2013 Engagement Scholarship/W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Awards

Recipients of the 2013 Engagement Scholarship/W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award
and
Finalists for the 2013 C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award

Ohio State University

The Young Scholars Program (YSP)

The Young Scholars Program (YSP)

* Winner of the 2013 C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award

The Young Scholars Program (YSP), a comprehensive pre-collegiate and collegiate program, enhances the academic, personal, and career development skills of students from low-income families to prepare them for college success. Founded in 1988, YSP identifies academically talented first-generation middle and high school students from Ohio’s nine largest urban school districts: Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lorain, Toledo, and Youngstown. In its 25th year, YSP has made it possible for nearly 800 students to become first generation college graduates. From 2008-10, 15% of all Ohio State University students admitted from the YSP districts were YSP graduates. Overall, YSP supplied 27% of African American students admitted from Ohio’s urban districts and over 50% of the African American students admitted from Canton, Lorain, and Youngstown during this same period. Through exemplary community engagement, YSP works with superintendents, principals, and counselors to significantly improve student performance and district graduation rates. In addition to supporting the mission of statewide public school districts, YSP helps parents become more involved in their children’s learning. Hundreds of parents and siblings have earned G.E.D.s and college degrees in the process, contributing to the intergenerational growth and improvement of their communities. If all YSP did was to make it possible for economically-challenged students to earn college degrees, it would be praiseworthy. However, YSP has gone beyond this accomplishment to partner with numerous university colleges/departments and community agencies, foundations, and corporations to enhance the academic experiences of Young Scholars. Students and faculty have engaged in empirical research on YSP in math, chemistry, and writing. Having produced a wide range of professionals and leaders, YSP graduates have served educational, governmental, and corporate sectors with a demonstrated record of improving community education, resources, and morale. Rarely does one find an academic program that prepares and supports students from 6th-grade through college. It is even more rare to find such an organization so thoroughly immersed in giving back through collaborative efforts of statewide engagement—and to have done so for 25 years.

Curtis J. Austin, Director, Young Scholars Program, and Associate Professor, Ohio State University

Pennsylvania State University

Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship Program

Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program

Over 1.2 billion people across the world live on less than $1 a day and 2.8 billion people live on less than $2 a day. In East Africa alone, over 60% of the population is malnourished and access to healthcare is incomprehensible for the vast majority of the people. Chronic unemployment, combined with a lack of housing and unreliable agricultural and energy systems, plague communities globally. Despite these stunning statistics, 90% of current design efforts are directed towards 10% of the world’s population. At the same time, innovative products designed for low-cost markets like India and China are being introduced into Western markets at disruptively low price-points. As the developing world looks at “us” to solve their problems, how can we learn from “them” to address our own problems? We live in an interconnected world with shared problems and shared solutions. It is imperative to work together to create a freer, fairer, friendlier, and more sustainable planet. The Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program engages students and faculty across Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in the rigorous research, design, field-testing, and launch of technology-based social enterprises. These enterprises address challenges identified by partners in extremely resource-constrained environments. HESE ventures are multi-year endeavors that range from low-cost greenhouses and solar food dryers to telemedicine systems, ruggedized biomedical devices, cell-phone applications, and informal education systems. HESE espouses the fundamental philosophies of Empathy, Equity and Ecosystems to create a vibrant and emergent framework for students, faculty, and diverse partners to come together and truly collaborate to develop sustainable and scalable solutions. Sustainability, in this context, refers to the notion that solutions must be technologically appropriate, socially acceptable, environmentally benign, and economically sustainable. Over the past decade, our projects, led primarily by undergraduate students, have collectively impacted the lives of a few million people across Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, India, U.S., Jamaica, Nicaragua, and other countries. Students working on HESE ventures are concurrently engaged in original research projects. The resulting peer-reviewed publications inform and inspire other social entrepreneurs. Since 2009, more than 45 refereed scholarly articles have been published, most of them with students as lead authors. Our community engagement over the last decade has led to the creation of a rigorous multidisciplinary academic program focused on deploying practical and innovative solutions to compelling global programs.

Khanjan Mehta, Director, Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program, and Instructor, School of Engineering Design, Technology & Professional Programs (SEDTAPP), Pennsylvania State University

University of Texas – El Paso

Nuestra Casa ("Our House")

Nuestra Casa ("Our House")

Nuestra Casa (“Our House”) is an interactive advocacy, communication and social mobilization tool, sharing stories of challenge and hope from people living with tuberculosis (TB), a major global health threat that takes a particular toll on impoverished communities. Starting as a partnership between artists and public health experts, between those affected by TB and the academic community of the University of Texas – El Paso (UTEP), the project was born on the U.S.-Mexico border, where tuberculosis rates are particularly high, but where those who live with the illness are often stigmatized and hidden. The team constructed a three-dimensional dwelling reflecting the typical surroundings and stories of people affected by TB, displaying it with targeted advocacy, prevention, and stigma reduction messages and providing opportunities for visitors to make commitments to social action. Displayed both in the local community and at the University, Nuestra Casa quickly attracted international attention and was mobilized for a tour of multiple communities impacted by significant health disparities in Mexico and the U.S. Following the tour, the exhibit became the centerpiece of a year-long health advocacy and education initiative in El Paso, Texas, featuring joint programming by community agencies and university faculty, staff, and students. With at least 25,000 visitors on the UTEP campus and more than 24,000 off-campus, the award-winning Nuestra Casa Initiative led to personal commitments of attitude and behavior change and generated press coverage of health disparities, along with significant scholarly works. It remains a mobile exhibit, bound for additional locations, and it has become a model for the integration of health in public spaces.

John S. Wiebe, Associate Provost, University of Texas – El Paso

University of Idaho

McCall Outdoor School (MOSS)

McCall Outdoor School (MOSS)

The award winning McCall Outdoor School (MOSS) embodies the University of Idaho’s (UI) land-grant mission of “teaching, research, outreach, and engagement in a collaborative environment.” In partnership with elementary, middle, and secondary schools, colleges, other state universities, and government agencies, MOSS provides a comprehensive spectrum of exciting STEM hands-on learning experiences for students from kindergarten through graduate school. MOSS has been designed to provide an active education model for teachers and their students in concepts related to scientific literacy, science content knowledge, science inquiry process skills, and student and teacher “scientist identity.” MOSS was founded in 2001 and served 80 5th-6th graders from four Idaho communities. In only 11 years, MOSS has blossomed to serve 2,500 students, their parents, 150 teachers from 45 schools, and 18 graduate students annually. The impact on higher education goes beyond just UI. MOSS works with 18 higher education partnerships throughout the U.S., from Salish Kootenai College to Washington State University. Faculty from university partners work collaboratively with MOSS’s graduate students and K12 teachers, sharing their research results and methods to integrate them into educational activities delivered at MOSS and in schools statewide. Our innovative Adventure Learning portal http://adventurelearningat.com allows students, parents, and teachers from across Idaho and across the world to share and actively participate in our scientific expeditions. The curricula have been driven and co-designed with Idaho teacher partners, to help future generations of citizens learn to address some of the world's most challenging issues, including climate change and alternative energy.

Greg Fizzell, Program Director, McCall Outdoor Science School, University of Idaho


Exemplary Projects

  • Pathways to Self Sufficiency/Women''s Prison Initiatives
    Montana State University — Billings
  • Purdue Kenya Program
    Purdue University
  • Community Engagement, Urban Resiliency: Developing Empowered Neighborhoods through Service Learning
    San Francisco State University
  • Senior Hunger Coalition
    University of Georgia
  • Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies: Twenty Years of Community Engagement
    University of Maine
  • Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites
    University of Minnesota
  • MU Serves: Mobilizing a Campus
    University of Missouri
  • Plan of Nashville
    University of Tennessee – Knoxville