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.