Valuing Community Impact

Mackenzie Madden
Mackenzie Madden
Associate Director, Communications and Planning, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

How would you define this Big Idea?

To value community impact means that research, courses, and service projects begin with recognition of actual existing problems or concerns and are designed with the intention of a making an improvement in specific areas of human need. This concept assumes that community input happens at the forefront of project design for the purpose of co-creating desired outcomes.

How is this Big Idea included in your work?

The Westside Communities Alliance is a network of academic and community partners working collaboratively to tackle local challenges in NPU’s K, L, and T through the provision of research, education, and community engagement. The Alliance is a model for critical engagement of multiple stakeholders connecting various sets of expertise in addressing community needs and aspirations and in developing sustainable vibrant urban communities. Our partners can be found in a variety of fields including Arts & Culture, Development & Transit, Education & Student Engagement, Food & Health, and Water & Environment. Signature programs of the WCA include:

  • Westside Resource Center: a free community space in the heart of the Westside for neighbors to apply for and renew public benefits, access and learn how to use internet-accessible computers, and attend classes and workshops on subjects like financial literacy.
  • WCA Data Dashboard: A one-stop shop for qualitative and quantitative neighborhood information.
  • OurGirls@Tech: An annual event giving Washington Cluster middle-school girls the opportunity to experience a day at Georgia Tech, participate in hands-on STEM demonstrations, talk to current students, and learn what it takes to gain admission to top-tier colleges and universities.

Learn more:

Westside Communities Alliance

WCA Data Dashboard