Recipients of the 2016 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award
Finalists for the 2016 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award
East Carolina University
American childhood obesity rates tripled over the last decade. Today, nearly 33% of American and 50% of Eastern North Carolina children are overweight or obese. The MATCH-Wellness partnership was created to address this epidemic.
Education to improve nutrition and increase physical activity in adolescents generates sustainable improvement in weight status years later. In NC a mere 3% shift in adults from overweight to healthy weight could yield $3 billion annual savings. MATCH 17-year-olds, four years post intervention, showed 15% change to healthy weight.
Since 2007, the MATCH-Wellness partnership has grown from one middle school teacher and one ECU faculty member to include faculty and students from the ECU Pediatric Healthy Weight Research and Treatment Center and public school staff from 15 communities at 35 public schools across three states. Since inception, nearly 13,000 students have participated in the MATCH curriculum, preventing an estimated 1,300 cases of adult obesity.
To date, MATCH-Wellness community engaged scholarship has produced five academic publications, 15 community articles, 22 community and 26 academic presentations, a web-based curriculum, and over $3.5 million in financial support. MATCH-Wellness will be among the first tenants on the East Carolina Research Innovation Campus (ECRIC) for public-private partnerships, launched in 2015.
Sharon Paynter, Associate Professor and Interim Director, Office of Public Service and Community Relations, East Carolina University
Pennsylvania State University
The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State
Since September 11, 2001, enormous and unrelenting demands have been placed on military families, including numerous and extended deployments, exposure to high levels of chronic stress, living with loved ones in harm's way, and the visible and invisible wounds of war.
The Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness fosters research and outreach efforts to promote the health and wellbeing of military families. Until recently, the military has been reactive to crises, often implementing social service programs without scientific evidence of their efficacy. Budget cutbacks have also limited the professional training of social service providers. Thus, many practitioners are unfamiliar with evidence-based programs and practices.
During its six-year history, the Clearinghouse has developed partnerships with the U.S. departments of defense and agriculture and each military service branch. Its partners work across the human services and healthcare spectrum. The Clearinghouse focuses on five activities: analyzing the evidence base of programs and practices for military families; offering consultation, coaching, and continuing education for service professionals; conducting applied, community-participatory research relevant to military family health and wellbeing; developing evidence-informed programs, products, policies, and training to promote family resilience; and providing students with immersive learning opportunities to prepare them for research and practice in the field.
Keith R. Aronson, Associate Director, Social Science Research Institute and Children, Youth, and Families Consortium, Pennsylvania State University
Portland State University
Let Knowledge Serve: Portland State University and the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Let Knowledge Serve: Portland State University and the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
* Winner of the 2016 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award
Portland State University (PSU) and the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) are committed to a partnership that engages faculty and students from a variety of disciplines in education, research, and service. For more than 25 years, PSU and BPS have engaged in a reciprocal relationship that so far has generated: longitudinal data that shape citywide waste management policy; climate change research and education that informs the region's Climate Action Plan; planning and development activities that promote an "Age Friendly City" agenda; "Smart Cities" research and development focused on transit access and livability issues; and placement of PSU capstone students and interns in support of neighborhood-level activities.
The PSU-BPS alliance has garnered national and international recognition. BPS' innovative waste management practices are frequently cited as national best practices and the "Smart Cities" work has generated a $50M request for a proposal from the U.S. Department of Transportation. If funded, this grant would make Portland a test bed for how smart urban transportation systems can reduce carbon emissions and improve equity outcomes. Every facet of the PSU-BPS partnership supports the PSU mission by connecting faculty and students with the larger community in engaged scholarship that leads to applied learning.
Mark Wubbold, Senior Policy Analyst, President's Office, Portland State University
Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University
Led by the Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University and its partners, the Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) collaboration is strengthening the community mental health infrastructure for veterans and military families.
Over two million members of the U.S. military have been deployed in the past 15 years. This newest cohort joins over 20 million veterans of prior conflicts. The need for behavioral health services exceeds the capacity of the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration.
Together with the National Guard and the Department of Defense, MFRI created SBHP to improve the preparation of civilian behavioral health providers to serve military and veteran families. SBHP provides training about military culture, common symptoms, and evidence-based treatments, as well as a registry of trained providers.
The lead partners are now assisting states with implementation. Within each participating state, the program is led by a partner university. Program partners share materials, funding, facilities, and other resources.
Project impacts include over 75,000 hours of training delivered to over 8,000 behavioral health providers in seven states, more than 86% of whom report using program materials in their work with clients. Scholarly products include project materials, peer-reviewed publications, congressional testimony, and federal legislation. Multiple funders have supported the program.
Steven R. Abel, Associate Provost for Engagement, Purdue University
- Cornell Prison Education Program
The Cornell Prison Education Program (CPEP) is dedicated to providing college-level liberal arts education to incarcerated students in upstate New York prisons. CPEP is a response to the lack of access to higher education in America’s vast prison system. The availability of higher education in prison was effectively removed in 1994, when prisoners were made ineligible for student financial aid. Since that time the question has increasingly been posed, how will people in prison overcome the circumstances that led to their arrest if not via education? In the late 1990s, Cornell University professors began advocating for the return of college programs by volunteering their time. Since its formal launch as a college-in-prison degree initiative with a seed grant in 2007, the CPEP has offered 295 classes; conferred 30 degrees; inspired the formation of a Theater Group, which performs works written by prisoners for the surrounding community; prompted the formation of Writers Bloc, a published journal featuring the works of inmates; and launched a debate team that hosts debates against nearby colleges in the prisons. The result is a vibrant and transformative academic community for prisoners that has simultaneously enriched the faculty scholarship and student experience at Cornell.
- La Semilla Food Center
New Mexico State University
La Semilla is the only nonprofit organization in southern New Mexico that is solely devoted to building a healthy, self-reliant, fair, and sustainable food system. It was established in 2010 with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation. Activities are focused on four programs: the La Semilla Community Farm, the Edible Education Program, the Farm Fresh Program, and Food Planning and Policy. La Semilla has taught hundreds of K-12 students how to grow and cook fresh food while establishing a 14-acre education and demonstration farm in Anthony, NM. The organization also works with youth and families to create community gardens, construct greenhouses, and launch educational projects in the El Paso del Norte region.
La Semilla was founded and is operated by three co-directors (anthropology graduates of NMSU and UT – El Paso) with the help of an energetic team of employees and volunteers. NMSU faculty assist with planning and fundraising. The partnership also involves teaching, student research projects, and employment placement for anthropology graduates. La Semilla's newest project, Cultivando La Cosecha, was funded by the USDA.
The center's work has been featured in the New York Times and co-director Aaron Sharratt has testified before the U.S. Congress on policy affecting local foods and farms.
- TigerPlace: Community Partnership for Aging in Place
University of Missouri
Today, many older adults want to age in place at home. To address this concern, the University of Missouri (MU), in collaboration with Americare Systems, Inc., and community representatives, has developed a new model of care and a senior housing facility that allows elders to “age in place.”
TigerPlace, the senior living facility, and the Aging in Place (AIP) project were developed with guidance from a community advisory board that included a legislator, focus groups with older adults, and MU faculty. TigerPlace was built by Americare in 2004 in collaboration with MU. Americare continues to manage facility operations and the MU School of Nursing provides care to residents. Ongoing AIP evaluations have shown that combined care and housing costs for any resident have never exceeded nursing home costs.
Over 1,600 students have had educational experiences at TigerPlace. Faculty have generated over $12 million in grants focused on technology developed for and with TigerPlace residents, and research has generated 200 publications and conference presentations. TigerPlace has been recognized by the American Academy of Nursing as a national model for better, more cost-effective care. Americare and others have expressed interest in duplicating the model nationwide. This partnership has set a new standard for senior care in the U.S.
- The UNO STEM Leadership Team and Citywide STEM Ecosystem Effort
University of Nebraska - Omaha
Across the U.S., the number of jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas is expected to increase dramatically by 2022. Meanwhile, U.S. high school students rank 23rd and 30th in science and mathematics readiness, respectively. Thus, supporting educational pathways into STEM careers is a priority at the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO). UNO is researching and piloting “cradle to career” STEM initiatives to improve these outcomes locally and create models for national deployment.
The key university structure to support these outcomes is the interdisciplinary STEM Leadership Team. This team of 21 faculty members has worked closely with more than 30 community partners and businesses, and is now establishing a Citywide STEM Ecosystem organization to address Omaha's STEM education challenges. Encouraging results over the past two years include: increased retention rates in STEM classes on campus; expanded teacher training in local P12 schools; collaborative after-school programs for schools; refereed journal articles (often with direct participation of community partners); and more than $8,000,000 in federal and private foundation grants.
The partnership has been fueled by a detailed university STEM strategic plan and a formal leadership structure that continues to research, pilot, and sustain collaborative models of STEM pathway innovation. This innovation is directly built upon a foundation of community-engaged scholarship.
- Appalachia Community Health and Disaster Readiness Project
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Clay County, Kentucky, was described by the New York Times as the “hardest place in America to live” based on major health indicators including obesity, infant mortality, and disability. Clean water is hard to come by, devastating floods are common, and mold is ubiquitous.
The Appalachia Community Health and Disaster Readiness Project aims to strengthen community wellness while enhancing scholarship and experiential learning at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Faculty, students, and professional staff in nursing, architecture, engineering, and law enforcement unite with Clay County’s Red Bird Mission and Emergency Management Services, along with local clergy, elected officials, teachers, and law enforcement personnel.
Community outcomes include a replicable water distribution structure capable of providing clean drinking water to thousands of families. Emergency management personnel and local residents have completed Disaster Life Support™ courses. Project teams have identified home safety and health hazards and have begun to address them through replicable, low-cost solutions for repair/replacement and mold remediation.
University outcomes include engaging over 150 students plus faculty and staff from four UT colleges in inter-professional coursework, high impact design/build projects, and faculty scholarship. A formal Appalachia Community of Scholars, supported by UT’s Office of Research and Engagement, has been established to pursue additional opportunities for scholarship and funding.