Community Based Research


2016 Community Based Undergraduate Research Grants Recipients

 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

  • Title: Creation of a Filter Factory in Hammanskraal, South Africa: Filter Optimization
    Student Researchers: Charles Burgis and  John Panagides
    Faculty Advisor: Dr. James Smith
    Community Partner: PureMadi and Khulisa
    In 2015, a team of students partnered with PureMadi and Khulisa to create the infrastructure for a ceramic water filter factory in Hammanskraal, South Africa.  Our team plans to return to this factory in the summer of 2016 to further develop the filter making process by experimentally optimizing the clay-sawdust-water formulation for filter manufacturing based on available local materials.
  • Title: Continuing Healthy Habits: Examining Connection to Families and Re-Emphasizing Place-Based Learning
    Student Researchers: Maeve Curtin, Grace Sheridan, Megan Dister, Emma Kingsbury, and Patrick Mahan
    Faculty Advisor: Eileen Merritt
    Community Partner: City Schoolyard Garden at Burnley-Moran Elementary School
    Environmental education programs can increase children’s ecological, social, and civic wellbeing.
    Our team hypothesizes that place-based gardening and cooking during the Healthy Habits Club at Burnley-Moran Elementary School will increase students’ nutritional knowledge, practical skills, and desire to share healthy habits. These objectives will be measured through student surveys and analyzed using categorical statistical software. We expect that the healthy habits the students cultivate will transcend their time at club to positively influence their lives.
  • Title: Holistic Improvement of Maternal Health on the Sisseton-Wahpeton-Oyate Reservation: A Community-Driven and Technologically-Integrated Approach
    Student Researchers: Nivedha Kannapadi, Evelyn Immonen, and Jack Hitchcock
    Faculty Advisor: David Edmunds
    Community Partner: Sisseton-Wahpeton-Oyate Tribal Health Program and Aliive
    This study seeks to determine the efficacy of using a tablet application, operated by trained community healthcare workers (CHW), as a diagnostic and informational tool for pregnant women on the Sisseton-Wahpeton-Oyate (SWO) reservation. Based on community input from focus group discussions, our team will develop a tablet application and facilitate CHW training. Data will be collected to assess the improvements in maternal healthcare, generated from this approach.
  • Title: Controlling Urban Runoff: The Role of Enhanced Bioretention
    Student Researchers: Breanna Mariano and Perrin Falkner
    Faculty Advisor: Teresa B. Culver
    Community Partner: City of Charlottesville
    In efforts to effectively reduce stormwater pollutants and meet Total Maximum Daily
    Load requirements in Charlottesville, Virginia, a newly enhanced bioretention system
    was implemented at Venable Elementary in July 2015. University of Virginia students
    will collect stormwater samples and determine through data analysis if this enhanced
    bioretention system reduces stormwater runoff better than previous systems. If this new
    system yields positive results, the city can widely implement it to be more cost-effective
    and sustainable.
  • Title: Determining the Cultural Acceptability and Feasibility of Self-Screening for Cervical Cancer in Bluefields, Nicaragua
    Student Researchers: Yolande Pokam Tchuisseu, Hala Al Kallas, Kaelor Gordon, and Mariana Forero
    Faculty Advisor: Emma Mitchell
    Community Partner: Centro de Derechos Humanos Cuidadanos y Autonomicos

    Cervical cancer is a prevalent health issue in Nicaragua. Through interview and focus group with key informants in the community of Bluefields, Nicaragua, our team will work on a hyposthesis-generating study to determine the cultural acceptability and feasibility of cervical cancer screening methods. This research seeks to determine the necessary community informed set of recommendations in order to allow for the possible implementation of an evidence-based intervention to increase cervical cancer in Bluefields, Nicaragua.
  • Title: Age-Friendly Communities Research Project
    Student Researcher: Catherine Tatman
    Faculty Advisor: Daphne Spain
    Community Partner: Senior Center of Charlottesville and seven more Charlottesville NPO
    This research project is designed to aid a coalition of Non-Profit Organizations to move forward in their vision to make Charlottesville Virginia an Age-Friendly Community. The World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and definitions for Age-Friendly Communities will be used in the research. Identifying agencies and organizations that are currently collecting pertinent data for the Charlottesville area/region constitutes is the purpose of the project.
  • Title: Women's Reproductive Health Education in Guatemala: Promoting Education about Cervical Cancer
    Student Researchers: Briana Williams and Emily Schutzenhofer
    Faculty Advisor: Kent Wayland
    Community Partner: Hospitalito Atitlan

    The largely indigenous population of the Lake Atitlan basin faces many barriers to health-care, but one of the largest is education about resources available to meet their health needs. The need on which our project will focus is cervical cancer. We will collaborate with local organizations to develop appropriate tools to help women better utilize resources.