News & Announcements

CSU’s Civic Engagement Grants Support Community Well-Being, Student Learning and Academic Scholarship

Cleveland State University’s Office of Civic Engagement has announced the inaugural recipients of its Civic Engagement Grants.

Made possible through a generous gift from the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation, these grants will support collaborations between CSU and external partners that mutually benefit community well-being, student learning and academic scholarship.

Grants ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 have been awarded to 20 CSU faculty members representing an array of disciplines and to four CSU student organizations.

“At Cleveland State University, we’re fortunate to have faculty and student leaders who truly embody our passion for Engaged Learning,” said Byron White, CSU’s vice president for university engagement and chief diversity officer. “They do so by creatively connecting classroom, campus and community. The Civic Engagement Grants will affirm some of their best work and enhance it, and encourage other faculty and students to embrace and appreciate the benefits of Engaged Learning for student success and community enhancement. Through the efforts of our grant recipients, the whole city wins.”

The winners were honored at a reception Wednesday, January 29, in CSU’s Office of Civic Engagement. The program included remarks by CSU President Ronald M. Berkman and former Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White of the Mandel Foundation.

CSU has ramped up efforts for students and faculty “to use the city as a learning laboratory,” President Berkman told reception attendees.

“Ultimately, Engaged Learning is not something we want to do in addition to teaching, research and service,” President Berkman said. “Engaged Learning is something we want to do within teaching, research and service. If we’re able to achieve that, I think we’ve taken a step beyond the traditional urban university definition of engagement.”

White commended CSU for its enlightened and energetic commitment to civic engagement.

 “My perspective about this program is that it’s powerful -- great minds, great engagement, great commitment of individuals here at the university, both faculty and students, teaming up with people who are also engaged in their own neighborhoods, who believe that they can make a difference,” White said.

Julian A. Rogers, CSU’s director of community partnerships, welcomed the winners.

Following is a list of Civic Engagement Grant recipients:

$5,000 CSU Faculty Grants

These grants will support CSU’s Central Neighborhood Alliance. Grantees will participate in a series of exchanges with community leaders, including a community-led orientation and a neighborhood review of selected projects. Grantees will identify a community partner to receive 20 percent of the grant funds.

Joanne Goodell, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education and Human Services

CSUteach, a secondary school mathematics and science teacher licensure program, in partnership with Central Promise Neighborhood will house a STEM coordinator position that will be responsible for STEM learning throughout the greater Central Promise neighborhood.

Robert Ferguson, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education and Human Services

Part of the NEOMED-CSU Urban Primary Care Initiative, this summer program will encourage middle school and high school students to take an interest in the health professions through a grassroots recruitment effort driven by parents, caregivers and community stakeholders, such as barbers, coaches and youth ministers.

Justin C. Perry, Center for Urban Education, College of Education and Human Services

The Center for Urban Education will work with middle school teachers in the Central neighborhood to redesign CSU’s successful “Making My Future Work” college and career readiness curriculum so that it can be pilot tested among middle school students.

Kristine Lynn Still, Department of Teacher Education, College of Education and Human Services

CSU’s Community Learning Center for Children and Youth will provide opportunities for CSU education students to work individually and in small groups with children and youth from the Central Neighborhood.

Michael Williams, Black Studies Program, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

In Search of the Truth (The Truth Booth), a giant inflatable speech bubble and video recording booth that is traveling the world. Central neighborhood residents will engage with this living, evolving art exhibit with a focus on African-American males.

$2,500 CSU Faculty Grants

Victoria Avi, Center for Sustainable Business Practices, Monte Ahuja College of Business

Develop learning tools to help small- and medium-sized companies in Northeast Ohio to understand the challenges of carbon regulations that impact their supply chains and to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Birch Browning, Department of Music, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Develop an El Sistema after-school orchestra program, designed for urban students, at Campus International School to allow CSU music education students, working with master teachers, to instruct CIS students.

Robin L. Chilton, Occupational Therapy Program, College of Sciences and Health Professions

Expand program that allows students in the Master of Occupational Therapy Service Learning Program to provide one-on-one interaction to low-income, African-American older adults at the Eliza Bryant Adult Day Care Center.

Lynn Deering, Dance Program, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Expand dance/movement classes for senior citizens with Parkinson’s Disease and other older adults as part of the Intersections project, which encourages intergenerational engagement in creativity and the arts.

Michael Dover, School of Social Work, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Add a Service Day component at the Garden Valley Neighborhood House for participants at the annual Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare to be held on CSU’s campus on March 29, 2014.

Vickie Gallagher, Department of Management, Monte Ahuja College of Business

Expand initiative that allows graduate students in organizational change to help businesses, non-profits and other organizations incorporate practices in sustainability, restructuring, mergers and other change opportunities.

Collette Hart, Outreach and Engagement Centers, Monte Ahuja College of Business

Launch CSU’s new interdisciplinary undergraduate minor and graduate certificate in entrepreneurship by providing students with real-world project opportunities with local entrepreneurs and business accelerators.

Kathryn Hexter, Center for Community Planning and Development, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Create a public forum to engage CSU and the community on envisioning policies that will connect Clevelanders to public lakefront and leverage the lakefront to the region’s benefit.

Edward (Ned) Hill, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Launch a three-part project in partnership with the Center for Community Solutions focused on the public health outcomes from gun violence, including research, public policy formation and community organizing.

Robert Kleidman, Department of Sociology and Criminology, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

Assist Building One Ohio to organize a conference of mayors and other leaders from Northeast Ohio middle-class suburbs and towns to address regional and local economic viability, racial and economic diversity and sustainability.

Mary Milidonis, Physical Therapy Program, College of Sciences and Health Professions

Establish program in CSU’s Gerontology Certificate Studies that will improve the quality of life of area senior citizens by having area high school students teach music technology to the older adult participants.

Stephanie Ryberg-Webster, Department of Urban Studies, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Assist the Cleveland Restoration Society with interpretive preservation activities regarding Cleveland’s African-American community as part of the society’s 40th anniversary legacy project.

Andrew Thomas, Energy Policy Center, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Introduce a new “Shale Academy” in conjunction with the University Clean Energy Alliance of Ohio to coordinate law, geology, engineering and economic development courses on shale development.

Nancy Meyer-Emerick, Center for Emergency Preparedness, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs

Work with the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management to add a behavioral change component to existing training for Cuyahoga County residents in shelter-in-place and evacuation procedures.

Pamela Rutar, School of Nursing

Develop continuing education offerings for health-care providers who are not experienced in caring for those enrolled on Medicaid and other medically underserved populations.

$2,500 CSU Student Organization Grants

Cleveland State Transfer Connection Organization

Work with women from the Northeast Reintegration Center to reduce recidivism.

Colleges Against Cancer

Enhance marketing to promote the Relay for Life event hosted by the American Cancer Society to increase participation among college students.

CSU Society for Human Resource Management

Partner with the Veterans Administration Domiciliary to provide resume writing, workshops on networking, mock interviews and other critical job-hunting skills to unemployed veterans.

CSU International Reading Association

Promote literacy by providing tutoring to students in grades K-3 to in schools within the Central neighborhood of Cleveland.