A Community-University Exchange Project Modeled after Europe’s Science Shops

Elizabeth Tryon, J. Ashleigh Ross


This article describes a pilot project of the Morgridge Center for Public Service at the University of Wisconsin–Madison for a new structure for community-based learning and research. It is based on the European-derived science shop model for democratizing campus-community partnerships using shared values of mutual respect and validation of community knowledge. The objective was to find methods that serve both community and institutional goals equally in a streamlined fashion. The Community University Exchange, the official name of the unique brand of science shop described, has just completed its first pilot year. This article analyzes how the stakeholders have found meaning in the process of building an infrastructure to help create more authentic, reciprocal, and mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships. This narrative is a map of the journey and the direction for future development.

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