Anne Weiss fell in love with community work during time spent as a volunteer with AmeriCorps. Her undergraduate degree in an Individualized major focused on civic engagement and philanthropic studies. Now she is pursuing a doctorate degree in Higher Education Administration.
“The program at IUPUI intrigued me because of its reputation for community engagement,” said Weiss. The premier urban campus has been recognized by the President of the United States for its impressive outreach initiatives and community collaborations.
Weiss is studying ways in which various aspects of community engagement impact the broader community.
“I realized my passion for community engagement during my three years as an AmeriCorps member. Across the Southern and Midwestern regions of the United States, I worked with families after their homes had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Weiss explains, “I was mainly responsible for tutoring young children through after-school programs, and volunteering in children’s hospitals. This experience made me realize that one person can make a difference.”
“Somewhere down the line, I realized the important role that institutions of learning can play in creating vibrant and strong students contributing to communities through civic learning and democratic engagement.”
Weiss currently teaches courses at IU Bloomington and works in both IUPUI’s Office of Community Engagement, and Indiana Campus Compact. She loves the fact that her studies and job responsibilities overlap.
For her career pursuits, IUPUI is a perfect fit, says Weiss, adding that, “While no one particular type of education or program is going to give a scholar everything they need, IUPUI knows what community engagement is and how important it is for higher education institutions.”
As part of her work at IUPUI, Weiss uses a single institution (IUPUI) focus of tracking, monitoring and assessing community engagement. In her work at Indiana Campus Compact she applies those skills to multiple institutions focused on tracking, monitoring and assessing community engagement across universities nationwide.
These roles combine in strategic and meaningful ways as foundational research and classroom assignments.
“My dissertation will focus on the context in which the higher education institution has impact and fulfills its public mission. My studies around community engagement recognize how IUPUI is and should be different from other institutions; because of a specific purpose based on framing characteristics such as urban versus rural priorities.”
Weiss plans to graduate May of 2018.