2015 Grant Recipients

Dr. Apryl AlexanderDepartment of Psychology. The Auburn University Department of Psychology has had a long-standing community partnership with the Alabama Department of Youth Services (DYS) in providing treatment to detained adolescents through the Accountability Based Sex Offender Program (ABSOP). Mosaic Theatre Company is an applied theatre company sponsored by the Dean’s office in the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Theatre at Auburn University. The company has begun a concerted outreach effort to move the discussion of diversity and social justice beyond the campus community. Working with the youth at ABSOP furthers this goal and gives students the opportunity to work within a detention facility under highly supervised circumstances. The purpose of the proposed project is two-fold. The workshops provided by Mosaic will likely supplement the boys’ treatment, allowing them the ability to express themselves through a creative medium, and develop or enhance their talents and abilities. The project will also allow students within the College of Liberal Arts to gain valuable experience in community-based theatre practice while assisting vulnerable youth, improving upon their own professional and personal development. The proposed project is a pilot for future funding and to assist in the assessment of measurable outcomes for future workshops.

Dr. Ann Knipschild, Department of Music. This project proposes to take the interdisciplinary topic of “Music and Science” from the university classroom to K-12 students. MUSI 2750 Music and Science is a new general education core fine arts course in its second year at Auburn. Students come from diverse backgrounds and majors including the sciences and the humanities. The purpose of the course is to study the relationship of music and science in various disciplines throughout history. Students learn the connections between music and math, physics, technology, sociology, neuroscience, and healthcare. As part of their work in the course, students form teams that learn to work together in creating an undergraduate research project. The next step for the teams will be to take the new knowledge they learn in class and share it with future generations of potential students who may chose careers in music and science-related disciplines including psychology, communication disorders, and sociology. Dr. Knipschild will travel to meet with elementary school teachers in the area during Fall Semester 2015. These schools will include underserved schools such as Loachapoka and Union Springs. During Spring 2016, student teams from the MUSI 2750 class will be given assignments to design various activities for the elementary school students based on material learned in the Music and Science course. Student teams will then do short presentations for the elementary school classes to include activities that engage the students with interactive learning, such as constructing simple music instruments or seeing their reactions to various kinds of music. 

Dr. Kelly KrawczykDepartment of Political Science.The Accountability Accelerator pilot program, which is being developed for use in educational institutions, public organizations, and civil society groups in Monrovia, Liberia. Lack of accountability is a huge challenge in the context of developing countries, as it undermines economic growth and development, perpetuates corruption, and weakens the growth of democratic citizenship and civic engagement. In Liberia, a fragile state still recovering from a 13-year civil war, issues of accountability and responsibility, at the individual, organizational, and structural levels, are especially important to democratic development. To help meet this need, a series of innovative, hands-on, contextually-appropriate training modules on topics related to accountability, ethics, and civic engagement will be piloted in several organizations in Monrovia, Liberia during October 2015. Pilot training sites that have been identified include: University of Liberia, Liberia Institute for Public Administration, Liberia’s Ministry of Labor, the Governance Commission of Liberia, and Liberia Open Governance Initiative Civil Society Organizations. At least four 2-day pilot trainings will be executed from October 1-31, 2015. Approximately 25-35 participants from each of the 4 pilot sites will participate in the training (a control group will be identified in each organization as well, per the research design). .

Dr. Iulia Pittman, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures. This project seeks to further community discussion about bilingualism. It consists of a series of lectures and workshops at schools and libraries in a few select cities in Alabama and Georgia. The purpose of these meetings is to raise awareness and educate people about the benefits of bilingualism and to share insights and tips for families who are raising their children bilingually. The content and format of the meetings will vary some depending on the location. This project proposes a bottom-up approach to promotion of bilingualism, through focus on the family level, and a top-down approach through conversations with school administrations. Bilingualism at the nuclear level, within the family, varies greatly from one case to another and can be quite challenging without support from the community. The success rate for raising children bilingually can be increased by offering parents tips, sharing anecdotes from successful and unsuccessful examples, and offering encouragement and support in the challenging road to raising bilingual children. In the United States education system, the emphasis placed upon foreign language learning from an early age is not great. Therefore, it is important to educate people in the community and educational institutions about its benefits. The chances for an increase in bilingualism are higher if we receive more support and appreciation from the community and schools.


Last Updated: August 16, 2016