2020 Baldwin Funded Projects

Addressing the Environmental Impacts of Chloride in Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluents

Project Leader: Kyoung-Shin Choi, Professor, Department of Chemistry, College of Letters and Science

Every day the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is faced with a salt problem. Dissolved salt is composed of chloride that is harmful to aquatic life if the concentration gets too high. The work proposed here is to develop a transformative chloride-removal technology by engaging with the MMSD and other community partners in Wisconsin to address the detrimental environmental impacts of high Cl- levels in wastewater treatment plant effluents. Our technology not only selectively removes chloride from wastewater but also enables chloride recovery for the production of valuable chemicals. Wisconsin is not the only place that suffers from high chloride levels in wastewater effluents. The game-changing chloride removal process that we are developing will have a momentous environmental impact across the United States and globally, making real the Wisconsin Idea.

Disseminating the Positive Parenting Program Across Rural Wisconsin

Project Leader: Brook Berg, Outreach Program Manager, Human Development and Relationships Institute, Division of Extension, and Robert Nix, Associate Professor, School of Human Ecology

This project will train and certify University of Wisconsin Division of Extension educators to implement the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) in 16 rural counties representing the highest risk parts of Wisconsin. Triple P has been extensively studied and repeatedly shown to improve parenting skills and child behavior and reduce rates of child maltreatment. Because some Triple P seminars and groups are appropriate for all families, Triple P helps communities establish a common language around parenting and avoids potential stigma of participation. This project will ensure broad involvement and investment in the success of Triple P by creating county-based advisory boards consisting of community leaders and a wide range of caregivers, all of whom are committed to transforming the levels of support available to parents and children.

Expanding the Wisconsin Model: Development of a National Workforce Pipeline for Rural OB/GYNs

Project Leader: Ryan Spencer, Assistant Professor, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, School of Medicine and Public Health

Half of the counties in the United States have no Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB/GYN), and these gaps in providers are more prominent in rural communities. Physicians are three times more likely to practice medicine where they train to care for patients, and the lack of opportunities for OB/GYN trainees to learn in rural communities and gain confidence in their skills with the guidance of life-long rural physicians is fracturing the pipeline of talent to small communities in Wisconsin and beyond. To combat this gap in access to care, the University of Wisconsin founded the first and only Rural OB/GYN Residency Program in the country which works to recruit, train and retain OB/GYNs who are passionate about a career in rural women’s healthcare. The program has three ongoing rural partnerships in Wisconsin, has recruited three Rural residents, and supported numerous rural rotations around the state. This project seeks to collaboratively create a Replication Manual and framework for other Rural OB/GYN training programs and disseminate it nationally in partnership with the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG).

Improving Diabetes Programs for Blacks in Wisconsin: Peers as Coaches in Medicine Use

Project Leaders: Olayinka Shiyanbola, Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy

In July 2019, Wisconsin lawmakers called diabetes a “staggering” problem expected to get worse. More than 1,300 Wisconsinites die from diabetes annually and many more suffer diabetes-related complications. This burden is higher among minorities, especially among African Americans. In 2005, African Americans in Wisconsin had higher rates of hospitalization and death from diabetes complications compared to the total Wisconsin population. The goal of this project is to decrease diabetes-related morbidity among African Americans in Milwaukee through the integration of Peers LEAD, a culturally appropriate program to increase medication adherence into an existing diabetes self-management.

The Journalism Game: Scaling Journalistic Practices to Middle School Youth to Support Democracy

Project Leaders: Susan Robinson, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Sarah Gagnon, University Relations Specialist, Wisconsin Center for Education Research

In an age of widespread fake news and rampant distrust in public institutions, media literacy is crucial to preserve the values of our state. A partnership between the School of Journalism & Mass Communication and Field Day Lab at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) will collaborate with Wisconsin teachers and journalists to produce and disseminate a digital learning game that helps students improve their critical media literacy skills, without which they may be misled by non-credible media sources, be confused about facts, or ignore the news altogether. The proposed Journalism Game will offer a fresh perspective by asking how news is constructed. In it, players will assume the role of a journalist and perform the act of journalistic inquiry. Other face-to-face programs have found success using a similar approach but are only able to do so at a small scale. We have both the scholarship and the means of disseminating our game at scale both in the state and nationally.

MOVING FORWARD Jail Reentry Program for Inmates and their Families in Pepin and Buffalo Counties

Project Leader: Mary Campbell Wood, Professor, Human Development and Relationships Institute, Division of Extension

Development of the MOVING FORWARD Jail Reentry Program is in response to a study of jail reentry needs and issues, led by UW-Extension in 2018. Under authorization from the Buffalo-Pepin Criminal Justice Collaborating Council (CJCC), a reentry planning committee was formed to develop a pilot program in the Pepin County Jail for inmates, their children and families. UW-Extension Research & Educational Programming Initiative Grant funds helped to launch the pilot in summer 2019. Because a majority of the target audience experience addiction-related challenges, a Certified Reentry Peer Specialist position, in collaboration with Community Justice Services, is an essential program component, requiring funding support. UW-Stout Criminal Justice Rehabilitation interns will assist with implementation and evaluation, benefitting from authentic learning experiences. Program design is based on DOJ-funded pilots in Dunn and Bayfield counties, NIC model practices, and in consultation with leaders in the field.

Preparing Practitioners to Identify and Address Sex Trafficking in Northeast Wisconsin

Project Leaders: Lara Gerassi, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work

One in four homeless and runaway youth (up to age 25) is at risk of sex trafficking. To improve screening and identifying suspected cases of sex trafficking, Outagamie County’s Youth and Family Services Division was tasked with directing a multi-system delivery response for suspected and confirmed sex trafficking cases in the northeast region of Wisconsin (17 counties and three tribes). This Baldwin Wisconsin Idea project proposal builds on an existing, multi-year partnership between UW-Madison and Outagamie County’s Youth and Family Services Division by enhancing the collective response to sex trafficking in the Northeast region of Wisconsin. Post-project sex trafficking knowledge transfer will be established by asking providers for their preferred methods to continue supporting the ongoing identification of and practice with sex trafficked youth (e.g. recorded trainings, toolkits, handbooks, train-the-trainer modules), to be made available to current and newly hired providers after this project concludes

The Wisconsin Rainfall Project: Enhancing Infrastructure Resiliency to Extreme Rainfall in Wisconsin

Project Leaders: Daniel Wright, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, and David Lorenz, Associate Scientist, Center for Climatic Research, Nelson Institute

Recent UW-Madison research, as well as experiences throughout Wisconsin and beyond, have shown that existing storm water and flood control infrastructure is inadequate in the face of increases in extreme rainfall. This presents a major problem in the civil engineering and infrastructure planning communities, whose everyday work relies on rainfall design statistics such as the “100-year storm.” Existing rainfall design statistics are already more than a decade old and seriously underestimate current and future rainfall conditions in Wisconsin due to rapid climate change. The Wisconsin Rainfall Project has two key objectives: 1.) we will use cutting-edge science already developed at UW-Madison to produce both “present-day” and “future climate” rainfall statistics; 2.) we will create a community of practice to promote the integration of the best science and engineering knowledge regarding climate change and extreme rainfall into infrastructure design and management. The Wisconsin Rainfall Project will be the first major effort of the newly formed Infrastructure Working Group of the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI), which has been founded to push WICCI’s prior successes into the critical emerging area of climate and infrastructure. The Wisconsin Rainfall Project exemplifies the Wisconsin Idea as a “research-to-operations” effort. This project will provide a roadmap for other parts of the country, which will provide further opportunities for UW-Madison to leverage its unique expertise in extreme rainfall science.