NCSG Teams with iSchool to Streamline University-Community Efforts

NCSG Teams with iSchool to Streamline University-Community Efforts

Former College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows Tapped to Lead Efforts for an Engaged, Sustainable Campus Environment

The National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) and the College of Information Studies (iSchool) are joining forces to launch a pilot initiative to enhance university connections and outreach within the communities surrounding the UMD campus in College Park. The Campus Community Connection Pilot (C3 Pilot) will help streamline student/faculty engagement efforts with local governments, concentrating on expanding educational experiences, volunteer opportunities, internships, course-led projects and overall campus engagement while focusing on economic, social and environmental resiliency.  

“We are excited to combine our efforts with the iSchool on this venture,” said Gerrit Knaap, director of the National Center for Smart Growth. “The partnerships developed through C3 will not only strengthen relationships with the communities surrounding our university, they will help the university community become more engaged with Maryland citizens.”

 

"The C3 partnership is an important opportunity for the iSchool, NCSG, and local communities to work together to create transformative student experiences, high-impact projects, and innovative research that enhances our ability to use technology and information to improve the well-being of all members of our communities," said Keith Marzullo, Dean of the iSchool.

 

Under the leadership of former College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows, the C3 Pilot is designed to strengthen existing collaborations and develop new partnerships, working with both long-standing and new programs—such as the University of Maryland Extension (UME), the College Park City-University Partnership and UMD’s Do Good Challenge—to expand their reach within the greater community. Four area municipalities and Prince George’s County have committed to the pilot, providing $88,000 in seed funding. The participating municipalities are College Park, Hyattsville, Riverdale Park and University Park. The seed funding will provide the springboard for additional grant funding, and public and private support. It will also help develop the program framework and processes, which include establishing a long-term revenue plan and extended opportunities for university-community collaboration. The first year will identify upwards of 50 projects within the participating municipalities and surrounding unincorporated communities.

Andrew Fellows served as mayor of College Park for three two-year terms, establishing a strong relationship with the university and fostering significant collaboration and economic growth with the city. Following his work with the university’s Environmental Finance Center (EFC), Fellows recently joined the NCSG and iSchool to launch this program, complementing existing cross-campus partnerships and an impressive community engagement track record.

“This university has built a solid foundation of off-campus engagement in recent years,” said Fellows, “and the areas of sustainability and resiliency offer great potential for experiential learning and applied research that will benefit both the campus and its surrounding communities.”

The C3 Pilot aims to build a self-sustaining, “in-residence” clearing house that collaborates with and strengthens the many current community outreach programs, including UME, College Park 20/20 Vision, the PALS program and the Center for Health Equity. The C3 Pilot also intends to be a harbinger of future campus programs—like the potential Smart Cities initiatives and the Innovation District—and to enhance the internal capacity for engaging off-campus communities in such significant efforts.  

To learn more about C3 Pilot, please contact Andrew Fellows at afellows@umd.edu.