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Recipients of the 2010 Jefferson Public Citizens Awards

Eighty-one University of Virginia undergraduates have received Jefferson Public Citizen Awards to assist them in conducting public service projects during the 2010–2011 academic year. This is the second 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 in October 2008. This year, there are twenty JPC projects, nineteen faculty advisors, and fifteen graduate mentors.

  • JPC Group: Elizabeth Broderick, Hana Abbas, Philip Reinhart, Ashutosh Priyadarshy, Ben Erban
    Faculty Advisor: Brad Brown
    Community Partner: Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University
    Project Title: Biogas Systems in Bluefields, Nicaragua

    This group of JPC students will address the need for renewable energy sources in Bluefields, Nicaragua, and the surrounding rural areas by designing a more cost-effective and efficient biogas structure, a system that uses pressure and heat to convert manure into methane. They plan to analyze the efficiency of the biodigester and create a basic guide on how to establish household biogas.

  • JPC Group: Dillon Chapman, Maggie McDaniel, Emerson Prebil, Hallie Eilerts
    Faculty Advisor: Bob Swap
    Graduate Mentor: Caroline Berinyuy
    Community Partner: The people of the village of Simoonga.
    Project Title: Community Led Sanitation in Simoonga, Zambia

    In 2006, one of the JPC team members visited Simoonga. Come 2009, the village expressed interest in this group coming to Simoonga to collaborate on efforts to improve the village's latrine system. In the two semesters preceding the departure for Zambia, the team researched latrine designs and built a functioning latrine prototype in Charlottesville. The results of the 7-week stay in Zambia were twofold. Firstly, the village's first ever publicly accessible latrines were built. Secondly, the villagers joined hands in the spirit of volunteerism for the first time ever--before this project, the people of Simoonga had only worked on projects for their families and had never worked on a project benefiting the entire village community. The community led the project while the JPC team worked from the background. The JPC team sparked important discussions, helped motivate and organize, provided education on sanitation and offered its labor, time and a portion of the materials.

  • JPC Group: Anna Conn, Kappie Farrington, Rachel Leeds, Sarah Munford
    Faculty Advisor:
    Rae Blumberg
    Community Partner: Makere University and Heifer International
    Project Title: Women in Livestock Development

    This JPC group will travel to the Gulu region of northern Uganda to study how women can be economically and socially empowered in a post-conflict area. Working with Heifer International’s (HI) Women in Livestock Development program (WiLD), the students will conduct research through observations, interviews, and focus groups and seek to institute a women’s community development group in the region.

  • JPC Group: Anne de Chastonay, Anne Rasmussen, Matthew Baer, Katelyn Mason
    Faculty Advisor: Carol Anne Spreen
    Graduate Mentor: Deanna Vogt
    Community Partner: Mashamba Presidential school
    Project Title: ECOvision

    This JPC group will design and implement a global sustainability curriculum at the Mashamba School in Venda, South Africa. Through a hands-on, alternative energy education plan, they seek to replace the school’s traditional fire pits with a more sustainable cooking method for feeding the school’s 900 students.

  • JPC Group: Michael Downey, Celine Heckel-Jones, Michael Boone, and Tina Tang
    Faculty Advisors: Janet Herman and Teresa Culver
    Graduate Mentor: Kristin Cannatelli
    Community Partner: Rivanna River Basin Commission
    Project Title: Monitoring and Evaluation of Sustainable Stormwater

    Working in collaboration with the Rivanna River Basin Commission (RRBC), this JPC group will study the impact and sustainability of current and proposed stormwater management strategies in the local area. They will install a robotic sampler and quantitatively measure the environmental health of Charlottesville’s waterways. Their data and results can help inform the suitability of the Commonwealth’s new stormwater regulations.

  • JPC Group: Sarah Duke, Halley Epstein, Nicole Dompke, Erin Thorpe
    Faculty Advisor: Sharon Davie
    Community Partner: University of the Autonomous Regions of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua (URACCAN)
    Project Title: Empowering Women Through Radio in Bluefields, Nicaragua

    Partnering with students from the Universidad de las Regiones Autonomas de la Costa Caribe Nicaraguense, this JPC group will replace damaged radio equipment in Bluefields, Nicaragua and create a new educational radio show which will address topics such as women’s health, business, and family nutrition. The group plans to develop promotional materials and assess the show’s effectiveness for empowering women.

  • JPC Group: Elizabeth Engel, Matthew Jungclaus, Quinn Weber, Ethan Heil
    Faculty Advisor: Paxton Marshall
    Community Partner: City of Charlottesville
    Project Title: Energy Efficient Heating and Cooling

    Working with Charlottesville’s Local Energy Alliance Program (LEAP), JPC students will collect data from heating and cooling systems in ecoMOD houses to create educational curricula and informational materials about energy efficient practice. These materials will be displayed for the visitors of ecoREMOD, a new energy efficient remodeled home open to the public.

  • JPC Group: Chris Gezon, Rachel Smith, Scott Foster, Erin Boehmer, Melina Schoppa
    Faculty Advisor: Garrick Louis
    Graduate Mentor: Philip Dales
    Community Partner: University of Venda
    Project Title: Water and Health in Limpopo
    Blog: http://www.thewhilimpoporeport.blog.com/

    This group of JPC students will seek to improve access to safe water and sanitation services in the villages of Tchibvumo and Tshapasha in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Their research will study prior water schemes and seek to determine best methods for providing adequate clean water to the villages. By increasing access to clean water, the project aims to reduce childhood morbidity rates.

  • JPC Group: Christopher Greenwood, Molly Tyeryar, Matthew Jungclaus
    Faculty Advisor: Paxton Marshall
    Community Partner: City of Charlottesville
    Project Title: Automated Drapes Lessen Financial Burden

    This group of JPC students will monitor, evaluate, and control the solar energy performance of the ecoREMOD house, an educational energy efficient remodeled home open to the public. They will determine the effectiveness of an automated blind system by using internal and external sensors to monitor the house’s temperature and overall climate. Data analysis will used to help lower cost for low income residents.

  • JPC Group: Sara Harper, Sally Lee, Nathan Parker, Lauren Thompson
    Faculty Advisor: Anselmo Canfora
    Graduate Mentor: Aja Bulla-Richards
    Community Partner: Building Goodness Foundation
    Project Title: Transitional Disaster Recovery Shelter Design/Build Project

    Building off the work of a previous JPC grant, this group of students will focus on the research, design development, fabrication, and testing of transitional disaster recovery housing. The project aims to advance its prototype to a production ready shelter that would offer a healthy, economical, and sustainable transitional home for people affected by natural disasters.

  • JPC Group: Robin Kendall, Ania Turner, Ben Robbins, Auesta Safi, Rowan Sprague
    Faculty Advisor: Brad Brown
    Graduate Mentor: Emma Mitchell
    Community Partner: Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University
    Project Title: Research, Education, and Implementation of Composting
    Blog: http://jpcomposting.wordpress.com/

    Seeking to reduce the burning of organic waste in Bluefields, Nicaragua, this JPC group will research an effective sustainable composting model. Working in collaboration with students and professors from Bluefields Indian and Caribbean University, they will seek best practices for composting model for the city and promote the benefits of composting instead of burning waste.

  • JPC Group: Emily Lee, Amy Copeland, Casey Brown, Latasha Nadasdi
    Faculty Advisor: Rose Beauchamp
    Graduate Mentors: Matthew Lerner and Allison Jack
    Community Partner: UVa Children’s Hospital
    Project Title: The Healing Power of Adapted Creative Movement

    This group of JPC students will research effective ways to help children with incurable neurological disorders improve physically, cognitively, socially, and psychologically through creative movement and dance. The students will work with a recreational therapist at the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center in Charlottesville and record changes in the patients’ range of motion, psychological state, and overall musicality.

  • JPC Group: Darby Ford, Morgan Gibson, Katherine Phetxumphou
    Faculty Advisor: Nancy Deutsch
    Graduate Mentor: Jenna Marshall
    Community Partner: Albemarle County Public Schools
    Project Title: Camera Shy or Picture Perfect?

    Assessing Peer Perceptions As part of the Young Women Leaders’ Program (YWLP), this JPC group will use photography as a tool for understanding middle school girls’ perception of peer behavior. Through images, participants will rate themselves and their peers in terms of prosocial and antisocial behavior, social competence, and group acceptance. The JPC study will compare the young women’s ratings at the beginning and end of the fall semester and record changes in perception.

  • JPC Group: Todd Mattocks, Christoph Wilhelm, Brian Cofrancesco, Molly McDonald
    Faculty Advisor: Louis Nelson
    Graduate Mentors: Catherine Redfearn and Kate Brady
    Community Partner: Falmouth Heritage Renewal
    Project Title: Falmouth: Community Development and Sustainable Heritage

    Through case studies, scholarly research, and in-person interviews, this group of JPC students will research sustainable practices of heritage tourism transforming the historic town of Falmouth, Jamaica, which will become a major tourism site after the construction of a cruise ship port. The group will disseminate its finding to key constituents and stakeholders in the region.

  • JPC Group: Phillip Munck, Julie Inglis, Deborah Gayman, Yushin Wung
    Faculty Advisor: Ellie Wilson
    Community Partner: Venable Elementary School
    Exploratory Study: Strings and Things

    This pilot JPC project seeks to examine how musical instruction for elementary school children affects youth’s academic and social emotional skills. Working in collaboration with the Venable Elementary School, the JPC students will also explore developing an after-school enrichment program.

  • JPC Group: Kevin Pujanauski, Justin Zeidman, Anna Fairchild, Max Gruenther
    Faculty Advisor: Ellie Wilson
    Graduate Mentor: Abigail Cook Dommer
    Community Partner: Red Hill Elementary School
    Project Title: Cavs/Panthers Mentorship and Enrichment Program

    This group of JPC students will further advance the work of the Cavs and Panthers Mentorship and Enrichment program at Red Hills Elementary School by developing a curriculum of activities focused on cultivating students’ self-efficacy. Through program evaluation, the project aims to show how program participants develop a belief in their own abilities and strengths.

  • JPC Group: Molly Tyeryar, Caroline Hackett, James Reed, Meredyth Gilmore
    Faculty Advisors: James Smith and Rebecca Dillingham
    Graduate Mentor: Lydia Abebe
    Community Partner: University of Venda
    Project Title: Feasibility of Building a Ceramic Filter Factor

    This JPC group will investigate the feasibility of introducing a ceramic water-filter factory in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Their multidisciplinary approach will consider economic, technological, social, educational, and human-health factors necessary for a creation of a successful filter factory that would aid in producing clean water for the region.

  • JPC Group: Rachel Vaughn, Anna Sosdian, Gongsalamu Gongsalamu, Saamia Noorali
    Faculty Advisor: David Germano
    Community Partner: Shem Women’s Group
    Project Title: Women’s Health Education on the Tibetan Plateau

    Building on best practices research in distributing health care information, this JPC group will work with Shem to host a five day women’s health training program for 60 girls and young women in Xining. Participants will be given health resource kits and a health calendar. The students will conduct follow up surveys and interviews to test information retention and to help Shem develop future health awareness programs.

  • JPC Group: Stephanie Newton, Victoria Tucker, Emily Peters, Christine Quilpa
    Faculty Advisor: Winx Lawrence
    Graduate Mentor: Clare Vierbuchen
    Community Partner: Charlottesville City Schools, Albemarle County Schools
    Project Title: YWLP, HerStory Project

    This group of JPC students will continue their research on the Young Women Leaders Program (YWLP) Her Story Project which focuses on increasing eighth grade girls’ competence and confidence in the use of computer technology. They will revise existing curriculum and mentor training and evaluate the effectiveness of the revisions on the program’s overall impact.

  • JPC Group: Christiana White, Elizabeth (Lily) Bowles, Gordon Carver, Forrest Compton, Thomas (Alex) Eschenroeder, Mary Van Meter
    Faculty Advisor: Dr. Arthur Garson
    Graduate Mentor: Michael Marquardt
    Community Partner: Inner Mongolia Medical College
    Project Title: Grand Aids Program in Inner Mongolia

    This JPC group will travel to Hohhot, Inner Mongolia and work for three weeks alongside doctors and patients at the Inner Mongolia Medical College to develop a methodology for assessing a new Grand-Aids healthcare initiative. Their goal is to gather baseline healthcare data that will be used to determine whether or not the current healthcare system in Hohhot will be significantly improved by the Grand-Aids program.

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