Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 149–160 | Cite as

The Collective Power of We: Breaking Barriers in Community Engagement through Dialogue

  • Jessica L. De SantisEmail author
  • Sarah P. O’Connor
  • Kathleen Pritchard
  • Zeno E. Franco
  • Syed M. Ahmed
  • David A. Nelson


How we engage the community within our institutions, from higher education to social services, requires consistent reconceptualization. Many fields benefit from engaging the community; yet research around practical methods for engagement is limited. This study describes the process of using nominal group technique as a practical method for both community and academic members to discuss Community Based Participatory Research. Participants included faculty, staff, students, and community member stakeholders of a medical institution during a community engagement themed conference. The goal of this study was to assess the effectiveness of using the nominal group technique for community and academic members to discuss the principles of Community Based Participatory Research. Through this discussion a significant change in the research paradigm was addressed by focusing on the importance of dialogue in order to have an impact on health disparities. This study serves to illustrate a method for bringing community and academic members together around discussion of a complex topic, while simultaneously identifying general perceptions around Community Based Participatory Research.


Community engagement Nominal group technique Community based participatory research 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica L. De Santis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah P. O’Connor
    • 2
  • Kathleen Pritchard
    • 3
  • Zeno E. Franco
    • 4
  • Syed M. Ahmed
    • 4
  • David A. Nelson
    • 4
  1. 1.Medical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Office of Community EngagementMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Joseph J. Zilber School of Public HealthMilwaukeeUSA
  4. 4.Department of Family and Community MedicineMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA

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