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Congratulations to the 2013-2014 Community/University Partnerships

    
CUP Grant Award Winners

Picturing Milwaukee: Promoting Stewardship and Conservation of Local Heritage

Mr. Lloyd Dickinson, Historic Water Tower Neighborhood; Dr. Arijit Sen, UWM School of Architecture and Urban Planning


Mr. Lloyd Dickinson, Historic Water Tower Neighborhood; Dr. Arijit Sen, UWM School of Architecture and Urban

This project involves students, faculty, nationally recognized humanities scholars, historic preservation advocates, residents, and community members of the Historic Water Tower Neighborhood in a 5-week long, on-site, summer field school.  The objective of this project is to collect, interpret and circulate stories of local heritage and document practices of environmental stewardship.  The 2013 field school will be the first of a 5-year long plan to engage 5 communities along North Avenue with the same overarching questions- what do you care for, how do you care for it, and why do you do so?  We hope to examine if such "local knowledge" can be incorporated into the ways we practice historic preservation and ecological conservation.  Participants will identify and document places that matter to the community, conduct oral histories with residents, identify best practices of environmental stewardship practiced by local residents, and conduct archival research of neighborhood history.  This project deploys the power of storytelling in disseminating stories of local history, architectural heritage, and practices of ecological stewardship.  At the end of this project, we will produce signage and artistic markers that will be deployed across the neighborhoods.  We will create a series of heritage tours, scholarly articles, multimedia documentaries and a monograph.  We hope that these products will not only encourage residents to engage with each other but will also sustain a longer conversation among diverse urban stakeholders.


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Making a Little Less Noise: Empowering Local Communities through Science

Mr. Robert Dunn, Dr. Daniel Weber
Mr. Robert Dunn, Our Next Generation; Dr. Daniel Weber, UWM Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center

The Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will partner with Our Next Generation, a community-based, after-school program for high school- and college-aged students to empower members of the Lisbon Avenue neighborhood with science-based information on the health effects of urban noise pollution. The project will teach the students that science is a process by which we gain information that can be used to improve the lives of people. Specifically, they will use student-generated experiments in a behavioral laboratory at the UWM Great Lakes WATER Institute that provide insights into the effects of noise on behavior, specifically how animals react to noise and how noise can alter social interactions and other behaviors. They will take that information to their community and become key participants in the discussion on how to reduce noise pollution in their neighborhood. The project will be professionally evaluated to identify strengths and weaknesses so that a foundation for improvement in following years will be created. With appropriate modifications based upon that assessment, this program will become a model for integrating classroom science projects into community social issues discussions to empower students to be active participants in enhancing their own environmental health.

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Building Financial Literacy and Business Decision-Making amongst Milwaukee's Burmese Refugee Population

Ms. Lisa Heuler Williams, Dr. Aline Lo, Ms. Demetria Anderson, Mr. Jerry Johnson, and Ms. Claire Reuning, Ms. Claire Reuning, International Institute of Wisconsin; Ms. Lisa Heuler Williams, UWM Center for Economic Development; Dr. Aline Lo, UWM English & Comparative Ethnic Studies, Ms. Demetria Anderson, UWM Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research, Mr. Jerry Johnson, UW Credit Union

The purpose of this project is to build the financial literacy and business decision-making abilities of Burmese refugees in Milwaukee. Refugees often have no experience in navigating U.S.-style business and financial relationships.  Limited English proficiency and lack of familiarity and comfort with such institutions impacts their ability to manage their resources wisely and to attain economic self-sufficiency.  This project will engage a total of 10-20 Burmese refugees in a financial literacy training program. The project will engage a total of 20 UWM undergraduate students from Dr. Aline Lo’s class “English 150: Multicultural America”.  These students will be trained in financial literacy tools.  Once they have demonstrated their capabilities in this area, they will be matched with a Burmese refugee.  The UWM students will teach financial literacy skills to the refugees.  At the end of the training sessions, all UWM students and Burmese refugees will attend a simulation activity at UWM Union.   The UWM students will play the roles of “coaches” and “financial service providers”.  The refugees will practice their financial literacy skills to make effective business decisions. One of the crucial paths to self-sufficiency is a financial literacy and effective business decision-making.  This project will engage UWM students and Burmese refugees in gaining these crucial skills.


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Nutrition Education for Young Farmers

Mr. Nick DeMarsh, Groundwork Milwaukee; Mr. Bruce Wiggins, Milwaukee Urban Gardens, Ms. Susan Kundrat, MS, RD, CSSD, UWM Nutritional Sciences ProgramMr. Nick DeMarsh, Groundwork Milwaukee; Mr. Bruce Wiggins, Milwaukee Urban Gardens, Ms. Susan Kundrat, MS, RD, CSSD, UWM Nutritional Sciences Program

The Nutrition Education for Young Farmers Project is a partnership between Groundwork Milwaukee (GWM) and the UWM Nutritional Sciences Program, located in the College of Health Sciences Department of Kinesiology and Biomedical Sciences.  UWM faculty and students will provide nutrition education to GWM's Young Farmers and also develop assessment tools and methodologies. UWM wants to establish a new Nutritional Sciences Department and degree program, and this community/university partnership will help advance that goal. Students and faculty will gain practical hands-on education and experience working with a hard-to-reach population. The support letters from Deans Peck and Stojkovic attest to UWM's interest in this project. The Young Farmers Program is GWM's method of expanding the urban agriculture movement to low-income youth needing education, training, and employment. The Young Farmers use a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model to grow food and deliver weekly to customers a box of fresh locally grown produce. One goal for the second year of the program is to expand the training beyond the summer months to engage the youth in year-round programming. Providing nutrition education as described in the project narrative will help meet this goal. Six project outcomes are envisioned. This partnership meets current CUP grant priorities exceptionally well.

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Land/UWM Soil Testing Project

Ms. Delores Green, Lisbon Avenue Neighborhood Development (LAND); Dr. Jeanne Hewitt, UWM's Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center
Ms. Delores Green, Lisbon Avenue Neighborhood Development (LAND); Dr. Jeanne Hewitt, UWM's Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center

Lisbon Avenue Neighborhood Development (LAND) and the UWM Children's Environmental Health Sciences Core Center (CEHSCC) are partnering to provide soil testing for lead (and other heavy metal) for residents who: have a vegetable garden in their yard; who are interested in starting a vegetable garden in their yard; who have a day care center where children play in the yard; or who are interested in gardening on a vacant lot in the neighborhood.  Based on initial discussions between LAND and CEHSCC, in the spring of 2011, it quickly became apparent that although some residents in the community have an interest in growing produce at residential and community vegetable gardens, regulatory agencies and health departments were not actively providing soil testing services to the soil was safe for food production. One of the goals of the LAND & CEHSCC Partnership is to increase residents awareness about the soil they're growing their produce in, and to provide testing of their soil to reduce risk factors.  The overall goal of the partnership through testing, education, and remediation services is to improve the quality of life for residents in the community. The funds requested from the CUP's Grant will allow LAND and UWM to continue to evaluate the prevalence of lead in soil in the community, assist residents with remediation of lead impacted soil, provide community education on the prevalence of lead in urban soils and community vegetable gardens, and continue moving forward with development of the project and services.

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Practical Approaches to a Sustainable Future with the Fresh Produce Preservation Project

Ms. Rebecca Long, The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, Inc.; Virginia Schrag, The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, Inc.; Dr. Mai Phillips, UWM's Conservation and Environmental SciencesMs. Rebecca Long, The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, Inc.; Ms. Virginia Schrag, The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, Inc.; Dr. Mai Phillips, UWM's Conservation and Environmental Sciences

CES 571, Practical Approaches to a Sustainable Future, is a course focused on combining natural ecological principles with practical solutions to sustainability.  The Gathering of Southeast Wisconsin, Inc. provides a perfect avenue for students to practice these solutions. The Gathering, founded in 1982, is a volunteer based community meal program that prepares and serves over 100,000 meals to the hungry and homeless annually in Milwaukee.  In 2010, The Gathering developed the Fresh Produce Preservation Project (FPPP) for two specific reasons: First, to be better stewards of donated fresh produce, by limiting its waste. Second, to preserve produce for use in winter meals and boost the nutritional value of those meals.  A partnership between CES 571 and The Gathering will allow twenty students the opportunity to grow, harvest and process fresh produce for the FPPP. At the same time, students will1earn about food insecurity, hunger, and homelessness as well as food handling, preservation and storage through the hands-on collaboration.  The union of UW-Milwaukee students and The Gathering staff will allow The Gathering to provide more nutritious food to those in need while educating students on the local economic and resource disparities and possible solutions.


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Everyday Health Program

Ms. Emily Spanjers, Central City Churches, Inc.; Ms. Alicia Ellis, Central City Churches, Inc.; Mr. Richard Ellis, Central City Churches, Inc.; Ms. Sarah Hopkins, Local to Global: Creating Healthier CommunitiesMs. Emily Spanjers, Central City Churches, Inc.; Ms. Alicia Ellis, Central City Churches, Inc.; Ms. Sarah Hopkins, Local to Global: Creating Healthier Communities

Many of the Milwaukee's residents who visit Central City Churches, Inc. lack adequate health care.  Free, low-stress opportunities to learn more about specific health problems can be beneficial to the Central City Churches, Inc. participants.  Thus, Central City Churches, Inc. staff and volunteers, with the collaboration of with University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) student organization "Local to Global: Creating Healthier Communities", have decided to create the Everyday Health Program to provide Milwaukee's residents the opportunity to receive information about various health topics free of charge.  Local to Global members will produce informative handouts and give a total of six presentations with question and answer sessions throughout the year providing residents access to information about strategies to improve their health in achievable, affordable ways.  The topics covered will be Eating Healthy on a Budget; Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, and Diabetes: How They're All Related; Easy Exercise; Managing Stress; Dental Health; and Successful Aging.  The Local to Global (UWM) students will gain a greater appreciation of the health issues faced by Milwaukee residents while producing useful documents and gaining presentation skills.

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Support the Elders' Physical Capabilities and Well-being through Robotic Development

Mr. Peter Graven, Deer Creek Intermediate School; Dr. Na Jin Seo, UWM Rehabilitation Laboratory

Mr. Peter Graven, Deer Creek Intermediate School; Dr. Na Jin Seo, UWM Rehabilitation Laboratory



This project represents a start-up of a new formal program between the Deer Creek Intermediate School Robotics Club and the UWM Rehabilitation Laboratory, composed of 10 intermediate school students and 11 UWM students, respectively. The goal of this project is to provide support for the elders' well-being by developing robots for aging research to functionally assist the elders' daily activities. Specifically, for this project, the two programs will work together to develop a robotic device to stimulate hand skin. This robotic device will be used in the UWM's aging research whose goal is to develop a wearable assistive device for the elders to feel the touch sensation in the hand better. The expected outcomes of the project are: (1) achievement of a significant progress toward development of the wearable assistive sensory device for aging populations in the community; (2) demonstration that UWM can work together with an intermediate school to accomplish a science and engineering project for aging populations; (3) inspiration that UWM students will gain toward teaching and involving community in their future career; and (4) encouraging both intermediate school and UWM students for future pursuit of science/engineering toward helping people in need in the community.

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