Isenberg Student Receives Research Scholarship for Community Engagement

February 6, 2014

Reed Fox, a junior in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management, is one of six recipients of a Community-Engaged Research Scholarship, awarded by the Commonwealth Honors College.


Fox is founder of the year-old Northampton Exercise Club for the Homeless, an Isenberg Citizens First initiative that brings students and the homeless together for weekly basketball, yoga, and other physical activities. "Our aim is to create a sense of community that gives them the confidence and belief to find housing, employment, and education," notes Fox.


Fox will use the $1,500 scholarship to develop a process for assessing the club's performance. That will entail engaging his "clients" in evaluating and improving the club's effectiveness. "We want them to take greater "ownership" in the club; to have their own voice," he emphasizes.


The Isenberg junior's research dovetails with his coursework in Community-Engaged Research, a Commonwealth College seminar offered by Elena Carbone, a professor of nutrition and director of the College's Community-Engaged Research Program. The program and seminar, notes Carbone, advocate that students "tread lightly and with respect" when working with communities.


After graduation, Fox, who credits sport management professor and faculty advisor Todd Crosset for much of his current momentum, hopes to help improve community development engagement by professional sports organizations. "Most professional sports organizations have a strong presence in their communities," observes Fox. "My goal will be to ensure that their presence addresses true community needs."