On July 1, Dr. Rhonda Jones and Dr. Alyx Beckwith of NC Central University, began their term as Engaged Faculty Scholars. Two North Carolina Campus Engagement (NCCE) network faculty or administrators are selected annually for this prestigious statewide role. This is the second time NCCE has selected a UNC Greensboro faculty member since the program began in 2015. Engaged Faculty Scholars receive support from NCCE and their institution to carry out a self-designed project that advances and deepens community engagement and/or the scholarship of engagement at their institution. They will also mentor one faculty member or administrator in the NCCE network of campuses to support their efforts to advance service learning and community engagement.
Dr. Jones is a public historian and the Community Digital Archivist for the Walter Clinton Jackson Library at UNC Greensboro. Specializing in archiving intergenerational trauma, lynching, and racial animus in the Jim Crow South, her Engaged Faculty Scholars project “We Make Culture Hum: A Digital History of African American Musicians in the Piedmont, North Carolina,” highlights the traditions and enduring legacy of African American musicians – as individuals and groups – in such music genres as gospel, rock & roll, folk, blues, bluegrass, jazz, classical, soul, rhythm and blues, adult contemporary, electronic dance music, rap, and hip hop. The project will excavate archives to develop curricula about rich musical traditions in the past and present. In addition, the project will utilize commemorative sites, photographs, maps, audio, and ephemera to experiment with the application of open-source research practices and digital media communications of interactive collages and digital visualizations.