Community Based Research


2012 Community Based Undergraduate Research Grants Recipients

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  • Title: Exploring Alternative Energy Technologies for the Islamic High School
    Student Researchers: River Bennett, Political and Social Thought and Kodjo Messan, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
    Faculty Advisor: Bob Swap, Environmental Science
    Community Partner: Islamic High School Kumbo

    This group will focus on access to reliable energy sources in rural communitieis. Since this issue is most apparent in developing countries, the group will investigate the restraints that varying acess to electricity place on a high school in Bamenda, Cameroon. By researching potential technologies that best utilize local alternative energy sources, they hope to work with the high school to discover a viable and consistent energy supply for the future.

  • Title: The Young Women Leaders Program HerStory Cameroon: Photo Documentary
    Student Researcher: Roxanne Campbell, Studio Art
    Faculty Advisor: Winx Lawrence, Human Services
    Community Partner: Lycee Bilngue de Dschang

    This project will use the Young Women Leaders Program's (YWLP) technology curriculum to teach digital media skills to YWLP girls in Cameroon. The project will teach the girls digitial media technology using the YWLP HerStory curriculum and help them produce their own phot documentaries about an issue of importance to them. Roxanne will assess the feasibility of implementing the YWLP HerStory curriculum in other sites.

  • Title: U.Va. and the Smart Grid: Incentivizing Energy Efficiency in the UVA community
    Student Researchers: Thomas Heekin, Systems Engineering and Matthew Boegner, Systems Engineering
    Faculty Advisor: Michael Gorman, Science, Technology and Society
    Community Partner: UVA Facilities Management

    Thomas and Matthew will work closely with the Energy and Utilities division of U.Va. Facilities Management to explore "Smart Grid" technology as a solution to the challenge of efficient energy distribution. They will investigate how knowledge of one's real-time energy use and energy costs affect consumption decisions and design of green initiatives. Based on community research and engagement, this project will develop and rank alternative incentive strategies for reducing energy use during peak times.

  • Title: Quantification of Waste Production and Effects on Water Quality in Piriati Embrera, Panama
    Student Researchers: Trevor Klein, Environmental Science and Margaret Dawson, Religious Studies
    Faculty Advisor: Michael Timko, Biology
    Community Partner: Global Brigades, Inc.

    This project hopes to provide Global Brigades with a quantitative analysis of the amount of recyclable and non-recyclable waste produced by the community of Piriati Embrera on a weekly basis, in order to assess the need for a community waste management center. Furthermore, this project will analyze the effects of current waste management procedures on local water supplies.

  • Title: Developing Garden Curricula for Elementary Education in Charlottesville City Schools
    Student Researcher: Libby Lyon, Urban and Environmental Engineering
    Faculty Advisor: Eleanor Wilson, Curry School of Education
    Community Partner: Buford Schoolyard Garden

    Libby will research garden-based curricula for elementary school-aged students and develop multiple four to six week lesson plans to be implemented in Charlottesvlle City elementary schoolyard gardens. This is an extension of a yearlong independent study conducted during the 2011-2012 school yaer, which involved working with Charlottesville City elementary schools to implement schoolyard garden programs.

  • Title: Working to Increase Access of a Women's Cooperative to Larger Regional and Global Communities
    Student Researcher: Kelsey Patterson, Foreign Affairs
    Faculty Advisor: Robert Swap, Environmental Sciences
    Community Partner: Associa o Desenvolvimento Chizavane

    Kelsey will travel to Chizavane, Mozambique to study the consumer base and the product popularity of artisan goods present at the Associa o Desenvolvimento Chizavane, (ADC), women's cooperative. She hopes to determine what impediments the women face to widening their market base. She will work with the tight knit community of women to assess the feasibility of expanding the market through strategic marketing techniques such as an informational website and local brochure distribution.

  • Title: Using Appreciative Inquiry to Develop a Health Education Curriculum in Limpopo Province
    Student Researcher: Cassandra Pruitt, Bioethics
    Faculty Advisor: Anita Thompson-Heisterman, Nursing
    Community Partner: University of Venda

    Often, peoples of underdeveloped countries are viewed only in terms of what they are lacking, overlooking the positive aspects of their lives and strengths of their communities. Using an appreciative inquiry approach to needs assessment, Cassandra proposes combining these ideas of needs and talents. Working with local villagers and those involved in the Water and Health in Limpopo (WHIL) project, Cassandra will develop a health curriculum that both meets the needs and reinforces the strenths of the people in Limpopo Province, South Africa.