Skip to main content

Community Engagement

Faculty, staff, and students of the John Martinson Honors College partner with organizations and individuals to volunteer, conduct research, learn and make Greater Lafayette a more equitable, resilient and prosperous place for all.


Students build a sense of community in Honors College by coming together to support the Greater Lafayette community. Members of this JMHC committee’s executive board build and sustain partnerships with Food Finders Food Bank, NICHES Land Trust, Purdue Votes, and Lafayette’s YWCA Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program. The committee leads Honors students to volunteer for these organizations in the form of service in the community or on-campus events such as blanket-making for the YWCA or bottling laundry soap for Food Finders.

An in-depth educational component of HonorServes are Learn2Serve events, a forum to bring together local partners, state or national experts, and Honors College student researchers to discuss their work and the broader issues that drive it. The object is to connect the dots between local, national, and global issues while showing students how they can be an active part of creating positive change.

HonorServes also leads students to take part in university day-of-service events and are often facilitators for Purdue’s Roger C. Stewart Leadership and Professional Development Department.

If you are currently enrolled in the John Martinson Honors College and would like to be a general member of HonorServes, sign up here:

Learn More

Lead Forward Fellowship Grant

The funding for students provides student leadership teams of two to seven with resources and coaching needed to enact their leadership vision. The fellowship includes a seed grant of up to $5,000, as well as participation in single credit courses in the Fall and Spring semesters, where leadership teams receive further instruction on social impact leadership and allow for collaborative learning between fellows. Fellows also receive personalized mentorship opportunities from Lead Forward Luminaries (visiting speakers) and Lead Forward Mentors (Purdue faculty and/or staff) with experience in visionary leadership, social impact, community engagement, social entrepreneurship, organizational leadership, etc.

Learn More

Blue Sky Teaching and Learning Laboratory

Blue Sky Lab (BSL) exists to develop interdisciplinary, inclusive, and collaborative honors pedagogy and to forge learning partnerships with communities and institutions outside of Purdue. BSL incubates and studies visionary, socially resonant learning practices that bring communities together around a shared vision of a world connected and powered by interdisciplinary inquiry. BSL aims to extend honors to all.

Learn More


The Transformative Scholarship Research Generator exists to bring local, regional, national, and international students, faculty, industries, and communities together to develop engaged undergraduate scholars. Students become equipped to change the world through the co-creation of knowledge and mutually beneficial projects, tools, and resources focused on improving quality of life.

Learn More

Visual Memories of Tippecanoe Counties

In the summer of 2023, the JMHC partnered with American Studies and visiting scholar Johana Guarin Medina on a pilot project related to her doctoral research entitled Visual Memories of Tippecanoe Counties. This project, which will continue annually, is intended to forge deeper connections between Purdue and Tippecanoe county communities by working to build a co-created community archive of personal photographs and oral histories. Through a series of workshops, project team members and community members held collective conversations grounded in personal pictures and family histories that allowed them to think about the past, discuss the present, and imagine possible futures.

Learn More

Tech Justice Lab

The Tech Justice Lab offers research and educational events on the social and ethical implications of technology. The lab actively encourages participation from community members, particularly through outreach to local community justice organizations and public libraries in the Greater Lafayette area. Participants learn how to understand and intervene in the ways technologies distribute benefit, harm, opportunity, and power in society. It is through shared education and coalition-building across differences that a better world with technology becomes possible.

Learn More

Course Samples

Public Powered Research

This course offers students hands-on research experience through the completion of a community-centered and participatory research project. Working in collaborative groups, students will help address a challenge identified by local communities such as food insecurity, educational inequities, or environmental sustainability. This course empowers students to develop trusting relationships with community members, leading to long-term research engagement and collaboration.

Philanthropy and Nonprofit Careers

Topics range from the scope and history of philanthropy to applied workshops on fundraising and nonprofit leadership. These courses prepare students for engagement in the nonprofit sector as professionals and volunteers, and provide current practitioners, leaders, and board members with skills that support success in their roles.

10th Anniversary Image