2019 University Engagement Recognition Awards

2019 University Engagement Recognition Awards

Ohio State's University Engagement Recognition Awards honor faculty, staff, students and community partners for outstanding achievement in meaningful partnerships that produce engaged scholarship and community impact.

Awardees were recognized at a ceremony on May 2 at 10 a.m. in the Ohio Union, U.S. Bank Conference Theater.

Sponsoring units: Offices of International Affairs, Outreach and Engagement, Service-Learning, Student Academic Success, Student Life, and the Wexner Medical Center.

Watch a Replay of the Awards Ceremony

Distinguished Community Engagement Award

Photo of Generation Rx Team

Generation Rx

Primary contact: Nicole Kwiek, kwiek.1@osu.edu

Generation Rx (GenRx) is committed to teaching safe medication practices across the lifespan. Housed in the College of Pharmacy and in partnership with the Cardinal Health Foundation, GenRx combines academic scholarship and community outreach through its free, educational resources and network of community-based educators and professionals. When the project was first conceived in 2007, GenRx sought to address the emerging concerns about prescription medication misuse and empower community pharmacists to act. Since that time, it has added both private and public partnerships to augment the reach and to enhance the accessibility of the tools. At all levels, partners help to implement GenRx programming and serve as entry points into their respective networks. In addition, they all hold a vested interest in reducing prescription drug misuse.

GenRx's work is collaborative in every facet of its development and execution. The program leverages the content expertise of College of Pharmacy faculty, staff, and students with the connections and support of these partnerships to provide free, easy-to-use resources for audiences of all ages. GenRx relies on partners to better inform its understanding of medication misuse in a given context, and jointly develops data-informed, best practices programming to address the issue. Finally, GenRx works with its partners to promote the project through their networks and communications channels. Since its inception, the GenRx team has been invited to give hundreds of talks to state, regional, national, and international audiences - many times presenting together alongside partners (e.g., OSU Extension, Kroger Pharmacy, Cardinal Health employees, etc.). In addition to publishing 11 scholarly works since 2015, the team has also created an environment that fosters broader inter-institutional scholarship by supporting collaborators at other universities to present their own GenRx work.

Distinguished International Engagement Award

Photo of Debbie Goff and Gil Latz

South Africa Antibiotic Stewardship "Train the Trainer" Pharmacist's Mentoring Program

Primary contact: Debra Goff, debbie.goff@osumc.edu

The Ohio State University South Africa Antibiotic Stewardship "Train-the-Trainer" Mentoring Program for South African Pharmacists has contributed to reduction in use of antibiotics, improved quality of patient care and increased safety for South African citizens who are impacted by the threat of antibiotic resistant "superbug" infections. Led by Debra Goff since 2012, the program has advanced the profession of pharmacy by placing pharmacists in direct patient care. By empowering pharmacists to engage patients and healthcare providers to improve the responsible use of antibiotics by implementing antibiotic stewardship programs, they ensure that antibiotics are used only when necessary.

In South Africa, the shortage of adequately trained infectious diseases pharmacists and physicians presents a challenge for hospitals where global rates of antibiotic resistance are exceptionally high, putting patient's lives at risk. In the first year, the program proved that trained pharmacists decreased antibiotic use by 18% in 47 hospitals across South Africa through addressing a complex issue at multiple points in a feasible and sustainable way. The key to the program's sustained success is based on the intensive multidisciplinary training in the United States, best practices each pharmacist receives during their training at Ohio State, and Ohio State faculty working in South African hospitals to understand how cultural factors shape the beliefs, policies and practices of antibiotic use. The impact of the program was recognized in a film by The Wellcome Trust foundation featuring the mentored pharmacists as an example of "Pharmacist Pioneers" leading the way to stop superbugs. The 2018 United Nations Call to Action Conference featured the program as a global pioneering idea making a difference. The program has grown to over 200 South African pharmacists participating in antibiotic stewardship. Discussions are currently underway with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Nationwide Children's Hospital to implement train-the-trainer programs in South African hospitals neonatal intensive care units.

Distinguished Service-Learning Award

Photo of Patrick Lloyd and Ola Ahlqvist

The OHIO Project

Primary contact: Canise Bean, bean.26@osu.edu

Nearly 1.2 million working-aged adults (18 -64 years of age) in Ohio report they have unmet dental care needs. Fifty-one percent of children in Ohio have experienced tooth decay by third grade and dental care remains the single most common unmet health care need for nearly 157,400 children in Ohio, regardless of family income. The College of Dentistry responded to this unmet health need by creating the Oral Health Improvement through Outreach (OHIO) Project in 2002. To create the OHIO Project, the College forged numerous partnerships across the state of Ohio with community health centers, health departments, hospitals (community and VA), and private practices. All the participating locations provide care to underserved populations. One of the rather unique sites is the Dental H.O.M.E. Coach, which is in effect - a dental office on wheels!

The OHIO Project is a component of the dental curricula considered Community Based Dental Education (CBDE). During the senior year of education, students spend 50 days providing dental care in community clinics in Ohio under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist who is adjunct faculty and often an alumnus of Ohio State's College of Dentistry. The partnerships that the OHIO Project maintains creates a win-win-win. The service-learning component is a WIN for the students by enhancing their clinical education, having more student oral health providers is a WIN for the community partner, and community members/patients WIN by having more access to care. On average, each senior dental student provides over 400 additional procedures in community sites which include preventive (cleanings and fluoride) treatments as well as restorative (fillings and crowns), endodontic (root canals), and oral surgery (tooth extraction) services. Students also provide tobacco counseling and oral health education.

Wexner Medical Center Healthy Community Award

Photo of Rick Petosa and David McQuaid

Mentoring to Be Active: Promoting Adolescent Health in Appalachia

Primary contact: Rick Petosa, petosa.1@osu.edu

The Appalachian region of Southern Ohio is characterized by high rates of poverty, obesity and poor health practices. For 13 years, Drs. Smith and Petosa have been active partners with schools in the Appalachian region of Ohio. Their school-academic partnerships have supported the development of innovative, community-driven programs including: "Planning to be Active", "Mentoring to be Active", and "Sodabriety". Using community participatory approaches, their projects built sustainable capacity in schools to address: physical inactivity, diabetes, and obesity. Over 40 schools have received training in evidence-based programs to promote healthy behaviors and behavior change. Each school has been an actively engaged partner in shaping the content and delivery methods, tailoring solutions for their schools. The active collaboration of Drs. Petosa and Smith with school partners has resulted in tailored programs that best serve this hard to reach population.

During teacher/mentor training, implementation observations and post-delivery interviews, feedback was sought to continually refine the programs. The power of peer mentoring has been evident in the family-based behavior change and broad community awareness resulting from the programs. Training of community members, specifically teens, to promote lifestyle behaviors of children and peers has been a powerful approach for communities that lack resources, health professionals, or personnel to deliver curriculum. The program's dissemination of outcomes and discoveries begins with the communities in which it is engaged. In addition, the program has shared the results of its work with local health coalitions, health departments, and other local service agencies. They have spoken to the local media and have jointly prepared conference presentations with community partners. The program has published its work in peer-reviewed journals. Additionally, the program includes hiring workers for its community-academic partnerships from the local communities it serves.

Emerging Community Engagement Award

Photo of Preventing Falls Team

Preventing Falls: A Community-Based Intervention

Primary contact: Carmen Quatman, carmen.quatman@osumc.edu

Older adults prefer to live at home as they age, yet inability to perform basic functions may force admission to a long-term care facility, which threatens the individual's sense of self and requires thousands of private or public dollars to finance. Falls among the 65+ population are a significant public health issue as the leading cause of non-fatal injury in older adults, costing $50 billion annually, and can lead to decreased mobility, independence, and life expectancy. The orthopaedics and physical therapy departments of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center created a partnership with the Upper Arlington Fire Division (UAFD) in spring 2018 to develop and implement a practical fall intervention.

The project pairs UAFD's established community paramedicine program (CARES) and evidence-based fall risk assessments with the installment of relevant home modifications, including grab bars and motion-sensing night lights, in the residences of community-dwelling older adults. Studies suggest that home modifications are the most impactful intervention for fall prevention among older adults. A program at another university invests four months and $3,300 per older adult, including $1,200 on home modifications, to allow older adults to remain safely at home and has demonstrated a three times return on investment and a two times improvement in functionality. In contrast, this project utilizes an existing infrastructure (CARES) to provide timely modifications at an average cost of less than $125. A cost-effective model of home modifications to allow older adults to remain safely at home for as long as they choose would permit more individuals to be reached and decrease health disparities.

Emerging International Engagement Award

Photo of Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Team

Spanish and Portuguese Outreach Initiative

Primary contact: Paloma Martinez-Cruz, martinez-cruz.2@osu.edu

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Community Outreach Committee brings together faculty, staff, students and community partners to create visibility and appreciation for Latinx cultural production. In the face of polarized national rhetoric surrounding immigration and demographic shifts, this work is crucial to facilitate productive conversations about human mobility and place-making. The committee organizes two annual events that build long-lasting community partnership with a community dance studio U Will Dance and Spanish-language storytelling performed by graduate students. They also distribute materials inviting Latinx communities to programming on campus and encouraging Latinx youth to apply to the programs.

The second Spanish and Portuguese community outreach initiative is its "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) celebration, now in its fourth year on October 19, 2019. The initiative collaboratively offers public programs to teach the public about the cultural significance of the holiday and build community. Last year it organized a guided tour of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum, a Latinx Studies research panel, a community procession down High Street, cultural performances, as well as activities for children such as a screening of the movie Coco, art projects and storytelling. The act of coming together as a community to celebrate, educate the public and promote Latinx place-making is an intervention in the face of institutionalized erasure of Latinx cultural production in the Midwest. An archive of this work from the past three years has been created in an effort to promote future scholarship at u.osu.edu/diadelosmuertos.

Emerging Service-Learning Award

Photo of team from Intersection of American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and the Deaf Community

Intersection of American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, and the Deaf Community

Primary contact: Kristin Wickham-Saxon, wickham-saxon.1@osu.edu

In 2012, ASL instructor Kristin Wickham-Saxon was disheartened when a deaf friend commented, "The ASL students at Ohio State simply take ASL learning from our Deaf community, but what do they give in return? The Deaf community is being taken advantage of." The "Intersection of American Sign Language, Deaf Culture and the Deaf Community" ASL 4189S course works to change this dynamic and encourage student's developing self-awareness of one's power and privilege, moral and ethical development, and service accountability while engaging in civic service within a marginalized community. Modes of service interaction foster a framework of seeing a person as "whole," rather than as a disabled person in need of help.

During service-learning, students respect Deaf Space at their partner site while using ASL and serving as communication facilitators between hearing service providers who do not sign and the marginalized Deaf people. OSU students with advanced ASL and Deaf culture knowledge become de facto Deaf ambassadors. Furthermore, they plant seeds to nudge service providers in taking accountability to learn ASL simultaneously from OSU students when interacting with their Deaf service-recipients. Through collaborative, side-by-side teaching as Deaf and Hearing professionals respectively, Berkowitz and Wickham-Saxon are exemplary models of a reciprocal relationship where ASL and Deaf culture interactions are displayed during class. At the partner sites, OSU students perform reciprocity by mastering their language skills in the context of real-life situations while simultaneously providing extra support to the scarce resources of marginalized groups in need. They also utilize their academic knowledge and ASL skills while navigating cultural interactions as they tutor dormitory residents at the Ohio School for the Deaf's after-school program. At another site, service-learning students continuously worked side-by-side with Deaf professionals as they broke down communication barriers when reaching out to local businesses while planning and hosting a fundraiser event. OSU students' take-away is to bond with Deaf people on a personal level and apply the service-learning skills of working "with" them, as together they aim to tackle the numerous barriers existing in the marginalized Deaf community.

Excellence in Community Partnership Award

Photo of Upper Arlington Fire Division Team

Upper Arlington Fire Division

Representatives from orthopaedics and physical therapy at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center collaborated with the Upper Arlington Fire Division (UAFD) in spring 2018 to develop and implement a practical fall intervention. The project pairs UAFD's established community paramedicine program (CARES) and evidence-based fall risk assessments with the installment of relevant home modifications, including grab bars and motion-sensing night lights, in the residences of community-dwelling older adults. The Upper Arlington Fire Division chief and CARES team leads are passionate about high quality and evidence-based patient care with the goal of reducing injury among their residents and allowing community members to live safely at home for as long as they like.

The teams from Ohio State and UAFD worked together through securing grant funding, identifying appropriate evidence-based fall risk assessments that are best incorporated into the work flow of the community paramedicine program, determining which home modifications to prioritize, and problem-solving each step to ensure that the best service and outcomes for community-dwelling older adults. The teams had a shared objective of preventing injury and preserving safe, independent living within the older adult population, which will improve the lives of individuals and our community in addition to decreasing the burden on the healthcare system due to emergent calls and hospitalizations and preventing financial burden on individuals and/or taxpayers resulting from healthcare costs and extended-care facility admissions. Impact was seen from the first older adult to receive home modifications from this program, an 87-year-old with an activity-specific balance confidence (ABC) score of 13% that increased to 52% after installation of a single grab bar.

Staff Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Photo of Courtney Price working with a student

Courtney Price

Courtney Price is the education and outreach specialist for The Center for Applied Plant Sciences (CAPS) and the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center (ABRC). Under Courtney's leadership and organization, which she has leveraged for several years, CAPS and ABRC reached new heights in 2018 in engagement of the community in science learning. Throughout last year, Courtney's education and outreach programs with the two centers reached more than 6,560 people, including 804 K-16 students, 558 teachers, and 5,129 members of the community. With the goal of bringing science to life through hands-on learning, Courtney provides programs for students and teachers on-campus, in schools and at education conferences and meetings.

In 2018, under Courtney's leadership, CAPS and ABRC programs were attended by teachers and students in Ohio, New Jersey and Canada. Within Ohio, these programs reached five school districts, and included presentations at the Science Education Council of Ohio's annual conference, and the Central Ohio Education Service Center's Math and Science Network. Courtney organized the participation of CAPS and ABRC in OSU hosted events for K-12 students, including the Science of Agriculture event in Wooster, and the Breakfast of Science Champions program in Columbus. Courtney's strong relationship with community partners has allowed CAPS and ABRC to expand the reach of their K-12 programming. Throughout 2018, COSI offered Plant Solutions for Global Problems, an interactive videoconference program co-developed under Courtney's leadership by a team of faculty, graduate students and COSI educators. This program, which is available to middle and high school classrooms across the country, provides opportunities for graduate students to co-facilitate programs alongside COSI educators, and for participating students to meet a researcher, conduct experiments and learn about careers in plant sciences.

Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Service

Photo of Sabrina Jamal-Eddine and Javaune Adams-Gaston

Sabrina Jamal-Eddine, College of Nursing

Volunteering has been integral to Sabrina's experience at Ohio State since her first year, when she volunteered weekly at a nursing home and devoted her Spring Break to an immersive Buck-I-Serve volunteer trip addressing homelessness and food insecurity in NYC. Since then she has volunteered abroad in India with a Public Health student organization and spent a summer teaching English through music to roughly 300 students in India, volunteering independently and full-time for 6 weeks. Additonally, she founded and leads Encore, a Hiphop Literacy-Spoken Word Poetry Program for incarcerated male youth ages 16-21 at Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility. Encore harnesses creativity, expression, and education in order to address recidivism, mass incarceration, and the school-to-prison pipeline primarily plaguing educationally disadvantaged, historically resource-deprived communities of color: 95% of the young men she serves are of people of color averaging a 5th grade reading level. She coordinates a team of 11 undergraduate volunteers and serve 20 participants biweekly through a routine she developed which enhances literacy and vocabulary, develops confidence in classroom settings, hones cognition and memorization skills, and exposes art as a positive outlet for expression of emotion, story-telling, and advocacy.

Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Service

Photo of Sara Sexton and Javaune Adams-Gaston

Sara Sexton, College of Public Health

From April 2018 to April 2019, Sara served as an Albert Schweitzer Fellow, through which she and a colleague developed a 200-hour service project in conjunction with a program called LeaderSpark. As a fellow she assisted in the development, improvement, and facilitation of leadership and career readiness workshops for at-risk youth in Columbus, most of which has happened through weekly sessions at the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Facility. They assess youth progress and development through informal feedback, conversation, and resource connection post-release. By improving the lives of these young people, through the provision of resources and social support, Sara is helping to advance the productiveness, health, and safety of the entire Columbus community. Numerous studies have shown that supporting vulnerable populations, especially through prevention or early intervention, can have a profound effect on economic growth. Sara's work will increase that impact.

Professional Student Award for Excellence in Community Service

Photo of Carrie Chen and Javaune Adams-Gaston

Carrie Chen, College of Dentistry

At the Ohio State College of Dentistry, Carrie has volunteered with Give Kids a Smile Day, Give Veterans a Smile Day, Smiles for Schools, Asian Festival, and is also co-director of Project Refugee Smiles. When she decided she wanted to be a dentist, her main inspiration was to gain skills to help people like her family who were immigrants through community service. Her experiences in working with underserved populations, including veterans, immigrants and refugees, have propelled her to continue to work hard to be an expert in the field as well as build relationships with fellow professionals to advocate for these communities. As one of the co-directors of Project Refugee Smiles within the Arab Dental Society, she lead multiple events to bring awareness to the importance of oral health as well as educate and mentor refugee and immigrant youth on dentistry as a career. In addition, she is currently working with other clubs to bring together a large population of under-served communities to teach them about graduate careers. A few of the events that she has personally organized have been with Somali Health Initiative for Nutrition Education (SHINE), and with Community Refugee Immigration Services (CRIS). With SHINE, they brought over 60 Somali youth to the Dental School to show them and mentor them about dentistry as a career. With CRIS, they are hosting events to teach refugee and immigrant high school students about dentistry as well.

Student Group Award for Excellence in Community Service Programming

Photo of team from Enlighten


Enlighten focuses on raising awareness of human trafficking, and outreach efforts to support victims in the Columbus community. They work with Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (S.O.A.P.), an organization that offers soap labeled with the National Human Trafficking Hotline Number free of charge to motels. Their recent soap labeling and distribution events were designed for this purpose. One of their most important goals is to raise awareness to decrease trafficking and advocate for survivors. Young people are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, and Enlighten hopes to educate students so they can protect themselves and others from being manipulated by traffickers. We also hope to educate the Ohio State and Columbus communities to create a culture of compassion towards survivors and encourage people to report suspicious behavior. At their soap labeling awareness events, they reached approximately 2,000 Ohio State students and educated them about human trafficking and how they can protect themselves and others from exploitation.

Enlighten members also donated and delivered thousands of bars of labeled soap to over 50 motels in the Columbus area. The founder of S.O.A.P. believes that a hotline number in a motel bathroom would have been the only way to help her when she was being trafficked, and many women believe that this soap saved their life. Along with the soap, Enlighten has also educated hotel staff on the signs of human trafficking, and distributed flyers with high-risk missing children from the area. At one location, a hotel staff member recognized a young girl on the flyer. That girl was saved by the police and her traffickers were captured. Enlighten members have participated in four of these S.O.A.P. sponsored soap distribution events in Columbus so far, and plans on sustaining the partnership with them to continue to incite positive change in our community