2012 Engagement Impact Grants
The Office of Outreach and Engagement’s grant program supports innovative and creative outreach and engagement initiatives that connect academic excellence with societal needs; it enhances and/or creates partnerships between members of the university community and community partners; and enhances development of a unit’s outreach and engagement mission. The Engagement Impact Grant program has a proven record of success, with metrics demonstrating an approximately 14:1 return on investment.
Developing FleetCalc to Reshape Our Nations Vehicle Fleets
Partners: Giorgio Rizzoni, Center for Automotive Research and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Beth-Anne Schuelke-Leech, John Glenn School of Public Affairs; Jim Durand and Vincenzo Marano, Center for Automotive Research
Fleet owners now have a plethora of fuel options, vehicle types and technologies to choose from. There is a huge amount of information available on these options, some of which is contradictory, hard to compare, misleading or false. This same gauntlet is faced by policy makers who look to formulate strategies to accomplish a particular goal, or who wonder what the implications are of a particular program or initiative.
Complex fleet calculators have been developed giving fleet owners detailed information on the implications of a particular vehicle option. These fleet calculators require large amounts of data, and their results are complex and difficult to interpret. In contrast, this initiative will develop a simple-to-use software tool called FleetCalc that would: provide policy makers with a high level look at the results of a given policy, enable scoping studies by fleet owners to identify vehicle options of high interest, and provide educational information on available options in a clear, concise and consistent manor.
FleetCalc objectives include: (1) provide the ability to rank vehicle options in a variety of ways; (2) give an overview analysis while still providing accurate guidance; (3) allow the user to get good results with simple inputs; (4) provide policy level outputs and guidance; (5) provide a fleet owner with the capability of doing a high level scoping analysis; and (6) give educational guidance in the forms of hyperlinks, videos, and linked reports to help the user gain a solid overview of each option.
Pay It Forward Marion
Partners: Stuart Lishan, Ben McCorkle, Cassandra Parente, Alexis Martina, Amy Tibbals, Catherine C. Braun, English; Pam Stone, United Way of Marion County
As part of The Ohio State University, Marion’s course-based, service-learning initiative, Pay It Forward Marion’s (PIFM), this project’s purpose is to promote civic engagement in at least six English courses ranging from beginner to advanced and to improve the local community through skill-based service and philanthropy.
Beginning writers will apply their burgeoning research, writing, and rhetorical skills by examining community needs and developing fundraisers to increase available funds.
Their findings and funds will be passed along to intermediate writing students, who will research and volunteer at local non-profit organizations responding to the identified community needs, promote the PIFM project, and collect RFPs. Students in advanced classes will receive these materials, analyze proposals, engage in more in-depth research at the non-profits seeking funds, and create multimodal arguments about how to distribute the funds.
Students will be able to provide $14,000 per year in grants to the community and conduct and record primary research by borrowing digital voice recorders. At an annual celebration where students will not only award grants to selected community organizations, but they will also discuss their research, their volunteer projects, and ultimately what contributed to their final decisions.
Shakespeare and Autism: Intervention in the Columbus Community
Partners: Lesley Ferris, Theatre and OSU/Royal Shakespeare Co. Programs; Marc J. Tassé, Psychology, Psychiatry and Nisonger Center; Mary Ey, Columbus Public Schools Student Support Services; Amy Hess, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Autism Treatment Network
The Ohio State University/Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) partnership is developing a ground-breaking, collaborative research project between Ohio State Theatre and the Nisonger Center.
Taking its cue from the RSC’s innovative Stand Up for Shakespeare pedagogy, the project engages the question of whether drama - particularly Shakespeare - can break through the communicative blocks of autism and whether this therapeutic intervention has long-term benefits. This project includes a full, randomized control study of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study will begin with community partner, Columbus City Schools, in autumn 2012 and continue through spring 2015.
Anecdotal evidence indicates that drama-based intervention is a useful tool to improve the core symptoms of ASD in children and adolescents. However, such intervention has not been tested in a large-scale, randomized, wait-list control trial.
The team will collaborate with Kelly Hunter, a leading RSC actress, who has worked with children and young people with ASD for 20 years. Her signature approach, the Hunter Heartbeat Method, pairs the recitation of Shakespeare’s rhythmic language with physical gesture in a way that is accessible to those with ASD.
Kelly Hunter and Robin Post, Ohio State’s project director, have trained a team of Ohio State graduate and undergraduate theatre students in the implementation of Kelly’s method. This group has been involved in a pilot project working with a group of middle school children with ASD and the pilot has provided the foundation for the full-scale study. A new team of undergraduate and graduate theatre students will receive the training and this team will work with the new group of children with ASD while the proposed research is conducted. Plans are underway to develop a service-learning course at Ohio State to ensure that this work continues into the future.
Identifying Social & Cultural Barriers to Food Security in Nicaragua
Partners: Barbara Piperata, Anthropology; Kammi Schmeer, Sociology; Andrés Herrera and Mariano Salazar, Center for Demographic and Health Research (León, Nicaragua)
With approximately 1 billion people world-wide suffering from lack of adequate access to food, food insecurity and maternal-child malnutrition remain critical health issues in poor communities around the world. This project aims to address this pressing need in poor communities in Nicaragua (the 2nd poorest country in the Western hemisphere) through an “outreach through research” approach.
This effort will involve local researchers and community members in a much-needed food security and health study in León, Nicaragua, and in outreach efforts that provide evidence-based feedback to the local communities about these health issues.
The team’s outreach approach is multi-level, with proposed activities aimed at increasing the capabilities of local community members, enhancing the skills of local research partners, and establishing a new partnership with a local university.
The immediate outcome of the project will be the identification of barriers to food security and child health in poor communities in León, Nicaragua, while elevating Ohio State’s visibility as an international research and outreach university engaging in policy relevant food security and health research and outreach.
In the long-term, this project will yield invaluable future opportunities for Ohio State students and faculty to engage with local communities in research, learning and service in an international setting, where food insecurity and child malnutrition present serious threats to individuals’ well-being and require the development of new evidence-based and locally-relevant solutions.