Community-Based Research

In collaboration with W&M faculty, the Sharpe Program advances community-based research and teaching in courses with integrated, community partnering.  Funds for engaged scholarship support faculty in fulfilling community-based teaching and research goals, while summer grants offer students the opportunity to explore their training and expand their capacity for community-based research by connecting meaningfully with others in critical inquiry and social action outside of classes. 

Research-Driven Curriculum and Action

The Sharpe Program curriculum and research goals are guided by the following research question:  How does engagement with and within (local and regional) communities expand and enrich human knowledge and understanding about social issues, and about one another?

  • First-year Sharpe Community Scholars share their very own Living-Learning Community in Spotswood Hall.  Yearlong special interest programming gives Sharpe scholars the opportunity to work closely with faculty, community partners, campus professionals, and peer mentors in forming plans toward community-based research.
  • The W&M Sharpe Participatory Mapping Project is a team-based participatory action research initiative involving the use of GIS technology.   The Mapping Project fosters collaboration between academic and professional scholars with students and residents to identify, represent and address prevailing issues in the local area.  Affiliated with the Mapping Project is a COLL200 seminar designed to train students in interdisciplinary mixed methodologies for conducting community-based research.  
  • Sharpe Scholars, both those who are in the Living-Learning Community and those enrolled in the Sharpe Mapping Project course, are eligible to apply for Sharpe summer research funding. This grant provides students with a $3000 stipend to conduct a community-based research project of their own design.