Eisman Award for Engaged Scholarship

ICCE announces new faculty award for research/creative works in civic engagement and/or community service Eisman Award for Engaged Scholarship Named in honor of Dr. Gerald (“Jerry”) Eisman, a new Eisman Award for Engaged Scholarship provides university-wide recognition of highly engaged community-based scholarship collaborations that positively impact both the community and research/creative works endeavors. This award was announced at the ICCE Awards Ceremony on April 12, 2018, and the first award/grant process began in Fall 2018. Jerry Eisman was the inaugural and former Director of ICCE who has a long-standing reputation as a change agent and demonstrates active involvement in the community.

The Eisman Award for Engaged Scholarship will be given annually to one full-time, tenured/tenure track faculty or lecturer who has research or creative scholarship as part of their required duties. Priority will be given to T/TT faculty who exhibit a commitment to civic engagement and/or community service learning as part of their professional achievement and growth. This award will recognize the exemplary engaged scholarship with a community partner or across units at SF State (on-campus collaboration or “campus community”). The recipient will be recognized for their work to gain new experience, or expand upon current scholarship (research or creative work) in community service-learning, civic engagement, and/or on-campus collaboration. The recipient should embody the ideals, vision, and success of community-campus partnerships and show experience or promise as a researcher in one’s discipline. That is, eligible faculty could be either seasoned professionals or early-career faculty displaying potential. In honor of Dr. Jerry Eisman, the recipient should apply best practices of SF State as an engaged institution and demonstrate inspiration to building—or enhancing—community or campus relationships through advancing their scholarship and contributing to the body of knowledge in their field of study.

Jerry Eisman earned his doctorate in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1977. In 1988 he joined the SF State Computer Science faculty, was promoted to full professor, and served as department chair for nine years. In the early 90s, with campus colleagues, he founded SFSUnet, a campus community online communication project aimed at closing the digital divide in order to address community needs. Its programs included teaching computing skills to residents of public housing; tutoring children in mathematics and computing; expanding online opportunities for minority businesses, and developing workflow systems for public health agencies. SFSUnet hosted the first United Nations online conference on disaster preparedness involving participants in Japan, Peru, and San Francisco. In 1995, Dr. Eisman chaired an SF State strategic planning task force that created the Office of Community Service Learning and later served as its Director placing thousands of students in the community each year as part of their academic study. From 2004 to 2006, Jerry served as the first Service-Learning Faculty Scholar in the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor, where he helped promote community-based scholarship throughout the 23-campus CSU system. He became Acting Director of ICCE in 2006 and Director in 2008. In 2010, Jerry was a recipient of the California Campus Compact’s Richard E. Cone Award recognizing his impact on service-learning and community-campus partnerships across the San Francisco Bay Area and the CA State University system. Throughout his career, Jerry’s work has focused on how the knowledge processes of the university can combine with the knowledge assets of communities to generate new knowledge that has a direct impact on community needs.

Proposals will be accepted during the standard Call to Service Award process during each fall semester. Applications must be submitted to ICCE for review using the same online procedure and will be forwarded to a selection committee for consideration and final review by the ICCE Faculty Director. Proposals should explain how scholarship that addresses community or campus needs was (or will be) part of a partnership through research, creative activity, teaching, and/or service. Scholarship could include but is not limited to documentation of community response to the following examples: programs, other evaluations or studies of impacts and outcomes of outreach or partnership enhancement, and how activities engage faculty, students, and community in mutually beneficial and respectful collaboration. Furthermore, characteristics of scholarship within research and creative works include, but are not limited to: applying the literature and theoretical frameworks in a discipline or disciplines; conducting a systematic inquiry that is made public; providing data and results that can be reviewed by the related community, and can be built upon by others to advance the field.

The eligibility of each applicant will be assessed according to the following general criteria:

  • Academic appointment of T/TT faculty or lecturer/adjunct that includes research or creative scholarship as part of essential assigned duties is required (Note: individuals with the academic appointment designations of emeritus, visiting, or clinical are not eligible).

  • It is expected that either all or a major portion, of the engaged scholarship will be/have been accomplished while the nominee serves as a faculty member at SF State University. 

  • Content must explicitly illustrate either a new project or an ongoing one that seeks funding support.

  • Impact is an important criteria in determining the recipient of this award. For this reason, proposals reflecting collaborations with longer track records are preferred over those of shorter duration.

  • Except in cases of extraordinary demonstrable impact over a shorter period, it is preferred that nominees have collaborated with their partner(s), to some extent, for a minimum of 2-3 years.

  • The focus of this award relates to collaboration yet recipients may conduct research that isn’t specific to an identifiable community partner but is community-based. In this case, however, the content of the proposal must be explicit regarding impact to community regarding benefits, values, contributions to change/progress, etc. (direct or indirect).

This unique and prestigious grant award recognizes faculty for their achievements in research or creative works and will be given to a nominee who has demonstrated exemplary scholarship in engaged community-based research and/or civic engagement. The recipient will receive a one-time $5,000 award that will be transferred to the recipient’s department or other unit.

Subject to the approval of the recipient’s dean or director, funds should support research/creative work endeavors, compensate the faculty member who develops and implements the grant-funded activity, or as a combination of both. Faculty compensation is subject to taxation and tax withholding. The award winner will follow each ICCE annual Call-to-Service initiative procedures and proper protocol.