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ILR and Einhorn Center Partner to Create Office of Engaged and Experiential Programs

From its founding in 1945, the ILR School has offered students an array of diverse opportunities for curricular and co-curricular engaged learning. A new partnership with the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement will help formalize and enhance those opportunities through the creation of the ILR Office of Engaged and Experiential Programs.

“We are looking forward to working with the Einhorn Center to strengthen ILR’s tradition of engaged learning and make opportunities in community engagement available to even more of our students,” said Alexander Colvin, Ph.D., ’99, ILR’s Kenneth F. Kahn ’69 Dean and Martin F. Scheinman ’75, M.S. ’76, Professor of Conflict Resolution.

The ILR School is the latest undergraduate college at Cornell to be selected for the Engaged College Initiative. Through the initiative, the Einhorn Center provides three-year foundational funding, consultations and training — with the ultimate goal of building a long-term collaborative relationship that advances and sustains community engaged learning within the college and throughout the university.

“We are thrilled to work with the Einhorn Center to build on our existing strengths to develop and implement a comprehensive school-wide, engaged learning strategy,” said Kara Lombardi, assistant dean for Student Experience and Wellbeing. “Our first priority will be to create a new office that will help to create energy and more structure to support the good work that’s already happening, while driving innovation for new programs.

“We share the Einhorn Center’s overarching goal of having all students participate in a community engaged learning opportunity during their time at Cornell,” Lombardi added. “I believe that through our collaboration with the Einhorn Center, and with the support of this comprehensive grant, we will be able to achieve this ambitious goal by 2025.”

ILR’s new Office of Engaged and Experiential Programs will be led by Brigid Beachler, who formally assumed the director role on Jan. 1.

The office merges the staffs of ILR’s International Programs Office and Off-Campus Credit Programs Office and will serve as a hub for an array of engaged learning opportunities. Going forward, the center will maintain an inventory of programs, provide support to faculty seeking to create engaged opportunities. It will also advise and direct students to experiential and engaged programs that build on their current interests and introduce them to new opportunities designed to enhance their academic, professional and personal growth.

It will explore programs within ILR for their appropriateness for engaged student leadership, and partner with the Einhorn Center to enhance and expand ILR student participation in the Certificate for Community-Engaged Leadership.

“We are so excited to be embarking on this partnership with the Einhorn Center,” Beachler said. “The creation of the Office of Engaged and Experiential Programs will have a profound effect on how engaged learning happens at the ILR School. We’re looking forward to strengthening the programs that are already in place, such as the ILR Credit Internship Program, our Summer Research Fellows Program and a variety of courses that incorporate the principles of engaged learning. This grant will also allow us to explore new domestic and international ventures that align with our goal of offering every ILR student the opportunity to pursue an engaged learning experience.”

Since it began, the Einhorn Center has promoted a university culture for students, faculty, staff and partners to work together to create a better world. Over the past decade, the 10 ILR School 10 faculty members have been awarded Engaged Cornell grants. Since 2015, 10 ILR faculty members have participated in the Einhorn Center’s Faculty Fellows Program.

“We are excited that the ILR school has joined our growing network of engaged colleges,” said Richard Kiely, senior fellow, David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement. “ILR’s proposal and vision for advancing and expanding community engaged learning is bold and transformative and builds on a strong tradition and culture of community engagement. Staff in the Einhorn Center look forward to continuing our collaboration with ILR faculty, staff and students and to partnering with the newly established Office of Engaged and Experiential Programs to support their efforts to advance and sustain high quality community engaged learning .”