2013-2014 Grant Recipients

Recognizing Rutgers’ responsibility to be a strong partner in New Brunswick, the university provides grants up to $25,000 to support community-based participatory research in the city. Below are the grant recipients for the July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2014 grant period. 
Building Gardens and Capacity with the Community Gardening Movement in New Brunswick
Rutgers co-director: Laura Lawson, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Community co-director: Paul Helms, Elijah's Promise

Rutgers Landscape Architecture faculty and students will work with New Brunswick community garden leaders and participants to jointly design and implement improvements to the Shiloh Community Garden and Archibald Community Garden through research, participatory design, and implementation. A pre- and post-action survey will assess attitudes regarding civic engagement, gardening knowledge, and the community-university partnership itself to inform ongoing strategic planning.

Building on Cultural Capital through Participatory Action Research and Social Enterprise
Rutgers co-director: Donna Van Alst, School of Social Work
Community co-director: Mario Vargas, PRAB

PRAB, a multi-service agency, will work with faculty from the schools of Social Work and Business to conduct a participatory action research project that will result in improved understanding of the issues facing New Brunswick’s diverse and growing Latino population. In addition, the plan will develop a social venture through which PRAB will supply translation services and Spanish-speaking data collectors to University and other research concerns, facilitating the inclusion of Latinos in research studies.

Enhancing Mathematical and Pedagogical Content Knowledge in the Middle Grades
Rutgers co-director: Amy Cohen-Corwin, School of Arts and Sciences
Community co-director: John Anzul, New Brunswick Public Schools

The New Brunswick Public Schools and the Rutgers Center for Math, Science, and Computer Education will collaborate on a project to enhance the capacity of teachers in grades 6-8 to engage students more deeply and more successfully in learning and using mathematics. Using facilitated Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), participating teachers from NBPS will reconsider mathematical content and mathematical pedagogy in light of current progress in cognitive science and learning theory. Research and evaluation components will measure increased teacher knowledge and examine how teachers modify classroom practice throughout the project.

Guided Physical Activity for Latino Diabetics
Rutgers co-director: Sandra Echeverria, School of Public Health
Community co-director: Mariam Merced, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

New Brunswick encompasses a large population of low-income residents, a large majority of whom are Latino individuals with a high risk of diabetes. In collaboration with RWJUH, Latino diabetics will have free access to the Health and Wellness Center in New Brunswick. In addition to the membership incentive, participants will receive culturally relevant support mechanisms to increase physical activity, including a peer-led buddy system, a guided tour of the Wellness Center, and periodic monitoring of changes in physical fitness. The program aims to build awareness of the importance of physical activity for diabetes management as well as overall health.

New Brunswick Preschool Behavior Screening System–Spanish Scale (NB PBSS–Spanish)
Rutgers co-director: Ryan J. Kettler, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology
Community co-director: Lauren Carrington, The Tiny Tots Spot

Behavioral and emotional screening measures are useful in identifying children who may be at risk for later developing serious, disabling conditions. Currently, there exist few screening measures targeting young children, with even fewer tailored for Spanish-speaking populations. This study aims to develop a Spanish language parent version of the Preschool Behavior Screening System (PBSS), using a rigorous translation process. The purpose of this study is to expand the availability of behavioral and emotional screening measures and increase the accessibility and usability of these scales to New Brunswick’s rapidly growing Spanish-speaking population.