Human time, care, thought, and enthusiasm are the primary resources necessary to produce Community Engagement Fellows. Other resources, such as a meeting space and a modest budget, are also needed.
Here is an overview of resource needs:
The facilitator, or facilitation team, needs ample time throughout the year for recruiting, organizing cohorts, scheduling and facilitating meetings, communicating, managing websites and other data, and more.
As we initiated the program, it was very helpful to have one staff member, Travis, be able to focus the majority of his time on the program.
Between ½ and ⅔ of Travis’s time has been directly dedicated to Fellows-related activities. This proportion is increasing as the number of Fellows grows, new program elements are added, and we take on new big tasks like providing a Guide to the program!
We now have more people power with Kristine Smith from Whatcom Community College co-facilitating the program. Human resources needs will continue to change as our facilitation team grows, and the program keeps changing.
Pleasant and accessible meeting spaces, ideally with easy access to coffee, bathrooms, and wifi, are needed. For cohort meetings and Community Engagement Forums we have always used spaces that were free to reserve, so this hasn’t been a budgetary expense.
We are lucky to have many free options in downtown Bellingham, and now outside Bellingham at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center in Kendall, WA.
As a Fellow, WWU History Professor Josh Cerretti developed relationships with local archives to design a new final project for his Urban History course.
"The program connected me to people and resources on and off campus that it would have taken me years to find otherwise. It's one of the best ways for a new faculty member to get involved at our institution and in our community."
The monetary expenses for the program have been for coffee/snacks at cohort meetings and forums, reserving park buildings for our picnics, maintaining the cefellows.org website, and for travel in a Zipcar for recruitment and meetings beyond Bellingham.
Program expenses have not exceeded $2500 in any year. The single largest expenses are the two picnics, which cost around $500 each. We try to be minimally reliant on program dollars, and focus instead on human resources.
Some of the Fellows are provided stipends or other incentives by their employers, which are explained more on the Participation Incentives page. We don’t consider these program expenses. They are complementary, not essential.
We print out a few “party favors” (aka handouts) for the program, though we’re trying to minimize our use of paper and maximize managing documents online. You’ll probably choose to print a bit, but don’t go overboard!