In summer of 2011, as a graduate intern from the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program I conducted a research project under the supervision of the Director of Special Programs for Economic Development. The purpose of the project was to learn about the perceptions of downtown area officials and community members regarding the impact of the Binghamton University Downtown Center (UDC). Findings showed that overall participants were satisfied regarding UDC partnering relationships with public and non-profits agencies. At the same time, the findings also indicated that participants had unmet expectations regarding the UDC participation in various downtown activities. In order to help address the issue, I conducted semi-structured telephone interviews with participants from seventeen universities to examine successful community engagement practices. All of the universities selected for these interviews have been recognized for successful community engagement practices. All of the universities selected for these interviews have been recognized for successful relationships with host communities, are located in a small or medium-sized city in the United States, and currently have a downtown campus or a physical presence in the downtown area of their cities.
Francis-Beltran, Richard Albert, "University Downtown Campuses and Community Engagement in Small and Midsized Citites" (2012). MPA Capstone Projects 2006 - 2015. 23.