Title: “Assessment of City Schoolyard Garden at Buford Middle School as an Educational Community Space” Student Researcher: Erin Block, 3rd year Psychology major Faculty Advisor: Paul Freedman, Politics Community Partner: Buford Middle School
Erin’s study will involve the creation and execution of a longitudinal assessment of the City Schoolyard Garden at Buford Middle School. The assessment will focus on the impact of the garden as an experiential learning environment for students and as an international resource for Buford teachers.
Title: “Freire's Pedagogy, Language, and Western Volunteerism in Modern Brazil” Student Researcher: Suzanne Hodges, 3rd year Foreign Affairs and Anthropology major Faculty Advisor: Yarimar Bonilla, Anthropology Community Partner: Associacao Educativo-Cultural Tarcilia E. de Andrade (AEC-TEA)
Suzanne will observe English language instruction by volunteer organizations in Rio de Janeiro and Capim Grosso, Brazil. She will analyze the impact of different organizational approaches and cultural exchange between society, instructor and student on developed perceptions of Westerners and the social dynamic of the ESL classroom based on Paulo Freire's theories of pedagogy. She will apply her findings to improve volunteer ESL instruction methods and class attendance for Brazilians and peoples of various developing and newly emerging countries integrating themselves into US society.
Title: “Young Women Leaders Program Cultural Exchange and Research for Future Site in Panama City” Student Researcher: Hannah Lambert, 3rd year English and Spanish major Faculty Advisor: Edith Lawrence, Curry School of Education Community Partner: Young Women Leaders Program
Using their successful format for international expansion, Hannah will research the feasibility of expanding the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP) to Panama City, Panama. A pilot exchange of letters and artifacts has occurred between girls in Panama and local YWLP girls. Hannah will spend two months in Panama 1.) evaluating the pilot program 2.) identifying salient issues facing adolescent girls in Panama; and 3) assessing the feasibility of establishing a 'sister site'.
Title: “Alternate Approaches to Violence Against Women” Student Researchers: Emily Ramirez, 2nd year Spanish major, and Katherine Connolly, 2nd year Drama major Faculty Advisor: Sharon Davie, Women’s Center Community Partner: Centro Arte para la Paz
Katherine and Emily will travel to Suchitoto, El Salvador to volunteer with the Centro Arte para la Paz and work with the local community to investigate and effectively understand the role that alternative nonviolence education has on building a culture of peace and fostering community engagement. They will interview varying community members and create an assessment rubric to evaluate the strengths and possibilities of the project.
Title: “Plowing the Way for Sustainability: Researching Farming Techniques with the Local Food Hub to Improbe the Local Food System” Student Researchers: Rowan Sprague, 2nd year Civil and Environmental Engineering major Faculty Advisor: Paxton Marshall, Electrical Engineering Community Partner: Local Food Hub
The purpose of Rowan’s project is to collaborate with the Local Food Hub to research season extension and harvested produce preparation methods used by farms in the local area. With a one acre plot of land at Morven Farm in Charlottesville, VA serving as an outdoor laboratory, the project will build off of previous research of the STS 2500 Sustainable Agriculture class to explore improvements to these farming techniques.
Title: “Learning from Bangladesh: An Evaluation of the Transferability of Micro-finance and Social Enterprise Models of Poverty Alleviation” Student Researchers: Amara Warren, 2nd year undeclared major, and Garrett Trent, Master’s student in Commerce Faculty Advisor: Brad Brown Community Partner: DC Central Kitchen
Amara and Garrett will study BRAC, a non-profit organization located in Bangladesh. They will travel to Bangladesh to examine how BRAC’s holisitic model of poverty alleviation and social enterprises enable community development within a micro-finance framework. In addition, they will investigate how variations of this model could be utilized in poverty alleviation efforts in the U.S., specifically in the revenue generating initiatives of the DC Central Kitchen.