McCarthy Center Faculty Scholars

The McCarthy Center Faculty Scholar Initiative, launched in fall 2021, is designed to strengthen the Leo T. McCarthy Center’s (LTMC) connections with faculty, ensure that the Center’s mission and values inform university-wide commitments, enhance the culture of community-engaged teaching and research at USF, and disseminate scholarship of engagement from USF to the broader higher education field. Faculty Scholars commit to the following over a two year period:

  • Co-facilitate professional development opportunities for faculty with McCarthy staff, leveraging their expertise and experience with community engagement
  • Develop (or co-develop) one scholarly article or presentation that highlights their community-engaged work and share it through journals and/or conferences focused on community engagement 
  • Contribute at least one blog post to the McCarthy Center blog to promote and celebrate their community-engaged partnerships and projects
  • Seek opportunities to promote the mission, values, and work of the McCarthy Center in academic spaces at USF
  • Keep McCarthy Center staff informed of policies, practices, and developments at the university that are relevant to the McCarthy Center’s work

Selection of Faculty Scholars

Scholars are selected through an internal decision-making process among McCarthy Center directors, and will serve a term of two years. Two scholars will be invited in the first year of the initiative, and then 2-3 more will be invited in the second year to allow for a staggered schedule for scholars to vacate their positions. Once all scholar positions are filled, we intend to have representation from College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing and Health Professions, School of Management, and School of Law. To be eligible to be a McCarthy Center Faculty Scholar, candidates must:

  • Currently hold a FT faculty position at USF
  • Be on tenure track or in a term position
  • Have at least 3-5 years of community-engaged teaching and/or research experience
  • Value and support the mission-driven work of the McCarthy Center
  • Be willing to meet the expectations outlined above for the role

Incentives and Compensation for Faculty Scholars

  • $1,000 honorarium/year for 2 years upon completion of each academic year 
  • Subsidy for participation in one conference focused in the community engagement field, including registration, hotel, and airfare up to $1,500
  • Access to McCarthy Center staff support or collaboration on scholarly writing or presentation projects (if desired)
  • Recognition on McCarthy Center webpage and in social media
  • Certificate of recognition upon completion of term

2021-2023 Faculty Scholars

Dr. Stephanie Sears

Stephanie SearsStephanie Sears is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of San Francisco. She is also a faculty member in the African American Studies and Critical Diversity Studies programs. As an interdisciplinary scholar, her research examines the ways race, class, gender, sexuality, and generation intersect and interact in complex and contradictory ways, often simultaneously reproducing oppression and facilitating empowerment. These theoretical concerns and interdisciplinary approach formed the basis of her book, Imagining Black Womanhood, in which she examines how Black women and girls work with and against each other to create safe space, construct identities and empower themselves. Her current research, Dance Lessons, builds upon these interests and considers how women create and navigate “embodied freedom” practices and experiences via dance. Professor Sears teaches several courses, including Introduction to Sociology; Writing in Sociology; Sociology of Gender; African American Culture and Society; Sociology of Hip Hop; Community Organizing; and the Honors Thesis Seminar. Dr. Sears is the founding faculty director of the Esther Madriz Diversity Scholars Living-Learning Community. This social justice-themed community draws upon community-engaged learning pedagogy to critically explore diversity, inequality, and social change. She also served as a co-lead for the Black Achievement Success and Engagement (BASE) initiative. She received her BA in psychology from Stanford University, MA in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State, and her Ph.D. from Yale University's joint program in African American Studies and Sociology.

Dr. Helen Maniates

Helen ManiatesHelen Maniates, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Teacher Education and coordinator of the Master of Arts of Teaching Reading Program in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. As a community engaged scholar, her work addresses both “schooled” literacy and out-of-school literacy practices. She works in partnership with local community-based organizations to provide an annual summer reading program for K-8 students that addresses summer learning loss. Her research projects investigate classroom teaching at the micro-level to uncover practices that extend access, increase outcomes, and operationalize social justice principles in the elementary grades. Dr. Maniates has published several peer-reviewed articles, as well as some books, including her most recent (2021) co-authored offering through Teachers College Press, Principals as early learner leaders: Effectively supporting our youngest learners. She received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Language, Literacy, and Culture