Black Lives Matter Faculty Learning Community Spotlight

Our Faculty Learning Communities (FLCs) are made up of Nashman Affiliated Faculty and other interested faculty to explore a topic of interest over the course of a calendar year. They meet regularly to discuss important topics related to community-engaged scholarship. Community-Engaged Scholar Ashley Hidalgo spotlighted the BLM FLC after working with them this year.

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November Faculty Spotlight: Maranda Ward

Our November faculty spotlight is Nashman affiliate faculty, Dr. Maranda C. Ward from GW's School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS). She is currently teaching two Nashman designated Community-Engaged Scholarship courses.  One is an online course where she serves as the course director and has integrated IRB-approved research funded by the GW SMHS Center for Faculty Excellence, HSCI 2110: Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  The other is funded by a Nashman course development grant, HSCI 2195: Applied Health Equity.  Nashman's Community-Engaged Scholar, Emebte Atanaw, sat down with Dr. Ward to ask about her role as an Nashman affiliate faculty and her newest course offering.  

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Nashman Affiliated Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Imani Cheers

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Our October Faculty spotlight is Dr. Imani M. Cheers from the School of Media and Public Affairs. Our Community-Engaged Scholar Emebte Atanaw sat down with Cheers to ask about her Scholarship of Engagement.

Dr. Cheers is a professor of Digital Storytelling in the School of Media and Public Affairs. This is her 6th year at the George Washington University. We wanted to know about how she incorporates service into her classes. Dr. Cheers explained her local and international work to us. “All of my courses are inspired by social justice and advocacy. I try to base the courses with local communities around the D.C. area, specifically the Shaw and Anacostia neighborhoods. I also include international focused advocacy in my courses. I’ve done activities such as beach clean-ups in Belize, working with local community leaders in Southeast D.C., and humanitarian work.”

We asked Dr. Cheers what advice she would give to professors and students at GW who want to do work in the community. She gave us some great insight. “Most people want to do good work but don’t have the connections or know where to do their service. We live in D.C. where there’s lots of community work to be done. We often neglect service in our own backyard. There’s organizations such as D.C. Central Kitchen who value their volunteers, and many public schools in D.C. eager for students to get involved. Overall, there’s much service to be done, and it’s only a couple blocks away.”

The Nashman Center is delighted to have Imani Cheers as a Nashman Affiliated Faculty member. To learn more about our Nashman Affiliated Faculty, click here. To learn more about Dr. Cheers’ research check out her new book “The Evolution of Black Women in Television: Mammies, Matriarchs and Mistresses” and her blogs at and You can see Dr. Cheers’ student research projects at the Symposium on Community-Engaged Scholarship Dec. 7th. Click here to RSVP for the event.

New Publication by Nashman Affiliate Faculty, Dr. Jordan Potash: “Citizenship, Compassion, the Arts”

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Nashman Affiliated Faculty member Jordan Potash and his collaborators have published a new article, “Citizenship, Compassion, the Arts: People Living with Mental Illness Need a Caring Community,” in Social Change. The new article highlights their work using art therapy exhibits and response art to reduce stigma, promote inclusion, and engage policy discussions for people living with mental illness.

To read the article, click here. To read another article from 2017 related to this one, click here. For Professor Potash’s GWU faculty page, click here. To check out more of our great Nashman Affiliated Faculty, click here.

New Washington Post Article from Professor Gregory D. Squires

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Professor Gregory D. Squires, a Nashman Center Affiliated Faculty member in the Sociology Department, published an article in the Washington Post. The article, ‘The right to stay put,’ written in collaboration with Dominic T. Moulden and Aristotle Theresa, is the product of ongoing collaborative work and covers some of the same subject matter as Professor Squires’ recent book, “The Fight for Fair Housing: Causes, Consequences, and Future
Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act (Routledge 2018).”

To read the article, click here. Professor Squires’ GWU faculty page can be found here. If you want to check out more Nashman Affiliated Faculty and their work, click here.

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Tara Scully

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Tara Scully

Our first Faculty Spotlight of the year is Dr. Tara Scully, a member of the Nashman Affiliated Faculty! She teaches several Service-Learning courses in the Biology department, including “Food, Nutrition, and Service” and “Understanding Organisms Through Service Learning.” Read more below for the full profile of Dr. Scully!

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Dr. Ellen Kurtzman Awarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship

Dr. Kurtzman of GW's Nursing school Awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowship

GW Nursing's Dr. Ellen Kurtzman will get an opportunity to shape policy through her work as a fellow.  

“I want to really learn how legislation happens, and the best way for me to do that is through an immersive Hill experience,” Dr. Kurtzman said. Her research and scholarship have addressed the effects of federal and state policies and programs on health care quality and the role of the health care workforce in higher value care. “I always think about my research through a policy lens,” she said. “But I have not had real-world policymaking experience. I’m hoping that this fellowship will ignite dozens of new research questions, sharpen my existing questions and heighten the policy impact of my research to improve patient care and public health.”

For more information see the full article here:

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Former Knapp Fellow and GSHED Alumna Dr. Maranda Ward in the News!

Check out Dr. Maranda Ward: The Practitioner's Perspective - A Tale of Two Cities: My Health Equity Work in the Nation's Capital   


Her research is translated into practice as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Promising Futures. In her blog, she takes you on a bus ride from an affluent part of town replete with healthy and abundant food options and services, to her neighborhood, where residents struggle to even meet their most basic needs. She uses these examples to engage students in understanding structural inequity.


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Spotlight on Faculty Learning Communities: Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR)

Community Engaged Scholar Emebte Atanaw works with our CBPR FLC and offers our first spotlight on FLCs with this blog post:

A group of faculty from different schools within the George Washington University community gather together once a month to discuss their interest in CBPR (community based participatory research) and provide each other assistance and advice on research projects. This group is part of the Faculty Learning Communities at the Nashman Center.

CBPR members include Erin Athney (School of Nursing), Lottie Baker (Graduate School of Education & Human Development), Mayri Leslie (School of Nursing), Uriyoán Colón Ramos (Milliken: Global Health), and Maranda Ward (Milliken: Clinical Research and Leadership).

Faculty discuss their research, obstacles they face, share ideas to improve projects. The group is interdisciplinary which allows them to connect with professors across schools at GW. Professors in the group are interested in community engaged scholarship courses, and learn how they can gain course designation if they haven’t already. The group ranges from new faculty to veterans which adds to the diversity in the group. 

Want to get involved with Community-Engaged Scholarship at GW? We would love to meet you! Come to our next breakfast conversation on April 19, 2018 from 9:45-10:45 a.m. in the Churchill Center at the Gelman Library to find out a little bit more about the Nashman Center.

Want to start an FLC next year or join one in progress this year? Check out the offerings here: