Recipients of the 2017 W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award
Finalists for the 2017 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award
University of New Hampshire
Prevention Innovations Research Center
Prevention Innovations Research Center (PIRC) develops innovative and trauma-informed responses to sexual and relationship violence and stalking through scholarship that engages community partners. These partners participate in all stages of our work, shaping our innovative prevention approaches. Our evidence-based strategies change futures and lessen the impact of trauma on individuals, communities, and institutions.
Founded in 2006 by an interdisciplinary group of five researchers and practitioners, PIRC now employs over 20 researchers and practitioners, as well as a postdoctoral fellow and graduate and undergraduate students. Our research-based innovations have been used to prevent violence in communities, high schools, college and universities, and military settings; help survivors of sexual violence move forward in the aftermath of trauma; and inform policy at institutional, local, state, and national levels consistent with the UNH land grant mission.
Our work reaches a wide audience through publications, press conferences, and a deliberate media presence. PIRC members have published 85 peer-reviewed journal articles, 15 book chapters, and 21 practitioner-oriented publications and reports. Our students have completed 78 undergraduate honors theses or research projects, 30 master's theses/projects, and 8 PhD dissertations. Sales from our commercialized products help support our robust research agenda.
Sharyn Potter, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology and Executive Director of Research, Prevention Innovations Research Center, University of New Hampshire
EPICS is a curricular approach to engagement that involves undergraduates in the development, design, delivery, and support of technology-based solutions to meet community needs. Technology has the potential to improve quality of life, but many people lack the technical knowledge, budget, or resources to acquire or design solutions. EPICS co-develops and implements solutions with community partners using a human-centered design approach.
Professors Ed Coyle and Leah Jamieson created the program in 1995. Since then, over 350 projects have been delivered ranging from software to allow agencies to coordinate services and protect privacy, to a constructed wetland to purify agricultural runoff, to a communication iPad app for children with autism, to a new school in rural Ecuador, and an accessible camp for children with disabilities.
The program now enrolls over 1,100 students per year working on 147 projects—directly impacting 83,111 people and 447,983 indirectly (e.g. families of children). EPICS has become an international leader in engineering education and engagement, recognized by the National Academy of Engineering, American Society for Engineering Education, Campus Compact, and IEEE (largest engineering professional society). EPICS has disseminated program findings in 73 refereed papers, 13 books or chapters, and 95 workshops touching over 3,000 faculty and teachers.
William Oakes, Professor, Engineering Education and Director, EPICS, Purdue University
East Carolina University
Motivating Adolescents with Technology to CHOOSE Health: A University-Community Partnership
American childhood obesity rates tripled over the last three decades. The Alliance for a Healthier Generation identifies 1 in 3 children in North Carolina as overweight or obese. In eastern North Carolina, this increases to 1 in 2. MATCH-Wellness, a community-university partnership, was created to address this epidemic and is guided by engaged scholarship, reciprocity, and mutual benefit.
In North Carolina, a 3% shift in adults from overweight to healthy weight would yield $3 billion annual savings. Fifteen percent of MATCH participants 17 years old showed a change to healthy weight four years post-intervention.
Since 2007, the program has grown from one middle school teacher and one ECU faculty member to 20 ECU faculty supporters, 24 ECU students, and public school staff from 46 public schools in 14 districts across three states, working with 5,674 students in the 2016-2017 school year. Nearly 15,439 students have participated in the MATCH curriculum, preventing an estimated 1,544 cases of adult obesity.
MATCH-Wellness community-engaged scholarship produced 6 academic publications, 15 community articles, 22 community and 29 academic presentations, a web-based curriculum, and more than $4.6 million over ten years. MATCH-Wellness will be among the first tenants on the East Carolina Research Innovation Campus for public-private partnerships.
Sharon Paynter, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Service and Community Relations and Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, East Carolina University
Oklahoma State University
Solutions-based Health Innovations and Nutrition Excellence (SHINE), Partners in Indian Country
* Winner of the 2017 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award
Solutions-based Health Innovations and Nutrition Excellence (SHINE), Partners in Indian Country, was created in 2006. SHINE is a collaboration between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and partners throughout Indian Country. The Chickasaw Nation (CN) has partnered with OSU to study nutrition and public health issues identified by Chickasaw citizens, combining cultural, historical, and programming knowledge with scientific expertise. The CN/OSU team has developed a wide-ranging, nationally recognized and emulated model of public health collaboration between a university and a Native American nation.
Team members collaboratively conduct research in Native American nutrition and health disparities, translate and publicize research information, promote and support the training of a diverse research workforce, and foster innovative collaborations and partnerships throughout the United States.
The team developed the Eagle Adventure program for youth in grades 1-3. Building on existing public health content and embracing traditions of Native American storytelling, the program inspires a vision of hope that Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through dietary and physical activity changes. As a complement, the team developed a social marketing campaign to reinforce similar messages.
Team efforts have been recognized with multiple state and national awards, and team members have presented analyses of program data at numerous national conferences and webinars, and in peer-reviewed journal articles.
Jorge Atiles, Associate Dean, Extension and Engagement and Professor, Department of Design, Housing, and Merchandising, Oklahoma State University
- The Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project
Michigan State University
In 2009, approximately 11,000 sexual assault kits (SAKs) were found in a police property storage facility in Detroit, Michigan. A SAK contains biological evidence collected from victims' bodies after an assault (e.g., semen, blood, saliva) that can be analyzed for DNA. However, the vast majority of the Detroit SAKs had never been submitted for forensic testing.
A growing number of U.S. cities have discovered large numbers of untested SAKs in police storage. To address this problem, the National Institute of Justice funded the Detroit SAK Action Research Project to develop best practices. From 2011 to 2015, Rebecca Campbell and Detroit-area practitioners conducted a study that sought to assess the scope of the problem, determine why Detroit had amassed so many untested rape kits, develop a plan for testing kits, and create a protocol for working with victims.
Detroit stakeholders and the research team implemented a number of reforms based on the findings of this project, including new policies to test all SAKs in Detroit, new training programs for practitioners on trauma-informed care, the formation of a new sexual assault cold case investigation and prosecution unit, and the passage of a new state law that requires all SAKs in Michigan to be submitted for DNA testing. Our results have been widely disseminated to the scientific community, the policy arena, and practitioners.
- Institute on the Environment
University of Minnesota
Since its inception 10 years ago, the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment (IonE) has put reciprocal partnerships at the center of its work. To sustainably address environmental challenges, we must work across disciplines and in collaboration with external partners.
To this end, IonE is home to eight core programs, from our Global Landscapes Initiative to the Natural Capital Project (a long-term partnership among IonE, Stanford University, the World Wildlife Federation, and The Nature Conservancy). Each of these programs works with community partners to co-create and disseminate solutions to environmental challenges. We also support the engaged work of 113 affiliate scholars across the UMN system, and have funded more than 600 projects, including Climate-Smart Municipalities, the Resilient Communities Project, and the Energy Transition Lab.
We've published in leading scholarly journals on ways of producing food sustainably, capturing the economic value of ecosystem services, and preserving biodiversity. Our end-goal is to make that knowledge actionable. Our partnerships have yielded environmental legislation, industry-leading commitments to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and new sustainability standards. Our mission is to create a world where people and the planet thrive together, and our mode is to connect university resources with the insights and experience of community partners.
University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina and PASOs, meaning "steps" in Spanish, jointly derive solutions with Latino communities and organizational partners throughout the state to improve health and early childhood outcomes. In 2005, after a graduate student research project within the College of Social Work showed that Latino health disparities were not being adequately addressed, PASOs was developed. Further responding to this need, a more formal university-community partnership was initiated in 2008.
PASOs, housed in part at USC and supported by various university resources, exemplifies a collaborative, community-partnered approach being that it (1) was developed for, with, and by the vulnerable population it targets; (2) uses participants' lived experiences to inform and shape solutions; and (3) collaborates with 180 community and organizational partners throughout South Carolina.
Now with a cadre of health and child development programs, PASOs effectively reduces cultural and linguistic barriers by providing culturally competent services that reach over 8,500 Latino women and children each year. PASOs also integrates university teaching, research, and service missions by connecting faculty and students to communities in an authentic way, resulting so far in five peer-reviewed journal publications, two current community-based participatory research projects, several articles currently pending for publication, numerous statewide and national presentations, and student engagement at every level.
- Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program
University of Louisville
The Human Rights Advocacy Program (HRAP) is a university-community partnership in which the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law advances the human rights of immigrants, refugees, and noncitizens. Established in 2014, the program leverages admissions-based fellowships, faculty/student interest, and a public service requirement to construct a community of activists, researchers, and leaders.
An initial assessment of the local community identified existing challenges, needs, and strengths in actualizing human rights. Language access, educational access, and media portrayals of the local community were identified as priority items. Each issue was studied and reported on.
HRAP responded to an urgent need for legal outreach in the undocumented community and the Latino community generally. It has adaptively structured unique clinics on campus for faculty/students/staff with questions following Trump's executive actions, Latino law clinics at La Casita Center, Know Your Rights trainings in Kentucky's only immigrant detention center, and Know Your Rights trainings in neighborhoods at risk for immigration detentions.
The need for each of these efforts was identified by the local community. The responses have provided opportunities for student-faculty-community collaboration in scholarship and service, advanced the cultural competency and inclusion of our university broadly, and met the most timely and changing needs of our campus and local community.
- The Llano River Field Station: Engagement in Watershed Protection, Research, and Education
Texas Tech University
The Texas Hill Country (HC) is one of America's most treasured landscapes. Threats to the HC directly or indirectly revolve around water, especially the groundwater-surface water connection, i.e. springs. An important feature of the region is the Edwards Plateau, characterized by a large number of springs, an important natural resource in a semiarid region, forming the headwaters of seven major Texas river systems. Yet springs are disappearing as are flows of rivers and streams. Aquifer mining, population growth, invasive water sucking plants, land fragmentation, climate change, pollution, and land management practices in the past, present, and future all impact springs. We address these issues with a watershed approach.
Texas Tech University's Llano River Field Station (LRFS) conducts research and engages in a spectrum of partnerships focused on recognizing, understanding, and finding solutions to regional problems related to watershed and range science, freshwater systems, and the environment, with national and international implications. Community partners include federal and state agencies, municipalities, universities, K-12 schools, landowners, and other local citizen groups. The engagement between LRFS researchers, students, staff, and community partners has resulted in enhanced natural resource science and conservation, best practices in watershed protection, an exemplary STEM curriculum, and nationally recognized education programs.