Lunch & Learns

The BTU Lunch & Learn series is a chance for faculty and staff to tap into BTU, expand engaged work, and learn best practices from colleagues who are successfully doing the work.

The BTU Lunch & Learn sessions explore best practices of community engagement efforts using successful examples as a framework and active discussions to explore community engagement at TU. Join us to:

  • Recognize benefits of community engagement
  • Identify resources and best practices
  • Avoid common pitfalls
  • Increase the impact and visibility of BTU partnerships
  • Hone community engagement work

Past Lunch & Learn events

A conversation with Safe Alternative Foundation for Education, 8/19/20

Nonprofit organizations matter to Maryland—they address critical community needs, advance the quality of life of Marylanders, and are a powerhouse for economic impact. In recent weeks and months, nonprofits have quickly adapted to meet the needs of their communities while working to sustain themselves.

Join the BTU partnerships team for a series of conversations that highlight area partners working beside TU faculty and staff to create positive impacts in our community.

Join Van Brooks, Towson University alumnus, Baltimore City native, and founder and executive director of Safe Alternative Foundation for Education, Inc. (SAFE) and Matthew Durington, director of community engagement and partnerships, for a discussion on SAFE's current work, the development of their new workforce development center, and how community members can create the change needed to end racism, discrimination, and injustice

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A Conversation with the T. Rowe Price Foundation, 5/27/20

Nonprofit organizations matter to Maryland—they address critical community needs, advance the quality of life of Marylanders, and are a powerhouse for economic impact. In recent weeks and months, nonprofits have quickly adapted to meet the needs of their communities while working to sustain themselves.

Join the BTU partnerships team for a series of conversations that highlight area partners working beside TU faculty and staff to create positive impacts in our community.

On May 27, Melanie Kelleher, director of corporate relations at TU interviewed John Brothers and Sabrina Thornton from the T. Rowe Price Foundation. Their discussion covers the impact of COVID-19 on corporate giving, T. Rowe Price’s response to the crisis, and how corporate philanthropy will change in light of these challenging times.

Learn how the T. Rowe Price Foundation was able to quickly pivot to support the Baltimore community and how corporate philanthropic resources can enhance your organization’s disaster preparedness efforts during the COVID-19 process and beyond.

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A conversation with WTMD, 5/06/20

Nonprofit organizations matter to Maryland—they address critical community needs, advance the quality of life of Marylanders, and are a powerhouse for economic impact. In recent weeks and months, nonprofits have quickly adapted to meet the needs of their communities while working to sustain themselves.

Join the BTU partnerships team for a series of conversations that highlight area nonprofits working beside TU faculty and staff to create positive impacts in our community.

Ardys Russakis, senior strategist for BTU and anchor initiatives at TU, for an interviewed with Kirsten Scofield, director of finance and administration at WTMD, to learn how TU's listener supported public radio station has shifted programming and fundraising efforts during this time. It's was also a great opportunity to tap into WTMD's resources and programs.

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A conversation with Wide Angle Youth Media, 4/22/20

Nonprofit organizations matter to Maryland—they address critical community needs, advance the quality of life of Marylanders, and are a powerhouse for economic impact. In recent weeks and months, nonprofits have quickly adapted to meet the needs of their communities while working to sustain themselves.

Join the BTU partnerships team for a series of conversations that highlight area nonprofits working beside TU faculty and staff to create positive impacts in our community.

A discussion on best practices, strategies and responsiveness of non-profits in Baltimore during a pandemic with Susan Malone, executive director of Wide Angle Youth Media and Matthew Durington, director of community engagement and partnerships at TU.

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Best practices for community engagement at a time of crisis Wednesday, 4/15/20

A discussion with the BTU team and Office of Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility around updates, best practices, and resources available for community engagement efforts.

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Featured Speakers

  • Matthew Durington, Ph.D., Director, Community Engagement and Partnerships
  • Ardys Russakis, Senior Strategist, BTU and Anchor Initiatives
  • Kathleen Crostic, Partnerships Manager
  • Tess Heron, Engagement Coordinator
  • Stephanie Austin, Assistant Director for Community Engagement
  • Luis Sierra, Assistant Director for Civic Engagement

Links shared in webinar

TU Strategic Plan with Provost Perreault, 2/26/20

The first BTU Lunch & Learn of 2020 as was hosted by Melanie Perreault, Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. Towson University is creating a new strategic plan and BTU is hosting this forum for faculty and staff to offer ideas and input on work related to community engagement and partnerships.

This session included a brief discussion of the TU strategic plan followed by a facilitated discussion.

Communities of Practice at TU, 10/16/19

This Lunch and Learn will gather feedback and ideas from faculty and staff on the formation of Communities of Practice. This model for community engagement and partnership work will match TU faculty and staff with external partners to work towards mutually agreeable goals with BTU as the convener.

This model derives from a variety of sources, but has recently been piloted by Campus Compact. As they state, a community of practice is "a group of people who share interest in an area of inquiry and engage in collective learning about that issue as it relates to their work or practice. Through discussions, joint activities, and relationship building, the community of practice develops a shared and individual repertoire of resources, skills, and knowledge to use in their practice."

Using the five impact clusters developed through the BTU Presidential Priority as a starting point, we will brainstorm possible communities of practice to pilot in 2020. A white paper on a model for communities of practice at TU will be distributed to registered attendees in advance of the session.

Please bring your ideas and details on established community engagement and partnership work!

Featured Speaker

Matthew Durington, Ph.D.
Director for Community Engagement and Partnerships, Division of Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research
Professor, Anthropology

Faculty Resource Workshop, 9/18/19

Join representatives from four offices on the TU campus that provide resources to faculty. Each representative will provide a brief overview of their office followed by open format questioning for perspective projects by faculty.

Featured Speakers

University General Counsel, 2/27/19

During this session, University General Counsel Sara Slaff addressed liability and consent issues for faculty, staff, and students who conduct community and civic engagement work. She also discussed issues surrounding memorandums of understanding between the institution, faculty, and community collaborators.

A Guide to Community Engagement, 11/7/18

There are multiple ways to developing, implementing, and assessing community engagement. Librarian Joyce Garczynski discussed her Community Engagement guide. Hosted on the Cook Library website, the guide details what different academic journals and professional associations say about community engagement. During this session, Garczynski connected the various disciplines of attendees to how their fields define community engagement, create methodologies for research, and dissemination of this type of work. Garczynski also discussed ways in which faculty can connect their community engagement work to promotion, tenure, reappointment and merit at Towson University, as well as extending this work to other audiences.

Community Engagement 101, 10/17/18

Dr. Jessica Shiller's "College of Education and Urban Education" partnership was identified as a BTU priority investment project for 2018–19. Shiller presented on her partnership work and discussed the curricula development of the project to create wrap around services for school children and her deliberative process for this social justice community engagement project.