Long-term Relationships

Christian Braneon
Chief Engineer of Environmental Services for Hummingbird

How would you define this big idea?

True community-university partnerships rely on a commitment to one another that extends beyond the last day of class. Community challenges and concerns are as important (in planning, implementation, and evaluation) as student learning and development. Taking the time to develop communication channels and common agendas with new partners requires a change in behavior and an upfront investment of time. However, as time goes by you reap the benefits of long-term relationships that are built on mutual trust and respect.

How is this big idea included in your work?

I identify, develop, and maintain partnerships with nonprofit, municipal, school, campus, and industry partners to engage in and advance learning and action related to curricular and non-curricular activities at Georgia Tech. The investment in time needed for relationship building can create pathways for community engagement that reduce the overall time and resources necessary to coordinate a system of projects, while increasing the overall impact of individualized projects. Through long-term relationships, students may feel compelled to pursue further action to address the root causes of the sustainability challenges they encounter during their service experiences.

Learn more:

Beaudoin, F.D., Brundiers, K. (2016) A Guide for Applied Sustainability Learning Projects: Advancing sustainability outcomes on campus and in the community. Philadelphia: Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

Brown, D. M. (2001). Pulling it together: A method for developing service-learning community partnerships based in critical pedagogy. Washington DC: Corporation for National Service.

Mitchell, T. D. (2008). Traditional vs. critical service learning: Engaging the literature to differentiate two models. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 14(2), 50-65.