2018 Baldwin Funded Seed Project Grants

Allen Centennial Garden’s Best. Fridays. Ever.

Project Leaders: Benjamin Futa and Kaitlin McIntosh, Horticulture, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

At Allen Centennial Garden we believe gardeners, through their gardens, can save the world. Gardens relieve stress, improve our physical and emotional health, provide food, clean our water and air, support wildlife — and they’re simply beautiful. At the Garden, we are more than the sum of our plants: we’re an artful living laboratory and cultural melting pot of the UW campus. Here in our corner of the campus community, we don’t operate from a big stage but we operate from an important one for the 65,000 students, staff, and faculty we serve.

In the past three years, fresh and innovative public programming has driven visitation from a few hundred in 2015, to more than 9,500 in 2017. One of the newest signature offerings is Best. Friday. Ever., a series of events May-October that celebrate art, science, culture, creativity, collaboration and community on the UW campus. Average attendance at a. Best. Friday. Ever. ranged from 350-600, with a high proportion of families and young adults.

Best. Friday. Ever. embraces the Wisconsin Idea and celebrates the power of public gardens to tell the stories of our natural and cultural commonwealth — in this case, the stories of UW-Madison and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Assessing the Need and Opportunity for Short Messaging Service (SMS) Based Systems for Economic Empowerment in Haiti

Project Leaders: Ornella Hills, Robyn Baragwanath and Dhavan Shah, Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Letters and Science

Scholars have demonstrated the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the improvement of economic development, health and well-being in multiple contexts. However digital divides have led to the under-utilization of ICTs to improve economic development among globally poor populations. Given the robustness of the informal sector in many developing nations, scholars have called for the need for ICTs in aiding the economic development and subsequent improved quality of life of entrepreneurs in the informal economy of the Global South. However, low internet penetration limits the use of these technologies and have led to the need to explore non-smartphone-based ICTs for development.

This study explores the opportunity to use a Short Message System (SMS)-based system to improve economic development among entrepreneurs in one of the largest informal markets in one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean: Haiti, a country with low internet penetration rates but high basic phone usage. The study also seeks to use local informant interviews and focus groups to assess features most useful to local entrepreneurs in an effort to develop a preliminary prototype for testing in future projects.

Athletic Training Students Bringing Concussion Awareness to Communities

Project Leaders: Chloe McKay and Andrew Winterstein, Kinesiology, School of Education

(AATS) / Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety (ATSBS) will collaborate with University Health Services (UHS) and the Brain Injury Alliance of Wisconsin (BIAW) to create a series of public service materials, brochures, posters, and a public service announcement video to promote brain safety on campus and in our respective communities. UHS provides both a platform for the spread of knowledge and a resource for treatment of concussions. BIAW provides a platform for both state and regional distribution of information. With our partners at UHS and BIAW and our educational materials, we will work to reach a broad audience of UW-Madison students and, in the spirit of the Wisconsin idea, extend our reach within the state of Wisconsin and regionally.

Being present: A toolkit for parents, caregivers, and educators of young children

Project Leaders: Allison G. Kaplan, The Information School, College of Letters and Science, and Libby Bestul, School of Human Ecology/UW-Extension

In these days of increasing technology use and a fast-paced news media cycle, with reports highlighting catastrophic natural disasters and acts of violence, adults may become preoccupied and less focused on attending to children in their care and at home. In the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, a collaborative UW-Madison team has formed to share critical information and exchange ideas with the community of early childhood caregiver regarding ways to help adults be more present and mindful when working and being with children. The team is responding to requests from Wisconsin childcare providers who have engaged in conversations with the team about the issue of present parenting and teaching and who enthusiastically embrace the idea of our team helping them to sort through the extensive research and popular publications to help them understand the issues and offer tools and resources for themselves as educators as well as for the families with whom they work. The goal of this project is to provide parents and childcare providers with guidance (through workshop presentations) and resources (through a toolkit) on the knowledge and skills needed to shift their awareness and become more present when engaging with young children.

Building Partnerships to Promote Positive Mental Health for Children and Youth in Rural Wisconsin

Project Leaders: Andy Garbacz, Bradley Carl and Craig Albers, Educational Psychology, School of Education

Nearly 80% of children and youth with mental health problems do not receive the mental healthcare they need. Children and youth with mental health needs in rural communities face unique challenges to obtaining effective treatment. Rural communities have limited access to mental healthcare and rural schools often do not provide effective mental health services. Improving mental healthcare for children and youth in rural schools is a national priority. In Wisconsin, addressing mental health for children and youth was recently identified as one of the top major challenges for rural Wisconsin schools.

The purpose of this Baldwin Seed Project is to partner with the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance (WiRSA) and rural schools to identify mental health needs, examine existing rural school-based mental health practices, and develop a scoped and sequenced plan for rural schools to promote positive mental health outcomes for children and youth. Partnership research, will drive four goals grounded in quantitative and qualitative research methods, including meta-analysis. Outcomes will include scientific papers, a practitioner-focused paper, and scoped and sequenced recommendations for WiRSA and rural Wisconsin schools, distributed through rural Wisconsin technical assistance channels.

Exploring the Micro-World

Project Leaders: Sebastien Ortiz and Christina Hull, Biomolecular Chemistry, School of Medicine and Public Health

The overall goal of this project is to show young students the wonder of science by helping them learn about the microscopic world around them. This outreach project will be specifically aimed at exposing underserved communities to the benefits of science via exploration of their local environments using Foldscopes (inexpensive, foldable microscopes). Many underserved communities in Wisconsin do not have the proper resources to provide students with hand-on science experiences. To ensure that minority and rural underserved communities grow and become economically competitive, there is a need for more highly skilled individuals that are prepared for careers in STEM, and science outreach is key to meeting this need. We, as University of Wisconsin scientists, are in an ideal position to provide this service. This program will be the first microbial outreach program established by practicing scientists from the University of Wisconsin. Providing local communities with the opportunity to learn about microorganisms from experts in the field will not only have health benefits but will also increase the exposure of these communities to science overall.

Facilitating the Vision of the “Badger Re-use Plan”

Project Leaders: Paul Zedler and Craig Maier, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

The federal government’s decision to award lands of the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant for long-term agricultural and conservation use rather than industrial development was due in large part to the Badger Re-Use Plan. This community-driven comprehensive plan was completed in 2001. So far, progress toward the vision of cross-boundary collaboration, which is at the heart of the Re-Use Plan, has been slow, given the demands of each individual landowner (the Wisconsin DNR, the Dairy Forage Research Center, and the Ho-Chunk Nation) to deal with their organization’s priorities. Our community partner, the Sauk Prairie Conservation Alliance (SPCA), was instrumental in the creation of the Re-Use Plan, and the organization’s members are dedicated to the goal of collaborative land use and are currently working to convene the landowners.

The Nelson Institute will convene meetings and field days together with the SPCA. We believe the resulting increased frequency of communication will help increase Badger landowner’s mutual knowledge and trust, and likelihood for collaboration. We will also accelerate the delivery of research needs and opportunities to a larger number of faculty across colleges than the other partners could alone. Products will include: a report summarizing opportunities for collaborative conservation and research; a social media campaign to increase awareness and understanding of current and proposed activities at Badger; and a graduate seminar using Badger as a case study for managing lands for multiple uses.

Fighting Poverty with New Resources: Transforming Lives through the Odyssey Project Campus Network

Project Leaders: Emily Auerbach and Colleen Johnson, Liberal Arts and Applied Studies, Division of Continuing Studies

The UW-Madison Odyssey Project has a proven 15-year track record of empowering adults at the poverty level to overcome adversity and achieve dreams through higher education. Odyssey has empowered over 400 low-income adults from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds to find their voices and get a jumpstart on earning college degrees.

Odyssey students are driven to complete the rigorous program and pursue further education, but countless obstacles prevent them from realizing their long-term goals. Our students face great instability in their employment, housing, food, childcare, and transportation, and these resource challenges are compounded by domestic violence, depression and anxiety, and relapses into substance abuse. Currently, approximately one-quarter of our alumni have earned a professional certificate or college degree, and another one-quarter are currently enrolled in college coursework. We believe that both of these numbers could increase significantly if students received greater support as they pursue their academic and career goals.

With support from a Baldwin seed grant, we will more fully develop campus partnerships with at least five of the following units: Division of Continuing Studies, English Department, UHS, Office of Child Care and Family Resources, College of Letters & Sciences, Pre-College Council, School of Human Ecology, 4W Initiative, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Community Relations, School of Education, School of Medicine and Public Health, School of Social Work, and the Morgridge Center for Public Service. Working with these partners, we will explore new ways that they can help our students overcome obstacles through direct outreach and transferring research.

Helping Infants and Toddlers Cope with Parental Incarceration

Project Leaders: Julie Poehlmann-Tynan and Julia Yeary, School of Human Ecology

Five million U.S. children have experienced a co-resident parent leaving for jail or prison. Many children of incarcerated parents are young (44-57% are 0-5 years). Few resources are available for children and their caregivers following parental incarceration, especially for infants and toddlers.

The goal of the proposed project is to begin adapting materials designed for infants and toddlers of military parents for infants and toddlers of incarcerated parents. The national organization ZERO TO THREE (ZTT) has developed extensive multimedia materials for very young children of military families. While these resources were developed to address issues relevant to deployment or relocation, the materials also reflect common themes shared by families of incarcerated parents such as loss, change, parental distress, and uncertainty, as well as the buffering role of caregivers. Our first step in modifying the materials is to revise the book Over There, which focuses on keeping the separated parent in the child’s mind/heart. The revised book will help caregivers talk about the parent’s incarceration in a developmentally appropriate and supportive way. Poehlmann-Tynan’s (2005, 2015) research finds that talking to children about the parent’s incarceration in a developmentally appropriate manner is associated with better well-being in young children. The anticipated outcome will be parent and caregiver satisfaction with the book and caregiver report of children’s positive reactions to the book measured with surveys and interviews with our advisory groups. The project will occur from 7/1/2018 to 12/31/2018. Two advisory panels will be convened and revised text and suggested illustrations will be reviewed.

Identifying Opportunities to Encourage Access to Campus-generated Information Resources

Project Leader: Carrie Nelson, UW-Madison Libraries

The traditional scholarly and academic publishing system provides for the dissemination of some types of university-generated knowledge, but not all. In recent years, universities have been creating services and infrastructure to facilitate the collection and sharing of information resources that otherwise remain hidden or under-utilized. On our campus, some units have developed independent systems for sharing materials they create. For example, UW-Extension hosts a large collection of fact sheets which they make freely available online. Meanwhile, many other campus units create potentially valuable resources but have not considered trying to make them easily available to the general public.

This project proposes to identify and describe: 1) the types of campus-generated information resources of interest to people outside the university, 2) the existing systems available to help connect the public to these resources, and 3) the areas of opportunity to more effectively connect the public to more of these resources. In the near term, this project would expose campus content creators to a variety of models for making their work more accessible to the public. In addition, university staff including librarians, technologists, the Press, and other administrators can use the information contained in the report as a foundation for building effective systems to encourage and support public access to campus-generated resources. Valuable information resources are already being created and shared. This project would allow us to identify opportunities to share more of these resources more effectively and more widely.

Investigating Farm-level Factors and Life History Events That Affect Carcass Quality of Dairy Cows

Project Leaders: Guilherme Rosa and Ligia Moreira, Animal Science, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

About 2.5 million dairy cows are culled every year, accounting for approximately 12% of domestically produced beef in the United States. Therefore, identifying farm factors that affect the quality, value, and price of cull dairy cows would be important to help dairy farmers’ decisions to improve culling strategies, animal welfare, and carcass and meat quality.

The overall objective of this project is to collect and analyze data from dairy farms located in Wisconsin, tracking the life history of their cull cows in 2018 and 2019, and associate such data with slaughterhouse information in terms of carcass quality and value. Results of such research will aid farmers with management and culling decisions to improve the quality of carcass and meat from cull dairy cows.

Listening to Inform: Developing Urban Indigenous Arts & Sciences

Project Leaders: Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong and Rachel Byington, Planning and Landscape Architecture, College of Letters and Science

This Baldwin seed grant project will develop a strategic plan for implementing two connected programs to serve both urban educators and American Indian youth in and around Madison. Urban American Indian youth face multiple challenges forming a Native identity and making tribal community cultural connections due to a diversity of tribes, languages, and traditions along with a disconnect to the cultural significance of land. Furthermore, while it is required that public schools teach the history, culture, and sovereignty of Wisconsin’s tribes, there is evidence both in verbal and written reports that much of what is being taught is not meeting the requirement and may actually be causing harm.

To address these concerns, we propose to host a series of community dialogues to hear from educators, parents, and students how in-practice Indigenous Arts and Sciences (IAS) can be adapted to meet the needs of these stakeholders in an urban setting. The resulting strategic plan will inform how to develop culturally responsive professional development specifically for urban educators and how to develop a culturally relevant, educational program for youth.

Medical Education and Discovery Course: Increasing Self-efficacy Among Underrepresented Students

Project Leaders: Michael Kim, Krystle Campbell, and Tisha Kawahara, Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health

Multiple factors, such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and accessibility to resources impact an individual’s health and quality of life. A National Center for Education Statistics study identified startling gaps in educational attainment across public schools nationally. Specifically in Dane County, educational inequity in underrepresented students from communities of color is a major problem seen in the opportunity gap. Regional and national disparities in high school graduation rates have implications for professional development and career outlook.

Our goal is to bridge the gap by promoting a sense of self-efficacy and increasing accessibility of opportunities. As a new initiative in Dane County, the Mini Medical Education and Discovery Course will incorporate a series of hands-on activities which allows learners to gain real world exposure and experience. These experiences will empower students to set their career goals high in healthcare fields and gain confidence in being able to achieve these goals. Course participants will include underrepresented 9th and 10th grade students of color from select Dane County schools as they are in the process of exploring career options. Four courses will be held at the UW Clinical Simulation Program. Furthermore, our partnership with the Wisconsin PEOPLE Program will allow us to expand this educational outreach directly where inequity is observed. Utilizing a modified version of the “Validation of a new general self-efficacy scale” survey, changes in self-reported self-efficacy will be evaluated pre-intervention and post-intervention. Upon course completion, we predict increases in self-efficacy resulting from exposure to healthcare careers through hands-on learning.

Out of the Box: An international education subscription service for rural teachers

Project Leaders: Nancy Heingartner and Lauren Marino, Africa Center, International Division

The Institute for Regional and International Studies Discovery Box Subscription Service brings cost-effective international studies outreach to rural schools. Discovery Boxes are curated collections of cultural items such as objects, textiles, books, music, and films paired with lesson plans and multi-media materials assembled by University of Wisconsin area-studies experts., lesson-plan Discovery Boxes explore themes related to cutting-edge international research taking place on campus, helping bring the real-world impact of campus scholarship into higher relief while offering Wisconsin teachers a current perspective on international affairs. Boxes are shipped directly to educators free-of-charge with a pre-paid return slip. Each student in the program receives a “Bucky’s Passport” at the beginning of the school year. Teachers will receive a box of materials and activities each month with corresponding international postage stamps for the passports to document this intellectual journey across the globe. This innovative program was initiated by the African Studies Program in Spring 2017 with a collection of five boxes which have been provided on an ad hoc basis to seven teachers across the state. With support from a Baldwin Seed Award, IRIS can (1) curate eight Discovery Boxes representing the eight area studies centers at Wisconsin, and (2) pilot the subscription model for the Discovery Box program, providing three high-school social science teachers (~150 high school students).

Pathways for Underrepresented Youth to Pursue Occupational Therapy: Diverse-OT Outreach Across WI

Project Leaders: Catherine Conrad and Monica Daleccio, Kinesiology, School of Education

Diverse-OT is a new student organization that strives to create pathways for underrepresented students to pursue a career in occupational therapy (OT). Our vision is to build a more diverse workforce that is reflective of the populations we serve. Within the Madison community, our current outreach initiatives include presenting workshops for high school students in college preparatory classes as well as in after school high school programs. During these presentations, we teach students about the growing field of OT, discuss our own academic path through higher education, and provide interactive activities where students can engage with OT adaptive equipment. Career exploration and hands-on experiences are important in engaging students in serious thoughts about pursuing higher education. Additionally, the diversity of our membership allows us to connect with students with similar backgrounds and use role-modeling to meet them where they are in their own individual process. To expand our outreach to Wisconsin students in both urban and rural areas, we propose visits to Rufus King High School in Milwaukee and Darlington High School in Darlington. Our budget includes travel, lodging, and commonly used adaptive equipment to provide students in diverse settings across Wisconsin with an interactive introduction to our field. Over the past year, we have seen the positive impact that this outreach has had on high school students in the Madison area, and we are eager to expand our mission by continuing to serve underrepresented communities.

Registered Student Organization Civic Partnership Program

Project Leaders: Megan Miller and Anisa Yudawanti, Morgridge Center for Public Service

The University of Wisconsin, rooted in the Wisconsin Idea, commits itself to improving community life and educating students for civic and social responsibility. However, recent findings by UW-Madison’s Civic Action Planning Committee suggest the university needs to adopt ways of increasing both the quality and the quantity of this community-based work. Moreover, the University’s Civic Action Plan includes a recommendation specifically aimed at “ensuring preparation of UW-Madison stakeholders for high quality community-engaged work and partnership (where higher quality means sustained, culturally sensitive and aware, collaborative and mutually beneficial with community partners.)”

The Morgridge Center for Public Service is uniquely positioned to shape campus-wide changes in student attitudes and perceptions of working with community organizations and in community spaces. While supports exist for students who choose to participate in university service-based programs (such as Badger Volunteers) or community-based learning (service-learning) courses, many students choose to engage in service through alternative avenues. We see a particularly significant number of students volunteering with their Registered Student Organizations (RSOs).

This proposal seeks to meet the needs of both UW-Madison students seeking to engage in community-based work through RSOs and community partner organizations seeking to build long-term partnerships with these RSOs. The Registered Student Organization Civic Partnership Program is an initiative aimed at providing training to students on building sustained, culturally sensitive and mutually beneficial partnership with community partner organizations while simultaneously more adeptly meeting community identified needs.

Responding to Suspected and Sex Trafficked Children and Youth in Northeast Wisconsin

Project Leader: Lara Gerassi, Social Work, College of Letters and Science

Sex trafficking occurs when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or when the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age. Commercial sex acts include prostitution, pornography, exotic dancing, and the exchange of sex for basic needs when a minor is involved. Strengthening social service organizations that work with trafficked people is important to enhancing the collective response to sex trafficking in the region. The goals for this project are to 1) Disseminate knowledge and provide recommendations to social service organizations on evidence-based/informed practice strategies for working with individuals who are at risk of being or have been trafficked, 2) Explore the use, applicability, and feasibility of evidence-based/informed practice strategies and models among social services that come into contact with individuals who are at risk of being or are sex trafficked, and 3) This project will partner with the Youth and Family Services Division of Outagamie County, which is currently creating a regional response protocol for suspected and confirmed trafficked cases for the northeast region of Wisconsin. The proposed Baldwin Seed Proposal aims to understand the gaps in services, enabling the development of specialized trainings for service providers and strengthening cross collaboration efforts to serve sex trafficked children and youth.

Rhetoric-in-Action: Community-University Partnerships to Address Wisconsin’s Engagement Challenges

Project Leaders: Caroline Druschke and Christa Olson, English, and Sarah McKinnon, Communication Arts, College of Letters and Science

Seed funding will support the creation of the Rhetoric-in-Action Collaborative to strengthen university-community ties between UW-Madison faculty and students in rhetorical studies and three organizations: the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; Freedom, Inc.; and the Wisconsin Historical Society through three, one-week immersive seminars that involve a public colloquium alongside two partnership-building workshops. Through these intensive seminars — focused on environmental management, racial justice, and public memory — Rhetoric-in-Action will invite community partners to educate UW-Madison students and faculty about the challenges of public engagement in their particular issue areas, and will provide the resources necessary to identify areas of potential university intervention and collaboration on tractable aspects of these complex challenges. Through three varied focus areas, tied together under the rhetoric-in-action theme, this seed project engages a broad group of stakeholders with differing strategies, accounting for both the specificity of particular issues and the overarching challenges of public engagement. The culmination of each one-week seminar will be the production of a collaborative white paper detailing a plan of action for future community-university collaboration. These white papers will serve as a blueprint for an expanded Baldwin Wisconsin Idea proposal in fall 2018.

Tap Talks at Central Waters Brewery: Bringing UW-Madison to Rural Wisconsin

Project Leaders: Moira Harrington and Tim Campbell, Aquatic Sciences Center, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education, and UW-Madison/UW Extension Environmental Resources Center

The Wisconsin Idea aims to bring the resources and insights of the University to the entire state. In order to do this, researchers need to identify and capitalize on opportunities to connect with rural residents. A successful model for bringing scientists and citizens together has been for researchers to informally share their work at small, regional breweries. This comfortable and familiar setting facilitates dialogue between researchers and community members.

With the help of local partners, the Aquatic Sciences Center and UW-Extension will host nine “Tap Talks” at Central Waters Brewing Company in Amherst, WI. Seed grant funding will be used to pay for travel of UW-Madison researchers to present at the event and to advertise the event in print and online media. Central Waters Brewing will be providing meeting space and promotional efforts free of charge.

It is our hope that this model of science communication can extend the reach of UW-Madison work into rural communities and build relationships with the citizens there. If successful, this model can be replicated at small community breweries in other parts of the state.

Virtual Language Cafe: Cultivating English Proficiency and Digital Literacies Among Immigrant Women

Project Leaders: Julia Garrett and Kate Vieira, English, College of Letters and Science

In most diverse communities there are multiple organizations that offer support for immigrants to improve their proficiency in English. Despite the generous outreach of these organizations, many first-generation women in these communities face persistent challenges in attaining skill levels crucial for accessing better educational and employment opportunities. This project investigates new strategies for employing online platforms to help sustain the literacy aspirations of these immigrant women. While many ESL resources are available online, until recently few learners were able to take full advantage of those resources because of unreliable access to the Internet. Given the proliferation of smartphones, however, we may be at a threshold moment for harnessing personal devices for online language development.

Over the course of a 12-week program, two instructors will provide a weekly curriculum that will cultivate both conversational skills and digital literacies specifically among immigrant women (in part to respect cultural preferences about gender and social interaction). Collaborating with Goodman South Madison Library will allow us to work with their network of partnerships with other community sites. Most importantly, by designing a program suitable for a library setting, we hope that this project might be replicated at public libraries elsewhere that serve immigrant and refugee populations. The more ambitious future goal of this project is to create a virtual space accessible to both male and female ESL learners from many locations. The women who participate in this program will advise us about which features are likely to make that virtual conversational space inviting and transformative.