Mary Beckman named new Director of Academic Community Engagement

Author: Jay Caponigro

Mary Beckman, associate director for academic affairs and research at the Center for Social Concerns at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to the additional role of director of academic community engagement for a two-year

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term. She succeeds James Frabutt, who served as the first director from the fall of 2013 until the fall of 2015.

In her new role, Beckman will help facilitate and promote engagement between Notre Dame faculty and community partners involved in community, social, cultural, human and economic development. She was appointed by the Community Engagement Coordinating Council(CECC), a body established in 2011 to deepen the culture of engagement between Notre Dame and its many community partners. She has been a member of the CECC since it was established.

“Mary has a long history of connecting the local community with the academic resources of the University,” said Rev. Paul Kollman, C.S.C., Leo and Arlene Hawk Executive Director of the Center for Social Concerns and chair of the CECC. “We look forward to her expanding the academic community engagement through which Notre Dame seeks to serve the local community.”

The CECC works together with the Center for Social Concerns, the institute that promotes community-based learning and research; theOffice of Public Affairs, which coordinates various economic and educational engagement activities for the University; and other partners both on campus and in the local community.

“With the guidance of the CECC,” said Beckman, “I look forward to continuing the effective work begun by Jim Frabutt. We want to further institutionalize the work of the council and develop signature community projects with particular attention to the measurement of results.”

In her current role at the Center for Social Concerns, Beckman directs a program in community-based research that offers grants to teams of faculty, community partners and students to conduct research on issues of local concern. Her research and current writing focuses on the impact of academic community engagement in the communities where it takes place. She has published numerous articles and recently published an edited volume titled “Community-Based Research: Teaching for Community Impact” (Stylus 2016).

Contact: JP Shortall, Center for Social Concerns, 574-631-3209,