August 17, 2022
Dance faculty member, Valerie Ifill, was selected for Campus Compact’s Engaged Scholars Initiative for the 2022-23 year.
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.
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.
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.
Valerie Ifill, M.F.A. is a dance educator, researcher and performer focused on university-community partnerships and making dance more accessible. Assistant Professor of Dance at Drexel University, Valerie’s research explores movement in community-engaged learning; identity development; and expanding representation in dance. Valerie has founded and directed university-community dance programs at Drexel University through Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships in Philadelphia, PA, and at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, NC. Certified to teach Inside-Out Prison Exchange courses, Valerie teaches classes for groups of university students and incarcerated citizens. Black Girls STEAMing through Dance is a collaborative interdisciplinary research project making Dance, Code, and Product Design with electronic textiles accessible to Black girls, of which Valerie is a co-founder.
Supporting Community-engaged work at Drexel University, Valerie is a Faculty Fellow with the Lindy Center of Civic Engagement. Valerie’s research and/or movement workshops have been presented at the National Arts Education Association conferences, International Conference on Urban Education, National Dance Education Organization conferences, the Journal of Dance Education, the South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance conference, The American College Dance Association festivals, Blumenthal Performing Arts Educational Lunch & Learn series. Valerie earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance from the University of Oregon, completed the Independent Study Program at The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a Dance minor from Kent State University.