School of Professional and Continuing Studies

About | Events | Community Building Fellowship | NLA | Community Toolkit | Faculty Resources | Staff

Effective later this summer, the Community Partnership Project will officially cease operation and the programming will transfer to a new unit at UMSL. Program efforts such as the Neighborhood Leadership Academy, Community Building Fellowships and the What's Brewing Series will continue under a new unit, Creating Whole Communities. Please watch for information about Creating Whole Communities at UMSL.

The Community Partnership Project is a cooperative effort of University of Missouri Extension and the University of Missouri–St. Louis, designed to develop community partnership initiatives that link University resources with the needs and priorities of residents and communities in the St. Louis region. 


Upcoming Programs & Events

Want to stay up-to-date with these and any other Community Partnership Project events? Send an email to Kara at to be added to our mailing list!

Community Building Fellowship

The Community Partnership Project at the University of Missouri–St. Louis annually recruits students who are interested in pursuing future careers in community development and community building to participate in the Community Building Fellowship Program.

The Community Building Fellowship is designed to introduce a talented group of UMSL graduate students to the challenges and opportunities of working with community-based initiatives in the St. Louis region. Selected fellows will have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and staff affiliated with the Community Partnership Project on a community-based initiative that is bringing residents and stakeholders together and addressing a priority issue or important public problems. Projects for 2013-2014 academic year include:

Selected Fellows receive a $2,500 award, along with access to an on-campus office and mentors as part of the community-building project. Fellows may also be able to use the community project as an internship or practicum experience for academic credit, depending on the guidelines of their academic department.

Selected Fellows should be available to work on the community project an average of 7-10 hours weekly, including attending community meetings during the day and evenings, conducting community research and preparing reports, and meeting with faculty and staff. There is flexibility regarding hours; however, the Fellow must have some daytime availability and will need to make every effort to be available for key evening and weekend community meetings. In addition to the community project, Fellows are encouraged to attend monthly Community Partnership Project brown bag conversations and seminars that relate to the community project.  

To qualify for a Community Building Fellowship, graduate students must meet a minimum eligibility requirement of a 3.0 GPA in graduate and undergraduate studies, and must have an interest in working with community-based efforts that engage residents and organizations in creating positive local change. Please check back in January 2014 for the next application schedule.

For more information, contact:
Kay Gasen, Director, Community Partnership Project, at or (314) 516-5269.

To apply and for more information, download these two forms:

Fall 2013 Community Fellows

Courtney Kampwerth is pursuing a Masters in Social Work. Courtney completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work at UMSL. Her Community Building Fellow responsibilities will include working on the Healthy Corner Store Project.



Andrew Smith is pursuing a Masters in Social Work. Andrew completed his undergraduate degree in Social Work at UMSL. His Community Building Fellow responsibilities will include working with St. Vincent Greenway, Inc. on a community planning process.


Community Toolkit

What are the most effective tools to improve a community or neighborhood? Over the last 10 years, the Community Partnership Project has had the good fortune of working with a wonderful group of skilled neighborhood leaders as part of the Neighborhood Leadership Academy. Their involvement and experiences have helped us define and fine-tune techniques that produce results in a wide-range of neighborhood settings.

The Community Toolkit shares some of these "tricks of the trade" that can lead to more effective meetings, the implementation of community plans, or the creation of stronger organizations. If you're involved in a community-based organization, chances are there is something in this toolkit that will work for you.

Start organizing your neighborhood today and download the full Community Toolkit. The Toolkit is also available to download by chapter; click the links below.

Table of Contents:

Faculty Resources

The Community Partnership Project provides support for faculty in developing links with St. Louis area resources and organizations. UMSL and Extension faculty may contact Community Partnership Project staff for assistance in the following areas:


The Community Partnership Project is operated by a core staff of Kay Gasen and Kara Lubischer.

Kay Gasen serves as director of the Community Partnership Project at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a joint initiative with University of Missouri Extension. In this role, she provides leadership to a variety of efforts that link the university and the St. Louis metropolitan community. Her strengths include planning, program development and implementation, grant writing and administration, and the development of collaborations and partnerships.

Kay joined the University of Missouri faculty in 1986 and has more than 20 years of experience as an educator, program manager, and administrator, including serving as Extension community development specialist, regional director, Public Policy Research Center director of Community and Neighborhood Development, and Urban Program leader. She has also been project director for two U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Outreach Partnership Center grants, serving Old North St. Louis and Affton.

Kay is a UMSL graduate with a master's degree in Public Policy Administration. She was the 2003 recipient of the C. Brice Ratchford Memorial Fellowship Award, in recognition of outstanding commitment, dedication, and effectiveness in advancing the land-grant mission of the University of Missouri.

Kara Lubischer joined the University of Missouri Extension staff in July 2007. Prior to joining Extension, Kara worked for St. Louis County Government as a comprehensive planner in the Department of Planning. Before moving to St. Louis, Kara worked for Slavic Village Development, a neighborhood-based community development corporation in inner-city Cleveland, Ohio, where she served as a community organizer and program director for an active living program, and as a trainer for several leadership development programs for citizens, both youth and adults.

Kara's strengths in community building include youth civic engagement, program development, leadership development, and organizing residents around neighborhood issues.

Kara gained her bachelor's degree in social work from Saint Louis University in 2000 and earned her master’s in Urban Planning, Design, and Development from Cleveland State University in 2005.