Kim Carrell-Smith is a visiting assistant professor of Political Science and the former Director of the Community Fellows graduate program at Lehigh University. She earned a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware and taught Public History at Lehigh from 1996-2019, specializing in community-engaged local history, while also becoming a local community activist and advocate for public education as well as racial and economic justice. In 2007, she was fortunate to be able to connect her academic and Lehigh Valley community experience to become the director of the Community Fellows Program at Lehigh, sharing her passion for exploring constructive community engagement with Community Fellows from three MA programs: Political Science, Environmental Policy, and Sociology.
Professor Carrell-Smith’s commitment to transformative community work and social justice initiated in her childhood, growing up as a (white) minority student in her neighborhood and schools in Dayton, Ohio during the turbulent civil rights period. She learned firsthand that constructive civic engagement and the action of individuals can effect positive change.
Community Fellows connect their academic training to their “real world” community-based education as they tackle significant work within a nonprofit organization, public school district, or local government, over the course of one year. Through core classes with Professor Carrell-Smith and visiting community “experts,” Fellows learn about constructive civic engagement, and they can and DO effect positive change in the Lehigh Valley each year. Professor Carrell-Smith is honored to be part of that process.