2012 Community Engagement Fellowships
Growing Safer Gardens
Ashley Chaifetz, Public Policy and Kristina Alnajjar, Nutrition
Community Partner: Alice Bumgarner, the Edible Garden at Watts Montessori
Faculty Adviser: Dr. Alice Ammerman
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are 48 million cases of foodborne illness in the United States each year (1 in 6 people), with 3,000 associated deaths (CDC, 2011). Fresh produce is a common source of food pathogens, but federal and state guidelines do not exist for school and community gardens. Through community-based contacts, our team built guidance materials, based on academic research, as a practical application of Good Agricultural Practices but tailored to garden needs. We will now visit school and community gardens in Wake, Durham and Orange counties to support guideline implementation, building on the relationships established in the project’s preliminary phase. Project activities will include answering questions about current operations, orchestrating garden layouts, and assisting in best practices for water, compost, and harvest, providing supplies and resources as needed. The conclusion of the project will result in an evaluation of the curriculum’s feasibility as well as a measurement of the safety of the gardens.
Latino Men in North Carolina and Their Participation in Reproductive Health Promotion Programs
Laura Villa-Torres, Chelly Richards and Paul Fleming, Health Behavior and Health Education
Community Partner: El Pueblo, Inc.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Clare Barrington
The purpose of this study is to understand men’s role in sexual and reproductive health issues, their perspectives as members of their Latino communities and the ways in which they can engage as leaders to undertake community outreach activities with other men in areas related to sexuality and reproductive health. Through a formative, qualitative approach, we will understand the common and shared vision about men’s role as community leaders and the barriers identified by men to participate actively in their local initiatives, which will help us inform the development of a community based-intervention.
Supporting North Carolina Families Affected by Cancer
Alison Doernberg, Social Work/Maternal and Child Health
Community Partner: Cancer Services, Inc.
Faculty Advisor: Elizabeth Sherwood
In partnership with Cancer Services, Inc., a nonprofit offering a range of support services for cancer patients within Forsyth, Davie, Stokes and Yadkin counties, this project will enhance the provision of resources for children and families in which a parent or primary caregiver has a cancer diagnosis. This project will involve two components: 1) a needs assessment to identify strengths and gaps in Cancer Services' current wellness offerings for families and children, and 2) guided by needs assessment findings and evidence-based practices in cancer support, development of a comprehensive, innovative and updated family resource kit, including paper and online materials, for Cancer Services clients. Using an engaged, sustainable approach, this project aims to enable Cancer Services to more effectively support urban and rural families affected by cancer.
Toward Successful Integration: Partnering with Local Schools to Assist Refugee Students
Amy Lerner, School of Education
Community Partner: Susan Azzu
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Patricia Garrett-Peters
This project builds on a seed grant from the Research Triangle Schools Partnership (RTSP) for which I conducted a series of focus groups with elementary school personnel who work with local refugees from Burma. These educators expressed a great need for strategies and resources that will enable them to better serve this unique and growing population. The goal of the project is to develop a resource guide that can be distributed to school personnel working with these students. Evidence-based methods, afforded by direct feedback from school personnel, will be compiled into a "school-generated" pamphlet that aims to meet identified needs.
The Carolina Center for Public Service strengthens the University's public service commitment by promoting scholarship and service that are responsive to the concerns of the state and contribute to the common good.