Outreach and Engagement Awards
2008 Ohio State University Nominated Programs
In 2008, Ohio State had a pool of 34 outstanding programs from which to choose its nominees for the regional Outreach Scholarship W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award and the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award. The scope and quality of these programs represent the broad spectrum of Ohio State’s partnerships with communities and industry.
2008 University Finalists
North Central Regional Kellogg Award Winner
Ohio State’s Comprehensive Approach to Urban Revitalization
Ohio State Partners: OSU Extension, Office of Human Resources, Campus Partners, Office of Information Technology, University Public Safety, College of Education and Human Ecology
Community Partners: City of Columbus, Columbus City Schools, Weinland Park Community Civic Association (WPCCA), Community Properties of Ohio, Community Crime Patrol, Wagenbrenner Development Company, JP MorganChase Foundation, Proctor & Gamble Foundation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Links: Campus Partners
The Ohio State University has employed a comprehensive approach to the revitalization of its urban neighborhoods. This approach involves community planning, neighborhood partnerships, and strategic projects that remove barriers to market-based revitalization. In the mid-1990s, the university established Campus Partners as a nonprofit redevelopment corporation to lead revitalization of the diverse urban neighborhoods known as the University District. Campus Partners led a public process to prepare a plan for the University District, which was adopted by Columbus City Council. From the planning came the recognition that the highly concentrated poverty, poorly managed subsidized housing, and crime in the Weinland Park neighborhood of the University District must be addressed if revitalization were to succeed.
Beginning in 2001, Campus Partners convened government and university officials, neighborhood civic leaders, and housing advocates to prepare an innovative plan to acquire and renovate more than 500 units of government-subsidized housing. This housing, now known as Community Properties of Ohio, became a national model for scattered-site low-income housing, with more than $50,000 per unit being invested from private and public sources for renovation, plus improved management and supportive services for the families. Capturing control of the housing was key to dealing effectively with public safety and creating neighborhood stability. Since then, other strategic initiatives in Weinland Park have included the following:
- In 2005, Campus Partners opened South Campus Gateway, a $152-million mixed-use project with retail, entertainment, apartments, office space, and a major parking garage.
- Columbus City Schools opened the new Weinland Park Elementary School in January 2007.
- In August 2007, Ohio State’s College of Education and Human Ecology opened the innovative Schoenbaum Family Center, the nation’s first university-operated early childhood laboratory in a neighborhood. The center is co-located with the elementary school and draws half its children from the neighborhood.
- The city’s Department of Recreation and Parks is renovating an existing park to better serve the adjacent school, family center, and neighborhood residents.
- OSU Extension has placed its community computer center in the neighborhood’s settlement house to aid job training and GED preparation.
- The OSU Extension educator in the University District has led a university-community committee that has created a pathway for entry-level university employment for neighborhood residents.
- The university and city are jointly funding construction of a neighborhood policing center opening in mid-2008 with space for a Columbus Police precinct substation, offices for Community Crime Patrol, University Police and city code enforcement staff, and community meeting space.
- Campus Partners provided planning resources for a community-led process to prepare the Weinland Park Neighborhood Plan, adopted by City Council in 2006, to guide future private and public investment.
- Campus Partners negotiated acquisition of a 20-acre “brownfield” site, helped the city obtain a $3 million state grant for remediation, and is collaborating with the city and a private developer who plans to build 500 units of market-rate housing on the site.
These initiatives are spurring private investment, encouraging homeownership, and promoting the evolution of a true, mixed-income neighborhood.
The Ohio State University and Honda: Expanding, Excelling, and Enriching the Partnership
Ohio State Partner: College of Engineering
Community Partner: Honda of America Manufacturing
The Honda/OSU Partnership is a unique collaboration between university and industry, with diverse activities spanning education, research, and public service for a variety of audiences. In 2006, the partnership received national acclaim by being ranked among the nation’s top five industry-university partnerships by Business Facilities Magazine, an award-winning trade publication for economic development markets. To further its mission toward community outreach, the Honda-OSU Partnership established an unparalleled endowment in 2006 to focus exclusively on the advancement of outreach, diversity, and engagement for the community.
Through this and other endowments that make up the partnership, students of all ages are targeted with activities including an on-campus 1-week residence program aimed at increasing the awareness of high school students in engineering; summer intern programs for students from historically black universities and a unique mentoring program, jointly conducted by Ohio State faculty, students, and Honda associates, aimed at local public schools to enhance engineering awareness in underrepresented groups, with emphasis in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields for middle school and high school students. Programs reaching out to industry include continuing education for engineers in the workplace, with development efforts in practice-oriented areas of the engineering disciplines, and investment in facilities for state-of-the-art distance learning delivery.
In addition to these programs, the Honda-OSU Partnership has received recognition for its successful Math Medal program and accompanying scholarship program. The goal of the Math Medal program is to recognize outstanding math scholarship at high schools in the 15-county area around OSU and Honda of America Manufacturing. With the accompanying scholarship program offered exclusively to the pool of Math Medal recipients, the intent is to provide incentive for students interested in engineering careers to pursue their higher education goals at the College of Engineering. Selection of the Math Medal recipients lies solely with the student’s school, faculty, and/or administration.
Each high school is urged to establish objective criteria for selecting that school’s outstanding math student, based on academic performance indicators at the end of the student’s junior year, including (but not limited to) standardized mathematics test scores (SAT, ACT, etc.), grade point average, class ranking, performance in mathematics or science competitions, and so forth. The Math Medal program began in 2004, with the Class of 2005, when 52 high schools participated. That number has grown significantly over the 4 years of the program, due in part to an awareness program in the spring of 2005 wherein the Partnership Director teamed with a Honda Associate to travel more than 1,000 miles around central Ohio to visit more than 100 high school superintendents and administrators. The level of participation peaked in 2007 with student recipients from more than 125 high schools.
The special pewter Math Medal comes with a $200 savings bond for each recipient, and a display plaque for each high school boasts the names of that school’s recipients over the years. The impact of the Math Medal and Scholarship programs is quite apparent, not only in terms of recognizing excellence in mathematics among Ohio’s youth, but also in terms of increasing the overall awareness of the field of engineering, and motivating students in STEM-related fields.
Past Award Recipients