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Collaborative Research: Empowering Students and Connecting to Community

Mills-Dick, Kelly MSW; Hull, Jessie Mia BSW

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice: July/August 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 4 - p 381–387
doi: 10.1097/PHH.0b013e3182140c2f
Original Article

Public health social work is committed to improving the health and well-being of individuals and communities. Collaborative partnerships can be a tremendous resource and valuable approach to meeting community needs. This article discusses the essential role of partnership and community learning through the case study of a student-faculty team engaged in collaborative research on homelessness in upstate New York in an effort to inform the development of a community affordable housing plan. The goals of the project were to (1) improve understanding of homelessness at the local level, (2) contribute to community planning efforts to end homelessness, and (3) enrich public health social work skills. This case study describes the various ways in which collaboration is cultivated and infused throughout the life of a project. The authors reflect on benefits and challenges of collaboration, and suggest considerations for designing collaborative research projects. This article discusses the impact faculty-student and college-community collaborative partnerships can have on expanding knowledge and enhancing community well-being.

This article discusses the impact faculty-student and college-community collaborative partnerships can have on expanding knowledge and enhancing community well-being.

University of Hawaii School of Social Work, Henke Hall, Honolulu, Hawaii (Ms Mills-Dick); Jewish Community Center (JCC) Early Learning Center, Brookline, Massachusetts (Ms Hull); and Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York (Mss Mills-Dick and Hull).

Correspondence: Kelly Mills-Dick, MSW, University of Hawaii School of Social Work, 1800 East-West Rd, Henke Hall, Honolulu, HI 96795 (kellymillsdick@gmail.com).

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.