Provost’s Council for Engagement
2019 CSU Community Engagement Scholarship Award Nominees
Read the profile on our 2019 award winners here.
The Distinguished award celebrates a collaboration, project or program with a long-term record of sustained impact, achievement and scholarship.
Partners: Jennifer Krafchick and Program Team (College of Health and Human Sciences, Human Development and Family Studies), Colorado Judicial Branch - 8th Judicial District, Larimer County Department of Human Services, Food Bank for Larimer County, Poudre School District, Thompson School District, Bohemian Foundation, United Way of Larimer County
Campus Connections (CC) was developed in 2009 in response to a scarcity of services available to the rapidly growing population of at-risk youth in Larimer County who struggle with truancy, substance use, delinquency, and mental health issues. During the economic recession, this problem was so significant that Colorado legislation called for a coalition of community leaders to collaboratively address the issue. CC emerged as an empirically based solution that supports community need, engages various agencies in partnership with assets at the university, and provides a program that both serves youth in need, and also provides a high-impact learning experience for CSU students.
Through this nationally recognized program, at-risk youth are mentored by university students within an intentional, multi-level mentoring community that is enriching for both mentors and mentees. CC is a 10-year, fully engaged partnership between CSU and an array of community partners that has impacted 2,250 youth and 2,925 students since its inception. Collaborative research indicates that CC benefits both youth and university students in meaningful ways. Thus far, these accomplishments have resulted in two national awards, significant grant funding, eight peer-reviewed publications, 16 conference presentations, and a trade-marked curriculum that is licensed to four other universities.
CSU Center for Public Deliberation
Partners: Martin Carcasson and CPD Team (College of Liberal Arts, Communication Studies), City of Fort Collins
The CSU Center for Public Deliberation (CPD) serves as an impartial resource for the Northern Colorado region. At the core, we believe that everyone who may be affected by a community decision should have a meaningful opportunity to influence it. In partnership with the City of Fort Collins, the CPD designs and run public forums on current issues facing our city. This includes issues like housing affordability, downtown behaviors, municipal broadband, climate change, and more. The CPD trains undergraduate students as facilitators through CSU courses before they facilitate real-world conversations. Student note takers capture the conversation and aid in coding the data before the CPD creates a report or data visualization for the public.
Each forum serves as an experiment on the conversations needed for democracy to thrive. Through this iterative process, the CPD and the City of Fort Collins continue to improve the quality of engagement with each forum. The scholarship includes topics like stakeholder recruitment, facilitator impartiality, behavior change, attitudes and political efficacy, and impacts on diverse groups.
Community-based Translational Research Partnerships for Chronic Disease Control and Prevention
Partners: Elizabeth P. Ryan (College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences) and Program Team, University of Colorado Health – Northern Region
This multidisciplinary partnership is distinguished by significant community participation across Northern Colorado, scholarly excellence in 10+ peer-reviewed co-authored publications, and federal extramurally-funded research. Cancer control and prevention efforts are often over shadowed by cancer treatment research, resulting in cancer patients, survivors and families not having answers to the fundamental question "What should I eat?” This unmet need and desire to find answers became the foundation of this academic-community partnership that was built from a mutual interest to engage, serve and elevate human-centered research that emphasized ‘disease prevention’ and ‘health promotion’ in a community-driven, empowering way. Notably, nutrition research in animals was challenging to translate to people, but nevertheless this team was able to co-create innovative and practical study designs that would garner new knowledge, leverage academic and community strengths, and generate resources and infrastructure.
Over the past 10 years, CSU faculty, staff and students have worked collaboratively with our local health professionals to launch lifestyle interventions in the community that focus on disease prevention as well as coordinated collections of human tissues for analysis with cutting-edge ‘omic’ technologies. This team advanced our community’s eagerness to engage in science and innovation cultivated by relationships, respect and trust.
CSU Dance EDUCATION IN MOTION Professional Development Seminar for Colorado preK-12 Teachers
Partners: Lisa Morgan (College of Liberal Arts, School of Music, Theatre and Dance), Colorado Department of Education, Poudre School District
CSU Dance EDUCATION IN MOTION (EIM) is a professional development seminar for Colorado pre-K-12 Teachers. The seminar, started in 2015, provides the opportunity for CSU faculty and students, along with outside presenters to collaborate with elementary and secondary educators from across the state, to develop and sustain arts integrated curricula, improving student outcomes and supporting cross curricular teaching.
CSU faculty share research and collaborate with teachers in-the-field. PreK-12 teachers learn new approaches to integrate movement into core curriculum and share with their schools for extended learning. Online resources are made available to teachers beyond the seminar to access when needed. CSU dance majors participate as interns leading up to the seminar. This involves administrative work, event planning, and technical support. They also prepare and present to the teachers giving them practicum experience.
CSU Dance partners with Colorado Department of Education (CDE) and school districts to plan and strategize for topics and focus of the seminar. With a special interest in teacher training, CDE is looking to CSU to offer the first teacher licensure in dance for Colorado. CDE also provides resources at many entrance points, supporting curriculum planning and standards assessment. Participants can apply for Continuing Education credit through CSU.
CSU Wheat Team: Engagement with Wheat Growers of Colorado
Partners: Dr. Todd Gaines and Team (College of Agricultural Sciences, Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management), Colorado Wheat Administrative Committee, Colorado Wheat Research Foundation, Colorado Wheat Growers Association
CSU has a collaborative team of scientists with expertise in wheat, including breeding, pest management, yield trials, and outreach activities. The wheat producers of Colorado, represented by the Colorado wheat organizations, have a long, successful collaboration with the wheat breeding and wheat-related research programs at CSU. Colorado wheat helped establish the wheat breeding program at CSU in 1963 with leveraged funding from their organization and an appropriation from the Colorado General Assembly. The history of support for the programs has only grown since that first investment. Since 2012, Colorado wheat has returned over $9.1 million to the wheat breeding and wheat-related research programs at CSU.
This relationship has supported numerous graduate students and post-doctoral researchers over the years, resulting in substantial outputs in the form of improved wheat varieties, new insect resistance traits, new systems for weed management, and scientific publications. Positive outcomes abound for Colorado wheat producers, such as an estimated $33.4 million economic benefit from CSU-developed wheat varieties in 2016 alone. The relationship has a strong foundation in active engagement, with multiple meetings and field days throughout the year providing direct interactions between CSU faculty, staff, and students, with Colorado wheat producers.
Dearfield Dream Project
Partners: Mark A. Brown (College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Institute for Learning and Teaching, College of Liberal Arts, Colorado School of Public Health), Black American West Museum Dearfield Preservation Committee, City of Greeley, University of Northern Colorado, Weld County, Colorado Preservation, Inc., Office of Senator Michael Bennet
The Dearfield Dream Project embodies CSU’s land grant mission by engaging community partners in researching, preserving, and raising awareness of the culturally significant Colorado historic site of Dearfield, an early 20th Century African American colony. The breadth of the project requires an interdisciplinary network of collaborators including Black American West Museum, Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, City of Greeley Office of Community Development, City of Greeley Museums, Weld County Commissioners, Weld Country Public Works, Colorado Preservation, Inc., and the Office of Senator Michael Bennet.
This project seeks to discover, preserve, and disseminate knowledge of the Dearfield colony’s economic, social, political, and cultural history. A formal collaboration of each contributing stakeholder has been formed as a subcommittee of the Board of the Black American West Museum called the “Dearfield Preservation Committee.” This committee meets once/month and contributes jointly to a range of research, preservation, educational, and community enrichment initiatives. All decisions are jointly approved as resolutions under the Dearfield Preservation Committee. The efforts and progress of this project are publicized through: annual Dearfield Fall Festival; semi-annual Dearfield Research Conference; presentations at national research and education conferences; community education and enrichment events; the Smithsonian Dearfield Exhibit; and peer reviewed publications.
Larimer County Farmers Market
Partners: Alison O’Connor and Team (Larimer County Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences – Horticulture and Landscape Architecture), Larimer County
The Larimer County Farmers’ Market (LCFM) is the oldest farmers’ market in Northern Colorado. Serving the Fort Collins and Northern Colorado communities since 1975, it has been continuously operated by Colorado State University Extension in Larimer County and Colorado Master Gardener volunteers. The market started with a group of Master Gardeners who spent Saturday mornings in the summer selling their excess garden bounty. From those humble beginnings 44 years ago, the market continues to be a cost-effective and convenient location for our vendors to connect with the Fort Collins community and an efficient vehicle for informing the community on the many programs offered by Extension.
The LCFM models how Extension can provide a community with education, community development opportunities, agricultural connections, and healthy food options – all in partnership with farmers, producers, and artisans who live locally - while also creating a reliable revenue stream to support Extension’s efforts to provide additional community programming. For 24 Saturdays every year, the LCFM hosts an average of 60 farms and other vendors, as well as local musicians, non-profit organizations, and student groups, to create a diverse, accessible, educational, fun, and healthy community event.
Parks as Portals to Learning Field Workshop
Partners: Dr. Jared Orsi and Program Team (College of Liberal Arts, Public Lands History Center), Continental Divide Research Learning Center - Rocky Mountain National Park, Rocky Mountain High School
Begun in 2013, Parks as Portals to Learning (PPL) is an annual week-long field workshop. It is a collaborative program between the CSU Department of History’s Public Lands History Center (PLHC) and the Continental Divide Research Learning Center at Rocky Mountain National Park that links academic knowledge and park resource management, thereby benefitting both the park and the PLHC.
At PPL, students from CSU’s History Department live in the park for a week. They are exposed to a resource management challenge and envision ways that they can apply the skills of historians to manage that issue. The workshop’s focus is selected through consultation with the park; past projects have included ecological and historical interpretation of Moraine Park, elk-vegetation dynamics, and challenges posed by rising visitation numbers, to name a few. Students interact with park staff and gain insight into these complex management challenges, and combine it with fieldwork and research to create recommendations. They disseminate their findings in management briefs and formal presentations to park staff, and through an interactive Story Map (2016), news article (2017), and forthcoming book (2018). This year, the workshop will gain additional community partners by including local high school history students and teachers.
The Emerging award celebrates a new initiative that has shown potential for long-term impact, achievement and scholarship.
Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief
Partners: Amanda McQuade (College of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Experiment Station – Western Colorado Research Center), Mesa County School District #51, Western Colorado Community College, Food Bank of the Rockies, Eureka Science Museum, Riverside Education Center, We Can! Mesa County
The mission of the Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief is to improve the health of our community by increasing access to fresh produce by underserved communities and providing educational opportunities for all.
As a program of Colorado State University Agriculture Experiment Station and Colorado State University Extension, we work collaboratively with 5 core partners within our community to:
- increase the access to healthy food by producing and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables through the community food system;
- integrate civic service and hands-on learning in agriculture, food systems, food insecurity and nutrition for students of all ages;
- encourage the consumption of nutritious food through education and engagement;
- spread awareness of food insecurity in our community through meaningful service and engagement; and
- support the implementation of the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, which lays out the vision, goals, and strategies needed so that all Coloradans have access to affordable and healthy food in their communities.
Child Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center
Partners: Stephanie Seng and Program Team (College of Health and Human Sciences, Human Development and Family Studies), Larimer County Department of Health and Human Services
Seeking to change the deficit-based paradigm of care for families in child welfare, the Larimer County Department of Health and Human Services (LCDHS) and the CSU Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) Program partnered to build an on-campus resiliency center. Since 2014, the Child Trauma and Resilience Assessment Center (CTRAC) has become respected across Colorado as a hub for trauma-informed assessment, training and community-building.
CTRAC provides trauma assessments for youth, as well as training to caseworkers, educators, judges, and other professionals serving children impacted by trauma. MFT graduate students work with CTRAC gaining extensive training about trauma and resilience. CTRAC and LCDHS have presented about their unique partnership at state and national conferences and are working collaboratively on publications that share the model and outcomes.
The ongoing partnership between CTRAC and LCDHS brings human service professionals together with CSU faculty and staff under the shared commitment of developing sustainable trauma-informed practices grounded in the latest research and clinical practices. Through close collaboration on the development of the assessment model and protocol for training others, and the dissemination of psychoeducation about childhood trauma, this partnership has helped lead a movement for meaningful changes in our response to childhood trauma in Colorado.
Climbers for Bat Conservation
Partners: Robert A. Schorr (Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado Natural Heritage Program; School of Global Environmental Sustainability), Northern Colorado Climbers’ Coalition and various local climbing organizations in the West
Climbers for Bat Conservation (CBC) is a collaboration among rock climbing citizen scientists, bat biologists, and natural resource managers to understand bat roosting ecology and identify cliff-roosting populations of bats. This project was developed as a novel partnership to identify and monitor bat populations in advance of the devastating disease white-nose syndrome that has killed millions of bats since 2006. Since CBC’s beginning in 2014, it has been a community effort of citizen-science engagement, recruiting and empowering conservation-minded climbers to be ambassadors and data resources for bat conservation. CBC partners include more than 400 people throughout the world who have documented new bat roosting locations in North America. Additionally, CBC is partnering with some of the biggest names in climbing and conservation, including The Access Fund, REI, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Although started as a northern Colorado venture, it is expanding and will be developing chapters in Wyoming, Kentucky, and Oregon.
CSU – Green Camel Bell Partnership
Partners: KuoRay Mao (College of Liberal Arts, Sociology), Green Camel Bell Environment and Development Center, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Research Center for Rural Economy (China), University of New Mexico, Shaanxi Normal University
The CSU-Green Camel Bell partnership adheres to the land grant mission and the transnational and interdisciplinary research initiatives outlined in the 2016-8 University Strategic Plan by conducting community-based research to address severe environmental and health threats caused by unlawful dumping of hazardous wastes in rural northwestern China. Since 2015, the partnership has brought together scholars from CSU, the University of New Mexico (UNM), the Shaanxi Normal University (SNU) as well as the Green Camel Bell (GCB), a grassroots environmental NGO in China, and policymakers from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and the Research Center for Rural Economy (RCRE).
The CSU-GCB partnership has designed intervention projects based on community feedback and organized village groups to create self-sustaining, bottom-up models of hazardous waste management plans. The co-created knowledge demonstrates that community empowerment and environmental education can help rural communities overcome shared governance obstacles such as human resources depletion, gaps in regulation enforcement, and restrictions on civil society in an authoritarian policy context. The partnership has resulted in multiple academic publications, public reports, and media coverage in Chinese and English as well as long-term research collaboration agreements between CSU and the Chinese central government think tanks.
Human Resource Edge Network
Partners: Lynn M. Shore and Program Team (College of Business, Management), Newmont Mining Corporation, Johnson Controls, Gates Corporation, Woodward, UC Health, Arrow Electronics, Ball Corporation, Western Union
The HR Edge Network is a collaborative partnership between human resource executives and faculty from the Management Department in the CSU College of Business started in the fall of The intent of this partnership is to allow a forum for our faculty and executive members to jointly solve real-world business problems through cutting-edge research, sharing of best practices, and networking with fellow leaders in the HR field.
With two annual meetings, this forum allows for sharing of expertise from both the faculty members and the executives and discussions surrounding the latest thinking in strategic HR areas such as organizational culture, teams, leadership, diversity and inclusion, employee health and wellness, conflict and negotiation, and talent management practices. Our purpose is to create an environment where divergent thinking leads to best (and next) practices for extraordinary organizational outcomes.
The HR Edge Network also provides a vehicle by which our HR students can interact with HR executives and thereby broaden their HR knowledge as well as their potential employment trajectories through the experiential learning and internship opportunities created by this collaboration.
Senior Access Points: Improving Access to Aging-Related Resources in Larimer County
Partners: Sue Schneider (CSU Extension, Larimer County) and Allyson Brothers (College of Health and Human Sciences, Human Development and Family Studies), Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities of Larimer County, Larimer County Office on Aging
Senior Access Points (SAP) strives to connect Larimer County residents to the many aging-related resources and services that exist in our area but are underutilized, addressing a longstanding community need. Established in 2016, this highly collaborative project is embedded in county-wide networks and partnerships, and driven by four leading entities: The Larimer County Office of CSU Extension; The Larimer County Office on Aging; The Partnership For Age- Friendly Communities; and CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
The SAP project began with a community-wide survey to better understand local barriers around access to aging-related services. The survey results informed many subsequent accomplishments, including: 1) The launch of an informational website (www.larimerseniors.org); the development and dissemination of 6,125 pieces of outreach materials (magnets, rack cards, business cards); 3) the education of 525 individuals about local aging-related resources; and 4) the pilot of a volunteer ambassador outreach program.
Each activity depends on collaborative approaches within and between the four entities to foster relationships and ensure coordinated outreach and dissemination efforts. The momentum and county-wide enthusiasm for SAP continues to grow; recently, we secured an external two-year grant from the Next50 Initiative to extend our work to rural areas of Larimer County.
Smart Fit Girls
Partners: Chrissy A Chard (College of Health & Human Sciences, Health and Exercise Science, Colorado School of Public Health), Fields Foundation
Smart Fit Girls (SFG) is a research-based, non-profit girls’ empowerment program aimed at promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being of adolescent girls. Co-founded by CSU faculty Dr. Chrissy Chard, it has been implemented with hundreds of girls across the country. Over the past year, Dr. Chard and SFG has partnered with Maisha Fields, executive director of the Aurora-based Fields Foundation (FF), to engage in a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project to culturally adapt the SFG program. The FF, whose mission is to enlighten, encourage and empower youth, is an extraordinary community resource, providing education, job training, healthcare services and more to the surrounding community.
The partnership revolves around the critical need expressed by Maisha and supported by Healthy Kids Colorado survey data to promote wellness and positive self-esteem among the girls served by the FF. This is being done through the creation of the Smart Fit Girls Melanin Magic Leadership Council (SFGMM), a group of talented young women of color, who have taken the lead on exploring their unique experiences with physical activity (PA) and self-esteem, with the ultimate goal of adapting the SFG curriculum to be more culturally relevant. This adapted program will then be implemented by SFGMM with younger girls at the FF.
Straayer Center for Public Service Leadership
Partners: Samuel Houghteling (College of Liberal Arts, Political Science), Larimer County
The Straayer Center for Public Service Leadership provides professional development opportunities to students from all colleges and majors interested in a career in public service. For 37 years, Dr. John Straayer oversaw the legislative internship program at the State Capitol, which has served a significant talent pipeline mechanism for CSU students in public service.
Graduates include elected and administrative officials at the local, state, and federal level, including a sitting U.S. Senator.
The Straayer Center builds on John’s legacy by:
- Connecting students to enhanced internship opportunities.
- Hosting speakers, keynotes, panels, and workshops for our students and local community.
- Developing the first CSU in D.C. semester, with a pilot set for Fall Semester 2018.
- And the creation of a new experiential learning practicum in partnership with Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins. This course will be offered entirely offsite, with an emphasis on local government systems, team building, and will attempt to bridge the talent gap by encouraging young and creative minds to pursue careers across the State at the local level.