CS Tea: Amy Csizmar Dalal
Professor Amy Csizmar Dalal
Title: From “Doing For” to “Creating With”: Ethically Responsible Civic Engagement in Comps
Abstract: Academic civic engagement (ACE) projects in computer science provide an avenue for students to apply software development concepts to real-world projects with actual clients, and can offer meaningful engagement with ethical issues. The typical time-limited nature of ACE projects within a single course, even within the two-term structure of Computer Science Comps, leaves little time for reflection, iterative development, maintenance, and evolution of priorities, centering student learning outcomes over community partner goals. In this talk, I’ll present a case study of a multi-year Comps collaboration with the Northfield Union of Youth, spanning three Comps teams, two Comps advisors, and changes in the leadership of our community partner organization and the Center for Civic and Community Engagement (CCCE) — as well as a global pandemic! I’ll address how longevity facilitates a true iterative and collaborative development process, supports the development of trust relationships, and opens up space for transformational change — and how all of this has fundamentally altered how I approach selecting and advising Comps projects.