About the Engaged Pedagogy & Programming Grant

The College of Arts & Letters Engaged Pedagogy & Programming Grant are provided for teaching faculty members to assist with efforts to fund external speakers working at the intersections of the study of race, class, gender and sexuality and/or to support engagement with off-campus communities. One of the main goals of this program is to foster intersectional studies course development and implementation grounded in engaged student learning and college community-building. We hope this initiative increases sponsored research activity and facilitates faculty efforts to achieve national and international prominence through mentorship, networking, and building furthering interaction with the external speakers.

An additional goal of the grant is a focus on equity in scholarship; particularly for women, women of color, and people of color. The grant is to challenge the notion that sharing your time and knowledge is the “service economy” of being an academic. By making this a college-wide initiative, the CAL is showing our to commitment to be a creative catalysis that deepens our students’ understandings of the arts and humanities. The grant makes this creative catalysis possible: students and faculty learn, professional networks engage are built, communities become more engaged, and professional and pedagogical practices become more equitable.  

The concept for this fund was developed by Assistant Professor of English Education and African American & African Studies Tamara Butler and supported and administered initially by Sheila Contreras, then Associate Dean overseeing the Undergraduate Curriculum as well as Diversity and Inclusion efforts. “The Engaged Pedagogy & Programming Grant was birthed out my commitment to equity–educational equity in the form of student access to resources and in the form of valuing those who educate our students.” said Dr. Tamara Butler. “I wanted to ensure that students spoke with scholars, artists, and practitioners to challenge, deepen, and enrich their understandings of who are teachers and how knowledge is co-created.” The grant is now administered by Sonja Fritzsche, Associate for Personnel & Administration who also facilitates Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts in the College. Proposals are reviewed by the College Inclusive Practices Committee (CIPC). Please see the committee’s webpage for additional information on the call for proposals.

Successful applicants will present initiatives and outcomes in a mini-symposium showcasing inclusion in the curriculum. Proposals must be collaborative and include two of more faculty members. Proposals that include interdisciplinary initiatives between Departments and/or Programs are encouraged.

Proposal Form

The following form includes a program description, eligibility, timeline, criteria, and an evaluation rubric for Unit Head(s). To download the form, click the link below.

CAL Engaged Pedagogy Fund CFP 2024-2025

Samples of Past Successful Proposals

Latin American Speculative Fiction, Digital Literature, and Transmedia
Pedagogy, Identity and Community Series
Stillness, Restoration, and Community
Writers Across Disciplines
Writing Water – Flint is Family

Sample Budget

Engaged Pedagogy Grant Budget Sample

Below are the recent awarded grants by year.


Photo of a woman with dark hair smiling at the camera holding her book

A Visit with Amalia Ortiz 

Robin Silbergleid, Sheila Contreras, Yomaira Figueroa, & Divya Victor – $2,500
Amalia Ortiz’s second book, The Cancion Cannibal Cabaret and Other Songs, is now available from Aztlan Libre Press.  Ortiz has been featured on three seasons of Def Poetry on HBO, and on the NAACP Image Awards.  Her debut collection Rant. Chant. Chisme was selected by NBC News as one of the “10 Great Latino Books of 2015.”  A visit with Ortiz will include a public reading geared toward the CAL community, as well as the Chicano-Latino Studies Program, GenCen, the RCAH Center for Poetry, and the MSU Slam Team.  Additionally, Ortiz will hold a workshop and Q&A with a smaller group of undergraduate students.  Robin Silbergleid and Sheila Contreras will be teaching Ortiz’s work in conjunction with this visit, in creative writing and Chicana literature courses, respectively.

Photo of a page from a comic book

Black Kirby Now: Comics, Race and Representation

Julian Chambliss, Ben Van Dyke, Karin Zitzewitz, Russell Lucas, & Michael O’Rourke – $5000
This grant will fund lectures, workshops, and classroom engagement by John Jennings (UC Riverside) and Stacey Robinson (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), two artist-scholars that work together under the moniker BLACK KIRBY.  An Afrofuturist inspired remixing of visual culture; Black Kirby explores the intersection of black culture and history to forge an aesthetic language that investigates the historical trauma and liberation ideology central to Afrofuturism. In this dynamic week-long series of activities, these artist-scholars will discuss how Afrofuturism supports a Black Speculative Art Movement (BSAM) committed to a transformative creative dialogue about race in global context.

Photo of a girl holding a sign that says "The Hate U Give"

The Hate U Give (THUG) Teach-in

April Baker Bell & Lamar Johnson – $5,000
The teach-in/work-in is a professional development event for educators interested in receiving support and resources for teaching about race and racism in the literacy classroom using the book, The Hate U Give (THUG). The teach-in will include a variety of teaching demonstrations, presentations, and discussions facilitated by MSU English Ed faculty, secondary English Language Arts (ELA) teachers, and pre-service teachers. We are proposing to bring in scholar activists, Carmen Kynard, Eric Pritchard, and poet, performer, and writer Victor ‘Billione’ Walker as keynote workshop facilitators. 

Photo of MSU's Wells hall in the sun

Engaging Race, Gender, and the Human

Yomaira Figueroa and Danny Mendez – $5,000
These Engaged Pedagogy Funds are for two in-person multi-day visits from two scholars in the humanities: Lorgia Garcia-Peña (Harvard University) and Jessica Marie Johnson (Johns Hopkins University). These scholars work across literature, history, media, the digital humanities, with an emphasis on race, sexuality, and gender. These visits will culminate in a public talk. Overall, this proposal aims to bolster the approaches to “Race, Gender and the Human” in a newly formed English seminar (ENG 802) which seeks to introduce graduate students to critical transdisciplinary discourses in the humanities research.


Photo of a room filled with books on shelves and carts

What is Home? Creative Placemaking through Global Literacies and Languages

Tamara Butler, Emery Petchauer, Estrella Torrez – $5,000
In 2018, as faculty in the College of Arts and Letters and the Residential College of Arts and Humanities who are committed to equitable education, we partnered with the Capital Area District Library to launch “What is Home?” The community-centered literacy event was an opportunity engage with the immigrant, migrant and refugee communities who now call Lansing home. Through this free event, we provided arts, crafts and children’s books. The Engaged Pedagogy grant will be used to evaluate the event and integrate it into classes in CAL and RCAH.

Photo of a woman with blonde hair smiling at the camera

Temperament Diversity and the Quiet School Training Network

Rob Roznowski – $5000
Most classrooms in our educational system utilize extroverted models of volunteerism or group activities. These biased models extend to the theatrical classroom in activities like improvisation and ensemble-building exercises. How then to create a more inclusive classroom to foster a learning environment that rewards both introverts and extroverts? Dr. Heidi Kasevich (Susan Cain’s “Quiet Schools” program education director) will offer tactics and guidance to transform accepted, extrovert-based models of education to create a more balanced classroom. These strategies extend beyond theatre and actor training to include ways to augment any classroom devoted to parity in fostering creativity.


Photo of a stage with several people doing multiple different kinds of dances.

Dance Engine – Dance and Theatre as Tools for Change and Engagement

Allison Dobbins – $3,500
Theatre Engine: Dance Engine is a mash-up of live dance, electronic music, mobile phones and YOU. Theatre Engine begins as a game of words and ends as a dance party for all participants – with audience members interacting with movement artists and controlling lights and sounds. At its heart, Theatre Engine is about the simple joy of play, enhanced by cutting-edge technology. It is our pleasure to present you with a place where your actions and choices are an integral part of the performance – a unique theatrical experience, unlike anything you have seen before.

Navy blue graphic titled "Bridge the Gap" with a hand on the side extended down.

Urban Arts, Teaching Artists, and English Teacher Education

Emery Petchauer – $5000
This project sought to use the Engaged Pedagogy and Programming Fund for a community engagement project connected to my English 408: Critical Literacies and Communities course, a new and piloted version of English 408. I partnered with three teaching artists connected to All of the Above, a hip-hop arts non-profit organization in Lansing, MI. These teaching artists were Sareem Poems (poet and rapper), Dustin Hunt (visual artist) and Shondell Brandon (DJ and music producer).

Photo of a hallway filled with people looking at a variety of sculptures and displays.

Sense of Self – Disability Studies and Accessible Art Outreach

Natalie Phillips – $5000
This high impact public outreach event brought together ~250 students, faculty, staff, and community members from across the University and the greater-Lansing area to collectively interact with art and literature using their eyes, ears, and hands and to engage in a conversation about reimagining the art museum as an inclusive and accessible space.

Photo of a lake with mountains covered by clouds

Professor Gary Barkhuzien Invited Lecture

Shawn Loewen and Peter De Costa – $5000
The Engaged Pedagogy Fund allowed us to bring international scholar, Professor Gary Barkhuizen, to campus from New Zealand for almost a week in November. He spoke for two hours to a group of about 30 faculty and students, mostly from Second Language Studies, but also TESOL and Education. His talk provided a nice balance between giving us a narrative analysis of a South African immigrant’s experiences of settling in New Zealand, as well as detailing the methodology of how one goes about doing a narrative analysis.