The Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and Community-Based Research is requesting
submissions for a special issue of the journal entitled Service Learning and Community-Based
Research in a Time of Disruption.

How do students respond to disruption while participating in service learning or community-based research? This Special Issue of the Undergraduate Journal of Service Learning and
Community-Based Research seeks to address students’ experiences with service learning and
community-based research in a time of disruption. This Special Issue on disruption will focus on
how disruptive events like the pandemic affect service learning and community-based research
projects. Disruptive situations present new and unforeseeable challenges for students and can
be associated with a variety of situations such as the current pandemic (COVID-19), civic
engagement related to societal issues, natural disasters, and tragic events. The objective is to
provide a bigger-picture view of disruption and consider strategies for addressing multiple
intersecting concerns that inevitably exist within the context of any single situation (personal
and societal). This is an opportunity for students to discuss and reflect on the challenges they
faced, including failure to complete projects, as well as unique opportunities that may have
presented themselves as the disruption unfolded during a service learning or community-based
research experience—the disruption and response.

Potential areas to address may include (but are not limited to):

How working with a community organization during a disruption impacted the relationship you
had with the community members, supervisor at the organization, and those impacted that you
are/were working with?

What growth experiences did you encounter during the disruption relating to research design,
methods, and community partnerships? This can also include any reflective pieces regarding
personal growth.

How did the challenges related to the disruption impact the success/failure of the project?

What was the process you went through of reorganizing your research focus due to disruption?

If your project didn’t succeed due to the disruption, what was learned?

How did you overcome the disruption(s) if you were able to complete your project?

Authors can reflect on how disruption(s) shifted their future approach to, mindset about, and
understanding of, their project. For example, maybe you were surprised to see new needs arise
that you never would have considered otherwise.

What advice can you give for future research projects (such as re-framing your research
question once a disruption occurs) and student researchers during disruption?

Disruptive events could include but are not limited to COVID-19, environmental disasters such
as wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes, and societal issues such as the Black Lives Matter
Movement or the MeToo movements.

Submissions will be accepted through the journal website ( through Tuesday,
November 24th. The special issue will be published in February or March of 2021. If you have
any questions, please contact the special issue co-editors Lauren Burrow (
and Christina McDowell ( or the general journal email address