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Professors Off Campus

About Professors Off Campus

In 2010, the Tanner Humanities Center developed its Professors Off Campus Program to serve as a signature humanities outreach program for community engagement.  Funded by the Lawrence T. and Janet T. Dee Foundation and O.C. Tanner, this program supports U faculty members who work on-site on a research, pedagogical, or creative project in collaboration with a community organization.

Program goals include:

  • Creating meaningful public service programs based on U faculty expertise to benefit groups and individuals throughout the community
  • Promoting humanities knowledge, methods, and education
  • Fostering an appreciation of service work by academics
  • Creating relationships and connections based on respect, tolerance, and understanding

Past projects have engaged literacy, literature, art and music education, dance, history, storytelling, creative writing, health, access to justice, law, civic participation, media studies, STEAM, sustainability, and environmental concerns.

This year we offer two options for Professors Off Campus proposals:

Option 1 – Course Buyout (Fall 2023)

Funds up to $8,000 will be used to “buy” a professor out of one university semester-long class to allow the creation of a community-sited project. Additional funding up to $1,500 will be provided to the selected professor to facilitate project development and $1,000 to the community agency that is partnering on the project. 

Option 2 – Non-Course Buyout (Spring-Summer 2023)

Funds up to $5,000 can be used to support a faculty member who creates or contributes to the creation of a community-sited project or a community-based collaboration.

To accommodate busy schedules and tight deadlines, we have streamlined the application process.  Please submit the following materials to Associate Director Beth James at by November 28, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

  • A brief (300-500 word) project description that outlines your project, its goals and methods, the population it will serve, and your collaborating community organization. If the proposed project will advance a community engagement project already in progress, please explain how Professors Off Campus funds will contribute to this advancement.
  • A short budget that demonstrates how funds will be used (projected funds might include faculty or student stipends, books or other materials, transportation costs, admission fees, etc.).  Up to $1,000 of your budget funds can target the collaborating community organization and the costs they will incur for project implementation.
  • A brief email or letter of support from the collaborating community organization.
  • For option 1 projects only, a short email from your department chair that supports your course release and project.

Proposals will be reviewed by Tanner Humanities Center staff members and advisory boards to determine which project(s) are the most viable, align most effectively with our core mission and the program goals for the Professors Off Campus program, and have the broadest or most meaningful community impact.  We will announce our Professor (or Professors) Off Campus by December 15, 2022.

One month after the Professors Off Campus period concludes, faculty must submit a report that evaluates the project’s success. Reports must include the number of community members served, a project summary, goals achieved, challenges, photos and/or videos (with appropriate permissions, if applicable), and a budget assessment.


Current Projects

2021-2022 | Susie Porter

We currently are facilitating a Professors Off Campus project led by Susie Porter, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies. Professor Porter is collaborating with Artes de México en Utah (AMU), an organization that aims to build community by centering and sharing the diverse histories, cultures, and writing of local Latinx populations. For her Professors Off Campus project, Porter will collaborate with AMU and a student assistant to build relationships with student groups at the U, create social media content to amplify several AMU programs, and expand the organization’s audience and impact.

Past Projects

2020-2021 | Beth Jennings & Kerry Lohmeier

The Faust Law Library frequently fields reference questions from patrons who are representing themselves in court. Pro se litigants often need information about legal concepts, court procedures, and court forms. The Faust Law Library is not equipped to assist pro se litigants with all of their information needs, however we do have access to world class legal educators – the law and library faculty at the College of Law.

For this project, Kerry Lohmeier and Beth Jennings, both librarians with faculty appointments, will collaborate with the Utah Court’s Self-Help Center, People’s Legal Aid, and the Salt Lake City Library to develop a list of high-needs legal issues – such as divorce, eviction, and debt collection. Lohmeier and Jennings will then recruit members of the law faculty to develop short, informational videos on these topics. The videos will be recorded, edited, and then hosted on a publicly available website. The website will also link to community resources across Utah that are better suited to assist pro se litigants with their other legal needs. Community organizations can then refer pro se litigants to our resources.

2020-2021 | Ana Carolina Antunes

In Summer 2021, Professor Ana Antunes from the Division of Gender Studies collaborated with the Sunnyvale Neighborhood Center in Salt Lake City.  This organization aims to improve the lives of Salt Lake City's refugee and immigrant residents by giving them a voice, increasing their access to services, and building community.  For her project, Antunes led an on-site peer mentorship program for a culturally relevant comprehensive sexuality education course she created in conjunction with the School of Medicine and Department of Sociology.    


Ann House
Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Studies
Director, the U’s Personal Money Management Center

In Spring 2020, Ann House will train and supervise students from her “Tax Preparation Certification and Community Education” course to participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) at local community centers.  This national program assists low-income individuals and families by helping prepare their income taxes and by directing them to community resources for food, shelter, jobs, and personal money management.  Community partners for this project include the IRS and the Community Action Partnership of Utah, which leads statewide VITA efforts.  House also will conduct research assessing the barriers to eligible households in claiming Earned Income Tax Credits.

Instructor, Gender Studies Program

In Spring 2019, Professor Kilo Zamora will partner with Planned Parenthood of Utah and the American Civil Liberties Union’s youth leadership and community advocacy training program to build community-engaged internship opportunities. This partnership extends Zamora’s work with the University of Utah’s Gender Studies Division’s Gender Justice Scholars program, which aims to recruit, retain, and graduate underserved students. 


Assistant Professor, College of Social Work

Yi’s project, “Photo Storytelling for Latino Immigrant Adolescents” will begin Fall 2017.

In collaboration with therapists at Community Health Centers, Inc. of Utah (CHC), professor Yi will develop a community-based mental health empowerment program. Her project will use Photo Storytelling, a new intervention method, to empower adolescent Latinos to manage and thrive beyond their life challenges and integrate Photo Storytelling into supportive group therapy sessions. 

By sharing their experiences with family members, mental health providers, and the general community through Photo Storytelling, Latino participants will help raise awareness about the mental health needs of their peers. 

As Yi explains, this approach honors the Latino youth’s “lived experiences” and “self-expression” and empowers them to work together to “discover ways to heal and thrive.”


Assistant Professor, School of Architecture

Professor Erin Carraher will execute an ongoing project in partnership with the Salt Lake Arts Council and three West Side youth art collectives. Carraher will help incorporate community input, creative vision, and themes from stakeholder dialogue into refined community art installations.


Associate Professor, Family and Consumer Studies

Dr. Wright will lead a project in partnership with Columbus Community Center (CCC), a local nonprofit that supports education, training, and independence of people with disabilities. Wright will extend the reach of her innovative and award-winning 3-D technology-training program for transition-age students on the autism spectrum, which she piloted in 2014 at CCC in collaboration with Big D Construction, the Salt Lake City School District, and the University of Utah's Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.

One of the long-range goals for students in this project is the enhancement of job skills and the development of technology skills that will lead to internships and long-term successful and meaningful employment. This goal is particularly important because individuals with ASD have the highest rates of unemployment, underemployment, and mal-employment (mismatch of skills) of all disability groups.

Kelly Macarthur

Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics

Professor MacArthur’s project, “Mathematics in Prison,” seeks to reduce recidivism through education by expanding her volunteer efforts teaching math in the Utah State Prison System.  In collaboration with South Park Academy, the adult high school at the prison in Draper, Utah, she will lead weekly classes for both male and female prisoners that focus on improving mathematical and critical thinking skills. Through these lessons, students will expand their educational horizons and improve their chances of attending college after release.


Juan Carlos Claudio

Assistant Professor, Department of Modern Dance

Professor Claudio's project is titled "Bridging Cultures to Form a Nation: Dancing Through Differences in a Community of Democratic Thinking."  Partnering with Bryant Middle School of the Salt Lake City School District, Claudio will use dance as a medium to enhance personal and social responsibility while expanding students' knowledge of peoples of different cultures. By exploring dance as a means of empowerment, discovery, and community building, he looks to reduce the school’s truancy rate and cultivate personal ownership by students of their academic studies.



Associate Professor, S.J. Quinney College of Law

Professor Chiang's project involves collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah to establish a long-term program that will help interrupt one aspect of the “school-to-prison pipeline,” a phenomenon by which students are funneled to the prison system rather than to higher education


Associate Professor, Film and Media Arts Department

Professor Lippard's project includes collaboration with the Salt Lake Film Society to introduce award-winning and challenging films from around the world to students in Salt Lake high schools.


Susie Porter

Associate Professor, Department of History

Professor Porter's project brings together the University of Utah's Gender Studies program, the Women's Resource Center, and Franklin Elementary School to provide opportunities for University students to mentor young girls' self-esteem, skill development, and leadership abilities.


Associate Professor, Department of Art and Art History

Professor Martinez's project brings together students from the University of Utah and youth of the City of South Salt Lake to study public art and create a community mural.


Last Updated: 12/21/23