Category: CCBP

Top Engagement Research and Other Achievements Recognized at CCBP 11th Awards Luncheon

  • April 25th, 2017
  • in CCBP

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By Kirsten J. Barnes
CCBP Graduate Assistant

For the 11th consecutive year, The University of Alabama honored the campus and community’s best examples of engagement scholarship and recognized other community-related activities at the Council on Community-Based Partnership’s annual awards ceremony Friday, April 14 in the Bryant Conference Center’s Sellers Auditorium.

As noted by several speakers and by the quality of the projects being recognized, engagement scholarship has made rapid advancements and improvements on the UA campus over these past 11 years.

Engagement scholarship at The University of Alabama, combines the traditions and mission of teaching, research and service in equitable partnerships with communities external to the campus.

“Today we honor those who conduct research in a very special way,” said Dr. James E. McLean, executive director of the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP).

“We honor UA personnel and their community partners for their unique approach to the solution of community problems. However, this approach is far more than just conducting research in another way. This approach addresses all three components of the University’s primary mission of teaching, research and service all at one time.”

With about 200 people looking on, dozens of faculty, staff, students and community members were recognized for their contributions.

Receiving the Outstanding Special Achievement in Community Engagement Award was Dr. Carl A. Pinkert, vice president for the Division of Research and Economic Development. In presenting the award, Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for the Division of Community Affairs, thanked Dr. Pinkert for his support of CCBP, especially in the area of seed funding and other research support. “He has not only helped us secure funds but he has also funded some projects from his own budget,” Pruitt said. Pinkert became vice president of the division in 2013 and has presided over the expansion of UA as a research university. Pinkert received his doctorate from the University of Georgia and has served as a research professor in such institutions as UAB and University of Rochester. Pruitt praised him for raising the campus-wide profile of the University’s research and grants activities.

The year’s recipient of the Dodson Memorial Endowed Scholarship is Charles E. “Chas” Shipman II. Shipman is a junior in computer science from Montgomery, Alabama. He volunteers his time on behalf of dozens of CCBP-facilitated community programs. “Chas is simply the best,” said his supervisor, Yun Fu, CCBP program coordinator. “He works with all of our directors and programs, helping them to perform at their best. He solves our computer problems, monitors supplies, assists staff and serves as supervisor of our work-study students.”

The scholarship is named for Zachary David Dodson, who embodied the best of what engagement scholarship means at UA. Much like this year’s winner, Dodson was involved in most of CCBP’s programs. He died in 2012 on the day he was to have received his University of Alabama degree in economics.

Dr. Pamela Payne-Foster received the Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholar award in the faculty/staff category. Recognized for research related to her dual roles as associate professor of community and rural medicine and deputy director of the Institute for Rural Health Research in UA’s College of Community Health Sciences, Payne-Foster said the award had special meaning. “Sometimes you work so hard and you feel you are not appreciated,” she said. In 2012 she received a multi-year grant in excess of $500,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention related to changing the stigma of HIV/AIDS in rural Alabama. “It feels good to realize people are watching and they recognize your efforts. This is truly an honor.”

Third-year College of Communication and Information Sciences doctoral student Joon Yea Lee is this year’s Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholar in the student category. Lee produces video documentaries and helps CCBP Communication and Research Director Dr. Ed Mullins with press training and assigning of other CCBP students.  “This was a very happy surprise,” said the South Korean native.  “I totally owe it all to Dr. (Ed) Mullins. He is the mentor who guides me through what I need to do. I owe it all to him.” However, Mullins said, “Joon’s work is her own. We are very fortunate to have a student who is also an experienced professional journalist and willing to take on such key duties here at the center.”

Dr. Billy Kirkpatrick, executive director of West Alabama AIDS Outreach, is this year’s Distinguished Community-Engagement Scholar in the community partner category. Kirkpatrick’s work helps to reduce the stigma of the disease among HIV/AIDS patients.

Excellence Awards for Outstanding Engagement Effort were presented to faculty, staff, students and community partners who have identified needs in the community, developed means to address those needs, acted to achieve outcomes, and demonstrated measured success in achieving those outcomes. The recipients were:

Outstanding Faculty-Initiated Engagement Effort — Dr. Jen Nickelson, associate professor of health science; Dr. Kagendo Mutua, professor of special education and multiple abilities; and Dr. David L. Albright, associate professor of social work.

Outstanding Student-Initiated Engagement Effort — Allyson Mitchell, undergraduate student in communicative disorders; Army Lt. Col. John Kilpatrick, social work master’s student; and Ethan Newsome-Jackson, engineering undergraduate student.

Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort — Qiaoli Liang of the Chinese Sisterhood program; Dr. Billy Kirkpatrick, executive director of West Alabama AIDS Outreach; and John Tyson Jr., retired Mobile county district attorney.

Winners of this year’s $5,000 research seed funds were Dr. Tania Alameda-Lawson and Dr. Laura Hopson, both from the School of Social Work, for their project Collective Parent Engagement and Service Learning at Davis-Emerson Middle School; and Craig Wedderspoon, of the art and art history department, for his project Growing Art.

Named to receive travel funds to support community engagement research and scholarship were Brenna Sweetman, geography department, to present her work for the Water Conservation and Effective Watershed Management project in Punta Gorda, Belize; Dr. Kevin Andrew Richards and Victoria Shiver, both in the department of kinesiology, to present their project, The Development of an After-School Program for Youth Placed At-Risk: A Collaborative Approach, in Savannah, Georgia; Douglas Craddock Jr., doctoral student in higher education administration, to present his project, From Greensboro to Greensboro, Contrasting Two Community Partnerships to Propel Men of Color to Success, in Greensboro, North Carolina; Calia Torres, doctoral student in psychology, to present her project, Reducing Disparities with Literacy-Adapted Psychosocial Treatments for Chronic Pain: The Effect of the Lamp Intervention on Patients’ Pain and Psychosocial Functioning, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Dr. Safiya George, associate professor in the Capstone College of Nursing, to present her project, Telemedicine Perceptions of Rural Patients With HIV and Mental Health Issues, in Paris, France.

Three fellowship awards were provided through the Graduate School available in the 2017–2018 funding cycle. They carry a $15,000 stipend payable over fall and spring semesters, a full tuition grant for both semesters and a healthcare stipend. The recipients were Matthew Price, doctoral student in civil, construction and environmental engineering; Kelsey Ann Dyer, master’s student in special education and multiple abilities; and Margaret L. Holloway, doctoral student in English.

Dr. Pruitt provided closing remarks. “We’ve had a great day today and I am so proud of all of those who were honored today and all of those who make this event possible,” he said.

Prior to the awards luncheon, attendees had the opportunity to view a variety of posters depicting research projects across the curriculum. Researchers and their projects included:

  • Dr. Natasha Dimova, assistant professor, geological sciences, and students Jenna Graham, Christine N. Bassett and Hannah Wright, Establishing Alabama GeoKids Initiative
  • Students Peyton Williams, Katherine Metcalf and Chloe Edwards, UA Family Readers Program
  • Dr. Yuehan Lu and students Shuo Chen, Peng Shang, Man Lu, Connor Kirkland and Zachary Stephens, Engaging USDA Scientists and Landowners for Identifying Sources of Nutrient Pollution in Agricultural Watersheds
  • Student Andrea K. Newman, Health Care Utilization and Opioid Prescriptions in Low-Income Settings
  • Parent Teacher Leadership Academy participants Kim Pate, Brandy Hicks and Emily Glasgow, Betsy Bulldog
  • UA Instructor Teri Henley and student Lindsay Rudoff, Capstone Agency/Campus Veterans’ Association Collaboration 
  • Parent Teacher Leadership Academy participants Brittany Harris, Samara Early and Nakami Townsell, Shh…Don’t BUG us, We are Reading! 
  • Student April Caddell, Remote Tutoring: Technology Use in University Partnerships 
  • Parent Teacher Leadership Academy participants Danny Morales, Hillary Stephens and Rebecca Wheat, Bow Ties and Bows & Hats and Heels 
  • Dr. Michelle Bachelor Robinson, assistant professor, English, and students Khirsten L. Echols, Margaret Holloway and Candace Chambers, #blackgirls4change: The Hobson City 9, Using PhotoVoice to Cultivate Community and Create Change 
  • Students Kaleb Murry, Keisha Carden Ivey, Deanna Dragan and Christopher Spencer, Project SOAR: Using CBPR to Bridge the Campus-to-Community Gap 
  • Dr. Richard Streiffer, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences, and fellows Courtney Rentas, August Anderson, Judson Russell and Laura Beth Brown, The University of Alabama/Pickens County Partnership: A Health Care Teaching County 
  • Student Talmage McDonald and April Cadelle, Summer Literacy in Motion 
  • Dr. Jen Nickelson, associate professor in the Department of Health Science, and student Dashauna Ballard, Combining CBPR and Engaged Scholarship to Conduct Nutritional and Physical Activity Audits in an Underserved Community 
  • Parent Teacher Leadership Academy participants Christy Byars, Amy Thames, Matt Wilson, Kirstin Hall, Mirella Ruelas and Elvia Casillas, Charge Up TIS 
  • Dr. Jen Nickelson, associate professor in the Department of Health Science, and students Dashauna Ballard and Kristen Allen, Building Trust Among Community Partners by Understanding Their History.Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of the College of Education, is chair of the Council on Community-Based Partnerships, a 150-member community-based research leadership organization with membership composed of community members and faculty, staff and students representative of all academic divisions of campus.

Chinese New Year Celebration Draws More Than 400 Participants

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By Jianlong Yang
CCBP Student Assistant

A Chinese New Year party to celebrate the Year of the Rooster at the UA Ferguson Center on January 29 drew more than 400 attendees from Chinese and local families and University faculty and staff.

The event was co-sponsored by the Chinese Sisterhood of Tuscaloosa, the UA Division of Community Affairs and two of its affiliated units, the Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP) and Crossroads Community Center. The Sisterhood is composed of both UA students and members of the Tuscaloosa area Chinese community.

“Chinese Sisterhood Tuscaloosa is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization with the mission of promoting heritage, education and community in ways that enable groups from different backgrounds to learn and understand the culture of others,” said Yun Fu, CCBP program coordinator and one of the event organizers.

Sisterhood president Qiaoli Lang, a UA staff member in the chemistry department, said, “We decided to make it bigger and more inclusive this year.”

Guests, who were greeted by signs reading “Happy Spring Festival” in Chinese characters, were served with many traditional homemade Chinese foods of the kind not usually found in commercial Chinese restaurants.

The celebration included a Chinese Dragon Dance, directed by Yan Wang; Kids Fashion Show, directed by Xiao Tong; Thai Chi, directed by Yun Fu; Qipao Fashion Walk, directed by Fu and Qiaoli Liang; Chinese Qipao Dance, directed by Fu; a skit entitled “Beautiful Roster,” directed by Shan Jiang; Kids Musical, directed by Yibing Liu; Chinese Radio Aerobics and a session called Zumba Workout.

Performers and many attendees were dressed in Qipao (traditional women’s attire), Tangzhuang (traditional jacket), and many other traditional Chinese costumes.

Chinese New Year, also known in China as the Spring Festival, is an important Chinese festival celebrated at the turn of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar, a type of calendar whose dates indicate both the moon phase and the time of the solar year.

Every 12 years there is a Rooster year, always after a Monkey year and before a Dog year. The official Chinese New Year began January 28 and will last until February 15, 2018.

The purpose of the celebration is expressed in the traditional phrase “good health, good luck, and much happiness throughout the year.”

Liang said the events provide a way to help Chinese children in the community connect with their culture. The Sisterhood’s Chinese school helps with language courses, because learning a new language is especially difficult as you age.

A special service of CCBP is its Language Partners Program in which University students work with foreign students to teach them English one on one. The program pairs volunteers — most of whom are students working in CCBP — with visiting faculty members and international students who want to improve their English speaking and writing skills, learn more about American culture and become better oriented to the University and Tuscaloosa.

Fu is the program’s coordinator and is currently seeking volunteers. She may be reached at 205-348-7392 or at

Center for Community-Based Partnerships (CCBP) to Hold 10th Annual Awards Program and Luncheon

TUSCALOOSA – A special awards program recognizing the best of engaged scholarship conducted by faculty, staff, student and community teams turns 10 years old on Friday, April 29. Activities begin with research poster presentations at 10 a.m., with the luncheon and program following at 11:30 in Sellers Auditorium of the Bryant Conference Center.

 “The Excellence in Community Engagement Awards is one of the most important events on our calendar,” said Dr. Samory T. Pruitt, vice president for the Division of Community Affairs. “The ceremony brings campus and community together to give much-deserved recognition for the many examples of campus-community collaboration that take place each year.”

 Special guests in attendance will be members of the newly created Community Affairs Board of Advisors, which is holding its first meeting on Thursday, April 28 at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Its purpose is to support campus-wide initiatives that encourage student success and retention, facilitate entrepreneurship, and support innovation and global leadership.

Among the awards to be presented are the following:

 • Tera “CeeCee” Johnson, a junior in psychology, will receive the Zachary David Dodson Memorial Endowed Scholarship. This is the second year of the award named for the late CCBP work-study student.

• Dr. Beverly E. Thorn, professor of psychology, will receive the faculty Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholar award for her leadership, research and dedication to the people of Alabama.

 • Calia Torres, doctoral student in clinical psychology, Dr. Thorn’s student, will receive the student Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholar award for her work with Whatley Health Services.

 • Deborah Tucker will receive the community partner Distinguished Community-Engaged Scholar Award for her commitment to community service as CEO of Whatley Health Services.

Receiving Outstanding Faculty-Initiated Engagement Effort awards will be Thorn; Dr. Rebecca Allen, professor of psychology; Teri Henley, instructor of advertising and public relations; and Dr. Teresa Wise, associate provost for International Education and Global Outreach.

Fan Yang, doctoral student in social work, will receive an award for Outstanding Student-Initiated Engagement Effort. Two awards will be given for Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort. Alberta McCrory, mayor of Hobson City, Alabama will receive one of the awards, and Buddy Kirk, Patti Presley-Fuller, and Rep. Alan Harper, all of Pickens County, will receive the other.

 A highlight of the event each year is the presentation of research posters, which may be viewed before and after the awards program. This year a record 21 posters were accepted for presentation. Dr. Jen Nickelsen, associate professor of health science, oversees this activity and is also chair of the Travel Funds Committee. She will announce names of those receiving travel support for 2016-17.

 Dr. Laurie Bonnici, chair of the Proposal and Seed Funding Committee, will announce names of the 2016-17 seed fund recipients. Dr. Rebecca Allen, who oversees the graduate fellowship awards, will announce names of those recipients. Calia Torres and “CeeCee” Johnson, co-chair the Student Involvement and Support Committee, will give a report on their committee’s activities during the past year. And Amanda Waller, chair of the Community Partnership Support Committee, will give the report for that committee.

 Dr. David A. Francko, dean of the Graduate School, is chair of the CCBP Executive Committee responsible for the annual awards program. After Friday’s program, Francko will step down from his CCBP position. Dr. Peter Hlebowitsh, dean of the College of Education, will succeed Francko as Executive Committee chair.    

Dr. David Francko
Tera CeCe Johnson
Calia Torres-2
Calia Torres
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Deborah Tucker
Dr. Beverly Thorn