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Affiliated Department or Office
PhD Learning Sciences and Technology Lehigh University 2015
MA Conflict and Coexistence Studies Brandeis University 2008
AB International Studies Lafayette College 2004

Sarah Stanlick, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative and Global Studies and the Director of the Great Problems Seminar at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She was the founding director of Lehigh University’s Center for Community Engagement and faculty member in Sociology and Anthropology. She previously taught at Centenary College of New Jersey and was a researcher at Harvard’s Kennedy School, assisting the US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She has published in journals such as The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, The Social Studies, and the Journal of Global Citizenship and Equity Education. She co-chairs the Imagining America Assessing Practices of Public Scholarship (APPS) collective, which focuses on democratically-engaged assessment practices to empower and transform systems, communities, and individuals. She is a member of SSSP and serves on the Steering Committee for the Community-Based Global Learning Collaborative (The Collaborative). Her priority for teaching, research, and service is to encourage and model engaged, active citizenship and help create conditions for all community members to be able engage similarly. Her current interests include global citizenship, health and human rights, transformative learning, and the internet's impact on empowerment and capacity to build community. 

Professor Stanlick directs WPI’s signature first-year experience program, the Great Problems Seminar. She is also responsible for the delivery and support of global project-based learning through the Global Projects Program, and teaches social science research methods for students of all backgrounds and majors in preparation for the interactive qualifying project (IQP), a 7-week project with external sponsors. Her commitment to transformative and inclusive learning that engages students as active agents includes her regular participation in faculty learning communities at WPI and collaborative work to advance the integration of open educational resources and open pedagogical practices across the WPI curriculum.  

Visit Digital WPI to view student projects advised by Professor Stanlick.


Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being

SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being - Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

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SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 4: Quality Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

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SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities - Reduce inequality within and among countries

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SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

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SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

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SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

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Scholarly Work

Professor Stanlick’s research and scholarly work addresses issues in civic and global citizenship, community-engaged and transformative learning, digital sociology, assessment, supporting first generation and underrepresented students, and public interest technology.

Featured articles:

Szmodis, W.E. and Stanlick, S.E. (forthcoming, 2022). Perspectives on Lifelong Learning and Global Citizenship: Beyond the Classroom. London: Springer.

Swann, J., Boucka, G., and Stanlick, S.E. (2020). “Border Crossing for Universities: Creating a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a case study”. The International Journal of Community Diversity.

Bandy, J., Sims Bartel, A., Clayton, P. H., Gale, S., Mack, H., Metzker, J, & Stanlick, S. (2017). "Values-Engaged Assessment: Reimagining Assessment through the Lens of Democratic Engagement." Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 23(1).

Stanlick, S.E. and Sell, M. (2016). “Beyond superheroes and sidekicks: Empowerment, efficacy, and education in community partnerships.” Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning.

Stanlick, S.E. (2015). “Getting ‘real’ about transformation: the role of brave spaces in creating disorientation and transformation.” Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 22(1), 117- 122.

Professional Highlights & Honors
Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) Fellow (University of Missouri/NSF), 2021 ,

Community-Based Global Learning Collaborative, Steering Committee, 2022 - ,

Global Teaching and Learning Fellows (GTLF), Lehigh University, 2019,

HERS Leadership Institute, 2019 Wellesley Cohort, 2018-2019,


The Academic Minute
Failing Forward with Project-Based Learning

In The Academic Minute podcast, Sarah Stanlick, assistant professor in the Department of Integrative and Global Studies and director of the Great Problems Seminar, explains how a WPI alumni survey demonstrates that a negative project experience still provides learning benefits to students. The findings shed light on the differences between satisfaction and learning and demonstrate that even projects that do not seem useful to students at the time can have lasting positive benefits.