Recipients of the 2013 Jefferson Public Citizens Awards
Sixty University of Virginia undergraduates have received Jefferson Public Citizen Awards, which will assist them in conducting public service projects during the 2013-2014 academic year. This is the fifth year of the JPC program, which was identified as a University priority by the Commission for the Future of the University and approved by the Board of Visitors. This year, there are 14 projects, 17 faculty advisors, and 13 graduate mentors.
JPC Group: Maria Arguello, Bianca Cesaratto, Leigh Ann Haley, Elisa Montealegre, Rajni Rao
Faculty Advisor: Jennifer Merritt
Graduate Mentors: Janelle Peifer
Community Partner: Lincoln International Academy and Universidad San Martin de Porres
Project Title: Rompiendo Fronteras - Global Development Initiative between Peru and Nicaragua
This JPC team will create a mentoring program that connects high school girls in Managua, Nicaragua with college women in Lima, Peru. Using the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP) curriculum as a foundation, team members will collaborate with faculty and students at both sites to develop interactive, online mentoring that supports young women's socio-emotional wellbeing, vocational preparation, and global citizenship.
JPC Group: Ali Aslam, Laura Chitty, Meredith Hassett, Ivonne Navarro, Andrew Strauss
Faculty Advisor: Andres Clarens
Graduate Mentors: Stavros Calos
Community Partner: Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP)
Project Title: Addressing Water Access in El Corroso, Dominican Republic
El Corroso is a rural community in the Dominican Republic that lacks reliable access to clean water. Residents of this 200-home area have expressed a need for a municipal distribution system to alleviate the physical struggles associated with traveling two hours each day in search of water. This JPC team will partner with El Corroso's Water Committee, and with Peace Corps volunteer and UVa alumnus, Daniel Saboe, to design and implement an aqueduct system.
JPC Group: Andrew Barnocky, Alexander Kuck, Steven Moore, Dasha Tyshlek
Faculty Advisors: Paxton Marshall and John Quale
Graduate Mentors: Christy Depew, and William Glick, Helena Khazdozian
Community Partner: Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP)
Project Title: AHIP Block by Block Home Renovation Program
This JPC team will partner with the Albemarle Housing Improvement Program (AHIP), a low-income home renovation organization, to assess the energy efficiency of homes in Charlottesville’s 10th and Page neighborhood. Through testing, monitoring, and modeling, the team will evaluate the current conditions of each home. Based on this analysis they will identify cost-effective interventions to improve energy efficiency. Renovated houses will also be monitored in order to quantify the improvements achieved through renovation.
JPC Group: Ellen Chapin, Emily Marshall, Porter Nenon, Cameron Thum
Faculty Advisor: Christine Mahoney
Graduate Mentor: Carolyn Pelnik
Community Partner: Jifundishe Free Library
Project Title: Women's Agribusiness Education to Increase Food Security in Ngongongare, Tanzania
Through partnership with Jifundishe, a local non-governmental organization (NGO) serving as a free public library, and Global Grassroots, an international NGO that provides women's leadership and business training, this JPC project seeks to design and implement a community education garden and women's business training program. In response to community requests, this education initiative will rely on an interactive and socially-conscious teaching model and will use local agricultural expertise to inform agribusiness practice in the community.
JPC Group: Catherine Clark, Elizabeth Garrett, Yodet Meresie, Sarah Skinner, Kathleen Stevens
Faculty Advisor: Diane Whaley
Graduate Mentor: Martha Davis
Community Partner: Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP), Charlottesville City and County Schools
Project Title: YWLP Moves
This JPC project focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of YWLP Moves, a health-promotion initiative aimed at young women in the Charlottesville/Albemarle region. Working with mentees and mentors of the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP), this team will: 1) collect survey and focus-group data about health and physical activity from a sample of at-risk middle school girls who are YWLP mentees; 2) use this data to develop health-promotion activities for the mentees; and 3) implement and evaluate program effectiveness with YWLP mentees in Fall 2013.
JPC Group: Grace Hollis, Connor Mackenzie, Milagros Mellenkamp, Fernando Mercado-Violand
Faculty Advisor: Sharon Davie
Community Partner: Fundación PROFIN
Project Title: Researching the Effects of Microfinance on Women in La Paz
How do microfinance programs in La Paz affect women’s social development, and how might supplemental educational programs help create a higher standard of living for women in La Paz? This JPC team will tackle these questions, working with Fundación PROFIN, an NGO that supports microfinance in La Paz, as well as with its communities of clients, to research the effect of microfinance on gender roles and social development in La Paz.
JPC Group: Walter Hodges, Heather Lee, Joo Yung Lee, Jason Liao
Faculty Advisor: David Rekosh, Marie-Louise Hammarskjold, Adrienne Keller
Graduate Mentor: Siripong Tongjai
Community Partner: Vuwani Science Research Center
Project Title: Outreach Biology Education Modules for Secondary School Learners in Limpopo Province in South Africa
This JPC project aims to implement molecular-biology/genetics-laboratory education modules for secondary school learners at the Vuwani Science Resource Centre, in the rural Limpopo province, South Africa. The Vuwani Centre is a community outreach program associated with the University of Venda. Research and evaluation efforts will focus on both the effectiveness of the modules in meeting the area's needs for molecular biology/genetics education, and the sustainability of the modules alter the team departs.
JPC Group: Samuel Atkeson, Erin Austin, Libby Lyon, Katie Woodward
Faculty Advisor: Eleanor Wilson
Community Partner: City School Yard Garden
Project Title: Wellness and Gardening: Creating an After-School Garden Program at Burnley-Moran Elementary
Working with staff and students at Charlottesville’s Burnley-Moran Elementary School (BME), this JPC team will create an after-school program focusing on health, wellness, and the BME schoolyard garden. An extension of an independent study and CBURG grant that helped BME develop its existing schoolyard garden program, this project aims to develop a year-long gardening/wellness curriculum for the program’s afterschool club.
JPC Group: Roshni Mahtani, Sapna Rao, Marcy Wheeler, Saman Zomorodi
Faculty Advisor: Anselmo Canfora
Graduate Mentors: Richard Passarelli and Megan Suau
Community Partner: Building Tomorrow, Inc.
Project Title: reCOVER & Building Tomorrow Inc. Primary School, Wakiso, Uganda
According to UNESCO, 31 million children in sub-Saharan Africa wake up each morning without a school to attend. In line with the second Millennium Development Goal, many sub-Saharan African countries have initiated Universal Primary Education programs guaranteeing free education to every child, but they still face chronic classroom shortages. Working with communities in the Wakiso district of Uganda, this JPC team will help to overcome this disadvantage in education.
JPC Group: Bobby Donze, Paige McDermott, Daniel Ng, Jack Sullivan, Sarah Turkaly
Faculty Advisor: Brad Brown
Community Partner: BRAC
Project Title: Assessing Gonokendros in Bangladesh
BRAC, one of the world's largest development non-governmental organizations (NGOs), seeks to improve literacy and provide access to information in Bangladesh through existing community libraries called Gonokendros. These libraries, however, are currently underused by community members. This JPC team aims to conduct a needs and capabilities assessment of Gonokendros in Bangladesh. This project will support the government's Access to Information Initiative and lay the foundation for developing a more community-driven, sustainable model for Gonokendros.
JPC Group: Thy Nguyen, Chloe Rento, Lizzie Wallace, Lark Washington
Faculty Advisor: James Smith
Graduate Mentor: Beeta Ehdale
Community Partner: The University of Venda
Project Title: Field Testing of the Maildrop in Limpopo, South Africa: A New Point-of-Use Water Treatment Technology
Partnering with the University of Venda in South Africa, and with the local community of Ha-Mashamba, this JPC team will field test of a new point-of-use water treatment technology called the MadiDrop. The MadiDrop is a porous ceramic disk that is dropped into a water storage container to make the water safe for consumption. Tested for efficacy in the laboratory, the MadiDrop will now be distributed and tested in 50 households in the Ha-Mashamba community, through the work of this JPC team.
JPC Group: Cameron Elward, Gabriel Planas, Lydia Prokosch
Faculty Advisor: David Burt and Kent Wayland
Graduate Mentor: Caroline Vines
Community Partner: University of Virginia Guatemala Initiative
Project Title: Multifaceted Evaluation of a Clean Water Project in Rural Guatemala Using Qualitative and Quantitative Metrics
The purpose of this JPC project is to evaluate the existing model of the health education and filter installation program in San Martin, Guatemala, with the ultimate goal of providing a "best practice model" which can be replicated successfully in other international settings. Team members will work closely with community partners, using multi-marker quantitative and qualitative assessments focusing on the health and social impact of the program.
JPC Group: Rachael Diniega, Margaret Orr, Margaret Tarmann, Margaret Taylor, Julia Van Beek
Faculty Advisor: Shawn Lyons
Community Partner: Sworde-Teppa
Project Title: Enhancing Adaptation Strategies to Environmental Change in Rural Tajikistan
Drawing on its existing relationship with the Tajikistan-based development organization Sworde-Teppa, this JPC team will address the expressed need for a community environmental-education center in the Sari Khosor valley of Tajikistan. The team will survey community members in an effort both to understand baseline environmental knowledge and expectations for the center, and to develop appropriate educational materials related to adaptation concerns. In collaboration with residents, JPC team members plan to enhance resiliency to environmental change.
JPC Group: Mary-Margaret Ambrose, Courtney Cooper, Simay Okyay, Anna Cait WadeThis JPC project will address adolescent girls' need for additional adult support in handling relational aggression and victimization (RA/RV). Through focus groups with area teachers, parents, and mentors, the JPC team will assess adults' concerns about helping middle school girls affected by RA/RV. From a review of the research literature, team members will identify evidence-based strategies for handling RA/RV, and will develop workshops to teach these skills to teachers, parents, and mentors of middle school girls in the Charlottesville/Albemarle community.
Faculty Advisor: Edith Lawrence
Graduate Mentor: Hillary Morin
Community Partner: Safe Schools / Healthy Students Charlottesville / Albemarle Project
Project Title: "They Just Don't Understand": Educating Adults on Relational Aggression Among Middle School Girls