Engagement Scholaship Consortium Banner

Outreach and Engagement Practitioners Network [OEPN] Call for proposals
Pecha Kucha

Deadline for submitting proposals: August 31, 2020 (11:59 pm EDT)

The Outreach and Engagement Practitioners Network (OEPN) is excited to announce that we are now accepting proposals for our 2020 virtual meeting on Monday, October 19. Due to the postponement of this year's Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) conference, this virtual meeting will replace the traditional OEPN Pre-Conference Workshop.

Every year, OEPN engages the community of engagement professionals to come share their insights and experiences as boundary spanners. Boundary spanners work to facilitate relationships and share resources among and between communities and universities. Whether you've been a boundary spanner for a decade, or you've just started this year, we want to hear from you! Read on to learn more about the goals and format of this year's virtual meeting, including what we are looking for in the proposals.

Virtual meeting theme: Reaffirming our work as boundary spanners.

Through the occurrences of the COVID-19 pandemic, increased need for resources within communities, and headlines focused on gun violence and racial tensions, the role of the engaged institution has demonstrated great potential for impact. Boundary spanners play a unique and important role in facilitating important relationships and sharing resources among and between communities and universities, while addressing these unprecedented circumstances. This year's theme recognizes that our role and our work is amplified in this season.

Visit the OEPN webpage to learn more about the 2020 virtual meeting

Virtual meeting goals

The 2020 OEPN Virtual Meeting offers engagement professionals who work in community organizations or institutions of higher education the opportunity to:

  • Hear about new ideas and skills of particular importance during today's climate through facilitated discussions.
  • Be introduced to the latest work and research in the field.
  • Learn about approaches to strategically advocate for and lead outreach and engagement work through and beyond the pandemic.
  • Discuss ways in which we maintain partnerships and advance efforts to improve the quality of life for members of our community.
  • Explore trends and topics impacting engagement professionals.
  • Network with other professionals across the country and the world.

Presentation format

Presentations in this year's virtual meeting must be a pre-recorded video in a Pecha Kucha format (3 minutes, 3 slides). The video presentations will be viewed one after another during the virtual meeting followed by break-out rooms in which meeting participants will further explore the themes and questions raised by presenters. Presenters will be asked to facilitate the break-out room conversations. For more information on Pecha Kucha presentations, please see www.pechakucha.com.

What we're looking for

Diverse topics

Presentations on any topic related to engagement scholarship are welcome. We especially invite proposals for interactive discussions that explore lessons learned, best practices, and positive impacts of engagedscholarship that are addressing racial inequities or ways to effectively engage with our community partners during these unprecedented times. The OEPN welcomes proposals from a wide variety of disciplines, professions, and perspectives. The value of creativity and new ideas is unusually clear and compelling in this moment.

Practicality and positivity

We prefer talks focused on practical strategies backed by experience and experimentation based on appropriate theory. We definitely do not like talks that bad-mouth technologies or approaches. Focus your presentation on what you have learned and how others can apply your insights. Do more than describe a challenge – tell us how you overcame (or are overcoming) a problem.

Audience awareness

Remember that you're going to be talking to a mix of levels of expertise, skill sets, and professions. Your talk doesn't have to be relevant to everyone, but it should be relevant to most people and shouldn't make too many assumptions about what people already know. If your presentation will require specific background knowledge or experiences, please explicitly state such expectations up front.

Selection process

A small panel of proposal reviewers from the planning committee will review and score proposals. Proposals will be selected based on the quality of the abstract and the fit for the meeting topic.

Speaker logistics

  • Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 pm EDT on Monday, August 31, 2020.
  • Applicants will be notified by Friday, September 18, 2020 if their proposal has been accepted.
  • Completed videos and presentation slides are due by Monday, October 5, 2020.
  • Presenters will be provided detailed instructions on how to create a video, the format required and the final submission process.
  • Presenters are expected to participate in the virtual meeting on Monday, October 19, 2020 and facilitate a breakout room discussion around their presentation topic.

All presentations will need to meet the above details. By submitting a proposal, you are agreeing to all of the deadlines and participation requirements.


If you have any questions, please email Jeanne McDonald at Jeanne.McDonald@colorado.edu or Carol Agomo at cnagomo@ua.edu.

Submit your proposal


OEPN is a community of practice for university staff, faculty and community partners who manage programs and initiatives that span the boundaries between higher education and communities. OEPN is sponsored by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC) and is committed to advancing community engagement efforts that increase well-being, equity, and much more.

© 2020 Engagement Scholarship Consortium
The ESC is a nonprofit, 501 (c) (3) tax exempt organization (EIN 27-0275633)