Communities and state to benefit from engagement incentive grants from K-State's Center for Engagement and Community Development
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Source: David Procter, 785-532-6868 or

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009


MANHATTAN -- A statewide project evaluating health care for the underserved, a Shakespeare workshop for high school teachers, a healthy snacks initiative and a learning garden for a Manhattan elementary school are the four projects that will be funded by Kansas State University's Center for Engagement and Community Development.

The Center for Engagement and Community Development works with campus and K-State Extension professionals across the state to leverage campus resources to address important issues in communities across Kansas. David Procter, center director, said projects receiving funding are:

* "Development and Promotion of Healthy Snack Products for School Children" is a collaborative project of K-State's Sajid Alavi, associate professor of grain science and industry; Koushik Adhikari and Tandalayo Kidd, both assistant professors of human nutrition; and Nancy Muturi, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications. This project will address obesity and lack of fiber in daily diets by engaging the problem at its roots. The team plans to determine attitudes toward nutritive snacks, develop grain-based nutritive snacks, evaluate nutritive snacks and develop an outreach program with the snack processing industry and middle schools in northeast Kansas regarding processing challenges and health benefits of nutritive snacks.

* "Design and Development of the Northview Elementary Learning Garden" is under the leadership of Katie Kingery-Page and Jon D. Hunt, both assistant professors of landscape architecture and regional and community planning. They will work with the department of landscape architecture and regional and community planning and the Northview Learning Garden committee to develop the schematic design into more specific plans for a new, child-friendly, learning garden at Northview Elementary School in Manhattan. Rhonda Janke, K-State associate professor of horticulture, forestry and recreation resources and a horticulture specialist, will serve as a consultant on the project. Riley County Extension also will provide advice and consultation.

* "Measuring and Analyzing Efficiency of Safety Net Clinics" will be a statewide project led by K-State's David Ben-Arieh, professor, and John Wu, associate professor, both of industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. Safety net clinics provide health care to underserved populations in the state of Kansas. This study will utilize information collected by the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved and will provide an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of each safety net clinic to help the clinics improve.

"Summer Institute: Camp Shakespeare," is a statewide project led by K-State's Donald Hedrick, professor of English, along with Charlotte MacFarland, K-State professor theater, and Mary-Kris Roberson and Linda Uthoff, faculty members at Manhattan High School. The weeklong workshop will provide eight to 10 Kansas high school literature and drama teachers the opportunity for a week of intensive and active experience combining Shakespeare's theatricality and language, play study and performance. Project leaders hope the workshop will create new teaching techniques for high school language arts teachers, as well as foster more understanding at the university level of the previous preparation and the needs of students when they arrive on campus.

The next call for proposals will be due April 1.