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Hendrix Faculty Member Selected for Campus Compact’s Engaged Scholars Initiative

Dr. Delphia Shanks part of program to collaborate on scholarly projects, lead equity-focused change

CONWAY, Arkansas (September 22, 2022)—Campus Compact has announced the 15 faculty and staff selected as the 2022-2023 cohort of Engaged Scholars as part of its Engaged Scholars Initiative. Dr. Delphia Shanks of Hendrix College was among those selected.

The Engaged Scholars Initiative is a year-long collaborative learning and leadership program. Each cohort consists of a diverse group of early-career faculty and staff who are equipped to lead equity-focused change at their institution and in communities. 

Scholars were selected from a highly competitive pool of candidates from Campus Compact member institutions. Scholars were nominated by institutional leaders and represent 14 institutions from 12 states. Members of the cohort hold a wide variety of roles on their campuses, but each has a demonstrated history of effective civic and community engagement work.

Shanks enjoys a multifaceted career as a professor, scholar, and advocate. After earning a B.A. in Sociology from Grinnell College and both an M.A. in Policy Analysis and Management and a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University, she arrived at Hendrix College in 2018. At Hendrix, she teaches classes on the carceral state, public policy, inequality, civil society and nonprofits, and research methods. Prior to her time at Hendrix, she taught public policy at Auburn State Prison, a maximum-security facility in upstate New York. She is also a trained instructor through the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program.

As a scholar and advocate, Shanks’s research focuses on the policy feedback effects of public policies and how philanthropic efforts shape policy reform, advocacy, and design. Within these areas, she has a special focus on the carceral state. She carries this research into her work on the board of decARcerate, a nonprofit organization that works to end mass incarceration through education, smart legislation, advocacy, and empowering the leadership of people directly impacted by the criminal injustice system. She also volunteers as a grant writer for various local nonprofits. Prior to her time in central Arkansas, she worked at a community action agency in Missouri, was a Teach For America corps member in Louisiana, and helped start a community youth center in Iowa.

Over the course of the academic year, Engaged Scholars will participate in professional development, virtual learning opportunities, retreats, and individual support through mentoring and coaching. The aim of the program is to strengthen individual and collective scholarship, research, and impact.

“I am thrilled to welcome this year’s cohort of the Engaged Scholars Initiative,” said Nicole Springer, Director of Institutional Capacity Building at Campus Compact. “Our implementation team, made up of representatives from Campus Compact and the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College, was impressed with the caliber of candidates for this cohort. We look forward to a year of connection, collaboration, and learning as we lift up the voices of this outstanding and diverse group of practitioner-scholars.” 

“Engaged learning at Hendrix has always been about applying traditional knowledge and scholarship to issues and communities beyond the confines of our campus,” said Dr. Kiril Kolev, the College’s associate provost for engaged learning. “Delphia has worked hard to literally bring our campus to vulnerable and underserved populations. The Engaged Scholars Initiative will allow her to meet other like-minded scholars and practitioners, and I am really excited about the work she will continue doing at Hendrix and in central Arkansas following this experience.”

The Engaged Scholars Initiative is led by Campus Compact and is offered in partnership with the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College. The Lang Center at Swarthmore College is a strategic partner whose thought leadership, in-kind staffing, and financial support are critical to the success of the program.

Read more about the Engaged Scholars Initiative on the Campus Compact website.

About Hendrix College

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit