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CommuniTEA Celebrates Student Research


CommuniTEA Celebrates Community-based Student Research

The May 19 event will recognize the projects of UC Riverside undergraduates, their community partners and their faculty mentors.

(May 14, 2010)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – UC Riverside undergraduate students engaged in community-based research will present and celebrate their projects, partners, mentors and achievements at the second quarterly Research in the CommuniTEA on Wednesday, May 19, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Pentland Hills Residence Halls Bear Cave.

The event is free. Parking costs $6 and permits may be purchased at the kiosk at the main entrance to the campus on West Campus Drive.

Undergraduate Research in the Community is a pilot program of the Office of Undergraduate Education. This year, more than 49 undergraduates and 20 faculty mentors have connected with 22 community partners to develop collaborative research and creative projects that explore and address local needs.

“This is an exciting endeavor in that it takes the research needs of the community and satisfies them by having gifted undergraduates, under the tutelage of faculty mentors, conduct research and provide their results as a deliverable,” said Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education David Fairris. “Students are giving back to the community by using the skills they have developed at UCR.”

Among the projects to be presented are:

Home Gardens: Student research documents the range of plant species cultivated in home gardens and the significance of these plants in maintaining cultural traditions.

Art Therapy: Student research results in an adaptable art therapy program as a healing technique for children whose guardians have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Within Her Strength: In response to concerns about safety and community accountability, a student develops a community organization that seeks to create communities that hold themselves accountable in preventing and addressing violence through community partnerships and training programs.

Economic Distress: A student team assesses the impact of the economic downturn in Riverside with data from regional resources as well as specific service centers, including health clinics and homeless outreach programs.

Kindling Intellectual Development: In response to the need for enriching curriculum for youth during a weekly soup kitchen in downtown Riverside, students develop a weekly program to engage indigent children and youth in science, math and wellness.

900 Magnolia: In an effort to reach out to English language learners and at-risk students, undergraduate researchers employ different mentorship and outreach techniques at a local high school.

Homeless Street Outreach Team: Students participate in city-sponsored “ride-alongs” to help assess the impact and effectiveness of the city of Riverside’s Homeless Street Outreach Team in relationship to other regional and nationwide programs.

Sustainable Food Student-led Seminar: A student-led seminar supports fellow undergraduates in researching on- and off-campus food systems to determine practices that would assist in a more sustainable way of life for the local community.

Education for Parajillos: Undergraduate researchers collaborate with local and international organizations to determine how to make school and school supplies accessible to low-income youth in Parajillos, Honduras.

New Way of Life: Student research explores the stigmas that interrupt successful transitions for formerly incarcerated individuals in Los Angeles, as well as activities and support systems that help these individuals become successful community leaders.

Wellness and ZIP codes: Student research determines the demographics of clients at a new breast cancer resource clinic in Corona in an effort to understand the best outreach strategy for a new clinic in Riverside.

Each research team will have five minutes to discuss the design, progress and future of their project. There will be a brief question-and-answer period after each presentation.

For more information contact Samantha Wilson, coordinator of undergraduate research in the community, at samantha.wilson@ucr.edu or (951) 827-7739.

The University of California, Riverside (www.ucr.edu) is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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