Jessica Taylor Named Winner of Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement

January 12, 2022

Campus Compact recognizes Virginia Tech assistant professor of history

Campus Compact is pleased to announce that Jessica Taylor, assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech has been awarded Campus Compact’s Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement. The award, presented in partnership with Brown University’s Swearer Center, recognizes early-career faculty who practice exemplary engaged scholarship through teaching and research. Recipients are selected on the basis of their collaboration with communities, institutional impact, and high-quality academic work.

Taylor is recognized for her leadership as a public scholar and her creative and comprehensive approach to community engagement. As a historian, Taylor has worked collaboratively with tribal Nations, archives, public schools, cultural organizations, and community leaders to collect, preserve, and better understand the histories of indigenous people, Black Americans, and other marginalized groups in Appalachia and beyond. Through partnerships with community groups, she has completed oral history projects that uncover diverse histories, collecting hundreds of interviews and bringing voice to those who have often been overlooked. In doing this, her scholarship seeks to understand how social and environmental inequities create landscape change across the southeast, making history more inclusive and relevant to today. In her work with students, Taylor prioritizes including community partners as co-teachers and offering students tailored engaged-learning opportunities that meet their needs and interests.

“Dr. Taylor is a model for how all outreach should be conducted: by finding out what the community desires, and then consulting with them to determine how she and her students can use their skills, knowledge, and resources in conjunction with community members toward a shared goal,” said Brett Shadle, professor and chair of the department of history at Virginia Tech in a letter nominating Taylor for the award.

In addition, the following faculty have been recognized as Lynton Award finalists: Elizabeth Nelson, assistant professor of history at IUPUI, and Jodi Benenson, assistant professor of public policy/administration at University of Nebraska Omaha.

The Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement is presented as part of Campus Compact’s Impact Awards, which recognize the outstanding work of individuals and institutions in pursuit of the public purposes of higher education. Read more about the other awards and this year’s recipients at

The recipients of these awards will be recognized in March at Campus Compact’s upcoming Compact22 virtual conference.

For more information contact:
Molly Leiper, Communications Manager, Campus Compact,

  • update-img-new

    Get updates on what's new in the Campus Compact Network