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Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research

In accord with Duquesne University, University updates on COVID-19.

Community-Engaged Learning During the Pandemic

Dear Colleagues,

As we adjust to our current reality in battling the spread of COVID-19, Duquesne University is still committed to our second strategic imperative: "serving as a flagship institution for community engagement through mutually beneficial partnerships that advance the city, the region, and the world." Now, more than ever, we as faculty, staff, and students, need to work together to reflect on our ability to contribute to the common good. We must challenge ourselves to integrate the concepts of social justice, equity, community wellness, and community development into curriculum, organizational events, classes, and social/educational programs. While the pandemic's uncertainty surely tests us, it also presents CETR with an opportunity to assist our campus community in visualizing and implementing a new normal for community engagement and experiential learning in a digital and/or remote environment. While many of our community partners have suspended face-to-face operations, some even having to suspend operations altogether, community needs have not disappeared.

Because our communities have been negatively impacted by the social, emotional, and economic ramifications of this novel virus as well as our current social uprising, they need thoughtful and effective partnerships. They need partners who are willing to acknowledge and celebrate their history, honor the expertise of their community members and leaders, and work with them to navigate solutions and create knowledge that responds to, and ultimately works to solve, complex social problems. As we adapt to the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 and the many changes this will inevitably bring to our communities and our own lives, incorporating conversations and practice as they relate to service, social justice, civic engagement, and equity will serve as a responsible way to contribute to student learning and community development-offering balance and support in uncertain times.

By maintaining its commitment to community-engagement, Duquesne University will continue to demonstrate the deep societal value of education, expertise, and community-university partnerships. The only way to survive and subsequently thrive, post-pandemic, is through collaboration; and CETR is prepared to operate as nimbly and innovatively as possible to ensure that Duquesne University is a key player in rebuilding a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous Pittsburgh.

- Dr. Jessica Mann


Duquesne's Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research (CETR) helps students and faculty collaborate with the community in meaningful ways.

Community engagement brings people and agencies together to build a positive and sustainable difference in the community. Through authentic partnerships between campus and community, modeled in our Spiritan tradition, we work together to build a more just and equitable world.

Everyone benefits when the campus and our surrounding neighborhoods can freely exchange knowledge and resources related to teaching, research, programming and public service initiatives.