CU Boulder Outreach Award Selection Committee Helps CU Boulder Reach Beyond Campus 

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By Gabby McConnell


The work of the CU Boulder Outreach Award Selection Committee has implications for many people, in Colorado and beyond. The committee is composed of faculty members from different scholarly disciplines, and each member brings a unique viewpoint to the table, enriching the discussions and decisions about every project proposed. The committee meets each spring to review proposals and select award recipients

Members can take their community-engaged scholarship experiences and apply their understanding to help their colleagues. The committee needs to be made up of different disciplines so members can give insight into their field of expertise during selection discussions. For example, Associate Professor of Piano Jennifer Hayghe is able to enlighten the committee with her knowledge of the musical arts.  

Being on the committee for twenty-plus years, Committee Chair Professor Joe Ryan has gained a wealth of knowledge and continues to do so during each selection process.  

“There are so many ways faculty at CU Boulder can help the community,” said Ryan. “It’s a nice thing to be able to pitch in and make sure people recognize that the Office for Outreach and Engagement had a role in making it possible.” 

Since 1999, the committee has funded more than 900 projects, directing $7.5 million benefiting Coloradans, people across the country and people around the world. Jeanne McDonald, associate director at the Office for Outreach and Engagement, said committee members often express how much they love learning about what fellow faculty members are doing.  

“One of the things I love about being at a large state-based research university is the fact that there’s so much going on and there’s so much to understand and be a part of,” said  Hayghe. “What I love about the committee is I get to see what everyone else is doing, and it is pretty impressive to think about all the things faculty at this institution are doing.” 

The CU Boulder Outreach Award Selection Committee plays an influential role in supporting and recognizing faculty-driven projects that have a profound impact not only in Colorado but across the nation and the world.

Photo by Logan Moreno Gutierrez on Unsplash