Academic Updates

Public Humanities Project Grant Recipient

I'm thrilled to announce that one of my Sustaining Hoosier Communities projects has been accepted for funding from the IU Public Humanities Project competition. Thank you to the members of the Arts + Humanities Council Review, and the New Frontiers program (run by the Office of the President).


The Public Humanities Project is dedicated to 1) supporting public intellectualism and public-facing humanities research; 2) mobilizing the vast knowledge and research methods of campus humanities scholars to address issues within the city of Bloomington and the state of Indiana; and 3) affirming the contemporary value and salience of humanities scholarship through large-scale community projects with clear deliverables in research and practice.

ServeDesign Center Launched, Co-Directors Jenny El-Shamy & Jon Racek

The Indiana University ServeDesign Center works in partnership with campus and community to advance engaged scholarship and prepare students for lifelong civic and social responsibility in an increasingly diverse and complex global society.


Working with stakeholders on the local, regional, national and international levels, with a particular focus on regional and international stakeholders, ServeDesign facilitates collaboration within the School of Art, Architecture + Design by offering faculty grants, service-learning training through CITL, and match-making through pairing faculty and community partners.




Board of Directors, IU Service Learning Program

I was recently invited to join The Service Learning Program Board of Advisors which has allowed me to bring even more service-learning expertise into the classroom. My students have already directly benefited through collaborations with organizations such as the Shalom Community Center, a resource center for people who are living in poverty and experiencing homelessness; Middleway House, a home providing safe living conditions, education, and information to women and children who are victims of domestic violence; and Hilltop Garden and Nature Center, an educational resource providing adult and youth programming for Bloomington and the surrounding community.

Judge, 2018 Adobe Creative Jam, The Media School

An event series where local thought leaders share a behind-the-scene peek into their processes and projects; meanwhile, teams compete in a tournament that puts their creative skills to the test using Adobe Creative Cloud.

Civic Engagement Campus Community Stakeholders Committee Member

This IU group is made up of staff, community representatives, and students who facilitate curricular or co-curricular service at IU. The Stakeholders plan opportunities for enhancing town-gown partnerships, such as the Campus-Community Speed Matching event, and build student access to community-based learning experiences


New Course Development: Design for Social Impact

Along with my colleague Jon Racek, I recently developed and taught a new A211 Cross-Disciplinary Workshops in Art, Design, and Merchandising course titled “Design for Social Impact”.  The course focused on socially conscious cross-disciplinary design for critical causes; design that includes invention, innovation, and creative problem solving through design thinking and innovation for non-profit organizations. My half of the course focused on branding and identity design; students designed marketable identity systems for the cities of Bedford and Mitchell Indiana. This project was part of the Provost’s Sustaining Hoosier Communities Initiative: https://shc.indiana.edu/. “The Indiana University Sustaining Hoosier Communities initiative forges partnerships with local communities and leaders and Indiana University’s faculty, students, and staff to improve and enrich the health, prosperity, and vitality of our region.“


The class was incredibly successful. The community partners in Bedford and Mitchell were thrilled with the course outcomes and my student course reviews were outstanding. A few examples are:


“Professor El–Shamy was always so encouraging. She has a true passion for graphic design and socially impactful work and has inspired me throughout the semester to use art as a force for change and good…”


“I absolutely loved this course and from the first 8 weeks, I liked the readings the most. I think I’m really going to look back on this class and experience in the future as it ultimately exposed me to design thinking. She was super encouraging, nice, approachable, and offered great feedback.”


“Jenny is clearly incredibly amicable, as well as passionate and knowledgeable about her field. Always willing to work individually with students and promote self–improvement.”


Service-Learning Faculty Fellowship Recipient

I received a Service-Learning Faculty Fellowship at Indiana University! I'm excited because this means I can take on more projects for local non-profits like Shalom Community Center and Middle Way House.

Grant Recipient, Project Engage

Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning (CITL)


Course Development Grant Recipient

Kelley School of Business, Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation


Public Humanities Project Grant Recipient