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K-State Today

June 22, 2016



Associate professor Jani receives Center for Engagement and Community Development Incentive Grant

By Thomas Jackson

Vibhavari Jani, associate professor in the interior architecture & product design department in the College of Architecture, Planning and Design was notified recently that her project, "Engaging the Design Students in Developing An Agricultural Training Facility Prototype to Assist the Veterans" was selected for the Kansas State University Center for Engagement and Community Development, or CECD, Engagement Incentive Grant. 

Since 2010, Jani has worked with veterans and Fort Riley medical staff to understand how designers can assist and facilitate the veterans' rehabilitation process. In 2014, Jani met retired Col. Gary LaGrange who established the Service Members Agricultural Vocation Education, or SAVE, organization to assist service members requiring wellness and vocational assistance. The organization is a 503C nonprofit organization established to assist veterans transitioning to civilian life. The organization proposes to train service members and veterans who are interested in farming to overcome the shortfall of 100,000 farmers our nation faces today.

The Kansas State University Center for Engagement and Community Development Incentive grant will enable Jani to involve the design students in developing SAVE's farm training campus where service members can receive vocational and healing assistance. This community-based, multidisciplinary, collaborative research and design project will incorporate service learning and evidence based design pedagogy, and is designed to develop communication, team building, collaboration and leadership skills within the student body.

The SAVE Farm and Healing Center Project is envisioned as a model program that other universities can adapt, and will strengthen the economic and social wellbeing of the people of our state and the country.