2019 Spring Symposium Brings Community Engaged Students and Faculty together to Share Scholarship

Thanks to everyone who attended, presented and supported the Spring 2019 Nashman Symposium on Community Engaged Scholarship!

The symposium brought students and faculty from The Schools of Nursing, Business, Engineering, Education, Medicine, Media and Public Affairs, Columbian College, community partners working with students in courses and members of the GWU community together for an afternoon of community engaged scholarship discussion and dissemination. 75 students presented their work at the symposium showcase using video galleries, posters or laptop presentations to show attendees their research findings in unique ways. Students discussed a wide variety of topics-some presented information on their service site, others showcased community engaged research projects. Many of the student presenters are enrolled in courses designated by the Nashman Center as community engaged https://givepul.se/0xnbhq and their research and service in the community are woven into course objectives.

During lunch participants discussed data from the National Center on Citizenship DC Civic Health Index https://ncoc.org/research-type/2014dcchi/ at their tables with faculty facilitators and challenged each other to think about what kind of neighbors we are when we work with and in the DC community.

The day ended with reflection panels led by students and faculty with discussions on a wide range of issues including sustainability, Knapp Fellowship and Eco-Equity Projects, service with Latinx communities, community service as good business, pathways to service and issues of race and service.

We thank everyone for being part of Community Engaged Scholarship at GWU!

One Year Later: Knapp Fellow Kristen McInerney

I am drawing connections between their sense of belonging and creating a community of practice

“I am drawing connections between their sense of belonging and creating a community of practice within our school community to help affect their academic achievement.”

Kristen Mclnerney is a Knapp Fellow for the 2018-2019 school year. Her research is on newly arrived immigrant students’ experiences in high school and honoring their voices. She has some big takeaways from her Fellowship year. “I have learned so much this year, including survey development, utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods, and going through the IRB process. It has been a difficult but great year. What first started as just ideas, has started to come to fruition. I still have a lot to do but the research is coming together in a way that I never thought was possible. The Nashman Center connected me with the GW Art Therapy Department to build community connections for the school that I work at and also with Dr. Jordan Potash who has helped create a living mural lesson plan that will help our students and staff create a mural.”

The Knapp Fellowship made Kristen’s ideas possible and she completed a pilot study. “The funds have helped me get study items translated to Amharic, Dari, Spanish, and Arabic for my students and their families. Translation services are very expensive; the Fellowship enabled me to make the IRB and research process accessible in home languages.” Kristen recently presented her preliminary data at the CIES conference in San Francisco in April. She notes that this work will extend into next year, and data from the pilot study, will inform a larger study in the fall, Kristen’s dissertation study. Presenting at the Symposium provides her with the opportunity to receive feedback and connect with other students. She notes, “the opportunity to present at the community Symposium through the Nashman Center provides practice in presenting my data and opportunities to connect with other students and faculty. I even had a few students volunteer to help as research assistants in the Fall. The connection with folks and the questions they ask after they heard my presentation was a great opportunity to get feedback.” McInerney finds her two-year research process very rewarding. “Through the Nashman Center, I’ve connected the community with my school. There are doors being opened now with faith-based organizations and other parts of GW with my school. I’ve learned that our GW and local community is extremely generous and that there are bridges just waiting to be built. It’s absolutely worth taking the time to build those bridges and deepen those connections between the community and our school.”

Kristen has undeniably made great connections in her Knapp Fellowship year to propel her project even further. The Nashman Center is proud of Kristen’s community engaged scholarship!

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Colleen Packard Wins the Nashman Prize

Colleen Packard, a Master’s student pursuing a degree in Master's of Public Health in Community-Oriented Primary Care, has won the Nashman Prize for her Community-Based Participatory Research! Undergraduate and graduate students who present their research at the annual GW Research Days event are invited to submit for consideration for the Nashman Prize, which recognizes excellence in Community-Based Participatory Research.

Read more about her research below, and read more about the Nashman Prize here.

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Colleen’s Project: Parent & Student Knowledge, Attitude, and Perceptions of Youth Sports Injuries the Feasibility of Expanding Athletics Activities Diversity in a Community Non-Profit Organization will be presented at the Nashman Symposium on April 26th sign up here to attend https://givepul.se/nrvz0

Colleen did research with Beacon House, a community non-profit organization located in the Edgewood Commons complex of Washington, DC whose mission is to close the education achievement gap for children in Ward 5. Beacon House’s athletics program is a signature offering of the organization, and the tackle football program is the largest and most successful of the sports offered.

However, with increased awareness of concussion risk in youth sports, Beacon House requested this research be done in order to adequately inform any future action by its administration. The purpose of this study is to conduct an assessment of parent and student perceptions of youth sports injuries. The study also surveys Beacon House parents and students to see how the athletics program could potentially expand in the future. The mixed-methods study utilizes survey measures and focus groups to measure both parent and student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of concussions. The athletics interest form will furthermore show which sports parents and students are interested in playing, either in lieu of or in addition to tackle football. All methods were reviewed by Beacon House before beginning data collection, and Beacon House staff are integral to participant recruitment.

Learn more at beaconhousedc.org.

One Year Later: Knapp Fellow Gillian Joseph and Find Our Women

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Gillian Joseph was one of two winners for the 2018-2019 Knapp Fellowship Award. Her research project, Find Our Women, began with Gillian talking to women who were survivors, and family members of Indigenous women that are missing, murdered or victims of violence. She did this work within her honors thesis research and wanted to find protective factors for these Indigenous women. She began looking at the Dakota Access Pipeline camp, and concluded that decolonizing a space/society is a protective factor for violence against Indigenous women.

To learn more about Gillian’s early phases of the research project, and her inspirations for the project read this article!

After one year of Gillian’s groundbreaking community-based research, she was published in the APA journal through an internship at the American Psychological Association. She focused on Native American issues and met a Native American psychologist, who helped her publish a paper about the intersection of psychology and violence against women. She also has another article under review in the Journal of Indigenous Research .

To read Gillian’s journals click these links:

APA Journal: https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/communique/2018/11/standing-sisters Journal of Indigenous Research: https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/kicjir/

Gillian is creating a non-profit organization, Project Find Our Women, which gives money to Indigenous women to tell stories from their communities that aren’t being seen or heard so that other women can relate, and reach out if they are feeling the same violence or treatment. Learn more about Project Find Our Women here.

Gillian is graduating from GW and will get her master degree through a program called Erasmus Mundus, which is a program through the EU and fully funded. She will focus on cross-cultural psychology. She wants to continue her work and extend it to other Indigenous populations. She also wants to expand her non-profit and tell different stories. Gillian has done excellent work, her progress in a year is just amazing. Nashman is so proud of Gillian, and we're excited to see what her future holds!

GW Writing Department Prize Highlighted in the Washington Post

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The Julian Clement Chase Prize, which has been awarded by GW’s Writing Department since 2016, was featured in a recent article in the Washington Post. One of the winners named, Xavier Adomatis, is a Civic House student and was recognized for his paper, “Re-Segregate D.C. Schools: An analysis of gentrification’s peculiar consequences on Francis-Stevens.” For more information about Julian Clement Chase and the prize, check out the full article here.

Former Knapp Fellow and GSHED Alumna Dr. Maranda Ward in the News!

Check out Dr. Maranda Ward: The Practitioner's Perspective - A Tale of Two Cities: My Health Equity Work in the Nation's Capital   

 

Her research is translated into practice as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Promising Futures. In her blog, she takes you on a bus ride from an affluent part of town replete with healthy and abundant food options and services, to her neighborhood, where residents struggle to even meet their most basic needs. She uses these examples to engage students in understanding structural inequity.

 

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President Knapp meets with 2018 & 2019 Knapp Fellows

President Knapp met with 2017-2018 Knapp Fellows Chloe King and Gayatri Malhotra to hear about the projects that they undertook over the course of the year and how community engaged scholarship made a difference in the places that they conducted their projects. Want to learn more about Gayatri's project? Check out this interview with her https://www.gwnashmancenter.org/the-nashman-faculty-update/2017/12/22/knapp-fellow-spotlight-gayatri-malhotra learn more about Chloe's project here https://www.gwnashmancenter.org/the-nashman-faculty-update/2017/11/3/knapp-fellow

We are so proud of the outgoing Knapp Fellows as was President Knapp!

He also met with incoming Knapp Fellows Gillian Joseph and Kristen McInerney to hear about their planned Knapp Fellowship projects for the 2018-2019 academic year and how they will engage the community with their research. To see what inspires Gillian and Kristen's work check out their interviews here:

Kristen: https://www.gwnashmancenter.org/the-nashman-faculty-update/2018/4/30/knapp-fellowship-winner-kristen-mcinerney

Gillian: https://www.gwnashmancenter.org/the-nashman-faculty-update/2018/4/27/knapp-fellowship-interview-with-gillian-joseph

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Knapp Fellowship Winner Kristen McInerney

Kristen McInerney is one of two Knapp Fellowship winners for the 2018-2019 school year. Community Engaged Scholar Ashley Hidalgo sat down to discuss Kristen's project with her.

Tell me about your project and how you believe/hope that your scholarship will impact the community you are doing research with?

Kristen McInerney (KM): My research project, stems from my experience with English Learners (ELs) who struggled or are struggling in our traditional high school models and I formerly worked at a few different high schools with a growing EL population. My belief is that our current high schools are not set up for English Learners, and that inspired me to apply to this Graduate School of Education and Human Development Doctoral program in Curriculum and Instruction, to see how we can improve the outcomes for ELs. With my research I hope to gather data, that we don’t typically gather upon enrollment of a student, and use it to predict and analyze student outcomes, such as grades and graduation. I am also interested in Resilience Theory and how that relates to my students’ experience in high school. This scholarship will directly impact the immigrant students that I work with and their families and bring the community together. Daily I work with bright, strong, multi-lingual, independent, and inspiring international students who deserve to graduate just like their native English-speaking peers.

AH: That is truly inspiring. What kinds of research methods/methodologies will your research use? I know it was mentioned earlier, but could you elaborate on how these methods bring the community into your work?

KM: My Research Project is my dissertation idea, which is a mixed-methods, explanatory sequential case study, which is beginning with the quantitative data piece to inform qualitative data collection to gain a richer understanding of my students experiences in hopes to tailor programming and policies for English learners. To build community partnerships, I would like to partner with Art Therapists, possibly GW's Art department, to build a mosaic or puzzle mural within our school and share with the wider community. Each student and staff member would create a piece, then it would be combined into a beautiful mosaic, where every single piece is valued and holds an important part in our community. Students will create their design focusing on their identity, the theme of resilience, and what success means for them.

AH: These forms of data collection will be very impactful for students. Why do you think it is important for student researchers (and researchers in general) to incorporate members of the community into research?

KM: Partnerships with the community are incredibly important especially with my population of students as English learners, and really all students. When you think about supporting the whole child and their family, whether they are here or in their home country, it is important to foster a new welcoming home. I think that community partnerships and community participatory action research is really important because the community has a sense of shared ownership, vision, and call to action.  

AH: Do you have a favorite researcher/community scholar/activist who inspires you? If so, would you share a quote from them (or a book or article they wrote)?

KM: I have been re-reading the LISA Study by Suarez-Orozco, Suarez-Orozco, and Todorova who did a 5 year longitudinal study of immigrant youth in American high schools. They state in their conclusion, “Immigrant-origin youth come with big dreams and their initial boundless energies and optimism offer a great, if untapped, National resource.” I see that everyday in my students, their energy, their smiles, their excitement, and alongside their tears, and other concerns, and sadness. There is so much potential and strength and assets that our students have, like said if untapped or should be tapped, it is certainly a wealth of knowledge. And to be bilingual or trilingual there are so many things that our students can do and I want to give them the tools and opportunity to do so.

AH: What a great quote! You could have chosen many different ways to do your research-why involve the community? What do you think it adds to the research by doing this?

KM: I believe that my research holds more meaning and it is more empowering when it involves the community. Just like the school that I work in, the staff as a whole has a common passion goal, and drive Also, the more awareness we can draw to a problem, the more potential solutions we can find. And the greater the call to action and greater impact can happen.

AH:  Do you anticipate working with any community partners (non-profits, other scholars, students here at GW other students or public institutions (schools, hospitals etc.), in this research? 

KM: Yes, I definitely am reaching out to people who are involved with Art Therapy and other forms of social work and dealing with trauma. I know that GW has an Art Therapy program, so I am hoping to build a partnership with them, but I really think that developing partnerships especially for our students will really be able to help us able to reach them and provide the best experience possible in our school.

AH: Is there anything you’d like to say to Former GW President and Mrs. Knapp for funding the Fellowship?


KM: Yes, it is an incredible honor and I would want to first say thank you for believing in my students. They are the reason why we do what we do, and for them to recognize my student population as valuable and worthy, of having one of the best experiences possible in our high schools, that goes a long way trusting and for believing in me. Thank you for seeing ahead,  and funding something that is a big passion of mine and for helping me make a difference in my community. It is truly a humbling opportunity and I have a lot of work to do on the project but I would say thank you for believing in me.

Knapp Fellowship Winner Gillian Joseph Project: Find Our Women

Bianca Trinidad is a Community Engaged Scholar with the Nashman Center. She sat down to talk with Gillian Joseph one of two winners of the 2018-2019 Knapp Fellowship Award.

Bianca: Tell me about your project.

Gillian: So, I named my project, Find Our Women, but the purpose of it is to provide an answer to the unanswered - to give part of a solution to the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis that’s going on in the U.S. and also in Canada, but the U.S. has no public inquiry into it, whereas Canada does. So, there’s really been nothing done formally to help indigenous women that have been going missing and being killed in the U.S.

My project revolves around creating a website and also a mobile application for phones, because a huge problem is how information flows between police networks and reservations, because a lot of times they’re really rural and isolated.

My project is trying to make it easier for women and the families of women to report when they’re missing or something is wrong. And to have a formal database. You see, indigenous women don’t have their own database and they’re not always registered under a federal missing persons database. So, that’s really important to actually have data on, because there is no true data on indigenous women going missing. A lot of the data is collected from community members that are like “My aunt is still missing” or “My sister is still missing”. So, that’s the biggest part of it.

The website will have all the resources needed on it and a lot of facts and statistics. There’s no one place that you can go to to get facts and stats, and so, I’m hoping that my website would make it easier for indigenous women to have resources they need, such as hotline numbers or other websites that will be useful to them. Any information that needs to go to them will be on the website and also, just for the general public to have a place to go, because I feel like it’s hard to get people to pay attention, and it’s really hard if you tell them about it, and they have to Google search for about half an hour in order to find anything. So hopefully, it will make it easier to raise awareness.

The last part of my project is getting firsthand accounts and stories of families of missing women and survivors that have gone missing or have had experience with domestic violence and for them to be able to share their stories about it. This collection of stories will be posted on the website, and accessible to the public. I feel like a lot of times, people care more when they hear a firsthand account. I feel like it’s hard to understand what is actually going on. A lot of people don’t know anything about it - which is expected. It’s not really publicized. So getting traction behind it and showing indigenous voices, instead of talking over them. 

Bianca:  So, what inspired you to take on this kind of project?

Gillian: I’m actually part Dakota. My dad is Dakota, my mom is white. So, my dad is from South Dakota, and I actually spent last summer living on the Cheyenne Reservation in South Dakota, and culturally, it is really important to protect women, because women are considered sacred in a lot of Dakota tribes and also in general Native culture.

I’ve heard stories from my dad, and it’s been going on since my dad was a kid and before then. And my friends; and just like knowing that women I’m related to or are in the same tribe or tribal nation as me are going missing is - it’s a lot to think about, because it’s not always in your mind. But when you have that attachment to it, it is.

So I would talk to my dad about it a lot and to other people. I have a really awesome mentor. My faculty advisor here; she is also a Native woman. So talking to her about it and to other Native women really helped me decide that it wasn’t enough for me to just talk about it. But instead, I need to actually offer what I thought could maybe help. We’ll see if it does! I think it will!

Bianca: I definitely think it will. Okay, so how do you hope this fellowship will affect the community you are doing research with?

Gillian: So, I truly hope that it will give at least the native communities, well I would be focusing more on the Dakotas, just because that’s where I have a relational tie to. But I’m hoping that it will really give indigenous women a voice in this nation, because a lot of times I see people talking about MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), but never mention actual women, and so, they just turn into an epidemic and not people. So, it dehumanizes them in a way. And so, that would be really effective, and also having this data from the database collected and giving indigenous women a way to have to report their family and their friends, and just having that power, which is a basic human right. Having that will hopefully: a) create awareness for the community and have people take it more seriously and b) eventually get the government to help officially recognize that.

Bianca: So what kinds of research methods will your research use and how do these methods bring the community into your work?

Gillian: I think a lot of times people think about research in a very different way than Native culture and communities do. So, when you go to an actual tribe or community in a reservation, and hand out surveys, they would be like “what are you talking about?”. It wouldn’t translate very well. But a really big value with research and doing research, in a way that Native people do, is a lot of discussion. I’ll be going to South Dakota and will talk to tribal elders, members and of course, women to try to understand what they think they need and what they want to see out of it, because that’s the best way to do research: to have those kinds of big round table discussions. For quantitative research, the database will definitely be a big part of that, and it will be directly from indigenous communities. I’ll be able to look at that data and see what’s happening. A lot of times, people report to police officers or they’re reported online, like people post about it on Facebook groups and stuff. So, that data will be collected from those sites and will be put into one place, so that you can actually find it.

Bianca: Why do you think it is important for student researchers or researchers in general to incorporate members of the community into research?

Gillian: So, sometimes it is the difference between helping someone and helping provide the resources to help someone. So, this idea of not talking over people and not implementing something onto the community, but with the community. Especially with Native communities, there’s a long history of people who try to help in a way that is more along the lines of white saviorship than actual help. So, I think when you integrate people from a community into your project, you’re actually helping the community more, because you’re putting their voices first; you’re understanding more about what they actually need and not what you think they need.

Bianca: I agree. So next question, do you have a favorite researcher, community scholar, or activist who inspires you?

Gillian: Hmm, that’s a really good question. I never really thought about that. I don’t know. I’m always really impressed by other Native American women; like regardless of who they are and what they’re doing. Whenever I see them being really active, whether it’s helping their community in general or the broader Native community or general public, it’s always so awesome to see that. You know, it’s inspiring. A lot of times, I think I never see Native women in a public space, so that’s really cool; like Winona Laduke, she’s a Native activist. In general, native women inspire me.

Bianca: You could’ve chosen several different ways to do your research, so why involve the community?

Gillian: Native values and that cultural understanding of putting their voices first are really important to me. I don’t want to talk over anyone, because it should be coming from the survivors and their families, and from the women’s ideas and voices.

Bianca: So, do you anticipate working with any community partners in this research?

Gillian: I haven’t formally signed on with any community partners. In the future, possibly. There’s not a huge amount of Native American Women-specific organizations. I can only think of one: The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, and I’ve talked to them a little. We haven’t formally agreed to anything. I’m sure that there will be other organizations that will be able to help me, or at least help me with resources and guidance. The community is really awesome. I feel like if you ask a question, people will be able to answer it.

Bianca: Okay, so last but not least, is there anything you’d like to say to the Former GW President and Mrs. Knapp for funding the fellowship?

Gillian: Thank you so much! When I heard the news that I won the fellowship, I called my dad and we were both crying, because there’s just nothing that addresses what indigenous women go through and how important Native American women are. So yeah, that’s kind of cool to know that this fellowship is funding something that should’ve been funded long ago, and I’m glad that I can be that person to help get it through and who helped get it funded. So, thank you.

Bianca: Congratulations once again! I think that what you are doing is incredible and super inspiring. 

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