UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kristen P. Goessling, assistant professor of human development and family studies at Penn State Brandywine, has received the 2018 Outreach and Online Education Emerging Faculty Award for Engaged Scholarship.
Goessling, who considers herself a scholar-activist, said community-based work and reciprocal-collaborative partnerships are the foundation to her research and teaching. Since joining Penn State in 2015, she’s launched two new engaged research projects.
The first is a community-based critical participatory action research project called Philadelphia Community Schools: From the Ground Up. The second, Transformative Learning Through Cultural Immersion: Building Multicultural Awareness in Undergraduate International Experiences, examines students’ learning and development through international and cultural immersion experiences.
She’s also led two social justice initiatives.
First, she was part of a committee that planned and implemented a weeklong social justice fair. This event, which is now held annually, focused on strengthening University-community ties and developing long-term reciprocal relationships.
Second, she received a grant from the Penn State Center - Philadelphia to develop a youth development and social justice minor, designed toward the learning objective of supporting students’ socio-political development. Through two new engaged courses, the minor builds partnerships with youth-serving organizations and public schools in Philadelphia.
“For Dr. Goessling, scholarship in teaching extends beyond the Brandywine campus boundaries and classroom walls,” said a nominator. “In the past two years, she spearheaded a participatory action research agenda to explore the implications of new education policy in Philadelphia for families, communities and other stakeholders in public schools.”
The nominator said Goessling’s research team, which is formed by seven stakeholders, has created research goals, methodologies, and analysis and dissemination of findings. This research approach centers ethics and demystifies the research process, ultimately blurring the line between researchers and the subject of the research, the nominator said. This year, the team will present their findings at four academic conferences.
“Over the past year, I’ve watched Goessling participate in research efforts to develop parent and community leadership in the Philadelphia public schools,” said a nominator. “Her approach to research design, relationship-building with community, and support of our staff and other community leaders are qualities that exemplify what I understand to be in engaged scholarship.”