Office of Community Engagement and Research

What’s community engaged research?

Many ECU students, faculty and staff members know that conducting research is important to the university’s mission, but what happens when you work in partnership with community members to solve  problems? That’s when traditional research becomes community engaged research – with students and faculty working together alongside community partners to develop research questions, determine methods to investigate an identified problem, collect and analyze data, interpret the data and share results with others. Students participating in engaged research at ECU have interned at the Arts of the Pamlico, AMEXCAN, Sylvan Heights Bird Park and the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island. Faculty member’s research projects have led to the development of a treehouse village in Windsor along the Cashie River, the creation of art-based programs for at-risk teens and the development of health education programs for rural residents. OCER’s programs reinforce the enduring values of the university’s commitment to maximize student and faculty success while serving the public and leading regional transformation. Learn more about how you can affect your community through engaged research.

Community Engagement and Research Stats


Active community engaged research partnerships


Sponsored research by community engaged faculty


Community-based undergraduate internships created


Research projects including faculty, graduate students, EC scholars and community partners as team members

OCER Faculty, Student and Staff Resources




Connect with Us

Picture of Sharon Paynter
Sharon Paynter
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement and Research
(252) 328-9480
Picture of Alleah Crawford
Alleah Crawford
Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy Director
Picture of Cassandra Keel
Cassandra Keel
Administration Support Associate
(252) 328-9480