the opportunity to create tutoring programs for the University of Chicago charter schools. Donahue and in his will, the opportunity to help Donahue charter school build their library. And his process. What really happened is I allowed myself to be immersed and the whole experience and again, opportunity to create community partners within this four to school and in as will I learned, the skill to be able to develop programs around and, and to collaborate with many people. And that's one reason why I say that my values are collaboration, fairness, accuracy, trustworthiness, and, and that all came from my early experiences and in public engagement. Now, over the last few years, I will say that I've been an educator and I taught in Chicago for five years. And my go in as a teacher is to always create a safe learning community for my students and buy that mostly always has what exactly is a safe learning community. And this is a place where students are actually allow to develop. And this is a place where students are allowed to have the opportunity to ask questions. No question is a question. We made Bill. So as teachers sometimes, but definitely it is dead. A place where students can feel safe to ask questions just so that they are gaining knowledge and an SDK participating in this process, as a community partner, always seek to promote equity and to support disadvantaged populations. By that, outbound is out had opportunity to live in five different states and different cities. And it is time. I've really see, but disadvantage looks like across to different areas and is really bad in many different places. So I always aim to kind of promote equity. And what brought me here to IU PUI was the fact that the American Studies program provide an opportunity for me to do research and an implement practice in in public work. And by doing so, since I've been here, I've xi1 programs such as crisp and John, also pronouns and currently now P of a P. But I was afforded the opportunity to host the equity and public work panel for graduate students here, IUP UI. And this conversation was lay it by a panel of black professionals that work in institutions in a city. And if you don't know an anchor news, an anchor institution is a city, is a organization in when they see that places like the values and so is our public service. You have IEP is anger Institute, IP you as anchor institutions, the hospital as an anchor institution, Eskenazi hill. These operations all focuses on public services for people in the city. And what these leaders there, they they all for their candid opinions and, and, and a provide a detail of their experiences in the field of diversity, inclusion and equity. Their jobs and they're letting, they were letting the scholars know what it looks like to be an African-American in this work. And what, what is the process of being an ally? What does it look like to be a partner in this practice? And in the process? It gave insight to those of us that want to do work in on our local levels and in just to facilitate some way and building a common ground. And also, I had the opportunity to create a youth awareness campaign in Chicago called tunnel for life. Tunnel for life serve as a platform for you, especially black males ages eight to 18, and is platform created opportunities for students to speak out against violence. And in this process, we were able to engage over 500 families to create safe environments for their children. And to also create a format for you to say they are against what's happening in their communities. So overall, as a student, I would offer opportunities for any of my peers to sit down and have a conversation with me or, and, or just think about the, what it means to really put a purpose toward your work and know that we want to now follow up. We've got the Kasim Bay and he can talk about his experiences with public service and public engagement.