Spotlight . . .


Community - Campus Day of Service

April 5, 2014

On Saturday, April 5th, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign kicked off National Volunteer Week with an inaugural Community-Campus Day of Service. Over 60 students, faculty and staff worked with six community partners on seven projects to complete pre-construction projects, community garden spring preparation projects, flyering in the community, reorganizing classrooms at Tap in Leadership Academy, cataloging choral literature, and preparing a Bee Garden. A big thank you goes out to all who helped on April 5!


Enriching perspectives through community engagement

Abbilyn Harmon

Abbilyn Harmon

Graduate Student in Landscape Architecture

Abbilyn Harmon is a PhD student in the Department of Landscape Architecture. She studies the intersections of urban spatial design, homelessness, and community, questioning how ideas of legitimacy shape our physical and social arenas for interaction.  At the heart of this work is a belief in action and a wedding of activism and scholarship. 

Abby works as a liaison with three service providers in East St. Louis.  Opal’s House is a prospective shelter for victims of domestic violence, and Abby is working with the executive director and board of directors to open the shelter in the near future.  The Eagle’s Nest is a prospective homeless veterans supportive housing center, and it will be opening this winter.  Second Chance Shelter is an operational emergency and transitional shelter for homeless families.  Currently, we are working to develop a new facility for the shelter in cooperation with the Emerson Park Development Corporation, another one of ESLARP’s partners in East St. Louis.  

In addition, Abby will be teaching an undergraduate action research course in the fall.  This course focuses on project-based experiential learning.  The students will work with The Eagle’s Nest to develop a community engagement program and physical site designs for the center.


  • Eagle’s Nest
  • Opal’s House
  • Second Chance Shelter


Spring 2008 FAA 391
Last updated on 7/22/2011
Action Research Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Fine and Applied Arts
326 Noble Hall, MC-549 1209 South Fourth Street Champaign, Illinois 61820 (217) 265-0202 Fax: (217) 244-9320