The Gephardt Institute is advancing a bold vision to enhance a civic culture at Washington University. The Civic Engagement Fund is a critical tool that supports members of the WashU campus who seek to strengthen the social fabric of our communities.
In the 2016-2017 academic year, the fund awarded 41 projects and more than $55,000 to faculty, students, and staff who developed coursework and initiatives that catalyze civic engagement and community partnerships in St. Louis and beyond. In the May 2017 funding cycle, the Gephardt Institute awarded over $20,000 to the following initiatives:
COMMUNITY-ENGAGED TEACHING COURSES:
Partnering with the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging to Enhance Translation of Student –Led Fall Prevention Research into Community Practice
Susy Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Social Work, School of Medicine
Falls among older adults are a major public health issue; currently one in three older adults is expected to fall every year, resulting in loss of independence and premature death among many of them. The purpose of this project is two-fold. First, it is meant to increase occupational therapy students’ self-efficacy for providing occupational therapy fall prevention intervention that meets the needs of the growing older population. Second, students will learn how to enhance the relevance and efficacy of their research by facilitating community partnership with older adults as key stakeholders to promote the translation of research into practice.
Dimensions of Wastelands – Community Partnership Development for CET Course
Heather O’Leary, PhD; Lecturer, Sociocultural Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences
Through this course, Professor O’Leary aims to integrate the depth and breadth of student opportunities for the bi-monthly face-to-face engagement of top theoretical scholars in the field of waste. The Dimensions of Wastelands course in engaged anthropology will focus on local, micro-level data collection, respectful community-led engagement, and self-reflexive data analysis that will help students develop a manageable local project that fosters students’ interest and capacity in community partnerships.
Envisioning Alternatives: Public Anthropologies of Energy Transition and Public Health
Bret Gustafson, PhD; Associate Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology, College of Arts & Sciences
This course combines qualitative fieldwork methods with community engagement in the area of public health, energy production and use, and the pursuit of alternative (renewable) energies. Through the development of case studies, in which students in small teams will explore the social and health dynamics of current patterns of energy production and use, as well as community and policy based efforts to pursue renewable energy options, the course seeks to connect ethnographic-based knowledge production with the envisioning of energy alternatives in the St. Louis region.
St. Louis Project Grants:
Crafting at Camp
Kristin Geczi ’18, College of Arts & Sciences
The Crafting at Camp project has partnered with the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Camp Independence, and Camp Crescent to provide children with Cerebral Palsy the opportunity to attend summer camp and express themselves creatively. Cerebral Palsy causes physical impairments and makes physical activity more difficult for these children, often causing them to miss out on summer camp. Crafting at Camp will allow children to work with finer motor skills and ultimately serve as a window of opportunity for them to express their emotions through art.
Gender Impacts: Women and the Criminal Justice System
Barbara Baumgartner, PhD; Senior Lecturer, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, College of Arts & Sciences
The Gender Impacts: Women and the Criminal Justice System Symposium will take place on September 29, 2017. Last year, Barbara received funding to implement a full day symposium surrounding the topic of women and prison. After registration filled within a week and post-event surveys showed tremendous satisfaction, Barbara realized the interest in a future conference on related topics. This year, she hopes to explore issues surrounding violence and trauma experienced by many women prior to their incarceration. The symposium promotes the goals of the Gephardt Institute by providing an opportunity for students, faculty, community members, and local non-profits to gather together to learn about a significant problem facing our community.
Teach Me to Help
Benjamin Pockros ’17, College of Arts & Sciences
Teach Me to Help is a student-run Washington University Emergency Response Training Program, led by students who have received their American Red Cross CPR/First Aid/AED Instructor’s license. The program is dedicated to instructing and certifying local St. Louis high school students. The goal is to reduce the risk of preventable deaths attributable to cardiac arrest by giving students the training they need to take action before medical professionals arrive. Teach Me to Help will serve as an alternative teaching resource for St. Louis high schools and offer an exciting and influential course to the students – with the end goal of inspiring them to develop enthusiasm for medicine and catalyze a pathway into a healthcare career.
Small Change Grants:
Pick the City Up
Susan Colangelo, Faculty, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
The Pick Up the City project is part of the research for a course that Susan Colangelo will teach in the fall semester which considers the causes of violence in American urban communities and ways that artists and designers can create intervention in gun violence. The project aims to create a platform for meaningful interaction and the exchange of information about gun violence and youth/police interactions between youth and adult leaders.
Public Interest Design Institute
Liz Kramer, Assistant Director of Community-Based Design and Sustainability, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
The Public Interest and Design Institute event will be held on October 6-7, 2017. The Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts is partnering with Design Corps to offer a Public Interest Design Institute (PIDI), a two-day professional development training that covers how design can address critical issues facing communities. Training in public interest design is an efficient way to enhance an existing practice and learn skills to pro-actively engage in community-based design through fee-based projects. PIDI is open to professionals engaged in architecture, planning, landscape architecture, the arts, and community development. Training participants will be prepared to become Social Economic Environmental Design-certified, which accounts for social, economic, and environmental impact.
Housing Johannesburg: Equitable Urbanism through Community Based System Dynamics
Andrea Godshalk, Master Student, Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts
Through the Housing Johannesburg project, Andrea will examine and pilot the use of Community Based Systems Dynamics (CBSD) in the urban design process. Johannesburg’s historic method of housing provision has been an unsustainable practice of spatial division, and recently, due to an unmet need of over 2 million housing units, the South African government recognized informal settlement upgrading as a strategy to deliver its constitutional commitment to provide housing. Community Based Systems Dynamics (CBSD) methods can be applied to urban design along a spectrum from design studio pedagogy to community planning in order to engage varied stakeholders in these challenges to locate systemic leverage points for collaborative urban design with informal settlement residents, city managers, spatial designers, and students. This can support design processes that build upon an understanding of system dynamics to implement equitable, sustainable urbanism.