Welcome to the International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE). You, along with some 950 other researchers, students and practitioners committed to advancing research on service-learning and community engagement, are the foundation for the work of IARSLCE.

 IARSLCE Final Logo with Conf Text 1-29-15

Hosted by: Northeastern University; Program Chairs are Becca Berkey and Lori Gardinier


Click here for the 2015 Conference Schedule of Presentations

General Information

Welcome to Boston, where tradition meets innovation! Boston is home to historic Faneuil Hall and The Old State House, places where revolution and freedom were debated. Boston is also home of the Innovation District, an expansive new creative space nestled next to the historic Boston Harbor, where art and science collide to fuel the new entrepreneurship sector.

IARSLCE is excited to bring researchers, teachers, students, and community members to Boston to reflect on our history within the field of service-learning and community engagement, while expanding the depth and breadth of the field to highlight cutting edge methods and practices. Our conference will highlight the historical foundations of modern innovation to reveal how past research inspires original research questions and innovative methods to advance the field into the 21st Century.

Innovation is the integration of new ideas, new models, and new methods. Effective and efficient innovation is the ability to utilize these news ideas, models, and methods to advance research and practice and promote revolutionary outcomes. Innovation requires thoughtful reflection and the integration of lessons learned from the past. Inspired from tradition, the research of service-learning and community engagement seeks to inspire a new vision for the future. A new vision will consider the foundation of the field while integrating innovative research techniques and targets to advance our understanding on the impact of service-learning and community engagement on all stakeholders.

Although community engagement has been embedded in the mission of higher education, building a community of scholars committed to intentional research and evaluation about these efforts is still emerging.   How have we evolved as a community of scholars? What is the way forward? What is the power and potential of convening as we seek to create knowledge while reflecting and building on a robust body of scholarship?

Key speakers for this year’s conference will ponder our past accomplishments, highlight our current endeavors, and develop projections for our future. We will consider how current research, teaching, and practice serve as products of our past and our pathways to the future. We will ask about the future of service-learning and community engagement across different settings and within different communities. We will consider how the research of today will shape tomorrow. We hope our program will encourage the exchange of ideas within and across disciplines and communities, to provide a foundation for the future of innovation.

The IARSLCE annual research conference is targeted to scholars, practitioners, students, and community partners interested in research on service-learning, community-based research, campus-community partnerships, and civic learning outcomes in P-20 education. Attendees include faculty, administrators, and scholar-practitioners in higher education, community partners, educators in P-12, and professionals and leaders in educational policy and community development.

Conference Schedule

Monday, November 16, 2015:

7:30AM – 5PM Registration Open

8:30AM – 11:30AM – Preconference Sessions

12 Noon – 2PM Opening Luncheon Address featuring Joe Kennedy

2:30PM- 3:45PM – Concurrent Sessions A

4PM – 5:15PM – Concurrent Sessions B

5:15PM – 6PM – Mentorship Gathering

6PM -7PM – Meet fellow conference-goers at Affinity Group Meetups

7PM – Dinner on your own

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

7AM – 5PM Registration Opens

7AM – 8AM Breakfast

8AM – 9:15AM Concurrent Sessions C

9:30AM – 10:45AM Concurrent Sessions D

11AM – 12:15PM Concurrent Sessions E

12:30PM – 2PM Keynote Luncheon Panel

2:15PM – 3:30PM Poster Sessions

3:45PM – 5PM Concurrent Sessions F

5PM – 6PM International Coffee Hour

6PM – 7PM Graduate Student Reception

7PM Dinner on your own

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

7AM – 12 Noon Registration Open

7AM – 8AM Breakfast

8AM – 9:15AM Concurrent Sessions G

9:30AM – 10:45AM Concurrent Sessions H

11:30AM – 1:30PM Member Meeting and Recognition Luncheon

1:30PM Conference Closes

Conference Features

Pre-Conference Sessions

Preconference sessions will be held before lunch on Monday, November 16 and are $70/session.

Opening Luncheon featuring Congressman Joe Kennedy  Monday, November 16 at Noon


Joe Kennedy III is proud to serve the Fourth District of Massachusetts in Congress. Currently in his second term, he represents a diverse district that spans from the suburbs of Boston to the more industrial towns of Massachusetts’ South Coast.

As member of the influential House Energy & Commerce Committee, Joe has prioritized economic opportunity for working families. A vocal advocate for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, vocational schools and community colleges, he has authored several pieces of legislation in Washington aimed at improving access to our modern economy, including the Perkins Modernization Act and STEM Gateways Act.

Inspired by the manufacturing traditions that drive many of the communities he represents, Joe also introduced the Revitalize American Manufacturing (RAMI) Act during his first term, which will help fuel innovation and new technologies throughout our manufacturing sector. After a year of building broad bipartisan and industry support, RAMI passed the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Obama at the end of 2014.

From his spot on the E&C Committee, Joe has emphasized issues of critical importance to Massachusetts. Whether leading efforts to combat opiate abuse or working with federal regulators to tackle the rising cost of energy across New England, his legislative agenda is driven by the communities back home.  Deeply dedicated to being as accessible as possible to his constituents, Joe has launched creative efforts to consistently visit every city and town in the 4th District, from “Tour 34” to “District Days.”

Whether at home in the Commonwealth or down in Washington, Joe has become a powerful voice for social justice, championing issues like employment non-discrimination, pay equity, marriage equality and comprehensive immigration reform.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Joe served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as an Assistant District Attorney in both the Middlesex County and Cape and Island’s District Attorneys’ Offices. Before that he served as a member of the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic where he designed and implemented an economic development project near Puerto Plata.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Joe is fluent in Spanish and holds a bachelor’s degree in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University as well as a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

He lives with his wife, Lauren, a health policy expert, and their dog, Banjo, in Brookline, Mass.

Keynote Luncheon – Tradition Meets Innovation: The Past, Present, and Future of Community Engagement featuring Shelley Billig, Tania Mitchell, and Lorraine McIlrath;  moderated by Dwight Giles                                                       

Tuesday, November 17 at 12:30PM 

                                taniamitchell Lorraine McIlrath

………………………  shelley dwightgiles

This year’s lunchtime keynote is an exciting panel of experts in service-learning and community engagement.  Panelists will reflect on seminal moments, contemporary issues, and debate the emerging trajectory of our scholarship. In addition, they will consider under-examined areas that are essential for growth and vibrancy in the field. The audience will have the opportunity to pose questions during this interactive keynote session, promising a rich dialogue for conference participants.

Information for Presenters

Presenters will be notified by May 29, 2015 and must confirm their participation by June 12, 2015. We ask that all presenters submit full papers of their presentation by Friday, October 23, 2015. Click here for paper guidelines. 

Poster guidelines are as follows: We will provide foam boards, 30×40”, as well as easels for you to attach your poster. It will serve as an anchor and your poster can be larger than that as long as it doesn’t topple over.


Registration Information

Click here to register

Rates will be as follows: Regular Registration: $475; Student Registration: $350; One-Day Registration for Tuesday is $250; One-Day Registration for Monday or Wednesday is $125; and Late Registration (beginning 10/31/15) is $500. There will be an Early Bird discount of $425/regular registration (through July 31 EXTENDED TO SEPTEMBER 13). Pre-conference sessions will be $70/half-day session.

Hotel Information

Click here to book your stay at the Marriott Copley Place through IARSCLE’s discounted room block.

Lynton Colloquium

Saturday, November 14, 9AM-4PM, University of Massachusetts Boston

While in Boston, consider joining NERCHE and the Center for Engaged Democracy to celebrate the national recipient of the 2015 Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty and to learn about findings from the 2015 Current Critical Issues in Community Engagement Research Projects. The critical issues–Leadership, Structures of Inclusion, and Student Outcomes–were identified during the 2014 Lynton Colloquium.

The colloquium will feature a keynote presentation by the recipient of the 2015 Lynton Award (to be announced in August 2015). It will also feature research presentations by the 2015 Advancing Current Critical Issues in Community Engagement Research grant recipients. Collectively, colloquium participants will discuss the “critical issues in the field” for 2016 and beyond.

The colloquium continues to be inspired by Dr. Ernest Lynton, who framed faculty scholarly activity as inclusive and collaborative work in which academics and community partners share knowledge and expertise in the process of public problem solving.

Be a part of this exchange for change in higher education!



All conference information posted here is subject to change.