Kate and Sarah standing side by side smiling  in front of some trees

Kate Harper and Sarah Rafferty

Engage Fellows

We are Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Managers at the University of York, and have worked together on and off since 2009. Together we design and deliver CEL modules and have quickly scaled the delivery of in-curriculum activities, acting as a bridge between community priorities and academic learning. Kate leads the delivery of interdisciplinary engagement activity (including York’s Sustainability Clinic), while Sarah supports individual departments to embed CEL, such as a core Public History Module. 

Our project will focus on evaluating the impact of Community Engaged Learning on the partners and communities we work with. Through our own experience and conversations with colleagues in the sector, we are aware that there is a need for a research methodology that measures the impact of engagement rather than partner satisfaction. Through the fellowship, we plan to bring together colleagues and community partners working in this area to feed into the development of an analytical tool that foregrounds ethical engagement with partners while also allowing practitioners to gather evidence to support the scaling of these activities.

Our vision for the future of engagement is that community needs are the starting point for the development of activities and that community engagement is viewed as an integral part of teaching and learning.