Auburn University hosting 18th annual Engagement Scholarship Consortium conference in Birmingham

Published: September 19, 2017
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Auburn University, along with 10 southern region partner institutions, is hosting the 18th annual conference of the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, or ESC, at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel Sept. 24-27. The consortium is a non-profit educational organization composed of higher education member institutions promoting community-university collaboration.

"Auburn has a long and strong relationship with the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, so we are so excited to host the 2017 conference in Birmingham with our regional partners," said Royrickers Cook, vice president for University Outreach at Auburn.

"Engagement is at the core of what we do at Auburn, providing educational opportunities to people and working with communities, especially to underserved areas of the state, to improve and better serve their residents," Cook said.

One of the largest annual conferences focused on scholarly engagement, the ESC conference is attracting an international audience, with more than 500 participants registered from across the United States and five countries worldwide. The theme for this year’s conference is "This Is Engagement: Best Practices in Community Engaged Scholarship." Model engagement programs at some 90 institutions will be highlighted at the conference. The event will feature an inspiring keynote address from Tim Sanders, technology pioneer, New York Times bestselling author and nationally known consultant on leadership, innovation and change.

Pre-conference activities begin Sunday with meetings, dinner receptions and tours to the Elmer and Glenda Harris Early Childhood Learning Center and Auburn University’s Urban Studio. The conference events begin Tuesday and consist of concurrent sessions of more than 200 papers, workshops, roundtables, poster and award presentations.

"Birmingham is the perfect venue for ESC," said Chippewa Thomas, director of Faculty Engagement at Auburn, and this year’s conference committee chair. "Birmingham is truly a city of engagement with its rich heritage in the civil rights movement."

ESC’s goal is to work collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship and designed to help build community capacity.

"The Engagement Scholarship Conference is a key international event for the state of Alabama, and your opportunity to engage yourself with your colleagues, to share your experience and successes, to learn from others and improve," Cook said.

Auburn’s Outreach offices of Faculty Engagement and Professional and Continuing Education are managing conference administration and logistics.

For more information about the ESC or to register for the conference, go to the website at

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 29,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn's commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact. Auburn's mission to educate, discover and collaborate drives its expanding impact on the world.