This article previously appeared in the Maverick Daily
Earlier this spring, UNO faculty members were awarded civic participation grants.
According to Paul Sather, director of the UNO Service Learning Academy, "The grants are awarded annually for up to $1,000 and are intended to assist faculty in implementing projects that allow students to explore and respond to important issues in the community.The projects may be part of a regular academic course or be a special project that involves students from multiple academic departments."
He continues, "Grants are awarded based on the significance of the issue or need being addressed, the depth of potential student learning, and the likelihood that the grantee may be able to use the civic participation grant as “seed” funding to leverage additional external funding in the future."
Civic Participation Project Grantees 2014:
CHRIS ALLEN: School of Communication: Vote 2014: ELECTION NIGHT: Funding will support live coverage of 2014 elections by Advanced Broadcast Journalism students on the UNO television station.
JOE ALLEN: Industrial Psychology: VPA-UNO and GIRL SCOUTS: Undergraduate and graduate students will collaborate with the Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska chapter to assess their volunteer program.
PATRICIA CARLSON: Grace Abbott School of Social Work: MAV FOOD PANTRY: Social work students will conduct a needs assessment of food insecurity issues for UNO students and employees and develop donation bins to raise the profile of the Mav Food Pantry on campus.
KATHY DANIELSON: Teacher Education: WONDERFUL WRITING!: College of Education graduate students will work with children from the Compass Ministries after school program to develop their own personal books while exploring the concept of “finding your voice” through creative writing.
CLAUDIA GARCIA: Foreign Languages: JORNADA DE CUENTO Y POESIA para ADULTOS: UNO foreign language students will plan and lead this event to promote creative writing and literacy among Spanish speaking adults.
JEANETTE HARDER: Grace Abbott School of Social Work: EDUCATING AND DETERMINING NEEDS OF LOCAL NONPROFITS FOR PROCESS AND OUTCOME PROGRAM EVALUATIONS: This project will engage graduate social work students involved with the STEPs (Support and Training for the Evaluation of Programs) program in assessing the need and readiness for process and outcome evaluation in nonprofit agencies in north and south Omaha.
ALAN KOLOK: Biology: WHAT’S IN YOUR WATERSHED DAY 2014: Grant will support training of high schools students on water quality and biology of Papillion Creek as well as water quality testing materials. Students will conduct biweekly tests at various sites along Papillion Creek through the fall of 2014. Results will be shared and analyzed at a follow up workshop near the end of the fall 2014 semester.
WILMA KUHLMAN: Teacher Education: YOUTH WRITING PROJECT: This project will bring youth from the Hope center and the Kroc Center to the UNO campus for a two week experience to work with College of Education faculty and graduate students to develop their writing skills and appreciation of culturally diverse literature.
MICHAEL MATTHEWS: Mathematics: USING SOCIAL JUSTICE AS A LENS IN MATHEMATICS TEACHING: This project will introduce and inform local teachers, pre-service teachers and interested others on how to use social justice as a vehicle to make mathematics meaningful to students and as a way to make a difference in their communities.
GREG PETROW: Political Science: INVOLVING POLITICAL SCIENCE RESEARCH METHODS STUDENTS IN A STUDY OF OMAHA’S REFUGEE AND MIGRANT POPULATIONS: Students in an undergraduate Political Science Research Methods class will administer a survey to 100 refugee or migrant students involved in a Thrive Club at an OPS school and to 100 of the youth’s parents. The research will assist in understanding the public service needs of these populations as well as the respondents’ conceptualization of their political rights.
CONNIE SCHAFFER: Teacher Education: CIVIC ENGAGEMENT THROUGH STUDENT LED DISCUSSIONS AND PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICES: The grant will provide the resources to support student led discussions and examination of American history and democracy from non-traditional perspectives. Students will then be able to share these perspectives with middle school and high school students through practicum and student teaching experiences.
LISA SCHERER: Industrial Psychology: VPA-UNO AND PARTNERSHIP FOR KIDS: Funding will allow the Volunteer Program Assessment (VPA) staff to train incoming undergraduate and graduate psychology students on relationship building skills with community partners. Students will then continue a collaboration between VPA and Partnership for Kids and conduct a follow up volunteer assessment for the organization in November 2014.