Previously Funded Projects

2016-2017 Recipients

Building a Better Binford: VCU Art of Nursing Goes to School

Community Partners: Binford Middle School (BMS); Communities in Schools (CIS)
Primary VCU Contact: Sara Wilson McKay
VCU Partners: Departments of Art Education and Family & Community Health Nursing

BMS has targeted relationship building as a focus for the 2016-17 year in order to improve the learning and working environment. The VCU Art of Nursing program, an established museum-based interprofessional collaboration, has demonstrated improved perception, communication and reflection skills for beginning nursing students. Based on successes drawing parallels to practice in a healthcare setting, VCU Art of Nursing will implement this methodology at BMS to increase appreciation and value of diversity in staff, administration, parents and students.

MITI Meals: A Hands-On Approach to Nourishing Families

Community Partner: Shalom Farms 
Primary VCU Contact: Suzanne Mazzeo
VCU Partners: Departments of Kinesiology & Health Sciences, Pediatrics and Psychology

Many low-income residents of Richmond lack consistent access to healthy foods and are at high risk for obesity. Previous community-based participatory research identified needs for increased access to high quality foods and experiential learning activities that enable residents to overcome barriers to nutritous eating. This project will catalyze these efforts while also offering VCU students community-engaged learning opportunities and providing data for future grant applications.

STEM Exploration and Enrichment Academy

Community Partner: Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS)
Primary VCU Contact: Jaqueline Smith-Mason
VCU Partners: Life Sciences - Center for the Study of Biological Complexity; The Honors College

The needs of high ability middle-school learners are often overlooked because it is assumed that they have access to the resources required for success. However, not all student identified as gifted and high ability learners have access to financial resources or parental involvement needed to support prosperity. This project will address this resource gap by connecting VCU students with HCPS high ability middle-schoolers in order to provide an experiential learning opportunity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). 

Strengthening a Community-Engaged Research Partnership to Promote Diabetes Management in Richmond

Community Partner: YMCA of Greater Richmond
Primary VCU Contact: Briana Mezuk
VCU Partners: Departments of Family Medicine & Population Health - Division of Epidemiology and Psychology

Over one in 10 adults in Richmond have diabetes, which can be well-controlled with intensive behaviroal self-management. However, few self-management programs exist that are designed to reach groups with limited economic resources. Using a mixed-methods approach, this project will address this disparity by identifying and disseminating best practices for community-oriented diabetes self-management programs, engaging students in community-based research and building sustainable research capacity on diabetes within Richmond through establishment of a Community Advisory Board.

Training Latino Residents in Mental Health First Aid

Community Partner: The Sacred Heart Center
Primary VCU Contacts: Rosalie Coronoa, Shelby McDonald
VCU Partners: Department of Psychology; Schools of Social Work and Medicine - Division of Epidemiology

Latinos are not likely to seek and receive mental treatment because of language barriers, limited availability of bilingual providers and mental health stigma. Thus, there continues to be a significant gap in the mental health services available to Latinos in Richmond. This project will train Latino residents in Mental Health First Aid, an intervention program that provides participants with skills and knowledge about mental health issues.

Designing a Place to Be: A University-Community Partnership for Addressing the Needs of Adults with Autism

Community Partner: A Grace Place
Primary VCU Contact: Staci Carr
VCU Partners: Departments of Gerontology and Interior Design; Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment of People with Physical Disabilities (VCU-RRTC)

Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopment disorder; however, the developmental trajectory as adults with autism age is not well understood. With the rise in recognition of the disorder, adult outcomes have become an increasing priority for this population. This project will forge a course of research that identifies best practices supporting the needs of aging adults with Autism while optimizing quality of life.

All Previously Funded Projects

Download the complete list of Community Engagement Grant Recipients. (PDF)

Impact and Sponsored Scholarship

Since 2007, over 199 scholarly products have been developed with the support of community engagement grants. Students involved in these experiences have also advanced their own scholarship through activities such as dissertation research, website development and conference presentations. For every dollar of seed funding invested, the community engagement grants have generated $3.00 from external funding sources to sustain projects and support partnerships. 

For more information on grant leverage and impact, download the Community Engagement Grants 2007-17 Snapshot (PDF).

Community Engagement Grant Sponsored Scholarship