Photo credit: Sergei Golyshev (CC BY 2.0)

NCSCE Grants 15 Implementation Awards to Support Projects that Advance Education and Civic Engagement

The National Center for Science & Civic Engagement is awarding fifteen SENCER Summer Institute 2015 Post-Institute Implementation Awards that promote education reform at the course, campus, and regional level, connect STEM to humanities disciplines such as music, literacy, and the classics, and engage students in content and the community.

The awards sponsor projects that bridge the gaps between disciplines, restructure and revitalize standard laboratory courses, and extend the SENCER Ideals to K-12 educators and pre-service teachers. Project themes include sustainability, geosciences, public health, systems thinking, and media outreach. We are also pleased to note that this year’s awarded projects are all led by women, a traditionally underrepresented population among STEM educators and professionals.

Executive summaries for the funded projects are listed below. Project leaders’ names are listed directly below the names of the institutions, with project collaborators following in alphabetical order. These projects were selected for funding following a competitive review process.

Alamo Colleges
Dr. Martha Trevino, Director of the Office of Experiential Learning
Ms. Regina Horne-Espree, Special Projects Director, Northeast Lakeview College
Ms. Karla A. Kosub-Coronado, M.S., Assistant Professor of Biology, T-STEM Challenge Scholarship Liaison, Health Professions Club Advisor, Northeast Lakeview College
Dr. Solomon Nfor, Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Anatomy & Physiology II Labs and Biotech Program, St. Philip’s College
Ms. Kathy White, M.S., Associate Professor and Former Department Chair of Biology, St. Philip’s College

Through the support of SCI-Southwest and this grant, Alamo Colleges aims to increase the number of STEM courses throughout the five individual colleges that incorporate SENCER Ideals. After adding six more STEM faculty members—two from each of the other three colleges (San Antonio College, Northwest Vista College, and Palo Alto College)—we will work with SCI-Southwest to reinforce and grow the SENCER-izng of more courses.

The following timeline traces the events from 2015 to 2017 which begin with meeting with individuals, one-to-one, targeting mathematics faculty and providing faculty development opportunities, and culminating with a SENCER Symposium in Spring 2017 to highlight the work of SENCER faculty and students: (1) Mid-Fall 2015: Meet with mathematics faculty to discuss SENCER, assess needs and interest, (2) Late-Fall 2015: Host a SENCER-Mathematics workshop for faculty, (3) Early-Spring 2016: attend SCI-Southwest Regional Meeting, (4) Early-Spring 2016: Launch the Alamo Colleges SENCER webpage, (5) Mid-Spring 2016: Host a Mathematics and Science SENCER Faculty Development Workshop, (6) Late-Spring 2016: Host faculty work sessions to discuss curriculum needs, community connections, tangible needs, and address assessment (use of SALG), (7) Fall 2016: Faculty implement SENCER Ideals, (8) Mid-Spring 2017: SENCER Symposium.

Alfred State College SUNY
Dr. Alice Tarun, Assistant Professor of Physical and Life Sciences
Mr. Mark Amman, Professor and Chair of Physical and Life Sciences
Dr. Danielle Bond, Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology
Dr. David Kendall, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Physics

We plan to use SENCER teaching strategies to increase students’ awareness and understanding of sustainability by exploring the social, economic, and environmental issues in various initiatives. In particular, we will develop curricular materials to investigate the sustainability of the proposed New Forest Economy initiative. The New Forest Economy represents an initiative to rejuvenate a local manufacturing industry that used to thrive on wood harvesting and paper production. Fast-growing hardwood trees and plant fibers are harvested and subjected to a water–based extraction and separation process to produce various commercial products. Under the proposed scheme, a bio-processing refinery would become a multi-use facility. By taking advantage of combined-heat and power technology, the refinery could simultaneously produce electricity, run a hot water extraction process, and heat a greenhouse to grow crops locally, year-round. The curriculum material will target three outcomes:

  1. Students will become knowledgeable about the proposed New Forest Economy in order to become ambassadors of information to their respective communities.
  2. Students will be able to analyze the sustainability of other projects and initiatives.
  3. Students will be aware of potential job opportunities that the New Forest Economy is expected to generate.

Auburn University
Dr. Nancy Haak, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Medical Speech-Language Pathology
Dr. Lawrence Molt, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders

This project continues the work of advancing SENCER Ideals at Auburn, which was begun by Ann Knipschild and Paula Bobrowski through a 2013 Post-Institute Implementation Award. Undergraduate students who enroll in Music and Science, the core course designed by Ann, will participate in a research project about music and the brain. Working in interdisciplinary teams with Nancy Haak and Larry Molt, from the Department of Communication Disorders, the students will participate in experimental research using EEG brain-mapping to study the effects of music and its potential to improve interactions with people who have neurological deficits. Further, these undergraduates will apply the results of their research project to a civic engagement activity partnering with local agencies on aging by offering music-based strategies to caregivers of loved ones with dementia.

Current f-MRI research sheds light on the hemispheric differences between how the human brain processes language versus music. Medical models based on stroke survivors have shown that the ability to sing familiar lyrics is preserved even when the subject is unable to express simple verbal messages. We propose a project that will involve undergraduate students in an experiential learning-based, civic engagement project to increase their interest in science. The experience should provide a deeper understanding of neuroscience, neurophysiology, research design, and of how music may positively influence the care of persons with neurological impairments such as stroke, head-injury, and dementia.

Given the importance of music in both the lives of individuals and the wider culture, we believe it is an effective avenue to invite a wide range of students into STEM-related academic pursuits early in their college careers. This project will serve to sustain the STEM-related focus of the newly developed core curriculum course: Music and Science. Our intent is to continue to immerse students in the knowledge and skills applicable to STEM-related fields such as public health, nursing, health-care, and engineering.

Emporia State University
Dr. Diane Nutbrown, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Chris Alderman, Student
Breianna Brooks, Student
Dr. Andrew Miller, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Andy Renteria, Student

As part of a recent Honors College expansion at Emporia State University, we are planning an honors section of Chemistry II Lab to be offered in the spring of 2016. The Honors College is focused on having courses that contain a civic engagement component. In the honors section, we plan to have the students engage with a local civic organization to apply their scientific knowledge to the identification, parameterization, and potential solution to a critical problem in the community. The goals of the project include:

  1. Forming a collaborative partnership among Honors College students, instructional faculty, and the regional community
  2. Identifying a civic issue that can be addressed using the strengths of those participating partners
  3. Applying scientific research methods to further define that civic issue and identify methodologies to alleviate the issue, and
  4. Communicating the process, results, and conclusions of the work with project stakeholders and the broader scientific and higher education communities.

We are already actively recruiting students to the course. Throughout the course we will apply established instruments to assess student learning and progress, e.g., the SENCER SALG, reflective essays, etc. Local outlets for presenting the students’ work include on-campus research presentations and local news media. At a regional level, several conferences are occurring in the near future at which the outcomes of class implementation as well as the scientific results can be presented. Many of these conferences are already regularly attended by members of our team. We also intend to return to SSI 2016. In closing, this course will be the first in our department to have a significant civic engagement component. We would like to use this course implementation as a foundation to incorporate civic engagement into both future offerings of the Chemistry II Lab as well as other courses in the curriculum.

Lipscomb University
Dr. Autumn Marshall, Professor and Chair of Nutrition and Kinesiology
Dr. Todd Gary, Adjunct Professor
Ms. Tamera Klingbyll, Instructor of Biology
Mrs. Ginger Reasonover, Lab Coordinator/Technician, Lipscomb University Biology Department and Lipscomb Academy

The Lipscomb University Team has a number of goals for its SENCER work in the upcoming year. First, we plan to continue its SENCER work at the TN Prison for Women, continuing to teach an integrated science course that blends physics and nutrition with an increased class size. Through this course offering, the grant will continue to supply science education materials in the prison, where very little science material was available prior to the first offering of the integrated science course.

Secondly, we will improve assessment techniques in integrated science courses both on campus and off campus, using the SENCER SALG and reflective practice to assess gains in both knowledge and attitudes toward science. The team members at the prison are also participating in the project to use the SENCER SALG to evaluate the College Board’s Enduring Understandings project for AP courses.

Third, an expansion into partnership with K-12 science teachers is planned, including continuing work on stream restoration on the elementary school campus at Lipscomb Academy. A fourth goal is to expand the SENCER connection on campus to the Math Department, and hopefully the Computing and Technology Department. These departments already offer service-learning courses, and we believe these courses may fit under the SENCER umbrella even though not previously so identified. Additionally, the group hopes to publish its work, both on the K-12 collaboration and on the education program at the TN Prison for Women, to disseminate the results of SENCER work at Lipscomb, and promote the value of science education in the Nashville, TN community.

Marian University
Dr. Kimberly Vogt, Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr. Paul Morgan, Chemistry Lecturer, Butler University

Members of Butler University, Drs. Joe Kirsch and Paul Morgan, have effectively recruited Marian University into the SCI-Central Plains regional center. Contact was initiated because of the number of students fulfilling graduation requirements by taking courses at the reciprocal institution, the proximity of the two universities, and the organizational differences between service learning through civic engagement at Butler and Marian. In civic engagement activities included in the current proposal, undergraduate students will be encouraging Hoosier youth to participate in STEM activities and explore STEM careers. The first year of this study is currently underway; therefore, we seek funding for a second year of data collection. Our results will be presented at SSI 2016 and 2017.

Dr. Paul Morgan is piloting a freshman Indianapolis Community Requirement (ICR) course at Butler University in the fall of 2015 entitled Chemistry in the Community. Dr. Kimberly Vogt teaches introductory courses in Biostatistics and Cell Biology at Marian University with an embedded community engagement requirement. Both Drs. Paul Morgan and Kimberly Vogt will utilize the Celebrate Science Indiana event as a civic engagement experience in their courses for STEM majors. Additionally, Dr. Paul Morgan will utilize demonstrations at local high schools and Chemistry Day at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

The impact of matching civic engagement activities to students’ major/course material remains largely unexamined in the context of student learning and attitudes toward civic engagement. Secondly, many service-learning initiatives focus on activities requiring significant time commitments. With this data, we will determine if differences in time devoted to a specific project impacts student performance in and perceptions of the value of the service learning experience. Additionally, we will determine if written and verbal feedback is as effective as trial and error experiences in the revision process and in increasing student confidence to communicate successfully with members of the community.

Miami Dade College
Ms. Colleen Ahern-Hettich, Director, Earth Ethics Institute (EEI)
Dr. Elodie Billionniere, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering + Technology
Mr. Albert W. Lenel, Associate Professor, Communication, Arts & Philosophy, InterAmerican Campus Green Team Co-Chair

Mr. Mike Matthews, Earth Ethics Institute Program Professional, InterAmerican Campus, Green Team Co-Chair
Ms. Lesley Nadal, Instructor, School of Education, Teacher Education Program
Mr. Pat Nellis, District Director, College Training and Development (CTD)
Dr. Rene Revuelta, Associate Professor, School of Science
Mr. Josh Young, Director, Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy (iCED)

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Earth Ethics Institute (EEI), a college-wide academic initiative addressing global citizenship and sustainability, has been leading the way in introducing and establishing SENCER at the college. MDC InterAmerican Campus sent three faculty representatives to the SENCER Summer Institute to continue our efforts in incorporating the SENCER Ideals within the curriculum. This fall on November 6th, EEI will offer a professional development workshop for MDC faculty titled Experiential Education and the SENCER Approach. Faculty who attended the 2015 SENCER Summer Institute will participate in this workshop and help explain SENCER.

In 2016, EEI will offer a second professional development workshop, SENCER Best Practices, with a greater emphasis on the SENCER Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG). In addition, this workshop will bring faculty from earlier workshops together to further develop our SENCER community of practice, enhance faculty collaboration across departments, and promote a richer EEI Global Sustainability and Earth Literacy Studies (GSELS) Learning Network within MDC.

Faculty who attended the SENCER Summer Institute will participate in the 2016 EEI SENCER SALG professional development workshop and make necessary modifications in their classes in order to employ the SENCER approach including the SALG in the Spring 2016 term. Faculty will address the campus theme—Water Quality in South Florida—using testing kits. EEI will work with College Training and Development (CTD) to provide the workshops, and the Campus Focus on Pedagogy Committee – Educational Technology, to identify proper mobile applications to collect data on water quality.

Finally, participating faculty will present information about SENCER to colleagues at department meetings. In addition, during Earth Week at the InterAmerican Campus in April 2016, students will present their findings to our campus community and community partners.

Middle Tennessee State University

Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, Professor of Chemistry, Director of the Women in Science Technology Engineering and Math (WISTEM) Center
Dr. Mark Abolins, Professor of Geosciences
Ms. Carol Swayze, Director of Experiential Learning

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) SENCER team proposes to expand SENCER Ideals to additional STEM departments, such as geoscience, on the MTSU campus. Through this project, “Experiential Learning in Geoscience, Chemistry and the Community,” we seek to increase the involvement of women in the geosciences, chemistry, and other STEM disciplines. We plan to teach students in experiential learning classes that STEM clearly addresses societal issues. We will use experiential learning pedagogies in the classroom, and through outreach activities, to engage students in their learning of the discipline and in service to the community. Invited speakers will showcase careers in the geoscience, chemistry, and STEM workforce. Students will explore the geoscience of Middle Tennessee during local field trips. Expected outcomes include a greater number of women in geoscience- and chemistry-related classes, service, and outreach. We also will encourage students to apply for research funding by submitting sustainability proposals to internal undergraduate sustainability and research grant programs. The faculty will evaluate the success of the project by using both the pre- and post-SALG and by the number of students participating in the classes and outreach activities. Our team will disseminate this work by sharing lessons learned and successes through professional development sessions to interested faculty. We will also present at local, regional, and national professional meetings and at SSI 2016 or the 2016 Washington Symposium.

We will evaluate project success by tracking the number of students participating in the SENCER activities, the number of questions about the project from students and faculty, and the number of outreach activities, and by analyzing results from pre-and post-SALG assessments.

New York City College of Technology
Dr. Juanita But, Associate Professor of English
Dr. Davida Smyth, Associate Professor of Biology, Mercy College

To embrace fully the vision of SENCER to improve scientific education and increase the civic capacity of students and community members, educators need to reconsider the present status of how the majority of STEM courses are taught in the classrooms and reflect on how they should be taught to engage students and increase their civic capacity. First, civic scientific engagement is achievable only when there is civic scientific literacy. In order to teach “basic scientific content through complex unsolved civic challenges” effectively, one has to understand the challenges our learners face. Ability and interest go hand in hand as much as inability and fear. For our students, many of whom come from underprivileged and low-literacy families, the major hurdle to learning basic scientific content is their lack of one basic skill—reading.

In order to address any important civic issues, we have to consider the rudimentary issue that impedes our students from understanding and articulating the relevance and magnitude of crucial civic challenges around them and in the world. This rudimentary issue—the lack of disciplinary and critical reading proficiency—severely hinders the development of civic scientific literacy among our students.

With this Post-Institute Implementation Award, we intend to promote civic scientific literacy in our college communities and help our students develop this essential 21st century skill. An important step to achieving this goal is through improving their disciplinary and critical reading proficiency. Extensive reading informed by literacy strategies, guided research, student-led discussion, and campus outreaches are ways in which we plan to address this complex, capacious issue, which is also quintessential to addressing all other significant civic scientific issues.

Northeastern Illinois University
Dr. Sudha Srinivas, Interim Chair, Professor of Physics
Dr. Ken Voglesonger, Department Coordinator, Assistant Professor of Earth Science

The proposed project “Development of a linked sequence of teacher preparation courses in Physics and Earth Science,” seeks to revise the introductory physics and earth science courses in the Math, Science and Technology for Quality Education (MSTQE) program at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU). The MSTQE program is a bridge program run by NEIU in partnership with City Colleges of Chicago in which faculty and students from both institutions teach and study together. The goal of MSTQE is to create a well-educated, diverse cohort of elementary and middle school science and math teachers. Students major in elementary and/or middle level education and minor in Math and Science Concepts, a modular sequence of select courses in Earth science, physics, biology, chemistry and mathematics geared towards providing the content and content-related pedagogy for teacher preparation. The proposed project addresses the physics and the Earth science courses in the Math and Science Concepts block.

Currently the physics and Earth science courses are modified versions of existing classes in the two departments and are neither integrated with one another, nor specifically aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The project will overhaul these two courses to create a set of two strongly linked, interdisciplinary courses that demonstrate the pedagogies and practices described in the NGSS.

The first course in the sequence will be Matter and its Interactions and will introduce the physics concepts of forces, motion, and waves. Using these underlying principles from physics as a theme, the second course, Earth and its Systems, will focus on the interaction between the major earth systems (e.g. hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere). The instructors designing these two courses are working together and will incorporate materials and applications that focus on the strong link between physics and geology in particular, while emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of science.

Southern Connecticut State University
Dr. Winnie Yu, Professor of Computer Science
Dr. Therese Bennett, Professor of Mathematics and Department Chairperson
Dr. Christine Broadbridge, Professor of Physics, Education Director, CRISP, Department Chairperson
Dr. Susan Cusato, Associate Professor of Science Education and Environmental Studies
Dr. Adam Goldberg, Math Education Teacher and Researcher

As education and pedagogies evolve to find effective ways to enhance student learning, we as faculty seek to find strategies that engage students and provide useful knowledge and skills that can be applied in “real life.” Integrating systems thinking into STEM courses helps prepare students to think in a holistic manner. Most science courses are generally taught from a discipline specific perspective, and students often struggle to make the connections between what they learn and real world applications. The recent focus on STEM as an integrated approach in science teaching provides the perfect venue for “systems-based” learning.

The objective of this proposal is to use data science as an underlying framework for systems learning in STEM. By using a data-centric problem solving approach, this proposal aims to help students gain skills in critical thinking and analyses based on evidence. Using data analytics as a common framework, learners will be more aware and conversant on social issues both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. With this understanding, students can better appreciate the interrelation of STEM areas with social science and the relevance of data as evidence in the development of systemic solutions for today’s problems.

The goal of this proposal is to provide a series of faculty development opportunities to STEM and education faculty members to:

  1. Help build an undergraduate interdisciplinary program in data science, and
  2. To integrate concepts and components of data science in science education for pre-service teachers.

The intent of this proposal is to develop both depth in data science learning as an interdisciplinary major program and breadth in outreach among pre-service science teachers who would be applying data analytics principles in K-12 education programs.

Trinity Washington University

Dr. Shizuka Hsieh, Assistant Provost for the Sciences, Associate Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Steven Gable, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Program Chair
Dr. Sita Ramamurti, Professor of Mathematics
Dr. Diana Watts, Associate Professor of Business Administration, Program Chair

Collaborative course modules across disciplines (math, chemistry, philosophy, and business) at Trinity Washington University will foster interdisciplinary thinking, engage students with local environmental problems, and expand pedagogies that serve the learning needs of Trinity’s all-women liberal arts undergraduates, the majority of whom are first-generation and from underrepresented groups (90% are African American or Latina). Proposed modules that focus on environmental issues would be implemented as soon as Spring 2016, and developed further with summer support. A priority will be assessing and developing module effectiveness in student learning gains and student progress towards our module learning goals. An anticipated outcome is presenting and disseminating on the effectiveness and lessons learned from these SENCER-ized modules.

We will establish a Moodle site that will allow us to share and organize course materials by topic. A collection of common materials that may be topic relevant will be maintained on the Moodle site. We resolve to schedule courses, starting in Fall 2016, so that key collaborating classes will meet during the same time period. That time period could be used for the classes to meet in the same venue and work together. The team will meet at least once a month starting at the beginning of Spring 2016.

For Spring 2016, classes that meet at the same time will meet together for specific activities, such as an activity on overfishing and a following discussion about the tragedy of the commons. Because some classes cannot meet at the same time, the students will exchange information through preparing presentations to be shared via the professors or class online Powerpoint presentations. All course materials will be shared on the Moodle site, to allow information exchange, consultation, and dialogue between faculty members.

Truman State University
Dr. Alicia Wodika, Assistant Professor of Health and Exercise Sciences
Dr. LaRoy Brandt, Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr. Janice Clark, Professor of Health and Exercise Sciences

Truman State University is in the process of evaluating the current Liberal Arts curriculum at the university with the potential outcomes including strengthening the pathways for identifying thematic links of courses, developing co-curricular experiences, and reinforcing the three pillars of classical education (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) in our liberal arts and sciences courses. Specifically, we hope to engage students throughout their education in work that allows them to address significant questions and problems important to them and to society. As such, curricular civic engagement is a tool that provides more foundational strategies for fostering student development focused in the classical pillars of learning while also strengthening the overall liberal arts mission. Although civic engagement at Truman State University is not a new endeavor, its civic engagement efforts lack curricular integration, coordination and faculty support, and institutional awareness of civic engagement efforts. Our goal is to establish a sustainable, cohesive civic engagement effort at Truman in 2016-17 through the integration of civic engagement within the curricula and not as “add-ons” to existing courses, as well as the recruitment of faculty to apply civic engagement-based projects in their courses, the encouragement and coordination of faculty endeavors with civic engagement, and the dissemination of faculty efforts to increase university-wide awareness about the applicability of civic engagement within the curriculum. We hope to accomplish these goals through SENCER by encouraging and supporting faculty in the incorporation of SENCER elements within existing courses, development of new SENCER-based civic engagement course modules, complete course redesign that emphasizes SENCER Ideals, and/or the development of interdisciplinary course activities to encourage multi-disciplinary approaches through SENCER inspired pedagogical strategies.

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Ms. Patricia Amaral Buskirk, Assistant Professor of Communications
Primary collaborator: Dr. Ulla Hasager, Director of Civic Engagement for the College of Social Sciences
Dr. Hokulani Aikau, Associate Professor of Native Hawaiian and Indigenous Politics
Dr. Greg Chun, Associate Specialist of the Social Science Research Institute
Dr. Denise Eby Konan, Dean of the College of Social Sciences and Professor of Economics
Dr. Robert Franco, Director of the Office for Institutional Effectiveness, Professor of Anthropology, Kapiʻolani Community College
Dr. Reza Ghorbani, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Noelani Goodyear-Kaʻopua, Associate Professor of Political Science
Dr. Michael Hayes, Associate Professor of Education, University of Hawaiʻi West Oʻahu
Dr. Willy Kauai, Director of Native Hawaiian Student Services
Dr. David Krupp, Professor of Biological and Marine Sciences, Windward Community College
Dr. Darren Lerner, Director of University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant
Ms. Lisa Parr, Instructor of Marine Science, Marine Option Program Site Coordinator, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

Three Hawaiʻi teams including faculty from UH Mānoa, UH West Oʻahu, and Kapiʻolani Community College attended the 2015 SENCER Summer Institute, where they received the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement’s “Inaugural Award for Exemplary Multi-Institutional and Regional Collaborations in the Service of Citizen Science” based on years of SENCER-supported work developing a Hawaiʻi SENCER community across institutions, campuses, disciplines, and communities. The following month, Hawaiʻi was declared the first SENCER Model State. The work at SSI of the statewide, combined team focused on strategies for generating the most impact for its multi-institutional collaboration and outreach in Hawaiʻi and beyond. The three teams present decided to combine resources and jointly submit a Post-Institute Implementation Award proposal.

As a central part of a multi-media campaign, the Hawaiʻi SENCER State Team decided to create (as a central part of a multi-media campaign) a video that acknowledges and honors Hawaiʻi’s existing multi-institutional and statewide collaborative initiatives, including research, community engagement programs, and classroom instruction based on compelling civic issues integrating indigenous, social, and natural sciences in education and applying the SENCER Ideals towards solving capacious issues of our time. In the process, a virtual media archive will be established both to collect and share original video resources for the SENCER Hawaiʻi team and provide a base for both student and faculty projects resulting in a series of similar, but more targeted video and other media production. Additionally, a Hawaiʻi SENCER state interactive website will be created to help facilitate the communication, impact and outreach to other SENCER faculty and campuses.

The video will be disseminated at SENCER and other key events and policy-making forums to provide information about both the SENCER State concept and SENCER activities in Hawaiʻi to inspire collaborative state/regional networks outside of Hawaiʻi. In addition, the video will serve to garner support from key stakeholders and funders, and mentor colleagues at our own and other institutions. It will help us reach out to community colleges, private universities, and informal science educators throughout the state to expand and strengthen existing collaborations and multi-institutional team-development activities as well as inspire creation of SENCERized curricula and civic-engagement opportunities.

Further, the process of planning, videotaping and editing the video will help our Hawaiʻi SENCER Team clarify our vision and goals, and enhance existing communication to help broaden its impact on SENCER campuses and communities.

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
Dr. Heather Pelzel, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Dr. Anneke Lisberg, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Dr. Kate Ksobiech, Assistant Professor of Communication
Dr. Christina Jones, Assistant Professor of Health & Corporate Communication

The main goal of this project is to increase interest in and use of SENCER Ideals in course creation or redesign on the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater (UWW) campus, particularly courses that are part of the new public health minor program. To advance this goal, our UWW team will host a half-day SENCER workshop for faculty and instructional staff who want to learn more about SENCER and begin to develop/redesign a course with guidance from UWW faculty members with experience designing SENCER-based courses. We will recruit faculty who teach courses that are part of the public health minor, but the workshop will be open to all faculty and staff at UWW. Following the workshop, attendees will work with a campus mentor as they create new SENCERized modules or courses.

Part of the grant will be used to support attendance at the 2016 SENCER Summer Institute for new attendees from UWW with a preference for instructors that will be designing and teaching the core courses for the public health minor. The first core course has been designed to use a SENCERized semester-long project, but the following two core courses don’t currently have any SENCER components. A long-term goal is to increase the use of SENCER across several courses and create a SENCERized public health-based learning community (LC). This will enable students to take a series of courses linked together by a common public health issue with additional experiences beyond the classroom. At UWW, LCs are groups of approximately 25 freshmen that link residential, curricular, and non-curricular activities.

Photo credit: Sergei Golyshev (CC BY 2.0)

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