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Center for Social Concerns awards first round of new community impact grants

By: JP Shortall

January 21, 2019

The Center for Social Concerns has just awarded six Community Impact Grants to faculty and students doing community-engaged work that advances human dignity, solidarity, and the common good, values central to Catholic social tradition. The grants were awarded based upon a proposal submission and selection process and are part of the center’s continuing effort to support collaboration between campus and community partners for social justice impact.

“The Center for Social Concerns has long supported community-engaged work through grants and consultation on community-engaged research and teaching, and our new Community Impact Grants program continues that tradition,” explains Connie Mick, director of academic affairs at the center and co-director of the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor. “These grants advance the center’s mission to enact the common good by applying academic knowledge to community challenges.”

Grants were awarded to faculty and students from six different departments in three colleges across the University. Viva Bartkus, associate professor of management in the Mendoza College of Business was awarded $7,400 to lead a cohort of MBA students in a Business on the Frontlines course designed to stimulate economic development in Santurce, Puerto Rico, a vibrant arts area on the island.

Jay Brockman, director of the Center for Civic Innovation in the College of Engineering was awarded a $500 grant to convene campus and community members to build a partnership for a Net-Zero Housing Initiative in the Southeast Neighborhood of South Bend. The group aims to test innovative solutions to housing that could be applicable across the region and beyond.  

Two grant awardees will address the question of education for underserved students in the South Bend Community School Corporation. Patrick Kirkland, a doctoral student in Psychology, and his advisor, Professor of Psychology and ACE Collegiate Chair Nicole M. McNeil, were awarded $5,667 for a project that will allow teachers at Jefferson Middle School to attend Number Talks Professional Development sessions. Number Talks is an innovative math education program that researchers will test to see if it advances the restorative justice goals of the school.

The second award for work on education went to Dr. Luca Grillo, associate professor of Classics, and Tadeusz Mazurek associate teaching professor of Classics. They were awarded $2,500 for a project in which Notre Dame undergraduates will teach Latin and English language skills to elementary students at Clay International Academy. Principal Angela Ruiz welcomed the proposal, which aligns well with the school’s new International Baccalaureate curriculum.

Emily Rupchock, director of Ready to Grow St. Joe and current Master of Nonprofit Administration student in the Mendoza College of Business, and Dr. Rachel Fulcher Dawson, associate director, research, communications, and policy at Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities were awarded $9,850 to conduct a comprehensive early childhood Community needs assessment for St. Joseph County, Indiana. Gathering current data will guide community health prevention and intervention efforts for the 30% of young children living in poverty in this county.

Senior Neuroscience Behavior major, with minors in Theology and Poverty Studies, Delaney Weiland was awarded a grant to attend the Indiana Campus Compact 9th Annual Service Engagement and Awards Gala in Indianapolis. There she will be recognized as Notre Dame’s nominee for the Richard J. Wood Student Community Commitment Award.

Community Impact Grant proposals are reviewed once in the fall and once in the spring. The spring deadline is February 4, 2019. Applicants may request grants up to $15,000. For more information on grants, please visit the grants webpage.

Contact: JP Shortall, director of communications and advancement, (574) 631-3209, jshortal@nd.edu
 

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