By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind,)—IU Southeast scholars continue to attract grant funding for innovative and impactful projects.
Four new awards highlight a diversity of initiatives that will translate into exciting learning experiences for IU Southeast students and broad benefits to local and larger communities.
Supporting community health on the Pine Ridge Reservation
Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, the home of the Lakota Sioux tribe, has the second lowest life expectancy in the Western Hemisphere, with high rates of diabetes, obesity and heart disease coupled with inadequate health services. Since 2011, Dr. Julia Mattingly, assistant professor of nursing, has led nursing students to Pine Ridge for health screenings and promotion.
A $9,400.00 grant from the IU Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council will enable Mattingly and her students to engage in a service learning and community health initiative at Pine Ridge focusing on cardiovascular disease, nutrition, physical activity and more. Nursing students will learn about the Lakota Sioux culture, work on transcultural communication skills and develop an awareness of their role in working toward health equity for all, while offering health promotion to this underserved population.
Retaining new teachers in New Albany-Floyd County schools
Teacher turnover is a major problem affecting student and school success. It is especially high among new teachers, who face increasingly challenging working conditions and lack needed support. Nationwide some 42% of new teachers leave the profession within five years, and the trend also affects schools in the IU Southeast service region.
A grant from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County in amount of $8,625.00 will enable Dr. Robin Fankhauser, associate professor of educational leadership, to coordinate a wide-ranging project designed to provide new teachers with professional development, online and print resources and opportunities for discussion, networking and informal mentoring. Focus groups, web resources, workshops, guest presenters and training for principals are also important components. A training program will be developed as well as evaluation metrics to monitor and optimize the success of the project. In addition, IU Southeast will develop and host a new teacher resource website to provide added support for the entire teaching community.
Evaluating the IU Southeast poverty simulation
In April 2017 a poverty simulation was held at IU Southeast, bringing together faculty, staff, students, human service professionals and volunteers from the New Albany Housing Authority in an exercise designed to increase understanding of poverty and improve quality of life for low-income individuals in Floyd County, where one in ten adults and one in six children live in poverty.
The grant in the amount of $5,000.00 from the Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County will fund evaluation of the simulation to assess its impact, enable improvements and tailor the exercise to the needs and realities of the Floyd County community. By becoming trained and experienced facilitators, the organizers from the Schools of Nursing, Education and Social Sciences will be able to fine-tune the experience as an educational tool and fully integrate it into curriculum and learning outcomes, as well as offer it to high schools, churches, area businesses, civic groups and other interested organizations.
The evaluation project includes a literature review to aid in the design and guide the analysis of post-event surveys, survey administration, data entry and analysis, and the hiring of a student intern to maintain the simulation kit for nine sessions over a one-year period.
Bringing Japanese courses online
IU Southeast will offer the first online versions of elementary Japanese language courses in the IU system, during the 2018-19 academic year. Supported by a $5,000.00 grant from The Japan Foundation, Yoko Martin, a subject area specialist and Kendra Sheehan, a technical specialist, will develop the courses, EALC-J101 Elementary Japanese 1 and EALC-J102.
Martin, who has taught the face-to-face versions of the same courses for several years at IU Bloomington, IUPUI and IU Southeast, and who coordinates the Japanese program at IU Southeast, will create the content of the course syllabi, assignments, quizzes and exams. Sheehan, who has completed IU Southeast’s online and hybrid course training held by the Institute for Learning & Teaching Excellence (ILTE), will observe Martin’s class in order to create an effective outline for lecture videos, online handouts/sources and online assessment. In addition, Sheehan will provide assistance with attention to detail, structure, and creating effective asynchronous content online. Working together, Martin and Sheehan will create the online content and record the lectures. By the end of the 2017-18 academic year, the two courses will be ready to be offered online for the following 2018-19 academic year.
“These initiatives reflect IU Southeast’s commitment to creating unique, sometimes life-changing, student learning experiences and to benefiting local and global communities through innovative projects,” said IU Southeast Corporate and Foundation Grant Coordinator Jean Borger.
Homepage photo: Nursing student Britin Abbot tests the blood pressure of a Lakota Sioux girl in 2016. Grant funding from the IU Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council will allow faculty and students from the School of Nursing to continue community health work on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Photo by Melissa Vance.