In Brief: BTtoP News and Notes


BTtoP Hosts Two Fishbowls at the AAC&U Annual Meeting
BTtoP was honored to participate in AAC&U’s Annual Meeting, which took place January 22–25, 2020, in Washington, DC. We hosted two fishbowl discussions in which an inaugural circle of four discussants (the “fish”) unpacked a theme in conversation for twenty to thirty minutes, with the surrounding audience overhearing their dialogue. Then, audience members were invited to tap into the fishbowl, replacing discussants and offering their own questions, comments, disagreements, and stories. The resulting conversations were wide-ranging, expansive, and also focused, with room for disagreement and unexpected connections and insights.

This year’s fishbowls included the following topics and “fish”:

1.  Listening With: A Model for Community Engagement

Anne Galletta, Professor and Chair
of the Curriculum and Foundations Department, Cleveland State University;
Yesenia Hunter, PhD Candidate, University of Southern California; David Scobey, Director
of Bringing Theory to Practice;
and Jack Tchen, Inaugural Clement A. Price Chair in Public History and Humanities Director, Rutgers University–Newark

2.  Redesigning College: Whole Education for the Whole Student

Bryan Alexander, Senior Scholar, Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship (CNDLS), Georgetown University; Adam Bush, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost, College Unbound; Joy Connolly, President, American Council of Learned Societies; and Elaine Maimon, President, Governors State University.

To learn more about our sessions and speakers, visit For more information and updates on the 2020 Annual Meeting, please visit

Bring Your Voice
As part of our emphasis on community building and collaborative meaning-making, every two weeks BTtoP sends out an informal email update titled Bringing It. We hope Bringing It can be a platform for the whole BTtoP community: a place to respond, share work, share thoughts and readings, brainstorm, argue, and build connections. If you have an idea for a brief post, give us a heads-up about what you’d like to write. If you would like to contribute to “What We’re Reading,” we invite your comments. If you have an idea for a project, feel free to give us a kind of intellectual help-wanted ad. Or, just send us advice, critiques, and kudos. You can reach us at We welcome your voices.

Two-Year and Four-Year Partnerships
BTtoP is interested in creating a network of two-year and four-year partnerships seeking to develop and disseminate models of innovative teaching and learning across the transfer seam of community colleges to four-year institutions. Individual projects might include the cocreation of high-impact practices such as community engagement or internships, the shared design of “first-year experience” courses, inclusive pedagogy models for marginalized learners such as parents or incarcerated students, or curricula aimed at introducing students to integrative learning. We imagine this brainstorm to be the start of a new community of practice. Contact if you are interested in helping create it.

PLACE Summer Convening
This June BTtoP will be joined by approximately 35 academic, community, and student partners from our PLACE Collaboratory for a second convening. Like our Launch Convening this past October in Greensboro, the gathering will be hosted by one of the PLACE collaborating institutions—the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.


BTtoP Director and PLACE Project Coordinator Conduct Site Visits to Regional Partners  
From October to December 2019, BTtoP Director David Scobey and Project Coordinator Kate Griffin met in Newark, Baltimore, Greensboro, and Los Angeles with our collaborators in the PLACE Collaboratory, a national project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. PLACE (Partnerships for Listening and Action by Communities and Educators) brings together eleven campuses and their community partners in four regions to use public humanities and cultural projects that address significant civic engagement issues. Project themes emerging in site visits include gentrification, climate change, housing affordability, community development, and immigrant justice.

BTtoP Director David Scobey Offers Remarks at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County  
On November 5, David Scobey offered remarks at UMBC’s event, “A New Civic Story,” which celebrated the launch of the Center for Democracy and Civic Life and is led by BTtoP friends and colleagues David Hoffman and Romy Hübler. Learn more about the Center for Democracy and Civic Life at

BTtoP Director David Scobey Attends 20x30 Transformathon   
David Scobey attended and gave a keynote at the Network for Improvement and Innovation in College Health’s 20x30 Transformathon from November 10 to 12. BTtoP is a proud partner in the 20X30 initiative, a national network of people and organizations working together to transform the well-being of twenty million students in higher education by 2030 and taking a strategy of “unprecedented collaboration and action.” Learn more about 20x30 at