Carnegie Community Engagement Classification - Canadian Pilot

The Canadian Pilot Cohort is activating change in post-secondary education, to advance community engagement as a mutual and reciprocal process.

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What is the Carnegie Pilot?

The Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification is an elective classification and has been the leading framework for institutional assessment and recognition of community engagement in US higher education for the past 14 years. It is based on voluntary participation by institutions. The elective classification involves data collection and documentation of important aspects of institutional mission, identity and commitments, and requires substantial effort invested by participating institutions.

A Canadian Pilot Cohort (CPC) convened to explore the Classification and consider how it can support community engagement in the Canadian context. From 2019 to 2021, the CPC worked together as a learning community to explore the existing Classification. In June 2021, a Closing Convening of the pilot phase included a review of the experience with the self-study process and a conversation about what is uniquely Canadian. The CPC is now working together as a learning community to identify needed adjustments to the existing US Classification, recommend solutions, and contribute to the co-development of a Canadian version of the Classification.

What is Community Engagement?

"Community engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial creation and exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The purpose of community engagement is the partnership (of knowledge and resources) between colleges and universities and the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching, and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good."

-The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching


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Steering Committee

Dr. Leslie Reid

Dr. Leslie Reid 

Dr. Leslie Reid is the Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning, and a teaching professor in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary. She served as associate dean of teaching and learning in the Faculty of Science from 2012-2017, where she supported the creation of educational development programs that help enhance learning and teaching experiences for students and staff. Leslie’s scholarly work focuses on STEM teaching and learning, and educational development for academic staff. In 2011, Leslie was awarded a 3M National Teaching Fellowship, and in 2014, she received a University of Calgary Teaching Award for Educational Leadership.

Dr. Penny Pexman

Dr. Penny Pexman

Dr. Penny Pexman is Associate Vice-President (Research) and a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Calgary. Pexman’s research expertise is in cognitive development, psycholinguistics, and cognitive neuroscience, and she has published more than 100 articles in some of the top journals in these fields. Pexman was appointed the University of Calgary’s SSHRC Leader in 2017, and in that role serves as a point of contact between SSHRC and the University of Calgary. An award-winning mentor and researcher, Pexman is an elected Fellow of both the Canadian Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

Susan Mide Kiss

Susan Mide Kiss

Susan Mide Kiss is the Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives in Community Engagement within the Vice-Provost Teaching and Learning portfolio at the University of Calgary. Susan is responsible for leading the Carnegie Pilot for the university along with advancing other strategic initiatives in community engagement. Susan’s experience also helped shape the development of Community Campus Engage Canada.

Previously, Susan served as the Senior Director, Community Engagement and held a leadership role with the Ward of the 21st Century health research initiative. Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Victoria, a graduate certificate from American University (Washington D.C.) and a Master of Arts degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University (RRU). Susan is working towards a Doctorate of Social Sciences with the College of Interdisciplinary Studies at RRU. 

Dr. Karen Benzies

Dr. Karen Benzies

Dr. Karen Benzies is the Director of Social Innovation, serial academic entrepreneur and practiced clinically as a nurse and midwife. She holds a PhD and two post-doctoral fellowships (Stockholm and Ottawa) and served as Associate Dean Research and Acting Dean. Benzies acquired $33 million in operating grants and led multiple large teams to generate over 110 research publications. Benzies’ expertise in design and sustainment of interventions in complex ecosystems and social innovation shaped her startup, Liminality Innovations Inc.

Dr. Benzies also leads Bright from the Start, research projects dedicated to supporting families of young children to provide solid foundations for brain development leading to healthy and productive lives. Projects include Alberta Family Integrate Care (FICare), CUPS Covid-19Family Research Agenda Initiative Setting (FRAISE),  Play2Sleep, and Welcome to Parenthood.

Advisory Group

  • Leslie Reid, Vice-Provost (Teaching & Learning)
  • Susan Mide Kiss, Senior Director, Strategic Initiatives in Community Engagement
  • Adnan Ahmed, Office of Institutional Analysis
  • Áine Keogh, Office of Sustainability
  • Aleem Bharwani, Cumming School of Medicine
  • Amy Warren, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
  • Buffy St. Amand, UC International
  • Christine Sharp, Faculty of Science
  • Deb White, University of Calgary in Qatar
  • Dianne Mosher, Cumming School of Medicine
  • Elizabeth Henderson, Haskayne School of Business
  • Ellen Perrault, Faculty of Social Work
  • Erin Kaipainen, Taylor Institute for Teaching & Learning
  • Fabian Neuhaus, School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Faculty of Kinesiology Representative (TBD)
  • Florentine Strzelczyk, Deputy Provost
  • Gabriela Santamaria, Continuing Education
  • Ian Holloway, Faculty of Law
  • Jennifer Adams, Werklund School of Education
  • Jennifer Quin, Student Services
  • Jennifer Sinclair, University Legal Counsel
  • Justine Wheeler, Libraries and Cultural Resources
  • Karen Benzies, Faculty of Nursing
  • Kinga Olszewska, Faculty of Arts
  • MacKinley Darlington (former), Office of Vice-President, Research
  • Meera Singh, Schulich School of Engineering
  • Mohammad Ali, Students' Union
  • Mohammad Mansouri, Graduate Students' Association (2019 - 2020)
  • Naser Ader, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking
  • Omer Mansoor, Students’ Union (2019 - 2020)
  • Penny Pexman, Associate Vice-President Research
  • Shane Royal, Ancillary Services
  • Shawna Cunningham, Indigenous Engagement
  • Sheila Wasylyshyn, Office of Advancement
  • Sylvie Roy, Werklund School of Education
  • Tara Christie, Graduate Studies
  • Brittany Vine, Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids
  • Dexter Lam, Calgary Economic Development
  • Jessica O’Connell, United Way Calgary
  • Jordana Armstrong, Innovate Calgary
  • Melanie Hulsker, City of Calgary
  • Robert Perry (former), Calgary Urban Project Society
  • Shone Thistle, Calgary Pride
  • Tim Fox, Calgary Foundation

Community Integration and Partnership

Jessica O'Connell, former Account Manager, Partnerships, United Way of Calgary and Area, shares her journey working with various faculties and portfolios at UCalgary, and the lasting impacts we are creating together. 

Learn more

Hear from Dr. Reg Crowshoe, UCalgary's Elder in Residence, about pandemics in Indigenous communities. Part of ii' taa'poh'to'p's Elders Wisdom Series.