A Newsletter from University Outreach and Engagement
March 2021
Announcing the 2021 President's Engaged Scholarship Award Winners!
Sponsored by the Office of the President, the Office of the Provost, and University Outreach and Engagement, the annual President’s Engaged Scholarship Awards Program recognizes individual Texas Tech faculty and teams of faculty (including students and staff) from all disciplines for a project or activity that demonstrates exemplary and sustained commitment to mutually beneficial engagement with external communities. Recognized individuals apply their academic knowledge and expertise to address a specific community need or larger social issue in collaboration with community partners, aiming to find solutions that may impact the social or economic well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

The awards program consists of the following categories:

• President's Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award
• President's Emerging Engaged Scholarship Award
• President's Exemplary Program Award

We are pleased to announce the following awards recipients in these categories:
President’s Excellence in Engaged Scholarship Award
A University-to-District Partnership in Leadership Preparation:
The Co-Construction of the Texas Tech University Principal Fellows Residency Program
Historically, community schools have struggled to effectively serve the changing demographic, including Latinx and Black student populations. To address systemic issues voiced by local school districts, the Texas Tech University Principal Fellows Residency Program began with a partnership between Lubbock ISD and the College of Education Leadership Faculty to impact an equity and social-justice-driven principal preparation pipeline in education, and produce a diverse pool of job-ready aspiring leaders to mirror the growing Latinx and Black demographics of the Lubbock ISD. Together, Lubbock ISD leaders and TTU Faculty visited and examined nationally recognized programs and Wallace Foundation research to create a plan to replicate a national model in the context of both Lubbock and the Texas school systems.

The pilot residency partnership included a joint selection of three highly effective diverse teachers. They began a 15-month job-embedded journey to learn as resident interns from mentor principals and TTU Educational Leadership faculty coaches, how to grow struggling teachers and at-risk students in real-time using “just in time” curriculum filled with teacher and student data. The innovative job-embedded curriculum was developed with context-specific explicit competency-based feedback, shaped through instructional coaching as well as the use of both face-to-face presence and video capture to innovatively train principals in real-time. 

The Principal Fellows Residency Program has grown into a university-to-district alliance between TTU Educational Leadership Program Faculty and school district leaders and partners who support the preparation of highly effective teachers for a school leader career (i.e., Assistant Principal or Principal) in partnership districts. Faculty have worked diligently with local, state, and state-border districts to build partnerships that improve educational equity and student outcomes. The eight-year collaboration has graduated 80 Principals in Residence and continues to grow strong. It builds the next generation of instructional leaders for the partnering districts through leadership competencies, job-embedded skill development, investment in human capital, and national and state standards. The reciprocity moves beyond degree and certification completers for TTU, and residents now serve as instructional coaches, assistant principals, principals, and in Texas Education Agency leadership roles in state and local communities. They lead the learning of others; they impact the knowledge, skills, and mindset of teachers and students by applying the equity frameworks and job-embedded social justice skills they learned in the Fellows Residency Program to lead school improvement efforts. 

  • Dr. Fernando Valle, Professor, Interim Special Education Department Chair, Department of Educational Psychology, Leadership, & Counseling, TTU College of Education
  • Dr. Irma Almager, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership, TTU College of Education
  • Dr. Vanessa de Leon, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership, TTU College of Education
  • Dr. Dusty Palmer, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership, TTU College of Education
  • Dr. Selenda Cumby, Instructor, Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership, TTU College of Education
West Texas 3D COVID-19 Consortium:
Community Engagement to Combat a Global Pandemic
Faculty, staff, and students from Texas Tech University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) formed the West Texas 3D COVID Relief Consortium (WT3D) to develop a supply chain to design, manufacture, assemble, and deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices to frontline workers across West Texas. Partnerships with surrounding hospitals, referral centers, nursing facilities, state hospitals, and other frontline facilities were formed to determine needs.  In addition, partnerships with local manufacturing companies were formed to meet these needs, and a partnership with Angel Flight enabled the delivery of much-needed medical materials.

The WT3D provided the West Texas community with over 16,000 face shields, 250 intubation chambers, and 10,000 ear savers/guards through partnerships with 76 hospitals. Other facilities with medical needs, including 25 referral centers, 50 nursing facilities, and 3 state hospitals also received PPE. Deliveries of PPE were made to first responders, the Navajo Nation in New Mexico and Arizona, VA Healthcare Centers, and clinics in Amarillo, Lubbock, and Big Spring. Surrounding Dental and Vision Centers, and 27 area correctional centers also received equipment. Approximately 5,000 face shields have been used for Texas Tech faculty and staff. The assembly of much of the PPE was done by student volunteers. While providing this valuable service, students have been educated in manufacturing processes, project management, and process planning. They have also been given ownership of the assembly process and optimized production while maintaining safety in operations. These students have become real-world problem solvers.

Furthermore, the research arm of WT3D generated and exchanged knowledge with network partners regarding item sterilization and reuse, face mask material effectiveness, and respirator fitting, which has also been shared with the community. The PPE combined with a commitment to research, innovation, and education has provided a means for West Texas to navigate the pandemic safely. The collaborations and networks that have been formed with the community have also been extended within the TTU system. Over seven separate colleges and schools within TTU and TTUHSC have been involved and collaborated in this work. Other entities, such as Athletics, Outreach and Engagement, and Research and Innovation, have also contributed. These collaborations have impacted the strength and togetherness of the TTU community in a desperate time and have led to practical solutions to abate the coronavirus while advancing engaged scholarship.
  • John Carrell, Honors College
  • Aliza Wong, Honors College
  • Al Sacco, Whitacre College of Engineering (WCOE)
  • Bryan Norman, WCOE
  • Jnev Biros, WCOE
  • Chanaka Senanayake, WCOE
  • Nurcan Bac, WCOE
  • Joseph Dannemiller, WCOE
  • George Tan, WCOE
  • Changxue Xu, WCOE
  • Weilong Cong, WCOE
  • Brandon Weeks, WCOE
  • Paul Egan, WCOE
  • Roy Mullins, WCOE
  • Chase George, WCOE
  • Jeff Hanson, WCOE
  • Burak Aksak, WCOE
  • Siva Parameswaran, WCOE
  • Gordon Christopher, WCOE
  • Joseph Heppert, Office of Research and Innovation (ORI)
  • David Dorsett, ORI
  • Jim Williamson, College of Architecture (COA)
  • Stephen Mueller, COA
  • Robert Gonzalez, COA
  • Jon Thompson, College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Bryson Seekins, Arts and Sciences
  • Robert Duncan, Arts and Sciences
  • Trevor Dardik, Arts and Sciences
  • Karin Ardon-Dryer, Arts and Sciences
  • Sharran Parkinson, College of Human Sciences
  • Su Hwang, Human Sciences
  • Mark Charney, J.T. and Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA)
  • Mallory Prucha, CVPA
  • Katherine Davis, CVPA
  • Matt Roe, Environmental Health and Safety
  • Kevin Fehr, TTU Innovation Hub
President’s Emerging Engaged Scholarship Award
Evaluation of a Crisis Intervention Training Program
Among Police Officers and Recruits
Responding to mental health and suicide crises among high-risk individuals in the community often falls to first responders, such as police officers. Crisis Management Training (CIT) among police officers is a first step toward suicide prevention as well as matching those in crisis with the appropriate services. Texas requires Lubbock Police Department (LPD) officers to complete a 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT), which includes psychoeducation, de-escalation techniques, and mental health and suicide crisis training to prepare officers for mental health and suicide emergencies. CIT, however, has not been rigorously evaluated to determine positive outcomes or barriers to the implementation of CIT skills. Additionally, no one has specifically identified what is (or is not) effective about CIT for suicide risk management. Yet, to best meet the needs of high-risk individuals and improve community safety, police officers must be equipped with effective skills to safely navigate crises, match individuals in crisis with the appropriate services, and save lives.

In order to address this important community need, a team of Texas Tech faculty including Dr. Sean Mitchell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, and Dr. Megan Thoen, Director of the TTU Psychology Clinic and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences, are working together with the LPD to evaluate the local CIT program. Their research involves conducting assessments of officers’ knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors related to mental illness/substance use/suicide risk and managing mental health and suicide crises before and after they complete the CIT program. The faculty members also evaluate officers’ characteristics as well as experiences that may impact the effectiveness of the CIT program, and then follow up with officers after training to evaluate program material retention and longitudinal benefits.

The project results in mutually beneficial solutions as the research informs ways to improve CIT as well as supplemental training that benefits people in crisis and officer safety while also providing an opportunity for TTU scholarship and community involvement. The results of the study also have broader state-level policy implications since the 40-hour CIT program is a state-mandated response to the Sandra Bland Act, signed into Texas law in 2017. This act was a reaction to Sandra Bland, a woman who died by suicide in jail, and mandates that the criminal justice system (e.g., jails) divert people with mental illness and substance use problems to the appropriate treatment rather than jail. This project is truly a partnership with scholarship and community impact at the forefront.

  • Dr. Sean Mitchell, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, TTU College of Arts & Sciences
  • Dr. Megan Thoen, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Director of the TTU Psychology Clinic, Department of Psychological Sciences, TTU College of Arts & Sciences
President’s Exemplary Program Award
The ACOM Block:
An Innovative Course Structure to Engage Students with Industry
The Agricultural Education & Communications (ACOM) block course format was developed by a team of four ACOM faculty members to address feedback received from alumni and agriculture industry representatives who suggested graduates needed additional development in problem-solving and critical thinking skills.  In 2015, a study evaluating ACOM programs nationwide ranked Texas Tech University as the number one ACOM program in the country. To remain at the top and to stay relevant with industry trends, the TTU ACOM faculty implemented the new, unique course structure in 2017. The innovative block format combined two existing courses dedicated to publication production and campaign development with two new courses that focused on advanced design and media convergence to replicate a real-world communications work environment.  These four senior-level courses are designed to give students a comprehensive, capstone learning experience. The program is the first and only agricultural communications program in the country to implement this type of learning experience.

Throughout the Block experience, students develop and incorporate the skills necessary to thrive in the agricultural communications industry, while engaging in service-learning projects with community partners and industry representatives. The ultimate learning outcomes from the ACOM Block include students publishing The Agriculturist magazine, honing writing skills, learning about visual communication, developing and implementing a communications campaign, creating video and social media content, finessing photography and graphic design skills, learning advanced web design techniques, developing professional portfolios, and writing research reports – all while engaging with the agriculture industry and community partners.

The creation of the ACOM Block has lead to an exponential growth of the TTU program and has matured to a point that it provides a more comprehensive educational experience for students. A total of 190 undergraduate students have experienced the unique four-course block structure within the ACOM program since its first semester in the spring of 2017. In the first three years of the ACOM Block’s publication production course, which creates the Agriculturist magazine, students have published 384 pages of content, sold $101,610 in advertising (all of which is used to print and circulate the Agriculturist), and won national-level writing, photography, and design awards for their work on the magazine, including the National Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow’s Excellence in Writing Award and first place online magazine, and the National Agricultural Alumni Development Association’s first place student-produced magazine. The collaboration between courses in the block has also created a unique approach to curriculum development, especially among capstone-level learning experiences.

  • Dr. Lindsay Kennedy, Assistant Professor of Practice, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, TTU College of Agricultural Education and Communication (CASNR) 
  • Dr. Courtney Meyers, Professor & Graduate Studies Coordinator, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, CASNR
  • Dr. Courtney Gibson, Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, CASNR
  • Dr. Erica Irlbeck, Professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, CASNR
Congratulations to all the award winners!
Celebrating Research, Engagement, Innovation, and Startups!
March 29 - 31, 2021

Join us on March 31, 2021 for the 4th Annual Engaged Scholarship Symposium as part of Texas Tech’s 2021 Discoveries to Impact (DTI) Conference. In addition to the Symposium, DTI 2021 encompasses Texas Tech’s annual Undergraduate Research Conference, the TTU Accelerator Startup Competition, and dynamic Keynote Speakers

The Engaged Scholarship Symposium will  feature virtual panel presentations by the 2021 Recipients of the President's Engaged Scholarship Awards. The award winning teams will provide an overview of their projects and highlight their strategies for finding and engaging with community partners in mutually beneficial ways. They will share their challenges, best practices, as well as lessons learned. They will also discuss the impacts that their engagement has had on communities, as well as their teaching, research/creative activity, and scholarship. Students who were involved in these projects will share their perspectives and discuss the impacts that the experience has had on their learning and academic pathway. The symposium is comprised of a Morning Session (10:00 - 11:30 a.m.) and an Afternoon Session (2:00 - 3:30 p.m.) featuring two back-to-back presentations each. It will also feature a Keynote Session (1:00 - 1:50 p.m.).

Be sure to join us for the Keynote Session as Economic Development Director Courtney Griesel of Springfield, Oregon discusses the contemporary issues that urban communities are faced with. Participants will gain an understanding of the important role that university resources and expertise can play in helping address these issues, and discover ways of bringing those together with local governments and other community partners to find and implement long-term solutions.

The 2021 Discoveries to Impact (DTI) Conference  is offered in partnership between Texas Tech’s Innovation Hub, the Center for Transformative Undergraduate Research Experiences (TrUE), the Center for the Integration of STEM Education and Research (CISER) and University Outreach and Engagement.  All DTI events will be held virtually this year, and there is no charge to attend. Sessions are open to faculty, staff, and students as well as the general public. Interested individuals may attend any or all sessions once registered.

Follow the link below to register for the 2021 Regional Engaged Scholarship Symposium and other events during Discoveries to Impact 2021. Once registered, you will receive a separate email containing a Zoom link to the sessions. Advance Registration is required. For more information on all virtual events during Discoveries to Impact, visit

Register Now!
April 8, 2021 | 1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Have you always wanted to learn more about University Outreach and Engagement?  Are you interested in Engaged Scholarship, but have not had a chance to find out more? Well, here is your opportunity!  During our informal Open House, you will get a chance to:
  • Learn about our faculty and staff support services
  • Share your idea for a project
  • Discover ways of engaging with communities
  • Discuss current issues and needs in the local community
  • Discover the value and benefits of engaging with communities
  • Explore the spectrum of engagement opportunities
  • Find out how to advance your work from “outreach” to “engaged scholarship”
  • Connect with like-minded colleagues
We look forward to seeing you.
Register Now!
Raiders Engaged Assessment for Calendar Year 2020 - Deadline May 1! 

The Calendar Year 2020 campus-wide Assessment is now underway.  Faculty and staff are asked to report any teaching, research, creative, or service activities that they conducted for, in and with specific  communities or the general public between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. “Communities” are broadly defined as any external individuals or groups (in the region, State, other U.S. states, or other countries) that they may have engaged with to address a specific community need or larger social issue. The deadline for Calendar Year 2020 submissions is May 1, 2021.

TTU faculty should use DigitalMeasures (DM) to report their Calendar Year 2020 outreach and engagement activities. They will be able to highlight any applicable scholarly activities in the teaching, research, or service sections of their DM accounts via check-mark and drop-down menu as relating to “Outreach,” “Engagement,” or “Engaged Scholarship.” In addition, they are encouraged to provide further details about these activities in a separate “Outreach and Engagement” section of DigitalMeasures. For further questions regarding DigitalMeasures, contact Kenny Shatley ( at TTU’s Office of Planning and Assessment.

TTU Staff should use the traditional Raiders Engaged Survey for the reporting of outreach and engagement activities. They may either report individually conducted activities or submit aggregate data on any unit-sponsored activities or programs conducted for or in partnership with specific non-TTU audiences or the general public (i.e. K-12 or pre-college programs, lecture and performance series, competitions, non-credit programs, exhibits, etc.).
The Raiders Engaged Survey will remain open for entries year-round, except for the month of May when the 2020 assessment cycle will come to a close. For questions regarding Raiders Engaged, contact Sam Sumner ( at the Office of University Outreach and Engagement. 
Coming Soon: TTU Resilient Communities Initiative (RCI) 
Texas Tech’s  Resilient Communities Initiative (RCI) will bring together the resources of the university with those of communities to impact the lives of students, citizens, and the community. This new initiative is based on collaborations between Texas Tech University and regional community partners — both public and private — to ensure the social and economic vitality of the South Plains and its citizens.  RCI’s concept follows the national “EPIC Model” which originated at the University of Oregon. The model is simple but powerful. It brings together the greatest resources of a university — faculty, students, laboratories, research libraries, existing curriculum — and creatively draws them together to tackle the biggest challenges in local communities. The results are felt immediately with lasting transformative effects: Public goodwill toward the university, real-world learning for students, and meaningful change that is felt throughout the community.
If you are interested in learning more about RCI or participating in future projects, please contact Sam Sumner at

Watch the video below that showcases examples of RCI projects:

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Jun 24, 2021