UD Engage

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Environmental Trash Pick up

Our job is not done until our ideas, our expertise, and our students are given the opportunity to make a significant difference in the world. To succeed, we must assure that the University's innovation, excitement, and accomplishments are publicly known throughout Delaware, academia, and across the nation and the world. (Path to Prominence)

Community engagement makes a significant impact on students, faculty and communities. Presentations, publications, grant funding and community impact statistics demonstrate the many ways UD makes a difference. A recent study, conducted by Professors Kenneth Lewis and William Latham examined the economic impact of service learning and volunteerism. They found that community engagement yields significant measurable benefits to the nation, including:


What is the economic impact of service learning at the University of Delaware? The following graphs, produced from a study by the University's Center for Applied Business and Economic Research, show how involvement in service learning may increase lifetime earnings for participating students as a result of quicker entry into the workforce, higher starting salaries and more rapid career enhancement.

Graphs Presentation: Office of Service Learning: Projected Human Capital Effects


Read the UDaily article about the economic impact of service learning and volunteerism.



Outreach and partnership activities involving UD faculty have yielded scholarship in multiple disciplines, as reflected in the examples below. An asterisk (*) identifies graduate students involved in the research:

  • Applied Economics and Statistics: Awokuse, T. O., T. W. Ilvento, and Z. Johnston.* 2010. The Impact of Agriculture on Delaware’s Economy . UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. This study used input-output analysis to determine the value that agriculture adds to the state’s economy ($8 billion).
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering: Dentel, S. K., S. Marzooghi,* and C. J. Shi*. 2012. Breathable membrance enclosures for faecal sludge stabilization. Presented at Faecal Sludge Management Conference, Durban, South Africa, Oct. 2012. Reported on Gates Foundation funded research to test utility of breathable membranes to protect surrounding groundwater from contamination while allowing fecal sludge to condense and stabilize.
  • Public Policy and Administration: Solano, P., M. J. McDuffie, E. N. Farley-Ripple, and J. Bruton.* 2010. Principal Retention in the State of Delaware 2001–2008. Newark, DE: University of Delaware. Report funded by The Wallace Foundation and sponsored by the Delaware Academy of School Leadership.
    • O’Hanlon, J., J. Miller, A. Clark,* and G. Ospanova.* 2011. Delaware Environmental Scan: Delaware Youth Opportunities Initiative. Report developed by the Institute of Public Administration for the Delaware Center for Justice.
    • O’Hanlon, J., and J. Scott. 2010. Healthy Communities: The Walkability Assessment Tool. Planning resource for local governments created as part of the Institute of Public Administration’s Healthy Communities initiative and as online component of the Toolkit for a Healthy Delaware.
  • Education: Buttram, J. L., X. Qian, and J. Rubright. 2009. Statewide Poll on Education in Delaware. Newark, DE: Delaware Education Research  and Development Center. This poll, supported by the General Assembly of Delaware, examined public opinion on school quality, finance, education policy, and Vision 2015. Respondents made recommendations to protect teacher salaries, instructional resources, and tutoring for low-performing students.
    • Buttram, J. L. 2008. How Delaware School Leaders Spend Their Time. Newark, DE: Delaware Education Research and Development Center.
    • Human Development and Family Studies: Han, M., N. Moore, C. Vukelich, and M. J. Buell. 2010. Does play make a difference?: Effects of play intervention on at-risk preschoolers’ vocabulary learning. American Journal of Play 3: 82–105.
  • Behavioral Health & Nutrition: Popielarski J. and N. Cotugna. 2010. Fighting hunger through innovation: Evaluation of a food bank’s social enterprise venture. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition: 56–69.
  • Sociology: Payne, Y. The People’s Report: The Link Between Structural Violence and Crime in Wilmington, Delaware. 2013.
  • Women and Gender Studies: Dragiewicz, M., A. R. Gover, S. L. Miller, J. Naccarelli, and B.  Paradiso. 2013. Innovative University Programs for Teaching about Domestic Violence. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, Vol. 4, Issue 4, pages 594-611, DOI:10.1080/10511253.2013.837941.
  • Black American Studies: Foreman, P. G. 2011. (Dis)Remembering Black Women’s Lives. Video essay presented at “Perbitube: Repurposing Social Media Spaces,” co-curated by P. Gabrielle Foreman, Pato Hebert and Alexandra Juhasz, July 12 – September 6, 2011, Pitzer College Art Galleries and online.


The University of Delaware has been named to the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for six consecutive years and has received he honor "with distinction" for three of those years.


In fiscal year 2013, almost $31 million of the University’s Operating Budget was dedicated to extension and public service; over $33 million of the University’s externally sponsored activities were dedicated to public service; and the Development Office raised $3 million to support community engagement programming.