Public Engagement at UConn

A view of the moon seen over the cupola of the Wilbur Cross building.The Public Engagement Forum began in 2003 as the Provost’s Public Engagement Forum, drawing together a dedicated group of faculty and staff who share an interest in the practice, development, and support of public engagement, engaged scholarship and outreach. It was formed in an effort to better understand and recognize the pubic engagement work done across the University.

Through the efforts of the Forum the University applied for and received the elective “Community Engagement” classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2010.

In January 2015, the Foundation announced that the designation would be extended to 2020.

The Forum represents the constituent units of the University, with membership drawn from the faculty, staff, and administration. The Forum provides networking, professional development and supports engagement events throughout the academic year. The Forum is open to all UConn community members.


The Office of Public Engagement (OPE), established in 2010 fosters engagement in a variety of forms 3R Block no borderacross the University community. Under the leadership of Director, E. Carol Polifroni, OPE coordinates, advocates and builds capacity for all facets of engagement: scholarship, community based learning, civic engagement, and community outreach. Through these efforts to develop programs, partnerships and scholarship that are Relevant, Reciprocal and Responsible the OPE extends the transformational impact of the University throughout the state and beyond our geographical borders.

Carol Polifroni, Director of Engagement and Professor, School of Nursing
David Gregorio, PE Forum Chair, Community Medicine & Health Care, UCHC
Jennifer Bruening, Educational Leadership, Neag School of Education
Joy Erickson, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation
Matthew Farley, CT Campus Compact
Karen Filchak, Department of Extension, CANHR
Anne Gebelein, El Instituto
Leanne Kennedy Harty, CT State Museum of Natural History, CLAS
Shawn Kornegay, Office of the Dean, Neag School of Education
Peter Tyczkowski, Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy

Martin Estey, Hartford Consortium for Higher Education, Chair

Wanda Correa, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

Sarah DiMeo, Acts 4 Ministry, Inc.

Emily Hultquist, AICP, Capitol Region Council of Governments

David Johnston, The Center for Higher Education Retention Excellence

Kristina Newman-Scott, City of Hartford

Jason Rojas, State Representative, 9th District and Trinity College

Tara Spain, Travelers Foundation

Lyle Wray, Capitol Region Council of Governments

Faculty are encouraged to participate fully in Public Engagement.

A Year of Engagement

YOE_red_ Through the efforts of the Public Engagement Forum, 2014 was declared as the Year of Engagement for UConn. During the year events, celebrations and conversations were held to celebrate and raise awareness of the breadth and depth of Engagement at UConn.

The year ended with an announcement from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching that UConn’s classification as a Carnegie Community Engagement Campus has been extended to 2020. In another timely conclusion to the year, UConn was listed in the President’s Higher Education Community Honor Roll with Distinction for General Community Service and noted for the Economic Opportunity and Education Community Service categories.

Highlights of YOE 2014