Faculty invited to apply to Engagement Academy

The Student Engagement Network’s Academy supports faculty and staff research on engagement

Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State faculty and staff are invited to apply to the Student Engagement Network Engagement Academy, which supports collaboration and research efforts for those advancing student engagement at Penn State.

Faculty and staff can apply for either a one-year posting as academy fellows or a two-year position as an academy scholar. The application for fellows can be found here at InfoReady. A separate application is available here for aspiring scholars. The deadline to apply is March 28.

Since 2017, the Engagement Academy has provided funding, resources and mentoring to faculty and staff who wish to provide meaningful student engagement opportunities and/or develop a research agenda for student engagement at Penn State that can be broadly distributed.

The program was revamped in fall 2020, changing its name from Faculty Academy to Engagement Academy to better reflect the diversity of work in student engagement across the University, said Hailley Fargo, student engagement coordinator with University Libraries.

“Engagement activity and research can look like a lot of different things, in different positions and in different locations,” Fargo said. “We know that a lot of people do student engagement work across the University.”

Fargo was co-lead of the relaunch team along with Tom Hogan, professor of practice in human resource management in the College of the Liberal Arts. Both are current academy scholars and Fargo is also a previous academy fellow.

Part of the effort in revamping the Engagement Academy was also to make the application process more transparent and give applicants a rubric to understand how applications are evaluated. The rubric is available on InfoReady in each application. Yet another aim of the academy in 2021, Fargo said, is to attract more applications from across the entire University.

Marly Doty, lecturer in human development and family studies at Penn State DuBois, spent her first 10 years at Penn State in student affairs, eventually achieving the rank of assistant director. She also spent part of that time teaching before becoming a full-time faculty.

“For me, the Student Engagement Network is perfect for merging my experience in involvement outside the classroom through student affairs, and as a faculty member,” Doty said. “It gives me the opportunity to gain support for the hands-on learning that I do with students.”

Doty’s work with engagement began with organizing an alternative spring break about 14 years ago. Years later, Doty applied and received funding through the Student Engagement Network for students to take a trip to the Navajo Reservation. After being active within SEN as part of the Engagement Coaching program in summer 2020, Doty was accepted as an Engagement Academy fellow.

Her Engagement Academy project requires collecting engagement data from first-year students and breaking it down into a three-tiered system: introductory, exploratory and immersive. Doty gathered data from eight Penn State campuses during the fall semester. Her project also looks at gamifying student engagement and encouraging students through the use of levels and badges.

Questions about the Student Engagement Network Engagement Academy can be directed to Alan Rieck, associate vice president and associate dean of Undergraduate Education, at

The Student Engagement Network is a joint initiative between Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs and Outreach and Online Education. The mission of the Student Engagement Network is to advance the power of participation by connecting students with experiences that empower them to make a positive impact as citizens and leaders of the world.

Last Updated February 25, 2021