Tag Archives: partnership

Being friends in a partnership


A few months ago a potential student was suggested to talk to me. Most of our discussion was about how community-based research (CBR) efforts could fit in a relatively short graduate study program. Her last question was what would be my one suggestion to start/navigate a successful CBR, and I responded by saying “be a good friend, build a genuine friendship with your community partners.”

That was my first occasions suggesting that. Lately, I have reflected on that comment, and connecting with my current partnership.

Community -university partnership is ultimately a way to connect both parties in a meaningful collaborative initiative that would benefit them. Both partners need to come to an understanding about the goals of their initiative. The disconnect of their ideas could lead to partners who would see the partnership as a mere work together (note I don’t use the word collaborative) for the sake of partnership, something they could talk about to their peers but not care enough to deliver a successful project.

Continue reading Being friends in a partnership

First “serious” grant!


I am truly honored and humbled that I had the opportunity to work with amazing students of Nelson Institute and community partners SMFM and Nehemiah who could deliver this kind of work.  This is the first “serious” grant I am part of!

The recent approval of the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment would continue to facilitate the realization of a viable local food systems in South Madison.  The multiple partners associated in this project could be a model in how to deliver social change through an intensive collaborative work.

More information about this project, please read the project partnership page.


Robert Pierce and South Madison friends honored by UW-Madison Chancellor


by: Alex Schwartz and Dadit Hidayat

On Tuesday June 3rd 2014 there was a big celebration for friends of South Madison at the Olin House, the UW-Madison Chancellor’s residence. Robert Pierce was honored with the 2014 LaMarr Billups Community-University Engagement Award by the UW-Madison Chancellor, Becky Blank. His exceptional collaboration with the university for over 15 years is unparalleled.

The LaMarr Billups award is a prestigious one for individuals who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to campus-community partnerships. LaMarr Billups was a much respected community leader at UW-Madison, and was deeply committed to key civic institutions and social causes. He served as a special assistant to two UW-Madison chancellors and was the director of community relations from 1996 to 2007. Continue reading Robert Pierce and South Madison friends honored by UW-Madison Chancellor

Being honest in partnership


Waiting for my food order at the Union South, here it is a reflection.

Being honest and being clear is one of the hardest thing on a partnership in general. Let me just frame this in two specific examples.

1. Students asked for taking a phone call during class and leaving early from class. The first thing I consider was that their courage to communicate that request, not the actual request. I don’t see their participation become less meaningful because of the amount of time they are engaged in class. But I see them as an adult who is trying to make a good decision by considering a few aspects going on. It is their honesty to make that request that I value high. Me trusting them to make any decisions means us together build a partnership to the next level.

2. I sent an email today to encourage a board of directors where I am currently serving to consider my resignation. As much as I am passionate about working with a grassroots organizatin, I have to be honest that I do not feel right when my important values are not being embraced. I have to be clear what my values are, so that I can ask them, other board members, for the same honesty about whether my values are something they value. Partnership is not about sitting together in a room and chatting about stuff. Partnership is about acting on something that mutually valued.

Now I am having my lunch ;).

Thanks for reading.