Outreach Awards fund 34 outreach projects

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By Sue Postema Scheeres


Celebrating 20 years of funding programs that serve Colorado and engage the world.

The CU Boulder Outreach Committee is pleased to announce that 34 faculty-led projects have been selected to receive CU Boulder Outreach Awards for 2019–20.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the awards, started in 1999 to fund university research, teaching and creative work that connects with public needs. During the past two decades, $6 million has been awarded to 808 projects that have directly benefited 5.5 million people in Colorado and beyond.

This year’s projects represent every college and school and will impact more than 245,000 people in Colorado and beyond through innovative pre-K-12 programs, community-based initiatives, legal assistance, STEM education and more.

Funding for the projects this year totals $460,000, and comes from the Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost and the Division of Continuing Education.

“We take pride in the faculty, staff and students who are reaching beyond the university to partner with nonprofits, schools, government agencies, businesses and more,” said Sara Thompson, dean of Continuing Education and vice provost for outreach and engagement. “Together, we are creating new knowledge and addressing real problems facing communities.”

Thompson also noted that these projects align with the division of Continuing Education’s mission of providing lifelong learning opportunities for diverse populations across Colorado.

The CU Boulder Outreach Committee, composed of faculty and staff members across many disciplines, oversees the award process. The Office for Outreach and Engagement, a unit within Continuing Education, administers the awards, helping to ensure that projects are of the highest quality by consulting with potential awardees and managing the application process.

These projects represent a portion of the outreach work involving CU Boulder faculty and staff. Currently, there are more than 260 programs that connect research, teaching and creative work with public needs.

2019–20 Outreach Award recipients by college or program:

College of Arts and Sciences

Attention, Behavior, and Learning Clinic: Affordable Childhood Evaluations
Research Associate Nomita Chhabildas and Professor Erik Willcutt
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Brain Behavior Clinic and Boulder County Homelessness
Associate Clinical Professor Emily Richardson
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Colorado Classics Day 2019
Associate Professor Jackie Elliott
Department of Classics

Co-Designing an Early Education Program for Children Birth to Three
Associate Professor Eliana Colunga
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Critical Conversations Project: Playback Theatre in Rural Colorado
Senior Instructor James Walker, Norlin Scholars Program
Production, Outreach & Engagement Liaison Ondine Geary, Department of Theatre & Dance

CU Contemporary Dance Works Residency Tour
Assistant Professor Helanius Wilkins and Production, Outreach & Engagement Liaison Ondine Geary, Department of Theatre & Dance

Empowering Economically Disadvantaged Adolescents with Complex Communication Needs
Clinic Faculty Member Sherri Tennant and Assistant Professor Christine Brennan
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Intervention for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children with Developmental Disorders
Associate Professor Pui Fong Kan and Clinical Assistant Professor Amy Thrasher
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

Literacy Practicum
Professor Kira Hall
Department of Linguistics

RDS Center: Reaching Out to People with Bipolar Research
Senior Associate Alisha Brosse and Adjunct Professor David Miklowitz
Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Leeds School of Business

Demystifying Entrepreneurship Rural Colorado Workshop Series
Executive Director Erick Mueller, Deming Center for Entrepreneurship

School of Education

Improving Educational Outcomes for Low-Income, Latino English Learners
Professor Mileidis Gort, Research Associate Vanessa Santiago Schwarz and Research Associate Laura Hamman-Ortiz

Rethinking Family Engagement at Adams 14 School District
Professor Kathy Escamilla and Doctoral Candidate María de los Ángeles Osorio Cooper

Teaching and Learning to Queer the Curriculum
Research Associate Sara Staley and Research Associate Bethy Leonardi

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Oil and Gas Contamination of Jackson County Waters
Professor Joseph Ryan, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

Graduate School

Colombian Displaced Communities: Planning and Urban Design Seminar
Assistant Professor Jota Samper, Program in Environmental Design

Colorado Law

The Acequia Project: Helping San Luis Valley Farmers
Professor Sarah Krakoff

Constitutional Literacy in Colorado High Schools
Professor Suzette Malveaux, Adjunct Professor Matthew Cushing, Clinical Professor Colene Robinson and Senior Assistant Dean Jennifer Sullivan

College of Music

As One: Authenticity, Compassion and a Transgender Story
Associate Professor Charles Wetherbee

Middle School Ensembles Program
Associate Professor David Rickels, Associate Professor Leila Heil and Professor Margaret Berg

Piano for Dreamers
Professor Alejandro Cremaschi

Research Institutes

CU Restoration Ecology Experiential Learning Program
Professor Emeritus Timothy Seastedt, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)

Fire Adapted Bailey: Launching an Evidence-Based Approach
Assistant Research Professor Hannah Brenkert-Smith, Institute of Behavioral Science

Girls at the Museum Exploring Science (GAMES)
Assistant Professor Jingchun Li, CU Museum of Natural History and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Education Coordinator Cathy Regan, CU Museum of Natural History

Interdisciplinary and Faculty Group Awards

Boulder Affordable Housing Research Initiative
Associate Professor Jennifer Fluri, Department of Geography
Associate Director Abby Hickcox, College of Arts & Sciences Honors Program
Program Director Sabrina Sideris, INVST Program, CU Engage

Bringing Colorado’s Latino History and Culture to Light
Distinguished Professor Emerita Marjorie McIntosh, Department of History
Senior Instructor Kent Willmann and Lecturer Flora Sanchez, School of Education
Associate Professor Arturo Aldama, Department of Ethnic Studies

Communities Code: Engaging Underrepresented Youth in Creative Computing
Associate Professor Eliana Colunga, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
Assistant Professor Ricarose Roque, Department of Information Science (CMCI)
Director Stacey Forsyth, CU Science Discovery

Co-production of Embodied Climate Curriculum Gains STEAM
Associate Professor Beth Osnes, Department of Theatre & Dance
Assistant Professor Carl Simpson, CU Museum of Natural History and Department of Geological Sciences
Senior Educator Jim Hakala, CU Museum of Natural History
Doctoral Candidate Patrick Chandler, Department of Environmental Studies

CU Japanese and Japanese American Community History Project
Assistant Professor Megan K. Friedel, Assistant Professor Adam Lisbon, Archivist David Hays, Communications Program Manager Michael Riberdy and Digital Imaging Technologist Adrienne Wagner, University Libraries

Engineering and Science Inquiry Projects in Rural Schools
Senior Professional Research Associate Daniel Knight and Professor Michael Hannigan, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Associate Dean Joseph Polman, School of Education

Indigenous Connections at Rocky Mountain National Park
Professor Patricia Limerick and Research Associate Brooke Neely, Center of the American West
Associate Professor Clint Carroll and Assistant Professor Angelica Lawson, Department of Ethnic Studies and Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies
Professor Andrew Cowell, Linguistics and Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies

Partnership to Strengthen Systemwide Science Education
Professor Erin Marie Furtak, Assistant Professor Melissa Braaten and Doctoral Candidate Caitlin Fine, School of Education

Past, Present, Future: Exploring Boulder’s Natural Environment
Professor Katharine Suding, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR)
Professor Suzanne Anderson and Associate Professor Noah Molotch, Department of Geological Sciences and INSTAAR
Education and Outreach Coordinator Alexandra Rose, Niwot Ridge Long-Term Ecological Research Program
Professional Research Assistant Eric Parrish, INSTAAR
Associate Director Sabre Duren, Hydrologic Sciences Graduate Program, INSTAAR

Shakespeare and Violence Prevention in Schools
Senior Research Associate Beverly Kingston and Research Assistant Laurie Keith, Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence
Associate Professor Kevin Rich and Associate Professor Tamara Meneghini, Department of Theatre & Dance
Outreach Director Amanda Giguere and Outreach Coordinator Heidi Schmidt, Colorado Shakespeare Festival