PCA celebrates 10-year milestone, looks to future

In 1996, President Sidney Ribeau read an article about Dr. Kathy Farber, educational foundations and inquiry, who had created a campus-community partnership to help her Educational Psychology students connect the theory and content of their coursework with the quality-of-life issues brought to light by that partnership.

The success of the partnership was echoed by students, their parents and community members—and it led to the president’s request that Farber create Partnerships for Community Action. PCA was charged with redefining relationships between the University and the broader community by creating and supporting campus-community partnerships based on reciprocity, equal participation and mutual benefit. The office is now celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Since 1997, when PCA started its Partnership Support Grant program, 305 co-directors have coordinated more than 500 University departments and community organizations in 119 mutually beneficial projects. In 2003, PCA combined grant resources with the Center for Innovative and Transformative Education (CITE) to meet the mission of both offices and to provide enhanced funding opportunities for campus-community partnerships.

In the past 10 years, the Partnership Support Grant program alone has been responsible for leveraging upward of $1 million in external and in-kind funds for its projects. In addition, other PCA/CITE partnership activity has led to more than $17 million in grants and contracts for BGSU.

Celebrating achievement
To recognize these accomplishments, campus and community members are invited to attend “Authentic Commitment,” a celebration of 10 years of partnership activity, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday (Feb. 16) in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom of the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The event, sponsored by PCA and CITE, is in honor of all those who have created and supported reciprocal campus-community partnerships.

Special recognition will be given to Ribeau and Dr. John Folkins, former provost and now CEO of the new BGSU Research Institute, for their continued support.

The celebration will also include a presentation of the accomplishments of the 12 partnerships funded in 2006 and the announcement of the 12 new Partnership Support Grant awardees for 2007 (See related story).

This year, BGSU partners represent the following departments and programs: Arts Village, Chapman Community, communication disorders, family and consumer sciences, BGSU Firelands’ early childhood education program, gerontology, the Ice Arena, the Math and Stats Tutoring Center, psychology, romance languages, social work, Transcendence and the Women’s Center.

Community partners represent the following organizations: Behavioral Connections of Wood County Inc., Bowling Green Christian Academy, DeVeaux Junior High School in Toledo, Eastwood High School, Fremont Middle School, Fremont Ross High School, Lincoln Elementary School in Findlay, Norwalk Catholic School’s Early Childhood Center, Shay’s for Life Foundation, Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center, TransGender Toledo, Wood County Health Department, and the Wood County Senior Center

New opportunities
Friday’s event will also unveil two additional opportunities for support of campus-community engagement. The Dissemination Grant Program makes available up to $5,000 for innovative projects designed to create and return knowledge to all members of the community in respectful and accessible ways, and the Participatory/Action Research Workshop planned for early summer will explore collaborative research that enhances our lives and creates a more equitable and humane society.

For more information about the celebration or the work carried on at PCA, call 2-9624 or email

February 12, 2007