News Features

CECD sponsors engagement incentive grants, helps Kansans

K-State Engagement E-News, March 2008 (PDF)

by Stephanie Faulk

CECD sponsors engagement incentive grants. These grants inspire K-State faculty to take on civic-minded projects that not only benefit professors and students, but also Kansas communities. Incentive grants can serve as a stimulus that moves a great idea to action. In fall 2007, five proposals received funding. A summary of each project is listed below.

Rural engagement and action leadership (REAL) project

Coordinators of this project will train Kansas citizens to solve important issues in their local communities. Up to 10 participants will be chosen for the study; then they will be given $500 to address a key problem in their community. Participants will receive the help of K-State faculty in their endeavors.

The REAL project is coordinated by K-State’s Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development in partnership with the Kansas Leadership Forum and K-State faculty.

Principle Investigator: Ron Wilson

Engaging the engagers: What excites the university extension agent?

This research project will examine how extension agents work and interact with their peers and target publics. The team argues that extension agents who are engaged in their own work will in turn engage their publics more effectively. Investigators hope to identify ways to increase extension agent satisfaction, productivity and long-term retention.

Principle Investigators: Satoris Youngcourt and Clive Fullagar

Using public deliberation in assessing social service assets and needs

This study will assess social services needs in both Manhattan and Ogden, Kan. A research team will host five public forums to determine how to improve civic engagement and leadership. The team also hopes to explore classroom service-learning projects and help engage citizens in public dialogue on important community issues.

The project is coordinated by K-State’s Department of Leadership Studies and the Volunteer Center of Manhattan.

Principle Investigators: Lynda Bachelor and Mary Tolar

Romeo & Juliet: A theatrical response to youth and young adult violence

It is often said that the fictional world can inspire real-world action. Coordinators of this project will test this very premise in their production of Romeo and Juliet. A team of investigators will look at the relationship between theater production and increased awareness about the issues of youth violence and suicide prevention.

The project is spearheaded by faculty in the K-State Theater Department and the Project for Non-Violence. The team will work with faculty and students in Topeka and Manhattan high schools. After the grant activities are completed, a DVD and revised curriculum guide will be made available to Kansas educators.

Principle Investigator: R. Michael Gros

Health literacy for HIV/AIDS prevention among minority women: a community approach

Minority women in the United States often have a lower level of health literacy than other segments of the population. This investigation will work to remedy the problem by developing strategies to promote health literacy in Kansas African American and Latina women. Students in a K-State journalism class will practice community-service learning and develop the messages and materials for the campaign.

This project is coordinated by the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, the Huck Boyd Center for Community Media, the Regional AIDS Project, and the K-State Geary County Research and Extension Office in Junction City, Kan.

Principle Investigators: Nancy Muturi and Soontae An

Applications for the spring 2008 round of Engagement Incentive Grants are due April 1, 2008. For more information, please contact the Center for Engagement and Community Development at (785) 532-6868 or by visiting www.k-state.edu/cecd.