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Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement

Call for Manuscript Proposals


Special Issue: Community-Engaged Scholars, Practitioners, and Boundary Spanners:

 Identity, Wellbeing & Career Development


Guest Editorial Team:

Jennifer W. Purcell, EdD


School of Government & International Affairs

Kennesaw State University


Diane Doberneck, PhD

Director for Faculty & Professional Development

Office of Public Engagement & Scholarship

Michigan State University


Darlene Xiomara Rodriguez, PhD, MSW, MPA

Associate Professor

Department of Social Work & Human Services

Kennesaw State University

Jeanne McDonald, MA

Associate Director

Office of Outreach and Engagement

University of Colorado Boulder


Call for Proposals for the Special Issue:

The special issue on Identity, Wellbeing, and Career Development aligns with the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement’s mission to “advance theory and practice related to all forms of outreach and engagement between higher education institutions and communities.” Specifically, the special issue addresses individual and organizational development to support individuals who lead or are involved in community-engaged scholarship and practice, or boundary spanners. We propose the usage of boundary spanners as an inclusive term that encompasses the scholars, practitioners, educators, artists, and administrators whose work contributes to the higher education community engagement landscape.

Our conceptualization of the professional roles encompassed by boundary spanners reflects Weerts and Sandmann’s (2010) typology of boundary spanning roles in higher education. Their typology included community-based problem solvers, engagement champions, internal engagement advocates, and technical experts. Notably, Weerts and Sandmann posited the roles are not fixed; instead, boundary spanners embody rather fluid roles, nimbly adapting and responding in their orientation to the institution to the community and from practical tasks to leadership tasks. Similarly, specific positions related to higher education community engagement range from traditional faculty roles, to outreach and engagement staff, and more recently to hybrid roles that encompass elements of research, teaching, and practice. Therefore, our usage of boundary spanners is an explicit acknowledgement of the inherent value and equitable contribution of each community engagement role. Accordingly, the special issue editors are committed to including diverse voices and viewpoints as we seek to raise awareness of identity, wellbeing, and career development among boundary spanners and their full potential in higher education community engagement.

This special issue topic builds upon a previous JHEOE special issue that addressed the professional role and competencies of community engagement professionals. The special issue advances this important discourse by providing further nuance and insight informed by emerging issues, trends, challenges, and opportunities including, but not limited to, the Covid-19 pandemic and its continued impact on individuals, institutions, and communities; the shifting dynamics of higher education; and the public reckoning of historical injustices among other significant societal and organizational levers of change. Due to the nature of community-engaged activities, boundary spanners often encounter the consequences of turmoil and change in both their institutions and communities. In fact, their role has been likened to that of first responders specific to their higher education contexts. As such, these leaders require dedicated professional development and support. Just as first responders receive specialized training, support, and ongoing professional development to navigate crisis situations and secondary trauma, boundary spanners likewise require appropriate professional support.

This special issue is intended to provide encouragement, new ideas, and strategies for boundary spanners in their complex roles. Our goal is to explore concepts of identity, wellbeing, and career development to promote sustainable practices and address the promise and full potential of boundary spanners in higher education. Consequently, this special issue seeks manuscripts surrounding the following themes pertaining to career development and wellbeing of boundary spanners:

  • Theme 1: Boundary Spanner Identity & Intersectionality
  • Theme 2: Boundary Spanner Next Generation Career Pathways
  • Theme 3: Boundary Spanner Professional Development Innovations
  • Theme 4: Boundary Spanner Wellness, Wellbeing, and Career Sustainability

The guest editors seek to include a diverse spectrum of perspectives, including submissions from authors who may not typically engage in research or scholarly writing. In our attempt to increase the breath of voices included in the special issue and to reduce potential barriers for submission, new and/or reluctant authors are invited to submit Reflection Essays based on their lived experience (1,000-word count).

Prospective authors are also encouraged to emphasize equitable and inclusive practices, and use candor when sharing lessons learned from disruptions, pivots, and failures. This transparency, along with critiques of existing practice will challenge authors and readers to reimagine the possibilities and potential of boundary spanning in higher education community engagement. 

These types of contributions may encourage more practical or applied pieces, rather than solely theoretical ones. This special issue will feature the collective wisdom of boundary spanners including future directions to advance our impact.

Working Timeline

  • July 1-September 1, 2023: Call for Proposal Circulated
  • Friday, September 1: Proposals Due to
  • Sunday, October 1: Invitation for full manuscripts communicated to prospective authors
  • Friday, December 15: Full Manuscripts Due to JHEOE’s Open Journal System platform
  • January-March 2024: Internal Peer Review Process with Guest Editors and JHEOE
  • April 2024: Selection of Articles and Authors Notified of Revisions
  • May-June 2024: Author Manuscript Revisions; Decline Submissions with Revisions Not Deemed Acceptable
  • July-August 2024: Copyediting, Layout, and Copyright Approvals
  • September 2024: Final Approvals by Guest Editors and JHEOE Editorial Board
  • Fall 2024: Publication of Special Issue


Questions about this call for proposals should be sent with the subject line

“JHEOE Special Issue” to



Submissions should be in Times New Roman, 12-point font, in APA 7th edition formatting.

  • A cover page should include the manuscript type, a working title, and a short bio of up to 200 words for each contributor and all their contact information, including corresponding author identification.
  • A second page, blinded for review, will include an abstract of up to 1,000 words, followed by a reference page with citations included in the abstract. Full manuscripts that fit the scope of the special issue may be submitted for consideration in lieu of an abstract.
  • The table below summarizes the submissions we are seeking, inclusive of maximum word count.
  • For author guidelines, visit:


Category Type

Word Count

Research Articles are quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-method studies that demonstrate the long-term impact of a university-community engagement project on the community, students, faculty and staff, or the institution.



Reflective Essays are thought provoking examinations of current issues related to university-community engagement that are anchored in the literature.

1,000 - 6,000

Projects with Promise are descriptions of early-stage university-community engagement projects with early indications of impact; plan for long-term evaluation; plan for how the project will be sustained; and best practices for the reader to emulate.


Dissertation Overviews are condensed overviews of completed dissertation or thesis research of interest to the community engagement field.


Book Reviews are reviews of books related to university-community engagement that go beyond mere description of the contents to analyze and glean implications for theory and practice.



About the Journal

The Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement was founded in 1996 at the University of Georgia (UGA). JHEOE is published through a partnership between UGA Public Service and Outreach, the Louise McBee Institute of Higher Education, and UGA Extension.  JHEOE is sponsored by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium. Find out more at