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Home > Faculty and Research > Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D. Faculty Community-Based Research Award

Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D.,

Faculty Community-Based Research Award 2014

This award is a $5,000 prize presented annually to a regular faculty member who has completed at least one research project that addresses a need within South Bend or the surrounding area.

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2014 GANEY RESEARCH AWARD RECIPIENT

Nitesh Chawla, Ph.D.

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2014 ENGAGED PROGRAM INITIATIVE

Program of Design

 
Ann-Marie Conrado
 

Robert Sedlack

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PREVIOUS GANEY AWARD RECIPIENTS:

2013 Ganey Award Recipient   Video

Judith Fox

2012 Ganey Award Recipient  Video

James Schmiedeler

2011 Ganey Award Recipient  Video

Michael Jenuwine 

2010 Ganey Award Recipient  Video

Stuart Greene 

2009 Ganey Award Recipient  Video

Daniel Lende 

2008 Ganey Award Recipient

Mark Schurr

2007 Ganey Award Recipient

Stephen E. Silliman

2006 Ganey Award Recipient

John G. Borkowski

2005 Ganey Award Recipient

Felicia LeClere

2004 Ganey Award Recipient

F. Clark Power

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PREVIOUS ENGAGED PROGRAM

INITIATIVE RECIPEINTS:

2013 - Program of Design

Ann-Marie Conrado and Robert Sedlack

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PREVIOUS ENGAGED SCHOLARSHIP

AWARD RECIPIENTS:

2012 Engaged Scholarship Award Recipients

John Roos and Karl King

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NOMINATION REQUIREMENTS:

Nominees should be regular faculty* (as described below) who have completed at least one research project that contributes to resolving a social challenge within South Bend or the surrounding area.

Greater consideration will be given if the community-based research project or projects for which the individual is nominated:

  • address a question raised by a community group or organization;
  • involve collaboration with a local group or organization;
  • include graduate and/or undergraduate students.

In addition, the nominee should have a record of publication in his/her field, or other forms of evidence of work valued in his/her area of expertise (juried exhibitions, distributed films, etc.).

The nominator should submit a letter describing how one research project, or a representative project from a larger body of work, has affected the South Bend area and Notre Dame students. Nominators may include Notre Dame faculty, students, and staff, or individuals not affiliated with Notre Dame.

Nominees should be regular faculty (teaching-and-research faculty, research faculty, library faculty, and special professional faculty) or emeritus faculty. Individuals may nominate themselves.

Questions or comments about the award,

please contact Mary Beckman.

* Regular Faculty includes Teaching-and-Research Faculty, Research Faculty, Library Faculty, and Special Professional Faculty, as described in the Faculty Handbook. Faculty holding emeritus status may be nominated.

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Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D.

Rodney F. Ganey, Ph.D., who is funding this award, served as Associate Director of Notre Dame's Laboratory for Social Research and as a Concurrent Faculty member in the Department of Sociology from 1980 to 1996. During that time, he encouraged community-based research initiatives of fellow Faculty members and graduate students in many ways. Ganey is founder of Press, Ganey Associates, the nation's leading research firm specializing in patient-satisfaction measurement. This award is one element of an initiative in community-based research through the Center for Social Concerns that Dr. Ganey has established as a way of deepening the University's stated commitment to place learning at the service of society.

2014 AWARD RECIPIENT

Nitesh Chawla

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Leveraging Big Data for the common good is what drives Nitesh Chawla, computer science and engineering professor and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) at Notre Dame. Referring to himself as a dataologist, Chawla explains that small data is what is accrued on each individual when he or she goes to a physician. Big Data is the accumulation of such small data.


But Big Data is meant to be more than a summation of small data as it is currently collected. In addition to questions such as ‘Do you smoke?’ and ‘Do you have allergies?’ information on other aspects of life that might be relevant to one’s health would also be captured. For example, at point of intake, clients would be asked about access to grocery stores, recreational facilities, and schools. According to Chawla, these present the bigger challenges. “The health and wellness problem,” he says, is actually “outside of the setting of health care.”


Chawla asks: “How can we leverage data about our lifestyles, environment, socio-economic conditions to develop an actionable and personalized health and wellness plan?” Just as Amazon and Netflix can give suggestions about the types of books and movies one might enjoy, Chawla hopes for a similar system to guide people to better health choices. “What if … all our data could be leveraged?” he asks. “If diseases are driven by lifestyle, shared experiences, similarities, behaviors and habits, we have an opportunity of doing that.” For instance, regarding diabetes, it would be possible to explore “who are the non-diabetic, what do they look like, what are they doing, how are they similar to [you or me].” In this way people could become, Chawla says, “empowered to take
the right action ... That’s the power in collective data.”


Chawla is actively collaborating with a variety of partners in the South Bend area. He also works with the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute’s Community Health Enhancement Program (CHEP), a research partnership of the state’s major research institutions that seeks input from community partners in research efforts.


In a recently completed local pilot project, Chawla and his graduate student, Dipanwita Dasgupta, collaborated with the Community Health Enhancement (CHE) program staff at Memorial Hospital in South Bend within their Aging-In-Place program located at Heritage Place at LaSalle Square. Heritage Place is an affordable independent living facility in South Bend.

The project was to develop a tool to improve the residents’ ability to manage their prescription medications. With the use of digital tablets, the residents tested the personalized health and wellness application developed by Chawla’s group, which provided them with personalized observations of daily living, reminders of when to take their medications, and the like.


According to Patty Willaert, manager of Community Outreach at Memorial, “The residents didn’t fully grasp that this was going to be the first use of the tool. There was a lot of frustration initially. Recently, the residents have come to see that they are a part of the process and are giving valuable feedback.” They have become more active agents in their own care.


Even more has been gained. Resident Life Administrator for Memorial’s Aging-in-Place program, Kimberly Green Reeves, says the project “… brought residents together. They have a greater sense of community.” Furthermore, they seem to have overcome a resistance to technology. According to Reeves, “They are now on Facebook, YouTube, and emailing. It’s amazing to see the transformation from where we first started.” The participants now want to take the data they are capturing to their physicians.


According to pilot participant and resident Shirley Robertson, “This was the first time I ever tried anything like that and I was ready to throw it out the window.” In the end, she says she couldn't believe she was thinking of dropping out of the program. “I am in love with my tablet!” she claims.


Professor Chawla’s collaboration with CHE and Heritage Place at LaSalle Square residents will continue toward a comprehensive understanding of the impact of smart health technology in forming health and wellness. Future projects are already in discussion to model and study how to appropriately structure the incentives for the residents of aging-in-place communities in the region.


Professor Chawla works not only in his own discipline, but also across disciplines, encouraging projects with graduate and undergraduate students alike. Furthermore, according to iCeNSA community health program manager and CHEP liaison Waldo Mikels-Carrasco, Chawla “has made himself and iCeNSA available to aspiring local high school students interested in exploring the study of network and data science.” He is also launching two new funded pilots with a middle school and a diabetic population.

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Nitesh Chawla is Frank Freimann Collegiate Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, as well as the Director of the Data Inference Analytics and Learning Lab (DIAL), and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Network Science and Applications (iCeNSA) at the University of Notre Dame. Professor Chawla’s multiple awards include outstanding teacher awards, outstanding dissertation award, Michiana 40 Under 40, National Academy of Engineers New Faculty Fellowship, and a number of best paper awards and nominations. He received the IBM Watson Faculty Award in 2012 and the IBM Big Data and Analytics Faculty Award in 2013. He serves as a principal investigator (PI) or co-PI on over $11.5 Million of external research funding since 2007.

 

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