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College of Human Ecology

K-State Center for Engagement and Community Development awards Engagement Incentive Grants

Friday, February 29, 2008

MANHATTAN -- Curbing teen violence, providing HIV/AIDS education, developing rural leadership and promoting volunteerism are among the projects receiving the most recent Engagement Incentive Grants from Kansas State University's Center for Engagement and Community Development.

"We are pleased by both the diversity of the proposals and the important topics they address," said David Procter, director of the Center for Engagement and Community Development.

The five projects selected for funding are:

* "Romeo and Juliet": A Theatrical Response to Youth and Young Adult Violence. Principal investigator is R. Michael Gros, assistant professor of theater at K-State. A production of the well-known play "Romeo and Juliet" will be part of a project to increase awareness of youth violence and suicide prevention among teens and young adults through a target, coordinated curriculum and other activities. The project will involve partner faculty at Manhattan High School and Topeka High School, with workshops at the two schools, as well as through the K-State residence life program, and pre- and post-performance discussions on youth violence and suicide prevention. Once the grant activities are complete, a DVD and revised curriculum on increasing awareness of youth violence and suicide prevention will be made available to Kansas educators. Also involved in the project are K-State's Sally Bailey, associate professor of theater and head of K-State's drama therapy program; Karen Myers-Bowman, associate professor of family studies and human services; and Susan Allen, director of nonviolence education.

* Engaging the Engagers: What Excite the University Extension Agent? This research project will look at the contagion effects of engagement and stress that cooperative extension agents may experience, all to better understand the impact on the people with whom the agents interact. The project also will examine levels of work-family conflict for the agents to help identify potential ways to increase satisfaction, productivity and retention of agents. Lead investigators are Satoris Youngcourt, assistant professor, and Clive Fullagar, associate professor, both of psychology.

* Rural Engagement and Action Leadership Project. Principal investigator is Ron Wilson, director of K-State's Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development. Up to 10 people will be selected for this project, with preference given to those who have completed some type of leadership program. Participants will identify a key issue or problem in their community or region that they would like to address. Each participant will receive a $500 minigrant to work on the issue and will be linked with university faculty who have the expertise to help. The goal is to develop action plans and put them into place. The project is coordinated by the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development and is in partnership with the Kansas Leadership Forum and faculty in the Kansas Agricultural Rural Leadership Program; the K-State College of Engineering's recruitment and leadership development; the department of management in the K-State College of Business Administration; and K-State Research and Extension.

* Using Public Deliberation in Assessing Social Service Assets and needs. A project to help the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan determine what volunteer resources would best serve the community. The study will organize a community needs assessment on social services. In collaboration with the Social Services Advisory Board for the city of Manhattan, the United Way of Riley County and K-State's Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, five public forums will be conducted in Manhattan and Ogden. The project will determine how best to mobilize volunteers to meet the two communities' social service needs; develop and improve student community leadership and civic engagement through classroom service-learning; and to help build community capacity to engage citizens in public dialogue on community issues. Primary contacts for the project are Mary Tolar, associate director for K-State leadership studies and programs, and Lynda Bachelor, coordinator of the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan.

* Health Literacy for HIV/AIDS Prevention Among Minority Women: A Community-based Participatory Approach. The project will study how to develop effective strategies to promote the HIV/AIDS health literacy of minority women in Kansas, as well as how to execute intervention programs. The project will use a community-based participatory approach involving the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at K-State, the Huck Boyd Center for Community Media at K-State, the Geary County office of K-State Research and Extension in Junction City and the Regional Aids Project. The first year of the project will focus on African-American women, and the second year on Latina women, the two segments of the population with the highest HIV/AIDS infection rate. Students in K-State's communication campaigns course, which uses a community service learning approach, will help with the research and development of health educational materials and messages and the actual implementation of a communication campaign. Minority community members also will help with developing the media materials and messages. Principal investigators for the project are Nancy Muturi, assistant professor, and Soontae An, associate professor, both of journalism and mass communications at K-State.

The deadline for applications for spring 2008 Engagement Incentive Grants is Tuesday, April 1. More information is available from the Center for Engagement and Community Development in 202 Ahearn Field House or by calling 785-532-6868. More information also is available online at http://www.k-state.edu/cecd

Source: David Procter, 785-532-7260, dprocter@k-state.edu

This article was posted on Friday, February 29, 2008, and is filed under Family Studies & Human Services.