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Every year, Wisconsin Campus Compact (WiCC) recognizes faculty and staff from Wisconsin colleges and universities who go above and beyond to bring the community into their classroom and to make their campuses more engaged in the community with the Sister Joel Read Civic Engagement Practitioners Award. This past spring, UW-Parkside communications professor Dr. Jonathan Shailor was one of two recipients of the award.
Dr. Jonathan Shailor has spent most of his professional life engaging in community based learning and research. His classroom is the community and the community is his classroom. Dr. Shailor's engagement on campus began at UW-Parkside in 1996, when he created the Conflict Analysis and Resolution Certificate, designed to train students as leaders in conflict resolution. Each year, approximately 15 students take the practicum where they create and facilitate workshops in conflict resolution. Students have worked with prisoners at Racine Youthful Correctional Facility and Racine Correctional Institution, at-risk students at Frank Elementary School in Kenosha and Case High School in Racine. In recent years, his Conflict Resolution students have worked with clients at Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization (HALO), a homeless shelter in Racine.
Dr. Shailor's research is also conducted on the effectiveness of prison theater, and the arts and humanities as approached to education in corrections. Since 1995, Dr. Shailor has taught courses at Racine Correctional Institution on a volunteer basis including: King, Warrior, Lover: Archetypes of Mature, Masculinity, The Theatre of Empowerment, and Clear Mind/ Open Heart. Dr. Shailor has raised thousands of dollars over the years in order to purchase books and other supplies for the prisoners. In 2004, Dr. Shailor established the Shakespeare Prison Project, in which over 60 incarcerated men intensively student and perform plays. The Project has produced King Lear, Othello, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, Scenes and Soliloquies, Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Each play requires an almost year-long commitment from Dr. Shailor and the inmates. Every production is witnessed and reviewed by outside academic reviewers. Dr. Shailor's goal with these performances is to contribute to the prisoners' sense of competence, self-awareness and belonging.
Dr. Shailor is an amazing example of UW-Parkside community engagement. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Shailor's work, or other community engagement work, contact Debra Karp at firstname.lastname@example.org.