Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Receives W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Award

Amanda Castro-Crist

November 12, 2018

The university was a finalist for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award for its efforts in East Lubbock.

APLU sign

Texas Tech University was recognized Sunday (Nov. 11) as a 2018 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award recipient by the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) at its annual meeting in New Orleans.

Along with three other universities that received the regional award, Texas Tech was a finalist for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award. Both awards, given by the APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, recognize programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery and engagement missions to become even more involved with their communities.

Texas Tech received the regional award for its project, “The East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood (ELPN) – From Cradle to Career,” a collaborative, interdisciplinary initiative that includes a variety of departmental and campus groups and more than 75 regional partners advocating for and supporting children and families in the East Lubbock community.

Man teaching a room full of children.

Those involved are all focused on a common goal – ensuring East Lubbock children and parents have access to the health, education and community resources they need to grow, learn and succeed. The five-year, $24.5 million effort, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, was spearheaded by Texas Tech's College of Education and Dean Scott Ridley, who led the college from 2011 until his death in October.

“Dr. Scott Ridley catalyzed the largest community-engaged scholarship project in Texas Tech University's history, and the Kellogg Award celebrates the university's unwavering commitment to community engaged scholarship,” said College of Education acting dean Robin Lock. “Dean Ridley insisted upon becoming more than a promise neighborhood recipient. Instead, he wanted to be a ‘promise university.' What started in the hearts and minds of a few spread throughout the community, the city and the university and will continue to bring about positive changes for students from elementary to high school and beyond.”

The Magrath Award finalists, Texas Tech; Ball State University; the University of Florida and Virginia Tech, were recognized in two presentations at the annual meeting. The first was as part of the session, “Institutional Strategies for Community Engagement,” where Texas Tech's Birgit Green, director of the Office Academic Engagement, presented on behalf of the ELPN team on lessons learned in the project's processes and recommendations the university would give to help other institutions adopt and adapt a similar initiative on their campuses.

Man playing guitar; students dancing.

Each finalist also was recognized at the keynote session, where Ball State University was announced as the winner of the Magrath Award.

“While we did not receive the Magrath Award, we were honored to present ‘The East Lubbock Promise Neighborhood – From Cradle to Career' project,” said Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec. “This extensive community engagement project materialized under Dean Scott Ridley, who passed away recently. This honor is not only befitting a wonderful project that positively impacted the lives of so many in the local community, but also is a reflection of the dedication, vision and genuine care Dean Ridley had for education and the community.”

About the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With a membership of 237 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement.

Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have partnered to honor the engagement, scholarship and partnerships of four-year public universities. The award, named after C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992 to 2005, includes a sculpture and $20,000 prize. The three other regional winners each will receive a $5,000 cash prize.