SNE 2019 Lynton Finalists

November 19, 2019

The 2019 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement was awarded to Cristina Santamaría Graff, Assistant Professor of Urban Teacher Education at IUPUI. Additionally, five faculty members were named finalists for the award. Campus Compact for Southern New England is pleased to congratulate and highlight two finalists from our member campuses: Dr. Colin Rhinesmith of Simmons University, and Dr. Vanessa Rosa of Mount Holyoke College.

The Lynton Award recognizes a full-time faculty member who is pre-tenure at tenure-granting campuses, or early career at campuses with long-term contracts, who connects their teaching, research, and service to community engagement. The scholarship of engagement represents an integrated view of faculty roles in which teaching, research/creative activity, and service overlap and are mutually reinforcing, is characterized by scholarly work tied to a faculty member’s academic expertise, is of benefit to the external community, is visible and shared with community stakeholders, and reflects the mission of the institution. The Lynton Award is presented through Campus Compact in partnership with Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service.

Colin Rhinesmith
Simmons University

Colin Rhinesmith is an assistant professor in the Simmons University School of Library and Information Science. Rhinesmith’s research and teaching interests are focused on the social, community, and policy aspects of information and communication technology, particularly in areas related to digital equity and community technology. Colin was a 2015 Emerging Engagement Scholar at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Conference. He has also been a faculty research fellow with the Benton Foundation, a Google Policy Fellow with the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative, and a faculty associate with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. 

Rhinesmith has been nationally recognized for his engaged scholarship in the fields of digital equity and community technology. His work has been mentioned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Communications Commission, PBS MediaShift, and the MacArthur Foundation’s Spotlight on Digital Media and Learning, and he was awarded the Buske Leadership Award from the Alliance for Community Media. Rhinesmith received his Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was a research scholar with the Center for Digital Inclusion and an Institute of Museum and Library Services-funded Information in Society Fellow.

“My engaged scholarship philosophy embraces difference as a resource and seeks to promote multiple ways of knowing as a strategy to create more inclusive, just, and equitable learning and research environments,” writes Rhinesmith. “For example, my graduate students and I described how this approach guided the design, implementation, and evaluation of a young adult (YA) public library space design program with teens and librarians through a community–university partnership in Moore, Oklahoma (see Rhinesmith, Dettmann, Pierson, & Spence, 2015). Our paper contributes a theoretical and methodological framework for studying public library YA space design projects with teens and librarians using participatory research and design techniques. Progressive and critical educational philosophies are deeply embedded in this collaborative praxis. I have brought these experiences with me to my teaching at Simmons, particularly in my LIS 421 Information Services for Diverse Users course where we partner with local libraries to help them engage with marginalized populations in their communities.”

Vanessa Rosa
Mount Holyoke College

Vanessa Rosa is an assistant professor of Latina/o Studies at Mount Holyoke College. Her scholarship is formed at an intersection of interdisciplinary interests, including urban and ethnic studies, where she explores dynamic and deceptive relationships between state-level diversity management efforts on the one hand, and community organizing in the context of structural inequality on the other. Her engaged scholarship reflects her commitment to making the academy accessible to communities that are too frequently positioned as objects of study rather than participants in the production of knowledge. 

Rosa is currently completing a book manuscript titled “Diversifying Cities: Between Gentrification and Revitalization” which investigates the national-identity making effects of the urban revitalization of two public housing projects in Toronto, Ontario. She has also begun archival research on her new project which explores Puerto Rican women’s tenant activism in New York City from 1945-1970. Rosa teaches courses on housing, cities, and Latina feminism and incorporates community-based learning and civic engagement in her teaching, including projects with various local organizations in Holyoke and Springfield. She was selected as a 2018-2020 SITPA scholar and serves on the organizing committee for the New England Consortium for Latina/o Studies.

“My engaged scholarship,” Rosa writes, “addresses the interinstitutional dynamics that produce and reproduce urban inequality, with focus on housing and educational inequality. A framework of social justice in a diverse democracy helps us to consider that focussing on diversity without addressing power dynamics and structural racism, then inequality will persist and justice will remain unachievable. In my engaged scholarship, I examine how the language of “diversity” can often be employed in ways that do not in fact address race and class inequality (Rosa 2019). My work seeks to not only bridge resources, but also to rethink what we consider knowledge, who are the producers of knowledge, and build a reciprocal relationship with community members in a city that has been used as a resume builder and laboratory by college students and researchers in the local area. By centering a framework of justice and transformation, my engaged scholarship challenges the ways academic theorizing is traditionally removed from praxis and community based solutions.”

For eligibility criteria, past recipients, and other details about the Lynton Award, see www.compact.org/impact-awards.