Impact grant recipients 2020-21

The inaugural CEnR Impact Grant was developed in partnership with VCU Real and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Preference was given to proposals that advanced innovative CEnR methods and evaluation tools into a pre-existing undergraduate course or co-curricular learning experiences and aimed to support students’ social mobility and career readiness through exposure to high-impact educational practices addressing issues of equity and justice.

The following were awarded Community-Engaged Research Impact Grants in the 2020-21 academic year:

Public Relations Research Partnership with the Sacred Heart Center: For a Thriving Latino Community

Baobao Song, Ph.D., assistant professor
Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture


Students in the public relations research course will partner with the Sacred Heart Center of Richmond to complete a service-learning public relations project to address the educational and economic inequity issues faced by the local underrepresented Latino families.

Strategic Sourcing for Food Security

David Berdish, adjunct instructor
School of Business

Students in supply chain management and analytics will gain real-world experiences and skills necessary for careers in strategic sourcing and procurement while working to address food insecurity in Church Hill, Richmond’s East End and Charles City.

Textile Waste Not Want Not: Creating Value by Diversion

Kimberly Guthrie, assistant professor
School of the Arts

Students will learn about and address the issue of post consumer textile waste, including a lack of awareness about the issue and education on the innovations and the environmental benefits to mitigating the problem.

Arts-Based Methods as a Culturally Responsive Approach to Understanding the Experiences of Black Mothers

Nicole Corley, Ph.D., assistant professor
School of Social Work

Students will be exposed to a culturally responsive, arts-based research project that uses collage making as a storytelling technique to better understand the experiences of Black mothers.

Enhancing Student Empathy and Civic Engagement in a Community-Engaged Pediatric Asthma Research Program

Robin Everhart, Ph.D., associate professor
College of Humanities and Sciences

This project will enhance student empathy and civic engagement by incorporating teaching tools and learning experiences focused on health equity within the context of an already existing community-engaged research lab. Specifically, students will be an integral part of the RVA Breathes team, an NIH-funded community asthma program for elementary-age children, and will complete a self-assessment on empathy, reflective writing and work closely with community partners and other team members on different phases of the research project.

Community-Engaged Research in the Biomedical Engineering Classroom

Anathea Pepperl, Ph.D. assistant professor
College of Engineering

Students involved in this CEnR project will train biomedical engineering students on how to interact with the medical community and community-based practitioners in order to produce design solutions to address the ability of lay rescuers to perform a pulse check during CPR. This can improve patient outcomes and address health equity in underserved populations.

Cultivating Children's Resilience through Community-Based Art Education

Yi Wen Wei, Ph.D., assistant professor
School of the Arts

This project will enhance VCU Art Education students’ teaching and learning experiences in K-12 school settings, particularly in low-income communities. VCU Art Education students will first conduct an in-depth study on the local community and then design an art project responding to the children’s needs, such as healing trauma through art.

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