Doctors Travis Hedwig and Amanda Reinke were finalists for the annual honor.

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — The Swearer Center is pleased to announce, in partnership with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), that Haverford College Assistant Professor and Haverford Chair of Linguistics Brook Lillehaugen, Ph.D. will receive the 2018 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty. Dr. Lillehaugen will be honored with an award presentation at the 2018 CUMU Annual Conference in Chicago in October.

University of Alaska Anchorage Professor of Health Sciences Travis Hedwig, Ph.D. and Georgia College and State University Assistant Professor of Anthropology Amanda Reinke, Ph.D. were named finalists for the award.

“I feel very honored to receive the Lynton Award in recognition of my work and am thankful to the Swearer Center, the committee members, and the external evaluators for their support,” Dr. Lillehaugen said in a statement. “In particular, I am excited about what this award will mean for the future of this work, as I am dedicated to continuing my collaboration with Zapotec language activists.”

Sponsored by the Swearer Center at Brown University in partnership with the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU), the annual Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty recognizes a full-time faculty member who is pre-tenure at tenure-granting campuses or early career (i.e., within the first six years) at campuses with long-term contracts,* and who connects their teaching, research and service to community engagement.

The Lynton Award is a component of the Swearer Center College & University Engagement Initiative (CUEI), which contributes to the fields of community engagement, engaged scholarship, and social innovation through collaboration with students, faculty, community partners, and institutions of higher education.

Dr. Lillehaugen studied linguistics at University of California, Los Angeles (Ph.d., M.A.) and University of California, Berkeley (B.A.). She specializes in Zapotec languages in their modern and historical forms and is interested in considering how academics can be effective allies to language activists. Currently, Dr. Lillehaugen offers courses in linguistics at Haverford, Bryn Mawr College and Swarthmore College. She is co-director Ticha, an online digital text explorer for Colonial Zapotec manuscripts and recently co-produced a documentary web series on Zapotec language and identity in one Valley Zapotec community, San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya, which will be released online starting September 2.

“Any success I have achieved through this work would not have been possible without the many Zapotec teachers and activists I have collaborated with, and I would like to mention a few here by name: Dr. Felipe H. Lopez, Moisés García Guzmán, and Janet Chávez Santiago– xtyozën yuad! I am also extremely appreciative of the environment at Haverford College that has allowed me to grow this work over my time there, including support and funding from the Provost’s Office, the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities, VCAM, and the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.”

Dr. Lillehaugen was nominated by Haverford College President, Kimberly W. Benston, and Executive Director of the Center for Peace and Global Leadership, Eric Hartman, who noted in their nomination that, “Dr. Lillehaugen’s embrace of ethical community engagement is complete; her relationships and collaborations throughout various Zapotec communities inform a breadth of work too long to list in full,” and that her “intentional collaboration is an example of the way in which Brook’s engagement thoughtfully de-centers the conventional epistemology of higher education.”

The nomination also noted that Dr. Lillehaugen’s “research methodology and partnership approaches are infused with socially just principles and practices. Brook is systematic in the ways in which she promotes reciprocity through shared access to the learning and research experience, drawing on available technologies and supporting community educators to come to campus and share with faculty and staff as experts in their language and culture.”

“Dr. Lillehaugen’s commitment to engaged scholarship is evident in her work and her approach,” Dr. Mathew Johnson, Executive Director of the Swearer Center and Associate Dean for Engaged Scholarship at Brown University, said. “Dr. Lillehaugen’s scholarship exemplifies the qualities we hope become far more prevalent.  Engaged scholarship is the necessary future of scholarship for colleges and universities to remain relevant and for them to fully realize the civic mission of American higher education.”

“Dr. Lillehaugen’s commitment to creating intentional collaborations to further the outcomes of her scholarship is commendable,” said Bobbie Laur, Executive Director of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities. “We look forward to honoring her and sharing the best practices of her engaged scholarship at the upcoming CUMU annual conference.”

The 2018 CUMU Annual Conference will take place from Oct. 22-24, 2018 and calls upon CUMU members—leaders, administrators, faculty, staff, students, and community partners—to reflect on the changing role of our urban and metropolitan serving institutions through an equity lens in academe and in public life. For more information on the conference, visit the CUMU website.

About the Swearer Center

The Howard R. Swearer Center works with more than 1,200 Brown students, through and with 100+ community partners — more than half of which are in the Greater Providence area. We connect students, faculty and community partners through community engagement, engaged scholarship and social innovation — three key perspectives that are the foundations of our work. Learn more at

About CUMU

The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) is the longest-running and largest organization committed to serving and connecting the world’s urban and metropolitan universities and their partners. CUMU focuses on strengthening institutions that are developing new responses to the pressing educational, economic and social issues of the day. Learn more at

This article was written by Emily Wright, Assistant Director of Communications and Public Engagement, at the Swearer Center at Brown University and was originally published on their website.