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Eastern Washington University
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Edwin Fonseca

2006 Research

Abstract: Probably for the Rest of our Lives: Community Building in the University Environment

Locating Authentic Communities in the University Environment: A Case Study of a First Year Living Learning Community at Eastern Washington University

Mentor: Dr. Sue Marie Wright, Sociology

Starting from a communitybased research (CBR) project, I seek to better understand community building in the university setting. While scholars in various social science disciplines present community in different ways, following Peck (1987), I recognize the complexity of authentic community as "an interconnected, profoundly interrelated" set of factors that involves inclusivity and communication to resolve conflict and as a fourstage process of development that builds on the strength of these two primary characteristics. While I see that constraints abound for building authentic community on college campuses, the work of Boyer (1990) and others, helps us see the potential for the university setting to foster community, with collaboration emerging as a key component in building communities. In this CBR project we explore community building among students at Eastern Washington University, especially among students in the Living Learning Community (LLC) to determine whether analysis of Peck's stages of development in authentic communities can help us find a way to navigate the problems of communities in the university setting. I describe the process of community building among students in the LLC and suggest ways to help foster processes at different levels within the institution for building authentic communities to enhance student success.

Presentations

10th Annual Research & CW Symposium, EWU, May 16,2007


16th Annual McNair Conference and Graduate Fair, WI, Nov. 2007


Pacific sociological association conference to present research with Dr Sue Marie Wright. March 29 2007 in Oakland CA.

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