In its mission to solve complex problems, the Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW) has increased its focus on transdisciplinary research, says Dean Gautam N. Yadama. A growing number of recent initiatives, he reports, bring together faculty researchers with collaborators from different disciplines, as well as community members affected by the issues they’re studying. In addition, faculty are adopting innovative research methods—in particular, systems science—to better assess complicated issues and quantify difficult-to-measure outcomes.
Eight Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW) MSW candidates are engaged in a novel Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) course designed and taught by Assistant Professor Samantha Teixeira that provides hands-on experience in the context of an existing community-engaged research partnership. In the course, students design and implement a specific project, then reflect on the possibilities for using CBPR in future settings related to community development, community organizing, and academic research.
Monies were distributed. Technology build-out and support was delivered. Projects were evaluated on an ongoing basis. Social innovation training was provided. And now, the winning entries in the inaugural Innovating with Families (IF) Challenge are presenting the fruits of their labor.