Community Engagement

Community engagement isn’t just a form of service at Penn Nursing: it’s essential to who we are. Community engagement is a fundamental aspect of Penn Nursing’s social justice mission. Our research and clinical expertise benefit those who live and work around us. Our community, in turn, helps us truly understand what we seek to learn in the classroom, lab, and clinical setting. 

The heart of our work

At Penn Nursing, community engagement forms the backbone of how we communicate, translate, and apply nursing knowledge. For us, this is not only our mission but a heartfelt commitment to partner with our community to improve health and promote positive social change in communities around Philadelphia and the world.

Several Penn Nursing students have successfully incorporated community engagement as winners of the competitive President Engagement Prize. These prizes reflect Penn Nursing and Penn’s commitment to public service by rewarding students who demonstrate a purpose-driven desire to get out and make a difference — in their community, across the country, and around the world.

Meet Our Team

Sydney Edelson

Sydney Edelson, BS, CAAP

Program Coordinator, Office of Diversity and Inclusivity, and Community Engagement
Monique Howard

Monique S. Howard, EdD, MPH

Senior Director of Community Engagement

Community partnerships and outreach

Working with our community partners has helped our outreach programs touch hundreds of thousands of lives, especially those of marginalized communities.

Our outreach efforts are supported through student-led initiatives such as Community Champions.

Part of the curriculum

Penn recognizes that putting theory to practice not only drives home academic concepts, it opens the eyes of students to related, real-life, human issues. Our Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses help you turn your knowledge into civic leadership, and are offered at Nursing and across the University.


New Multi-year, Multi-million Dollar Grant Supports Ongoing Partnership Between Penn Nursing and City of Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL), funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is pleased to announce a new $5.5 million NIH grant focused on chronic disease self-management among Philadelphia residents. The project builds on a sustained strategic partnership between Penn Nursing, the Philly CEAL Community Advisory Coalition, and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO). 

Read MoreNew Multi-year, Multi-million Dollar Grant Supports Ongoing Partnership Between Penn Nursing and City of Philadelphia

Penn4C Announces Awardees for Community-led Partnership Grants

Penn Community Collaboratory for Co-Creation (Penn4C), an initiative led jointly by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) and the School of Engineering and Applied Science (Penn Engineering), has awarded funding to five new research projects that address social justice through designing and implementing solutions to improve health, well-being, and safety. In addition to the involvement of Penn faculty and students, the projects are required to have active and equitable representation of the community in which the project will be completed.

Read MorePenn4C Announces Awardees for Community-led Partnership Grants

Community Champions LOVE tiny humans!

Community Champions- HUP Baby Friendly Initiative

Community Champion nursing students have been part of the HUP Baby Friendly Transition Program for 2 years.

Our Nursing students love working with the nurses in the ICN. They spend their time reading to babies, holding the ones that need extra comfort, and talking to new parents about transitioning out of the hospital. To learn more about getting involved with community champions email: