Contact Us

Harrison, Amanda
Manager, Honors and Scholars Programs

Anderson Hall, Room 112

Community-Based Research Scholars 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Welcome to CBRS!

All first-year students admitted to the Community-Based Research Scholars program will enroll in an exclusive CBRS section of Complex Problems and the CBRS Lab during their fall semester. In the spring semester, students will enroll in a section of the Community-Based Research course, where they will engage in a group research project in partnership with a local non-profit.

Fall CBRS Courses

 All CBRS students will enroll in IDIS-101 and choose one section of CORE-106.

CORE-106 What does it mean to be educated?
Professor Terra Gargano

What does it mean to be educated? There are economic, philosophical, sociological, cultural, and political perspectives surrounding the purpose of education and the pedagogical constructs that guide education. Yet, what it means to be an educated individual varies among cultures and is contextually dependent. Through various forms of storytelling, readings, guest speakers, blog posts, and debates, this course will explore interdisciplinary and international perspectives on what it means to be an educated individual.


CORE-106 Who is DC?
Professor Benjamin Stokes

Outsiders often miss the vibrant neighborhoods of DC, which have deep histories and distinctive cultures. Today, DC neighborhoods face intense pressure to change. Through 3-5 field trips, interviews with residents and local politicians, and our own picture-based maps, students in "Who is DC?: exploring neighborhood identity, interviewing locals, and analyzing campaigns for stronger places" will investigate specific "neighborhood identities" in the District. We will analyze trade-offs in local campaigns to make strong places, from "buy local" to tactical urbanism and tenant organizing. The goal is to deepen our own relationship with DC, building skills to analyze the complexities of neighborhood storytelling in our own city, for development and justice.


CORE-106 Incivility
Professor Lauren Weis

In our society, divided by inequality and ideology, many demand civil discourse to solve the problem of incivility. This course challenges our assumptions about incivility and "civil discourse." Course themes may include how ideals of civility connect to language and emotion; how the normalization of civility connects to colonialism, imperialism, and globalization; whether movements employing 'uncivil' practices (suffrage, labor, civil rights, feminist, LGBTQ, disability rights, Occupy, Black Lives Matter) reject civility as an ideal and/or challenge us to think more deeply about truly "civil discourse." Students read texts from disciplines such as literature, philosophy, political science, anthropology, technology studies, gender studies, and sociology; engage in collaborative projects; visits to Congress, Belmont-Paul National Monument, National Museum of African American Culture; and observe or participate in a protest action in Washington, DC.


IDIS-101 Community-Based Research Lab
Professor Jane Palmer
In this multidisciplinary course, taken by all first-semester CBRS students, learn the principles of community-based learning, community-based research, and the fundamentals of social science research. This course also provides students with training on topics such as diversity, privilege, team dynamics, public speaking, interviewing, and other topics designed to prepare students for successful community-based learning and research projects. This course includes community visits.

Spring Course

SPA-340: Community-Based Research
Students engage in research to inform solutions for a pressing community problem, identify avenues to effect social change or evaluate program impact with a local non-profit in the Washington, DC area. Students learn how to design a research study, collect data (surveys, interviews or focus groups), analyze data and present research findings to the non-profit partner. This course works with one non-profit partner for the entire semester. Past Research Partners: United Planning Organization, Maya Angelou Public Charter School, LAYC Career Academy and Thrive DC.