EKU to Produce Academic Journal Devoted to Regional Engagement

Eastern Kentucky University, home of a nationally innovative educational extension agents program and many other stewardship initiatives, will soon produce the first issue of an academic journal devoted to regional engagement.

PRISM: A Journal of Regional Engagement will debut in Spring 2012, according to its editor, Dr. Joe Gershtenson, director of the Kentucky Institute of Public Governance and Civic Engagement at EKU.

The publication will serve as a “forum for what’s going on at colleges and universities around the country with regional engagement,” Gershtenson said. “We want to create a dialogue so we can learn best practices from each other.”

Two issues will be published annually, Gershtenson noted, with the Spring issue always focused on a specific theme. The theme of the inaugural issue will be “Engaging Appalachia.” Subsequent themes will focus on the current state of regional engagement in higher education and engaging underrepresented populations.

“There’s very little out there that addresses regional engagement in a scholarly way,” Gershtenson said. “We hope this promotes best practices in regional engagement and increases knowledge of not only some initiatives in the field but also how to identify regional needs and partners, how to structure interaction between colleges and universities and regional partners, and how to communicate and disseminate information. The ultimate aim is to integrate this knowledge and apply it to practices with regard to regional engagement.”

            Gershtenson said EKU is ideally suited to host such a publication.

            “If you look at Eastern’s mission and strategic plan, certainly regional engagement is a major part of how we define the University,” he said. “This is in keeping with the mission of our own institution, so why not incorporate this forum for the creation and dissemination of knowledge.”

            Each issue will contain approximately 10 entries and feature a blend of traditional research, case studies, applied research and reflective pieces.

            The EKU Office of University Programs – specifically the Office of Regional Stewardship – initiated the process of developing the journal and is providing the financial support for it.

The Kentucky Institute of Public Governance and Civic Engagement is housed in EKU’s Department of Government.

Published on February 07, 2011