Community Development Society Fellows Program

Welcome! We are excited to announce the 2017-2018 Community Development Society Fellows Program. In June, 2017, the Community Innovation Lab teamed up with the Community Development Society to explore innovative community engagement methods. As such, Dr. Dan Kahl and Dr. Kristina Hains are currently collaborating with five thematic teams. Each team is exploring innovative community engagement methods within their specific social context. The five groups include:

  • Young Professionals & Graduate Students
  • International Communities
  • Urban Communities
  • Communities and Community Change
  • International Quality of Life Within Communities


Welcome! We will be continually updating this page with important Fellow's information. Stay Tuned!

Fellow's Comments & Ideas:


I have a lifelong interest in gardening and international travel. The closer I come to finishing my BS in Horticulture at Purdue University, the more I see how my experience and interests meet at the intersection of culture and sustainable food production. I am interested in applying my skills to create community-centered, sustainable food systems. I first met Dr. Rhonda Phillips to ask questions about careers in urban planning, especially in the context of local foods, and was introduced to her and Dr. Craig Talmage’s team in the Community Innovation Lab “International Quality of Life Within Communities.” Learning about urban farming and other initiatives to “green” cities has spurred my interest in community gardens, due to their people-oriented goals. They act as a meeting place for friends and neighbors, a venue to introduce new skills and teach nutrition education, and as a source of fresh produce. The list goes on.

This semester, I am working with the community garden initiative GrowLocal Lafayette, just across the Wabash River from Purdue’s campus, to build upon previous research done by Purdue faculty. I will help identify how the community is valuing the program, what the gardens have done to increase participant’s wellbeing, and help prioritize next steps for the program’s expansion. Community development—improvements in quality of life—should be valued as a culmination of factors, not solely through economic growth.

•          Have you seen community gardens, urban farms, and/or local foods impact your community? If so, what has been that presence’s impact?

•          What metrics for quality of life and wellbeing have you found useful in your work?


Chelsea Maupin is a senior at Purdue University studying Sustainable Food and Farming Systems, with minors in International Studies in Agriculture and in Horticulture. Her interests focus on the connections between agriculture, societies, and sustainability. She has been a part of the Purdue Student Farm Organization (President Fall 2016-Present) and the Purdue Night Train Swing Dance Club for her entire Purdue career. She’s currently waiting for the results of a few applications: a Fulbright English Teach Assistantship Grant in Vietnam; Peace Corps for the Agriculture sector in Senegal. After that, she’d like to return to the classroom in graduate school for a Master’s in International Agriculture Development or in Urban Planning.


The Community Change Network is a team of committed community development professionals pursuing the study and documentation of sustained community change. With the support of CDS Institutional Capacity grant funding, and working with the CDS Fellows project in 2017-18, the Community Change Network (CCN) is spearheading an initiative to convene Foundations that share a mission for community well-being.

This initiative recognizes that the Community Development Society, CCN and foundations each bring diverse perspectives and resources, and all share the common goal of supporting effective, inclusive, sustainable community change. The CCN recognizes the potential benefits of more collaborative work and is taking action to explore the potential of formalizing and strengthening the relationship between the interest groups. CCN leaders are hoping to reach out to representatives from several foundation including Thrivent, Blandin, Bush, Northwest Area, Annie E. Casey, Ford, Ford Family, Kellogg, Mott, Kauffman, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, USDA Rural Development and the Minnesota Initiative Funds. The group is planning to host a meeting in the spring of 2018 to hear what foundations are interested in for future funding opportunities, what they would like to know more about to support rural programming, and what measurement or impact data they are seeking for funding decision-making.

CNN project leaders Milan Wall, Sharon Gulick, Connie Loden, and Mary Emery are seeking feedback from CDS members on the CDS Connect discussion page ( including what questions you would like to have asked - share what foundations you would like to hear from - and what are your ideas on how CDS can form more effective partnerships with Foundations that support community health, development, and well-being.