Interdisciplinary Center in LSOE is Revamped

Interdisciplinary Center in LSOE is Revamped

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

The Center for Child, Family and Community Partnerships at the Lynch School of Education has been revamped and aligned with the Center for the Study of Testing, Evaluation and Educational Policy.

Teaming as new co-directors at CCFCP are Prof. Mary Walsh (LSOE) and Adj. Assoc. Prof. Francine Sherman (Law). Walsh has been active in partnership efforts between Boston College, the Allston-Brighton schools and community agencies, while Sherman heads the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project, which sends law and counseling students to work with youngsters in the juvenile justice system. Walsh and Sherman replace Richard Lerner, who has left the University.

While the CCFCP remains independent, it is now affiliated with CSTEEP, which provides administrative and financial support.

If the masthead at CCFCP has changed, the mission has not, administrators say.

"Our aim is to get research of immediate relevance to the community out of the ivory tower and into the trenches," Walsh said. "Our goal is to build connections between university and community, to make scholarship relevant to day-to-day life in the community."

An interdisciplinary approach marks the center, with an eight-member faculty advisory committee representing each of the professional schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. "The problems of society do not come in departmental-shaped boxes," said Walsh.

"The center really gives a place to begin to talk about problems across disciplines," Sherman said, "and to bring the academic resources of the university to bear on significant social problems."
Members of the Center for Child, Family and Community Parnterships include: (standing, from left, Prof. Sandra Waddock (CSOM), Assoc. Prof. Eve Spangler (Sociology) and Assoc. Prof. Jean Mooney (LSOE); and (seated) Co-director Francine Sherman, Prof. William Torbert (CSOM) and Co-director Mary Walsh.

The Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project, for example, brings disciplines such as law, psychology and social work to bear in the area of juvenile justice while encouraging lawyers to be advocates beyond the courtroom.

Another project in which Sherman and the CCFCP have been involved is the Girls Initiative, in which law and graduate psychology students provide research, policy advocacy and legal representation to girls in the delinquency system in Massachusetts.

Walsh said the CCFCP will continue working on a project with the Boston Public Schools to improve support services to the dozen schools in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood.

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