2015 University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Awards

On behalf of The Ohio State University, the Offices of Outreach and Engagement, International Affairs, Service-Learning, Undergraduate Education, and Student Life recognize faculty, staff and students for outstanding achievement with the University Outreach and Engagement Recognition Awards program. The overall top partnership, which receives the University Outreach and Engagement Award, serves as the university’s nominee for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

Award recipients were honored at an Awards Ceremony on May 6 in the Archie Griffin East Ballroom, prior to the Patterson Lecture

View a slideshow from the Awards Ceremony


University Outreach and Engagement Award (National Magrath Award Nominee) and Distinguished Community Engagement Award

K-12 Engineering Outreach


Primary Contact:
Betty Lise Anderson, anderson.67@osu.edu

Led by Prof. Betty Lise Anderson, engineering students develop exciting hands-on engineering projects for K-12 schools as part of the Capstone Design, and then visit the schools to lead their activities along with approximately 50 Ohio State student volunteers per year. They have collectively visited 78 schools, plus camps, after-school programs, STEM clubs, scouts, 4H and more, reaching 9,000 K-12 students since 2008. They target primarily underserved populations, minority-rich schools, and more recently branched out to rural areas, special-needs kids, and even traveled to Colombia to bring their activities to children there. Ohio State students also develop and post online detailed instructions for teachers anywhere to use, along with PowerPoints, videos, and specific and detailed parts lists.

As this effort is now going international with a study abroad trip to Colombia (under funding from BETHA), they are now developing all-cartoon instructions that can be used by anyone anywhere in the world, regardless of language. One example project involves building a paper speaker that can be connected to a mp3 player or phone that really plays music! Costing less than 50 cents each, every kid gets to take one home (and it's also a microphone!).

Community Partners Involved: Whetstone High School, Rosemore Middle School, North American Young Generation in Nuclear, Royal Manor Elementary After School Program, Universidad Minuto de Dios (Bogotá, Colombia), plus many more schools and community organizations

Ohio State Colleges/Units Involved: College of Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


Distinguished International Engagement Award

The Haiti Empowerment Project


Primary Contact:
Terri Bucci, bucci.5@osu.edu

The Haiti Empowerment Project brings together the intellectual and material resources of Ohio State and other U.S. faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students with Haitian counterparts to assist in the development and implementation of culturally relevant professional training. Through the experiences of the faculty participating in this project, Ohio State students hear of the connections between culture, economics, and outreach. The result is a broadening of one's perceptions of the world and various cultures and an introduction of a vision of empowerment for global education in their own professional lives.

The bonds developed through The Empowerment Project are based on the needs of global community partners and the ability of Ohio State to best meet those needs through experienced faculty and graduate students. In the past few years, through mutual trust and respect, The Empowerment Project has grown in both application and vision, evolving from work with pilot schools to addressing the unique needs of Haitian Teacher Education through partnerships with Haitian universities and other nongovernmental organizations. The OSU Haiti Empowerment Project is now expanding the collaborative efforts to areas outside of Teacher Education; meeting the needs of our Haitian university collaborators in the areas of Business, Medicine, English Literature, and Engineering. This project has produced a vibrant, equally rewarding professional development model driven by a mutual desire for educational transformation.

Community Partners Involved: University Cariabe, CREFI: Teacher Preporation Institution (Port-au-Prince), American University of Les Cayes, University of Notre Dame of Les Cayes, Communities of: Croix-des-Bouquets, Les Cayes, Port-au-Prince

Ohio State Colleges/Units Involved: College of Education and Human Ecology, College of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Teaching and Learning


Distinguished Service-Learning Award

Corrections: An Inside-Out Course


Primary Contact:
Angela Bryant, bryant.74@osu.edu

For six years, Angela Bryant has taught Corrections: An Inside-Out Course (SOC 2211S), an experiential learning class that includes Ohio State and incarcerated individuals in classes at the Southeastern Correctional Complex (SCC). By bringing these students together, Bryant seeks to transform their thinking about crime and justice and empower them as agents of social change. Topics include the criminal justice system, punishment and rehabilitation, restorative justice, and the relationship between criminal and social justice. Students consider the causes and consequences of mass incarceration and explore the impact of crime, imprisonment and related policies on victims and communities. At semester's end, students present a project that includes recommendations for change.

Last semester, four "outside" students joined four "inside" students to present their proposals on parole reform to prison and parole board officials as well as victims' rights advocates. One student said the "eye-opening" experience had turned the students into "activists in our own rights." This is experiential learning at its best--enriching students' academic and personal lives and deepening their knowledge of their communities as well as of their own abilities and capacity.

Community Partners Involved: Southeastern Correctional Institute

Ohio State Colleges/Units Involved: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology


Emerging Community Engagement Award

Moms2B


Primary Contact:
Pat Gabbe, pat.gabbe@osumc.edu

Moms2B is an Ohio State community program for pregnant women to reduce disparities in infant mortality. The program empowers pregnant women to deliver full-term, healthy babies by providing weekly group sessions staffed by a multidisciplinary team focused on education, nutrition, clinical and social support that continues through the infants first birthday. Moms2B opened in 2010 in Weinland Park in collaboration with OSU Extension; the Weinland Park Civic Association, Grace Memorial Baptist Church and Kroger. In 2012, Moms2B expanded to the Eastside and in 2014 into two more high-risk neighborhoods. Program results are encouraging. In Weinland Park fewer pregnant women are smoking, more are breastfeeding and most significantly, from 2006 through 2014 infant death rates decreased from 15/1000 live births to 3/1000.

Partnerships have been keys to the expansion. Scholarship includes national presentations in Washington, D.C.: The March of Dimes Prematurity Summit; Aspen Institute and a meeting of America's Essential Hospitals; in Chicago at the Association of Academic Health Center; and on the Ohio State campus at the Department of Obstetrics Grand rounds and at the College of Public Health. Recently Moms2B was featured in two webinars with a national audience.

Community Partners Involved: Mount Carmel Health Foundation, Columbus Public Health, Mid-Ohio Food Bank, Kroger, the Center for New Direction, the Red Cross, Columbus Kiwanis, Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers, Weinland Park Civic Assoc. Grace Memorial Baptist Church

Ohio State Colleges/Units Involved: College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology


Emerging International Engagement Award

Ohio State Ethiopia Global One Health Initiative


Primary Contact:
Wondwossen Gebreyes, gebreyes.1@osu.edu

The Ohio State-Ethiopia Global One Health initiative is a multidisciplinary and integrated approach that connects the health of people to that of animals and the environment. It promotes scholarship on priority global issues, enhances collaborations, faculty exchanges, and provides international learning opportunities for students for international and inter-professional careers. It creates a shared knowledge platform that impacts lives locally and globally. It connects Ohio State to east Africa via Ethiopia and its neighbors. Partnering with Addis Ababa University and University of Gondar primarily, Ohio State works with 19 Ethiopian and U.S. institutes to improve human health, animal health and environmental quality while simultaneously building capacity for Ethiopian and Ohio State students and faculty. Initiated in 2009, the initiative expanded in 2012 to include all of Ohio State's health science colleges as well as Agriculture, Engineering, Social Work, Communications and Business.

Today more than 50 Ohio State students and 45 faculty/staff are involved, addressing rabies, cervical cancer, tuberculosis; neonatology, food safety, nursing workforce development, service learning, curriculum exchange and digital learning. The e-learning technology initiative is an innovative two-way partnership through distance education using iTunesU. The first course launched was molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases. In six months, 41,372 visitors downloaded the course from 88 countries.

Community Partners Involved: Addis Ababa University, University of Gondar, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Ministry of Health – Ethiopia, Ethiopian House of Representatives

Ohio State Colleges/Units Involved: College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Nursing, College of Public Health, College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Optometry, College of Dentistry, College of Social Work, School of Communications, Fisher College of Business, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, College of Engineering, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Department of Environmental Health Sciences


Emerging Service-Learning Award

Training Culturally Sensitive Students for Community-Based Research with Vulnerable Populations


Primary Contact:
Colleen Spees, Amy Darragh, Crystal Dunlevy - spees.11@osu.edu

University-community partnerships have the intellectual and technical capacity to conduct quality research with underserved populations. One critical component to the success of the team involves its students. Often serving as "the face" of the university at the front lines of data collection and education, the students remain paramount to the university's reputation and success. To ensure quality outcomes for partners in a recent community-based pilot, the team designed, implemented, and evaluated a comprehensive evidence-based education and training module for multidisciplinary students in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. Facilitated by interdisciplinary experts and community partners, students were exposed to relevant topics including cultural sensitivity, health literacy, disparities, ethics, survey methods and community-based research specific to vulnerable and underserved populations.

Traditional classroom training was combined with research simulations, community-actor role-modeling, field observations, and supervised practice. Assessments included the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ), reflections about students' perceptions of food pantry clients, peer reviews, weekly discussions, and community partner evaluations. Although there was no statistically significant difference between pre and post TEQ scores (p=0.08), post project reflections were significantly more positive and humanitarian. The results of this novel and targeted training have led to impactful outcomes based upon programmatic evaluations, community feedback, student adherence, and quality data collection.

Community Partners Involved: Stowe Mission, Community Development for All People, Salvation Army

Ohio State Colleges/Units Involved: College of Medicine, Division of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Department of Medical Dietetics, Department of Health Sciences, Department of Athletic Training, Department of Physical Therapy, Department of Occupational Therapy, Department of Respiratory Therapy, Health Information Management and Systems


Excellence in Community Partnership Award

Healthy Children, Healthy Weights Program at Columbus Public Health


Since 2004, the Healthy Children, Healthy Weights (HCHW) team at Columbus Public Health has promoted healthy weight and growth in young children. The HCHW program has partnered with early learning centers to provide practical strategies to encourage healthy eating and active play in young children. HCHW has provided training to over 100 early learning centers (ELCs), including child care centers and preschools, impacting an estimated 10,000 children.

The HCHW team has collaborated with Ohio State faculty, staff, and students to design interventions and resources, present trainings for early childhood care providers and other community partners, and conduct program evaluations and research. In 2009, HCHW convened over 30 organizations, including the Ohio State College of Public Health and OSU Extension, which promote health among pregnant women and young children to form the Growing Healthy Kids Columbus (GHKC) Coalition. Ohio State faculty and staff were included in the coalition's development of an Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Plan (ECOPP). The Ohio State Prevention Research Center (PRC) worked with the coalition's steering committee to develop and implement baseline assessments related to the ECOPP. These assessments, including child care provider surveys, were implemented by Ohio State graduate students.


Staff Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Dr. Patricia Cunningham


As community engagement and outreach has become a pillar of the student experience for the Office of Student Life, the golden standard used to signify what excellence in service learning in a community should look like is Dr. Patty Cunningham and her Social Change program. Dr. Cunningham has developed a grass roots student initiative into one of the most impactful service learning experiences for students at The Ohio State University. The Social Change program engages over 1,000 students who weekly, and sometimes even daily, devote their time to understanding the needs of the greater Columbus area community and providing support, resources and volunteer time to those communities.

Her Social Change program in the Office of Student Life is not merely an activity – it is an immersive engagement within Columbus communities with deep-rooted dialogue on learning outcomes and reflection and expansive goal-setting. Students in Dr. Cunningham's program exhibit the same fervor for and devotion to their service initiatives that she embodies, a sign of her true leadership influence on these students and the community.


Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Service

Lainie Rini


Lainie Rini has been involved with community organizing since her first year at Ohio State, working on matters related to labor rights, equal educational opportunity, environmental justice, and more. She has engaged in this work through student organizations as well as with community groups, such as local churches. This service inspired her to major in Geography and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies, two disciplines that focus on alleviating the suffering of people locally and world-wide. In the past year, she connected her studies from the WGSS department with community outreach, and organized an on-campus event with fellow students and Columbus residents that brought to light the reality of police brutality against women of color. She plans to continue to pursue community justice and work with the networks that she has formed during her time as an undergraduate.


Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Service

Diandra Gordon


Diandra Gordon has served the community as a volunteer at The King Arts Complex, Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) Malaika Program, and The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. At The Kings Arts Complex, she has collaborated on community educational and cultural activities and developed and supported the administrative operations. As a volunteer with FCCS Malaika Program, she is a dedicated mentor to young African American girls involved in the child welfare system.

She also strives to enrich the lives of all girls in the system as an Advisory Committee member. Her responsibilities include, but are not limited to, planning and implementing programming for the entire mentoring program. As an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, she has developed a community-based program for families with a special emphasis on serving underrepresented populations. As a social scientist, these experiences have given her the opportunity to see how the challenges facing society such as poor family dynamics and access to healthy foods are complex.


Professional Student Award for Excellence in Community Service

Elizabeth Brubaker


As an Albert Schweitzer Fellow for the 2014-2015 school year, Elizabeth Brubaker has organized a team of Optometrists and Optometry students to do eye screenings on youth ranging in ages from 9-14 at a free sports camp at Ohio State for an underserved population of Columbus. She has worked at LiFE Sports Camp for the past four years providing eye screenings for the campers. She also visits elementary classrooms throughout Columbus presenting the RealEyes program. The RealEyes program is a curriculum that uses games and videos to teach kids about their vision and the importance of eye exams. She was able to screen 305 youths at the most recent LiFE Sports Camp and has reached about 1,300 youth through the RealEyes program.


Student Group Award for Excellence in Community Service Programming

Engineers for Community Service


Since 2004, Engineers for Community Service (ECOS) has partnered with the Wexner Medical Center, various local churches, and non-profit organizations to identify people in the Columbus Metropolitan area who need wheelchair ramps constructed at their houses. Most of these disabled individuals cannot afford contractors to build a wheel chair ramp on their property. Therefore ECOS designs and builds wheelchair ramps for these individuals at no charge to the house owner. The methodology to assess who receives a wheelchair ramp has remained consistent throughout the years. The faculty advisor, Roger Dzwonczyk, connects with the community partners, identifies a client, and along with the Wheel Chair Ramp project group goes to the client's property to assess the project's scope and constraints. After the initial assessment, the project group works on designing the wheelchair ramp. The group performs multiple visits to the site to understand the needs of the client and incorporates those needs into the design. In the 4th or 5th week of the design process, the project group begins construction of the wheel chair ramp. At the end of a 7-week process, the client has a new wheel chair ramp to allow them to easily maneuver in and out of their house.


Past Award Recipients

2014 Awards

2013 Awards

2012 Awards

2011 Awards

2010 Awards

2009 Awards

2008 Awards

2007 Awards