Research Co-Op

The Community Research Cooperative: Methodologies for Research Justice research cluster brings together an interdisciplinary and intergenerational group of scholars from the U of I to address and explore theories and methods in community-engaged research for research justice. This cluster aims to bridge the campus-community divide by creating an inclusive network that invites the core participation and intervention of leading Champaign County community organizations, and that takes the U of I 2018-2023 strategic plan as a point of departure to address the critical need to design and implement accountable models for community-centered, socially engaged research practice. We further place ourselves in intellectual and social dialogue with other spaces for community-engaged research and justice such as the Democracy Collaborative, the Anchor Mission Network, the National Education Policy Center, the Swearer Center for Community, Scholarship and Action, and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Our Faculty Co-Leads are:

Anita Chan

Anita Say Chan is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Sciences and Department of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research, teaching, and community service interests include globalization and digital cultures, innovation networks and the “periphery”, science and technology studies in global contexts, and hybrid pedagogies in building digital literacies.

Amy Leman is a proponent of youth voice and youth choice. Her teaching and research focus on evaluating effective strategies to teach and learn in both classrooms and out-of-school time programs in community settings. Her work is informed by her background as a 4-H youth development educator and work in positive youth development practices.

Rachel M. Magee is a youth advocate who teaches about and researches youth technology and information practices, informed by her background as a public librarian. She holds a PhD in information studies from Drexel University, a master’s degree in information resources and library science from the University of Arizona, and a BS in radio-television-film and a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

Lisa Elzey Mercer (she/her/hers) is a designer, educator, and researcher. Her interests are in developing and executing design interventions that fuel and sustain responsible design for social impact. The developed frameworks and tools are intended to create a space for conversation and knowledge exchange where participants can collaborate in creating new ideas and solutions. This type of methodology is evidenced in her current projects focused on the topics of human trafficking, incarceration, race, and racism. She is an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design and Design for Responsible Innovation in the School of Art and Design at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She currently serves as a National Steering Committee Member on the AIGA DEC (The American Institute of Graphic Arts Design Educators Community).

Gilberto Rosas is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latinx Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. His expertise includes questions of state formation, immigration, criminality, race and its intersections, borders, biopolitics, and ethnographic research techniques in the thickening Mexico-United States borderlands. His award-winning book, Barrio Libre: Criminalizing States and Delinquent Refusals of the New Frontier (Duke, 2012), combines notions of state power and sovereignty with oral histories of barrio libre’s inhabitants, accounting for life along the border as seen and experienced by its most marginalized actors. His most recent publication  “Necro-subjection: On Borders, Asylum and Making Dead to Let Live” (2019) investigates “necro-subjugation” and those that are denied the privilege of citizenship yet subordinated to the politics of death at the US-Mexico border.

Katie Shumway, Director of Community Learning Lab. Katie received her BSW in 2006 and MSW with a mental health concentration in 2007 from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. Katie’s background working with at-risk youth, childhood obesity, the aging population, and hospice has led to her particular interest in her current position within the School of Social Work which allows her to work with a wide range of community partners, students, and UIUC faculty/staff. Katie has her LCSW and began working with the School of Social Work’s Community Learning Lab in 2014.