Recipients of the 2008 Outreach Scholarship/W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award
Finalists for the 2008 C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award
Pennsylvania State University
Rethinking Urban Poverty: The Philadelphia Field Project
* Winner of the 2008 C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award
Since 1998, Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Geography Professor Lakshman Yapa has conducted a service-learning course focused on the poor neighborhoods of West Philadelphia, working in collaboration with the Parkside Community Development Corp. and the Millennium Baptist Church. The Philadelphia Field Project reframes the challenges of the urban poor in a way that unlocks the capacity of people to discover solutions at scales correlated to their own power.
More than 60 student-run projects have addressed critical needs in the area such as access to credit, transportation, and sound nutrition. The course has also served as a catalyst for change within Penn State, including the launch of both the Laboratory for Public Scholarship and Democracy and an interdisciplinary minor in civic engagement as well as changes in tenure and promotion policies to recognize service learning.
Arizona State University
Building Bridges to the American Dream: The American Dream Academy
An extraordinary partnership at a significant scale between Arizona State University and the City of Phoenix resulted in the establishment of the ASU Downtown Phoenix campus in 2006, now serving 3,000+ undergraduate and graduate students and expected to grow to 15,000 by 2020. Only rarely are cities able to reinvent themselves, and universities infrequently do so.
In 2006 the voters of the City of Phoenix approved propositions securing $223M in funding for the development of the Downtown Phoenix campus of Arizona State University. This proved to be a defining moment for both the city and the university, and a vital step toward building both. The New American University now emerging at ASU is characterized by excellence, impact, and inclusion. The new downtown location allows ASU to advance the broad educational interests of business, government, and nonprofit organizations and lends critical mass to other educational and cultural institutions located downtown. The colleges and schools on the Downtown campus have a common focus on the public mission of ASU and a commitment to the social and economic advancement of the many diverse communities of the metropolitan region.
Ohio State University
A Comprehensive and Collaborative Approach to Urban Revitalization
Ohio State University has employed a comprehensive approach to the revitalization of its urban neighborhoods. This approach involves community planning, neighborhood partnerships, and strategic projects that remove barriers to market-based revitalization.
In the mid-1990s, the university established Campus Partners as a nonprofit redevelopment corporation to lead revitalization of the diverse urban neighborhoods known as the University District. Campus Partners led a public process to prepare a plan for the University District, which was adopted by Columbus City Council.
From the planning came the recognition that the highly concentrated poverty, poorly managed subsidized housing, and crime in the Weinland Park neighborhood of the University District must be addressed if revitalization were to succeed. Beginning in 2001, Campus Partners convened government and university officials, neighborhood civic leaders, and housing advocates to prepare an innovative plan to acquire and renovate more than 500 units of government-subsidized housing. This housing, now known as Community Properties of Ohio, became a national model for scattered-site low-income housing, with more than $50,000 per unit being invested from private and public sources for renovation, plus improved management and supportive services for the families.
Capturing control of the housing was key to dealing effectively with public safety and creating neighborhood stability. Since then, other strategic initiatives in Weinland Park have followed.
Tennessee State University
Tennessee State University has a rich history of public service and civic engagement—thus the motto "Think, Work, Serve." Founded in 1912, TSU has grown dramatically from a small college to two campuses and still actively adheres to the cornerstone of the land-grant universities: teaching, research, and outreach. The charge is "Enter to learn, go forth to serve." TSU takes seriously its responsibility to relate academic work to communities in ways that are mutually beneficial. Collaborative work in and with communities is consistent with the goals of a model urban university, providing leadership to others in all facets of integrating service with teaching and research, and engaging educators, staff, and students in activities that benefit their communities as well as themselves. TSU aims to distinguish itself nationally as a campus that creates interdisciplinary approaches to generating and communicating knowledge that meaningfully contributes to the well-being of society.
University of Kentucky
Centering Pregnancy Smiles
Kentucky's rates of preterm baby deliveries and low birth weight babies are among the highest in the nation. That's why the University of Kentucky teamed up with federal, state, and local government to form a Commonwealth Collaborative to help combat these problems.
Centering Pregnancy Smiles is a partnership between UK, the Trover Health System, the Hopkins County Health Department in Madisonville, the national CenteringPregnancy™ initiative, and other federal, state, and local leaders. Beginning in 2006, the collaboration set out to end the cycle of preterm births, low birth weight, and poor oral health in Kentucky by first focusing on expectant families from a few core counties. The initiative, based on research showing the connection between good oral health care and positive birthing outcomes, has transformed the traditional prenatal care model by creating a group setting where new moms learn and adopt healthy oral care behaviors for themselves and their babies.
UK also helped to establish the Dan A. Martin Dental Clinic, which, with partial staffing from UK dental students, has provided access to expectant mothers without insurance or funds to pay for oral health care.
To date, the Centering Pregnancy Smiles program, working with just over 400 women in Madisonville, has already saved Kentucky $1.5 million in medical procedures needed by these babies at birth. Also, the national CenteringPregnancy initiative has adopted many of the innovations pioneered in Madisonville by UK's College of Dentistry and its community partners.