Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES)


ACES recognizes exceptional leaders who unite academics and communities to benefit society.

ACES Mission

The mission of ACES is to provide expertise to policymakers, higher education institutions and organizations, community leaders, and national and international entities interested in addressing complex societal issues through the effective engagement of higher education with community members and organizations. Our work contributes to policy development, identification and dissemination of evidence-based practices, and advancing high impact community engagement scholarship. This work is accomplished by recognizing individuals who have worked collaboratively with others to make significant contributions to advancing collaboration between educational institutions and communities, and engaging these individuals in high priority activities and projects that further community engagement theory, policy, and practice.

Community Engagement Scholarship

Community engagement scholarship focuses on ideas and raises questions that are important to communities and educational institutions. The work is carried out in a mutually beneficial, collaborative manner. Achievements include the co-creation of significant, creative, original, and conceptually-guided engagement through globally and locally relevant activities that systematically advance practice, teaching and learning, and/or research. Community engagement scholarship is documented, publicly shared, and reviewed through various mechanisms, including: presentations, publications, professional practice, creative work, and including news and other media.


Current bylaws, date: April 2021

Board of Directors

Our dedicated Board of Directors bring expertise and guidance to the work of the Academy. Each board member also comes from a strong background of community engagement scholarship.

Executive Committee

Burton A. Bargerstock, President
Executive Director, Office for Public Engagement and Scholarship
Director, UOE Communication and Information Technology
Special Adviser to the Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement
Michigan State University

Patricia M. Sobrero, Past President
Professor, Agricultural and Extension Education (Retired)
Former Associate Vice Chancellor, Extension, Engagement, and Economic Development
North Carolina State University

Lynn W. Blanchard, Treasurer
Director, Carolina Center for Public Service
Associate Clinical Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

... continue to complete board listings ...


Between November 2009 and December 2012, a group of leaders from universities and professional associations in the United States and Canada worked together to develop the concept that culminated in the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES). Invited to participate by officials from North Carolina State University, and led by Patricia Sobrero, these individuals formed a working think tank that explored the purposes and value of forming an Academy. This foundational work ultimately led to the incorporation of ACES, establishment of its board of directors in 2012, and the selection of its first cohort of members in 2014.

  • Burton Bargerstock, Co-director of the National Collaborative for the Study of University Engagement; Director of Communication and Information Technology in the office of University Outreach and Engagement, Michigan State University
  • Linda Benning, Former Executive Director, Northeast Cooperative Extension Program Staff; Associate Director, Extension and Outreach, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU)
  • Lynn Blanchard, Director, Carolina Center for Public Service, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Karen Bruns, Assistant Director, Ohio State University Extension, Ohio State University
  • Katy Campbell, Dean of the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta
  • Jeri Childers, Manager, Internships and Scholarships; Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Janet Cohen-Cruz, Director, Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life
  • Janet Conner, Director, Strategy, Planning and Faculty/Student Engagement, Pennsylvania State University
  • Royrickers Cook, Assistant Vice President, University Outreach, Auburn University
  • George Cooper, Senior Fellow, American Association of State Colleges and Universities
  • Ellis Cowling, Forest Biologist, North Carolina State University
  • David Cox, Executive Assistant to the President; Professor, Public and Nonprofit Administration, University of Memphis
  • Hiram Fitzgerald, Associate Provost for University Outreach and Engagement; University Distinguished Professor, Psychology, Michigan State University
  • Nancy Franklin, Director, Sustainability Engagement and Outreach; Assistant Director, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Pennsylvania State University
  • Nancy Franz, Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach for Families and 4-H Youth, College of Human Sciences; Director of Extension and Outreach to Families; Professor, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Iowa State University
  • Andrew Furco, Associate Vice President for Public Engagement; Associate Professor, Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, University of Minnesota
  • Philip Greasley, Associate Vice President, University Initiatives, University of Kentucky
  • Budd Hall, Professor of Community Development, Global Alliance for Community Engaged Research
  • Lyla Houglum, Professor; Director of Special Initiatives, Oregon State University Extension Service; Executive Director, Western Extension Directors Association
  • Audrey Jaeger, Associate Professor of Higher Education; Co-Director, National Initiative for Leadership and Institutional Effectiveness (NILIE), North Carolina State University
  • Trish Kalivoda, Senior Associate Vice President, Public Service and Outreach, University of Georgia
  • Teresa Mangum, Associate Professor of English; Director, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa
  • Michael Martin, Chancellor, Louisiana State University and A&M
  • KerryAnn O'Meara, Associate Professor of Higher Education, College of Education; Affiliate faculty, Women's Studies, University of Maryland
  • Jack Payne, Senior Vice President, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Florida
  • Joan Pennell, Professor of Social Work; Director of the Center for Family and Community Engagement, North Carolina State University
  • Samory Pruitt, Vice President for Community Affairs, University of Alabama
  • Judith Ramaley, President, Winona State University
  • John Saltmarsh, Director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE); Professor, Higher Education Administration, University of Massachusetts - Boston
  • Lorilee Sandmann, Professor; Program Chair, Adult Education Program, Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy, College of Education, University of Georgia
  • Sarena Diane Seifer, Founding Executive Director, Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH); Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph
  • Mary Evans Sias, President, Kentucky State University
  • Patricia Sobrero, Professor, Agricultural and Extension Education; Former Associate Vice Chancellor, Extension, Engagement, and Economic Development, North Carolina State University
  • Courtney Thornton, Research Director, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, University of North Carolina General Administration
  • Craig Weidemann, Vice President, Outreach, Pennsylvania State University
  • Jim Zuiches, Former Vice Chancellor for Extension, Engagement, and Economic Development, North Carolina State University

Contributing Staff

  • Margaret O'Brien, Senior Management Consultant and Trainer, North Carolina Builder Institute, North Carolina State University