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Jay Schensul reflects on her experience in the COPAA Visiting Fellows Program

Updated: Sep 19, 2019

It’s a great program. I was honored to be able to participate in two memorable experiences as a COPAA Visiting Fellow.

In my first, I was invited to University of Memphis to conduct a workshop on Community Based Participatory Research along with students, faculty and community representatives in which they produced potentially implementable projects working as teams. I also had a chance to attend the 50th anniversary of the program and to witness the return of more than 150 alumnae to the event showing their allegiance to this dedicated action-oriented anthropology department.

In my second, I was invited to Southern Florida University along with another Fellow, Diane Austin, to work as a team with students and faculty on the redesign of a university-community action research center and to engage with student projects. For two people who didn’t know each other to be asked to evaluate a departmental effort and figure out steps to take it into the future, it was a really positive experience. The Visiting Fellows Program enhanced and strengthened my appreciation for both of these anthropology departments, their strong applied program and their commitment to confronting inequities and addressing disparities through student and faculty work with surrounding communities. I am grateful for these experiences and confident that I gained more through these visits than I could possibly offer in return.

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