Loras College Professor Selected as Midwest Engaged Scholar

Loras JakeJake Kurczek, Ph.D., assistant professor of neuroscience and psychology at Loras College, has been selected as a 2019-2020 Midwest Engaged Scholar by Campus Compact. The initiative provides support, development, and connections for leaders who can advance co-created knowledge, critically-engaged pedagogies, institutional change, and collaborative action to address societal issues.

Kurczek was one of 12 scholars selected for the initiative. Scholars were nominated by college and university presidents and chief academic officers and selected from a highly competitive pool from the Midwest Region. The 2019-2020 scholars represent nine institutions from twelve states, and a variety of roles on their campus connected to civic and community engagement.

“Dr. Kurczek is a talented faculty member and scholar,” Loras College President Jim Collins (’84) said of Kurczek’s selection. “He works tirelessly on behalf of students. He will no doubt represent Loras and this cohort of Midwest Campus compact Scholars well.”

Selected scholars will participate in an 18-month ongoing learning and leadership process which includes professional development, collaboration, and scholarship to help the individual participants and the cohort strengthen their scholarship, research, and impact. Scholars will participate in in-person and online learning opportunities, including retreats, regular meetings, and the Midwest Region Campus Compact Conference, which is taking place in May 2019 in Minneapolis, Minn.

“I am honored to have received the opportunity to learn from engaged scholars and leaders in the field of civic engagement,” Kurczek shared. “I hope to bring that learning back to the city of Dubuque and Loras College in order to work at the ground level to build the systematic integration of civic-engagement around diversity, equity and inclusion into every fabric of the city of Dubuque and higher education centers.”

Campus Compact leads the Engaged Scholars Initiative, which is designed to leverage and enhance local, regional, and national knowledge, experience, and assets within the Compact network.

“In my service to the college, I am a Civic Action Fellow in which I work to help faculty understand and implement best-practices in civic engagement and community-based learning,” Kurczek said. “I hope that through my participation in the program that I can bring back new skills, new connections and new concrete actions to help both community members and faculty better engage in equitable community development.”

Campus Compact is a national coalition of 1000-plus colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. Campus Compact supports institutions in fulfilling their public purposes by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. The Midwest Region Campus Compacts include chapters in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin.