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Awardees for Academic Year 2007-08.

The following Civic Participation Project minigrants were awarded for academic year 2007-08. We hope that these will provide you with inspiration for your own projects.

Melanie Bloom: TIP: The Interpreters Program
The Interpreters Program is a class project designed to educate community members and university students about translation and interpretation services and needs in the Douglas County Court System. SPAN 4960/8960 Spanish in the United States students will have the opportunity to disseminate information in local Spanish-language media.

Blaine Burnham and Connie Jones: A Technology Workshop with the Winnebago Boys & Girls Club
The Nebraska University Consortium on Information Assurance (NUCIA) will hold a 3-day workshop at the Peter Kiewit Institute for students of the technology club at the Winnebago Boys and Girls Club, with which NUCIA has an ongoing relationship.  Areas covered may include Linux, bioinformatics, graphic animation, and collaboration science.  This project will increase technology skills of Native Americans, who are underrepresented in the information technology profession.  UNO students will serve as workshop faculty, and thereby reinforce their own learning.

Kathy Danielson: Books and Barks: Helping Developing Readers
Education students will help the staff of the Nebraska Humane Society with its Books and Barks program, in which children with reading difficulties utilize dogs as an aloud reading audience.  Students will learn about selecting appropriate books for children with reading difficulties and informing non-educators about literacy education.

Susan Ely: Composition II: Local Learning and Community Engagement: A Writing Partnership with Refugee Resettlement Agencies
English Composition students will create a narrative database of the experiences of refugees who have settled in Nebraska. These narratives will then be printed for dissemination to the public.

Don Greer: “Trailfest 07-08” Data Collection Project
UNO students will continue to gain applied research experience by observing usage of recreational trails for the benefit of government bodies including the City of Omaha Department of Parks, Recreation and Public Property, the National Park Service, and the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resource District.  The project promotes the university’s engagement with these agencies.

Jeanette Harder: Coming Together to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect (view proposal)
The project aims to engage religious leaders in the prevention of child abuse and neglect by holding two events: a research presentation by a group of students on November 13, 2007, and a symposium by a larger group in April 2008.  These events will promote networking between faith groups and social service providers with the goal of lowering barriers to collaboration.  Faith community leaders will be educated on child abuse and neglect prevention, recognition, and reporting.

Lyn Holley: Community Engagement of Minority Elderly through Intergenerational Transfer of Culture (view proposal)
Approximately 15 students from the dual-level gerontology course Working with Minority Elderly will work with community partner groups that serve minority elderly in preparation of grant proposals to create organized intergenerational activities promoting the transfer of culture to younger generations.  UNO students will be evaluating the activities to deepen understanding of their efficacy.

Michael Hilt and Chris Allen: The Omaha News Vote 2008: Issues, Voters & Candidates
UNO broadcasting students producing The Omaha News, a weekly newscast on The Knowledge Network, will engage the community through an increased number of live interviews, facilitated by a new permanent uplink from the School of Communication newsroom to the UNO TV facilities. This will be utilized heavily in coverage of the national elections.

Jeremy Harris Lipschultz: Media Literacy, Civic Participation, and Second Life: A Follow-up Online Immigration Dialogue to By The People
Students from UNO’s Computer-Mediated Communication class (SPCH 4190/8196) and other New Media Consortium members will be invited to collaboratively participate in a follow-up discussion to the October 14 By The People deliberation of Nebraska immigration issues, which Dr. Lipschultz will be conducting using the Second Life virtual reality environment.  Topics will include education, health care, and employment of immigrants, as well as mass media framing of these issues.

Pete Madsen: Mike Vax Big Band featuring alumni of the Stan Kenton Orchestra Residency
The Mike Vax Big Band will present a public concert at the Strauss Performing Arts Center on April 30, promoting the uniquely American jazz art form and community engagement.  The band will also present an improvisation clinic to UNO students and work with the Metropolitan Area Youth Jazz Orchestra, which will be opening the concert.  Civic organizations, such as the Omaha Musicians’ Association and Desert Ministries, are engaged in this effort.

Brian McKevitt: Girl Scouts Outreach
Educational psychology students in PSYC 8576 Behavior Analysis and Intervention will engage disadvantaged youth by researching, developing training, and implementing social-emotional learning curricula for the Girl Scouts Outreach program in North and South Omaha.  This activity will promote leadership in Girl Scouts clients, as well as academic excellence and community engagement in UNO students.

Office of Latino/Latin American Studies: Peru Service-Learning Trip
OLLAS is organizing a service-learning trip for the summer of 2008 to Lima, Peru. Civic Participation funding will cover the costs of participation for students from under-represented ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

Kathe Oleson and PA 4500 students: Global Youth Service Day
Dr. Oleson and her students will be planning and administering Omaha-area Global Youth Service Day efforts in April 2008. Plans call for programs and events related to the topic of environmental stewardship which will engage students at the K-12 and university levels and promote a greater understanding of civic life.  In addition, this program will highlight UNO’s service-learning program and academic excellence.

Jacque Reiser: Social Work and Civic Engagement (view proposal)
Pre-social work students will develop a sense of responsibility to and understanding of the community by working on a series of projects with community agencies including Camp Fire, Ascera Care Hospice, and the fall break service project.  Participating agencies have the opportunity to present themselves to the students, who then select a service-learning partner based upon their own educational goals, time availability, and interests. 

Peter Szto: Legislative Day ­– February 21, 2008 (view photo gallery)
UNO social work students will participate in events in Lincoln that will engage them in the Nebraska legislative process and facilitate networking with legislators and other social work students from across the state.  They will experience the legislative process in concrete and relational terms, as well as experiencing various leadership and communication styles that they can emulate and consider in their future social work careers.

Jennifer White: Women Bound To Be Active
Dr. White and students from the Fitness Wellness Management program will establish a book club, in collaboration with the Greater Saint Paul Church of God in Christ, to increase physical activity and healthy lifestyle behaviors of women in North Omaha.  The project will determine the effects of a social support group on physical activity participation, quality of life, physical-self competence, and self-worth; data collected in this study will be used to help achieve larger grant funding.