Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES)

Joan T. Pennell

Inducted in

North Carolina State University

Professor and Director, Center for Family and Community Engagement

Photo of Joan T. Pennell

Biographical Abstracts

Joan Pennell integrated learning and discovery with social work practices through a family- and community-centered team approach working with youth and adults. Her integrative model is globally recognized and resulted in being the university nominee for the Kellogg-McGrath Engagement Award and winning the Opal Mann Green Engagement Award.

Notable Achievements

Dr. Pennell is Director of the Center for Family and Community Engagement and Professor of Social Work at North Carolina State University. Her innovative statewide center is funded to work on a family-centered practice and family engagement (NC Division of Social Service, NC Department of Public Instruction), foster youth and educational success (US Administration for Children and Families), and fathering in the context of domestic violence (NC Division of Social Services). The unique approach of collaborative family- and community-based teams working with youth and adults receiving social work assistance has been adopted by the state of North Carolina and many other governments around the globe. This is because of her ability to build teams linking university resources with people in local communities and agencies. These teams practice a family- and community-centered approach and then evaluate outcomes that illustrate compelling results for positive change and cost effectiveness.

Dr. Pennell was a principal investigator (with Gale Burford) for a Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada, demonstration of family group conferencing in situations of child maltreatment and domestic violence. She was appointed to the National Crime Prevention Council (Canada), chaired its Youth Justice Committee, and promoted collaborative social development strategies for crime prevention. She helped to found the first shelter for abused women and their children in Newfoundland and co-facilitated support groups working with abused women of European and Aboriginal descent. Throughout Dr. Pennell's work she was actively engaged with the communities where these issues were identified.