2023 University Outreach and Engagement Awards

2023 University Outreach and Engagement Awards

Ohio State's University Outreach and Engagement Awards honor faculty, staff, students and community partners for outstanding achievement in producing engaged scholarship and community impact. Congratulations to this year's recipients!

Community Engaged Scholar Awards

The Community Engaged Scholar Award recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated co-created engaged scholarship that has positively impacted communities. Community Engaged Scholars have made significant contribution to Ohio State's culture of engagement, further establishing, and strengthening the institution's commitment to communities.

Award amount: $1,000

Associate Professor
College of Education and Human Ecology

Scott L. Graves, Jr., is an associate professor of school psychology in the Department of Educational Studies. His research agenda is focused on identifying strengths in African American children that lead to positive social-emotional and academic outcomes. He is the former chair of the American Psychological Associations Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs.

Dr. Graves has developed an outreach and engagement program with a school psychologist, Ms. Kayla Dodson of Columbus City Schools, that is designed to improve reading achievement. This partnership was developed for three primary reasons: 1) First year graduate students in the Ohio State School Psychology program needed more active involvement in administering, scoring and analyzing curriculum-based measures, as well as experience in schools that are meaningful for their future career. 2) Reading achievement in the Columbus City School (CCS) district is not at acceptable levels. 3) This collaboration provides our partner the ability to provide more students with reading interventions than could be accomplished by two psychologists individually. The current iteration of this experience has been developed over the course of three academic years: 2019-2020, 2020-2021, 2021-2022.

Dr. Graves was recently awarded a five-year, $5.2 million training grant from the U.S. Department of Education. This grant will provide training and hiring for 44 preservice school psychologists to provide mental health services to an estimated 4500 children per project year in the Columbus City School district. The purpose of this award is three-fold:

  • To increase the number of highly qualified school psychologists to provide mental health services in schools with high need.
  • To improve the quality and quantity of mental health services accessed for students in these schools.
  • To increase the number of underrepresented school psychologists.

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences/Dance

Nationally recognized culturally sustaining educator, Dr. Nyama McCarthy-Brown is an associate professor of community engagement through dance pedagogy. She has been an active performer, choreographer and educator for the past 20 years. In 2021, Dr. McCarthy-Brown was the recipient of awards from Dance Teacher Magazine and National Dance Education Organization for her work developing anti-racist dance curriculum. She teaches Dance Education, Community Engaged Artmaking, Black Dance Continuum, and Contemporary Dance with Africanist underpinnings grounded the celebration of all movers.

Her first book, Dance Pedagogy for a Diverse World: Culturally Relevant Teaching in Research, Theory, and Practice was released in 2017, and quickly became an anchoring text in dance education. The book is greatly informed by her teaching dance in the public schools, private studios, universities, and in the community. Dr. McCarthy-Browns scholarship is interdisciplinary and always relates to heightened understanding of cultural diversity. She has published research in The Journal of African American Studies, the Journal of Dance Education, Arts Education Policy Review, Research in Dance Education, Whiteness in Education, and The International Journal of Education and the Arts. Currently she is working on her second book about women of Color in ballet.

Dr. McCarthy-Brown is an active consultant and workshop facilitator for diversifying dance curriculum for organizations such as: San Francisco Ballet School; Cincinnati Ballet; Enrich Chicago; Dance Educators Coalition, Minnesota; Rutgers University Dance Department; University of Buffalo; Ohio Dance and Dance Education Laboratory.

Assistant Professor, Extension Educator
College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/Extension

Extension is an outreach arm of the university, engaging our community using research-based information to positively impact residents lives. Dr. McDermott impacts through agriculture and its opportunities. He delivers neighborhood and place-based outreach, free of charge, in economically disadvantaged communities of color, primarily to BIPOC, New American, immigrant and refugee client residents and their children through the development of impactful programs, committed partnerships, and new friendships.

He co-led The Buckeye ISA project, a 2022 Ohio State High Impact Program awardee where he taught families with children in the Linden, South Side, near East Side, Hilltop and Franklinton neighborhoods how to grow their own food for personal and family food security. Outputs of this project included 124 new family farmers trained, 85 classes with 2,500 attendees, and $1,533,889.31 dollars leveraged locally in government funding, materials donation, monetary donations, volunteerism time, and grants.

He engages students and teachers in schools through STEM-based Ag in the Classroom programs creating indoor and outdoor agricultural experiential learning laboratories for the purpose of workforce development. McDermott has engaged over 80 schools including Columbus City, Reynoldsburg, Whitehall, The Ohio School for the Deaf and charter schools Columbus Adventist Academy, Midnimo Linden Academy and KIPP. He leveraged $450,000 in funding from USDA NIFA, Scotts-Miracle Gro, and the OSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion to provide materials and knowledge support to mitigate participation barriers by teachers that has engaged over 50,000 Franklin County youth.

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences/Design

Susan Melsop is an associate professor in the Department of Design, the major area coordinator for the BSD in Interior Design, and co-director of the DESIS Lab at The Ohio State University. Though her formal training is in architecture, Susans work mediates between the scale of building, installations, furniture, and sculpture. Her research focuses on community engaged design-build, sustainable building practices, design pedagogy and reflective practices. Early and influential interests include East Asian philosophy, Buddhism, and the hermeneutics of sacred space.

Susan is recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the Ronald and Deborah Ratner Award for Teaching Innovation, a Global Arts and Humanities DT Faculty Fellowship, a Faculty Award for Excellence in Community-Based Scholarship, an Outreach Award from the College of Arts and Sciences, and a Community-Based Award from Central Community House (a non-profit in the Old Town East neighborhood).

Susan is the creator of Design Matters, a local and international service-learning course that brings diverse communities together to co-design and build beneficial elements for community use. On the eastside, Design Matters brings urban youth from the Transit Arts program together with Ohio State students to co-design and build small scale structures and furniture for a community art center. In Sao Paulo, Brazil Ohio Statestudents work directly with an underserved population, the PopRua and SP students in co-design processes for urban revitalization and social justice.

Community Engaged Champion Award

The Community Engaged Champion Award recognizes university leaders who have made significant impacts on communities across Ohio, the nation and the world. Community Engaged Champions have created an environment at the university to ensure that faculty, staff and students are engaged with the community in meaningful ways.

Award amount: $1,000

Associate Vice President for Local and Community Relations
Office of Government Affairs

Trudy Bartley serves as associate vice president for local government and community relations for The Ohio State University. Bartley represents the university with local government and community by establishing relationships with community leaders, participating in community organizations/activities and fostering community and university partnerships. She also monitors, researches and analyzes local government legislative and regulatory issues and is responsible for developing high level strategies to create and strengthen local government and community relations.

Bartley represents the university by supporting Ohio State's work on boards, committees and ad hoc groups. She supports the coordination of university priorities in relation to PACT's Blueprint for Community Investment on the Near East Side and Campus Partners priorities in the university and Weinland Park geographies inclusive of assisting the university and municipal leadership on the development of projects.

She chaired the Franklin County Board of Commissioners Poverty Taskforce, a group of 30 + Franklin County residents, public, private, and nonprofit leaders. The yearlong process resulted in the development and creation of the County's Rise Together Blueprint. The Blueprint called the people's plan encompasses 13 goals and 120 actions to assist individuals in poverty with resources and opportunity to realize their ideas of success and a sustainable household. The taskforce led to the Franklin County commissioners passing a resolution stating Racism is a Public Health Crisis as well as the development of the Rise Together Innovation Center a newly created 501C3 that will align resources and innovated ideas to lessen the poverty rate in Franklin County. Bartley currently is board chair of the Rise Institute.

Trudy currently serves on the board of trustees or a commission member for the Franklin County Parks and Recreation Board of Trustees (Columbus Clippers), the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, chaired the 2022 Columbus Charter Review Commission, chair of the RISE Institute, past chair and board member of Central Ohio Transit Authority, ADAMH, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, PACT, KIPP Columbus, and the Neighborhood Design Center. In her past boards and commission service, she served as chair of the New Albany Community Authority, the New Albany Planning Commission, WOSU, River South Community Authority, Columbus School for Girls, YWCA, COVA, the United Way of Central Ohio, the Community Shelter Board, Rebuilding Lives Funder Collaborative, and the YWCA, Racial Justice & Public Policy Committee.

Community Partnership Award

The Community Partnership Award recognizes a partnership that produces positive impact in the community and at Ohio State.

Award amount: $1,000

At the student-run Columbus Free Clinic (CFC), a dedicated cohort of Ohio State students develop knowledge and skills in interprofessional patient care and community service while assisting in providing healthcare to more than 1,200 underserved adults in the greater Columbus community annually. The CFC is run by a steering committee of medical students who are responsible for all aspects of administering services. Each week, under the supervision of volunteer licensed providers, students in medicine, advanced practice nursing, social work, pharmacy, and community health, along with a team of undergraduate volunteers, collaborate in practicing culturally respectful integrated primary care, which includes assessment and treatment of acute and chronic health conditions, laboratory services, pharmacy, social services, and behavioral health. The CFC also offers extensive specialty care clinics including gynecology, psychiatry, neurology, urology, nutrition/dietetics, physical therapy, acupuncture, and LGBTQIA-affirming care.

Community Engaged Practitioner Awards

The Community Engaged Practitioner Award recognizes staff members who have demonstrated superior commitment to developing, coordinating, and/or sustaining projects, activities, or initiatives involving Ohio State and community partners that enhance engaged scholarship and community impacts.

Award amount: $1,000

Director of Outreach and Engagement
University Libraries

As the director of outreach and engagement at University Libraries, Quanetta Batts provides leadership to her colleagues, cultivates relationships with partners and demonstrates an ongoing commitment to providing excellence in service to Ohio State and communities throughout Central Ohio.

One of the major programs Batts has successfully led since 2017 is the Expanding Visions Foundation internship. This community partnership provides underserved high school students the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship at Ohio State and allows these students to learn valuable workplace skills, gain exposure to University Libraries and Ohio State and acquire tools/strategies to help them succeed. The program has had a remarkable impact on the students, supervisors and mentors, and Quanetta has been instrumental in the program's success. As the EVF leaders stated, "Her objective was to further University Libraries' involvement with the Central Ohio community and her impact was felt immediately. Quanetta has advocated on EVFs behalf and has been a valuable friend to our organization.

She has also built an outstanding relationship (on behalf of University Libraries) with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Ohio. In her work with this organization, she has led the BBBS Project Mentor Program for University Libraries, organizing library colleagues to mentor students from underserved communities. In addition, she has been a mentor herself. She has also managed the annual and highly successful BBBS book bag and school supply drives, as well as the holiday gift drives. Her efforts and ongoing commitment to these drives have been greatly appreciated by BBBS.

Director, Arne Slettebak Planetarium
College of Arts and Sciences/Astronomy

Dr. Wayne Schlingman has served as the Director of Ohio States Arne Slettebak Planetarium since July of 2014. Taking the helm right after the first renovations to the planetarium since it was built in 1968, he helped establish an endowment to support the planetarium and keep it at the cutting edge of technology. Wayne and his staff have grown the planetarium audience from a few hundred to upwards of 24,000 visitors per year (pre-COVID). On campus, the planetarium serves as a resource for classes, student organizations, staff appreciation events, STEP and more. As a community resource, the planetarium reaches preschool and K-12 students, teachers, scout groups, 4-H, afterschool programs and others. Wayne actively works to develop the next generation of science communicators by providing undergraduate students with opportunities to gain experience in outreach and science communication.

He leads the development and facilitation of planetarium programming designed to actively engage people of all backgrounds and abilities in learning about astronomy. His team has built, or is in the process of building, seven shows that explain the night sky and Solar System while showcasing research taking place at Ohio State. Wayne's commitment to outreach spans beyond the planetarium walls. He takes hands-on learning outside to host star parties on campus and at local schools and libraries. Wayne led the planning and installation of a unique model solar system designed by artist Ivan Depea. The Woodruff Avenue installation, which teaches about scale models and accentuates the vast distances in space even within our own solar system, is actively used by the campus community and visiting schools.

Wayne has established himself as an asset to outreach, engagement and science communication beyond the confines of his department, discipline and the university. He is a founding member of Ohio States STEM Impact Collaborative, serves on the WestFest Planning Committee, and participates in STEMM Rising. For years he has written the state exams for the astronomy competitions in the Science Olympiad. He leads a long running astronomy series with the Upper Arlington and Bexley libraries and is co-leading the resurgence of Astronomy on Tap at East Market and the Bexley Library.

Director, Health Science Academies
College of Education and Human Ecology

The "Amazing" Tei Street is a national motivational speaker, trainer and education consultant. She is the director of the Health Science Academies has more than 25 years of experience in youth leadership development, higher education, curriculum development, training in sexual assault, domestic violence prevention, as well as ATOD prevention, diversity, inclusion and education.

Teis love and passion for positively affecting the lives of all young people, as well as the adults who influence them, comes through in all she does. She inspires and motivates people toward action in order to change or improve their lives, their communities and their worlds. Tei Street oversees the Health Science community based partnership of the OSU Colleges and OSU Wexner Medical Centers at all East Side Schools: East High School, Champion Middle School, Eastgate Elementary School, Trevitt Elementary School, Ohio Elementary School, and Beatty Park are designated Health Science Academies.

She helps to make sure every student participates in a school wide, health science related activity and curriculum. This includes field trips, connecting them to mentorship, recruiting scientists and doctors, working with parents and assisting educators in their classrooms. Tei also writes grants and works to provide supplies, resources and STEM related equipment to fill critical gaps in courses and schools.

Tei Street works with the Science Cafe, which is attended up to three times a year by a selected group of students who visit a community partner for a hands-on experience where they are engaged in learning about a career in the health sciences by a professional from that field. In past science cafe sessions, students have learned from veterinarians, dentists, laboratory researchers, obstetricians, nurses, physical therapists, pathologists and more. Her tireless effort has resulted in continuous growth of the academies and a continued increase in participation and cohort development.

High Impact Program Awards

The High Impact Program Award recognizes outstanding achievement by faculty, staff, and/or student led programs/initiatives focused on community-university partnerships and impact.

Award amount: $1,000

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences/Extension

Look anywhere today and you will see youth attached to their phones. Dr. Mark Light, creator of the Clovers CODE program, had a vision to change this narrative. He visioned helping youth go from content consumers of technology to content creators with technology. The Clovers CODE initiative is on its way to helping Ohio youth find their spark and inspiring them to be the next graphic designers, coders, and video directors.

Tracey Ward, 4-H and OSU alumna, initially reached out to Ohio 4-H in 2020. Ward worked for Apple in their Community Education Initiative division. She proposed a partnership with Ohio 4-H to deliver coding and creativity programming in all Ohio counties. This new 4-H programming would introduce youth to problem-solving, computer literacy and coding through hands-on activities, which is a strength of Ohio 4-H.

Apple's gift of close to $1.5 million in device donations, allowed 4-H to launch its Clovers CODE (Creating Opportunities Designed for Everyone) statewide program to enhance the Computer Science programming that was just starting. The technology based program is offered in 50 counties across the state through hands on programming in after school and out of school settings and through the OSU Mobile Design Lab, a 35- foot bus that helps deliver on-site educational programming across the state in areas where computer science education resources are limited (https://youtu.be/yHb_kro3WRA).

Ohio 4-H, which served 84,330 youth in all Ohio counties last year, emphasizes leadership and citizenship skills as Ohio State University's prime K-12 outreach. Ohio youth, ages 519, participate in 4-H through community clubs, camps, schools, and short-term experiences. Prior to the announcement of Intel coming to Ohio, Clovers CODE has positioned Ohio 4-H to be a resource for helping youth learn 21st century skills that will prepare them for careers in the technology industry.

College of Nursing

The College of Nursing Community Health Worker Training program (CHWTP) began in 2014 as a workforce development program and has grown to be one of the largest CHW program in Ohio. The 14-week hybrid learning model course trains individuals to become certified Community Health Worker (CHWs). It focuses on assisting clients across the lifespan and addressing health conditions that disproportionately impact historically disadvantaged communities, to reduce health disparities and improve healthcare and quality of life.

The CHWTP values the lived experiences of its students and recognizes their inherent knowledge, making each cohort a unique collaborative learning experience. CHWs are regarded as trusted members of their communities because they share values, cultural norms, and many of the lived experiences with those they serve. Therefore, they are uniquely situated to advance health equity and support for underserved communities. Unfortunately, CHW trainees often share many of the same socioeconomic challenges that serve as barriers to educational opportunities. To reduce financial barriers for our students we established a partnership with Franklin County Jobs and Family Services to provide funding for eligible participants. The program serves approximately 70 adult aged individuals per year. 85% of trainees represent individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds including underrepresented racial and ethnic minoritized groups. In addition, on average 75% of program participants receive government-based assistance program or have a qualifying household income.

The CHWTP's ability to recruit and support individuals from the community is a tremendous strength of the program and speaks to our ability to positively impact health outcomes in surrounding communities. Since 2014 we have graduated 500 CHWs, 85% are employed, 70% graduates are certified by the Board of Nursing. The CHW course provides an entry into health careers and is a stepping stone for pursuing degree programs in social work, public health, and nursing.

Numerous university and community partners

In 2015, a group of faculty and students from the Moritz College of Law's highly ranked (now #1 by U.S. News) dispute resolution program gathered about 40 leaders (including Columbus Mayor Ginther and local leaders from elsewhere), mediators, and civil rights advocates. The group discussed whether and how dispute resolution expertise might be helpful to local leaders in dealing constructively with growing political and identity-group-based division. The group recommended creation of what has become the Divided Community Project (DCP). They also advised DCP members on common divisive issues communities face, acknowledging that communities also had unique issues. For the past seven years, the DCP has collaborated with local, and later university, leaders to listen to their needs, share promising ideas, and then listen again. DCP's focus is on how to help local leaders build more resilient communities, plan in advance of divisive times, design collaborative processes to expand racial equity, and eventually create their own infrastructure to accomplish these goals.

At first, DCP approached local leaders to offer help. Later, requests came from city and university leaders who had used DCP's simulations, attended a DCP three-day academy for leadership teams, read one of DCP's guides or checklists, or received quiet individual counsel from a DCP mediator. DCP shared what it learned from state and local leaders through classes for OSU students, its "virtual toolbox" of guides and checklists, both popular and scholarly articles, dozens of presentations, leader academies, classes, and additions to textbooks. In its past seven years, DCP received the 2018 ABA Lawyer as Problem-Solver Award, and its principals were honored with the 2020 CPR Professional Article Awards, 2019 ABA Section on Dispute Resolution Outstanding Scholarly Work Award, 2022 ABA Frank Sander Innovation Award, 2016 OSU Distinguished Service Award, and 2022 Ohio State Bar Foundation Distinguished Diversity Award.