Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship (ACES)

Nancy Franklin

Inducted in

Franklin Solutions


Photo of Nancy Franklin

Biographical Abstracts

Dr. Nancy Franklin, principal of Franklin Solutions, collaborates with leaders of higher education, government, and community to facilitate strategic partnerships, innovation initiatives, talent development, agile planning, and program creation. She previously led strategic initiatives at Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Indiana State University that included higher education-community partnerships associated with regional development and sustainability. She co-founded a unique intermediary institution in south central Virginia, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), which was recognized with numerous regional and national awards. Holding dual roles with Virginia Tech and the IALR, she provided leadership to a regional transformation strategy focused on four quadrants of effort: building a regional innovation ecosystem, developing and attracting talent, leveraging information technology, and creating a destination location. At Penn State she founded the Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC), a partnering infrastructure to support institution-wide engagement with community-identified sustainability challenges. A significant focus of the SCC was facilitating high impact experiential learning opportunities for hundreds of students across dozens of departments and majors in partnership with communities.

Franklin has been active in several national networks focused on public engagement, including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU) Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness, and Economic Prosperity; the Council on Engagement and Outreach; the Engagement Scholarship Consortium; Transformative Regional Engagement Networks; and the Academy of Community Engagement Scholarship. She holds a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in higher education administration from Virginia Tech, and a bachelor’s degree in education from Bucknell University.


Areas of Expertise

  • Scaled student engagement
  • Environmental sustainability
  • STEM capacity-building
  • Agile planning, strategy, and implementation
  • Technology-mediated teaching and learning