21st Annual Engagement Scholarship Conference banner
21st Annual Engagement Scholarship Conference banner

ESC 2020 Awards Panel Presentation

Thursday, October 15
2:00–3:30 p.m. (ET)

Cost: Free
Registration is now closed.

During this webinar, award recipients will provide an overview of their programs and participate in a question-and-answer session focused on sharing major impacts, challenges, best practices, and lessons learned.

Welcome: Samory Pruitt, President, Engagement Scholarship Consortium; Vice President for Community Affairs, University of Alabama

Moderator: Melissa Maybury Lubin, Awards Committee Chair, Engagement Scholarship Consortium; Dean, Professional and Continuing Education, James Madison University

2020 ESC Excellence Awards and Recipients

Excellence in Faculty Community Engagement Award

Dickinson College – Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring Program
Lead Faculty Member: Candie Wilderman, Professor Emerita

The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) is a program of Dickinson College that engages with local communities to monitor and preserve water quality through community science. Since its founding in 1986, ALLARM has assisted community volunteers in leveraging their own assets and skills in efforts to monitor chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of streams, rivers, and watersheds. ALLARM’s approach focuses on assisting community members in the identification of shared goals and developing locally relevant, scientifically rigorous protocols to meet them. ALLARM faculty, staff, and students facilitate stakeholder dialogues in regional communities (PA, NY, WV), provide training and support for sampling and testing techniques, operate a quality control lab, and assist communities with data analysis and reporting. Since 2001, ALLARM has worked with grassroots, nonprofit, and governmental organizations in over 65 different communities. In 2018 alone, the organization reached more than 220 community members across Pennsylvania and New York. ALLARM’s current community engagement portfolio includes four major programs: Watershed Technical Assistance, Shale Gas Monitoring, Chesapeake Monitoring Cooperative, and the Stream Team. 

The ALLARM team has made numerous contributions to the field of citizen/community science through peer-reviewed publications, community reports and briefings, local and global trainings, and service on state and national boards. In 2019, ALLARM Director Julie Vastine joined the U.S. Department of Interior’s National Water Quality Monitoring Council, and she served on the board of the Citizen Science Association. The program is an important training ground for undergraduate students, offering rich opportunities for community engaged jobs, internships, and research opportunities.

Excellence in Faculty Community Engagement Award

Virginia Tech – Building Community Capacity for Integrating Engineering in Rural Middle School Science Classrooms  
Lead Faculty Member: Jacob Grohs, College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Education

The Virginia Tech Partnering with Educators and Engineers in Rural Schools (VT PEERS) project focuses on the collaborative design, implementation, and study of recurrent hands-on engineering activities with middle school youth in three rural communities in or near Appalachia. To achieve this aim, the team partners with school educators and industry experts embedded in students’ local communities to collectively develop curriculum to meet teacher-identified science standards and to facilitate regular in-class interventions throughout the academic year.

VT PEERS strives to build collective capacity within schools and with regional industry partners to sustainably invest in the lives and futures of youth in the region. The challenges facing rural school systems are often tangled with other critical societal issues. While the day-to-day work of VT PEERS involves developing and implementing engineering activities to teach core science content, the intentional work to cultivate partnerships with and between schools and industry looks to build sustainability beyond this grant-funded project and speaks to deeper and broader investment in collaborating to improve the quality of education in the region.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation and involves faculty and graduate students from VT; school administrators and educators from Bedford, Giles, and Smyth County Public Schools; and industry partners Fostek, Universal Fibers, and Celanese. Since June 2017, the programmatic collaboration has engaged with 1,900 middle-school students across seven schools in the three counties. Research products include a published journal article, several published peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and a range of other workshops and conference presentations.

Excellence in Community Partner Engagement Award

East Carolina University – Training for Life: East Carolina University and Pitt County Schools Partnership 
Lead Faculty Member: Sharon Rogers Moore, College of Health and Human Performance

In 2008 fewer than half of high schools in the United States had a certified athletic trainer on the field during sports competitions. Sixteen-year-old Jaquan Waller had a great smile and good attitude. He was fast, athletic, and a football player at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, NC. One afternoon, he got hit hard by a middle linebacker at football practice. After his bell got rung, Jaquan was sent home from practice with a headache. No doctor cleared him to play, but 48 hours later, he was on the field. After another tackle, this one unremarkable, he died. Seeking guidance to help prevent another tragedy, the county school system requested assistance from East Carolina University (ECU).

Dr. Sharon Rogers Moore partnered with Pitt County Schools (PCS) and successfully integrated an athletic trainer and complementary sports medicine program into the county’s 6 high schools. Since then, Dr. Moore and her partner, PCS Athletic Director Ron Butler, have been on fire. Athletic trainers now attend all sports events in Pitt County. The pair used their partnership to create local policy and state law, providing on-the-field opportunities for undergraduate students, and leveraged the work in grants, publications, and community-based presentations.

Excellence in Community Partner Engagement Award

Virginia Cooperative Extension/Virginia Tech – Food for a Long Life: Engaging Community Partners to Tackle Food Access  
Lead Faculty Member:  Crystal Tyler-Mackey, Extension Specialist/Community Viability

Food for a Long Life (FFLL) is an engaged community-university-Extension collaborative project that utilizes intergenerational strategies and community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) to address the complex issue of food access in two economically-distressed communities. As a Children, Youth, and Families at Risk (USDA-CYFAR) sustainable community project, FFLL works with neighborhoods in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Columbus, Ohio, where residents face difficulties accessing affordable or quality fresh food. Children and older adults are especially vulnerable to the negative effects of food insecurity. Thus, the team established a partnership to improve knowledge, access, and consumption related to healthy food at four child-care centers using intergenerational practices. Engaging intergenerational strategies, nutrition education programs have been provided to approximately 630 preschoolers and more than 60 adults served by day sites for either older adults or adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The educational efforts and intergenerational relationships continue to yield significant impacts for participants, as well as staff and families. Moreover, the team further identified and planned initiatives to address community needs through iterative communication and relationship building. Regarding equitable food access, different strategies unique to the context of each community have been implemented. In Ohio, FFLL and partners organized and implemented an on-site food pantry at an intergenerational site, eliminating additional transportation and schedule barriers. In Virginia, the need for food during long winter and spring breaks was identified as a critical need. FFLL has partnered with faith-based organizations and the food bank and has provided snack bags for children during these times.