How Higher Education Can Support Local Ecosystems of Innovation
Supporting innovation should not be a top-down approach premised on straitjacketing program designs.
In the summer of 2017, Dwight Hall—Yale’s Center for Public Service and Social Justice, one of the oldest collegiate public service institutions in the nation—met with several community leaders in the Greater New Haven area for a series of listening sessions, to ask one question: What can Yale administrators do to facilitate town-gown programming that offers clear learning objectives for students while fulfilling specific community needs?
Lydia Burleson served as the Communications and Alumni Engagement Associate for Dwight Hall at Yale, Center for Public Service and Social Justice from June 2021-June 2022. A first-generation low-income student from rural Texas, Lydia graduated from Yale cum laude in 2021 with a degree in English and a nonfiction creative writing concentration. During her college years, Lydia increased awareness of marginalized voices with the public writing she did for The Yale Daily News and the Yale Admissions office. Her Dwight Hall experiences included free college advising with student-led member groups REACH and Matriculate. Dwight Hall empowered Lydia to uplift other disadvantaged students and to increase access to education for people who might not have otherwise received these resources. She is currently completing an English PhD at Stanford University with a Knight-Hennessy Fellowship.