Midwest Knowledge Mobilization Network April Meeting

by Ashleigh Ross and Beth Tryon

The Midwest Knowledge Mobilization Network (MKMN) held its spring meeting in April 2013, hosted by the Solutions Center at Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana (IUPUI). This network is a consortium of seven Midwestern campuses within driving distance of each other that have entities dedicated to “knowledge mobilization” – the belief that truly equitable partnerships between campus and community produce more authentic research findings and student learning, as well as better community impact.

MKMN’s inaugural meeting in October 2012 brought together practitioners to share ideas for structure and to discuss supporting science shop-like structures like the Community-University Exchange in universities across the Midwest. Main principles of science shop structures include some type of RFP process or other method of allowing the issues and ideas arise from the community, that research or service is interdisciplinary, and the goal of the collaboration is social action or change.

The second meeting allowed members the chance to articulate the goals of MKMN and its activities.

The main goals of the network are:

  1. Advocate for collaboration within MKMN
  2. Address structural systems to increase collaboration
  3. Communicate about models of collaboration
  4. Support the Engaged Scholarship Consortium
  5. Explore collaborative funding possibilities

<< Back to the list of articles

UW Students and “Clean and Freshies” Build Garden Beds in Southwest Madison

by J. Ashleigh Ross

a group photo of middle school students and the capstone groupThe Front Yard Gardens is a grassroots effort to beautify the neighborhood and provide healthy fruits and vegetables through “picker plots” that are open to residents in the Meadowood neighborhood. The Gardeners, known as “Clean and Freshies,” area a group of 14-15 year old youth employed through the Youth Services of Wisconsin. This summer, a UW course “The Community and School Gardens in Southwest Madison (Environmental Studies 600), funded through the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies –Zieve/Morgridge Teaching Fellows program) partnered with the Clean and Freshies to design and build new garden beds at the Porchlight apartments on Russet Road, which provides transitional housing to homeless people in Madison. The material and outreach costs were covered through a Center for Integrated Agriculture Graduate Students Mini-Grant.

The course started with a field trip to Eagle Heights Community Gardens, a large community garden on the UW campus. UW students and the “Clean and Freshies” learned about the role that community gardens play in bringing diverse groups of people together to grow healthy food and foster community. Professor Sam Dennis then gave a crash course in participatory planning that included methods for gathering community feedback which was used to understand from the Front Yard Gardeners and other residents how they would use additional garden space. The class incorporated a BBQ in southwest Madison where students were able to talk with additional residents in the area to find out how they wanted to utilize increased garden space.

The Clean and Freshies also visited the UW to review input from the community with the UW students and then generate garden designs. The designs were then shared with the class with discussions about each feature. A master design was created from those designs and was shared with Porchlight for their approval. UW student, Kaylie Duffy, said of the experience, “We worked together to brainstorm potential ideas and plans for the Porchlight lot. Each of us has contributed excellent ideas for the lot, and we have engaged the younger Clean and Freshies to share their wonderful, creative ideas. After the ideas were shared, we mapped out our plans onto large sheets of paper and presented them to the class. I motivated the girls I worked with to share their grandest ideas for the garden, no matter how outlandish they may have seemed. Any concept can become a great jumping off point for a garden design.”

The UW students and Front Yard Gardeners, with support from Community Action Coalition, completed Phase 1 by building and installing the beds during the last two weeks of class. Phase 2 will continue with the fall semester of the Community and School Garden course getting fruit tree donations and building a seating area for residents in the garden. Assistance from CUE will help cover some of the fall building materials.

In addition to garden design/build with the Front Yard Gardeners, UW students also ran a garden and food program for youth at the Meadowood Neighborhood Center and assisted with the Family Garden Night at Lincoln Elementary. Students were also able to secure extra funding from the Audubon Society to support birding activities at Lincoln. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

CUE: Facilitating Community Resource Access, Promoting UW-Madison Student Public Service

by Marian Slaughter

Meadowood Neighborhood Market Summer 2013

Neighbors Enjoying the Meadowood Community Famers’ Market

When CUE first opened its doors some three years ago, the majority of its assistance to communities came in the form of supporting long-term partnerships developed between researchers and community groups focused on collecting data and other sorts of information to be used to address a complex, community- identified issue, challenge or aspiration.

However, it didn’t take long before CUE recognized that neighborhoods and community groups also required more short-term but equally critical University support and information to address community-based needs.

In this issue of the CUE Newsletter, we would like to share the story of how Lisa Veldran, president of the Meadowood Neighborhood Association and member of the Southwest Madison Community Organizers (SWMCO) was able to use CUE to identify and hire UW-Madison senior Nina Rembert as an intern to manage the summer of 2013 Meadowood Community Farmer’s Market! This interview was conducted by Marian Slaughter, CUE Engaged Scholar.

Marian Slaughter (MS): Please describe the project/job for which you wanted CUE assistance?

Lisa Veldran (LV): Mayor Paul Soglin started the City’s Meet & Eat events (a gathering of food cart vendors in a specified location allowing community members to “meet & eat”) in Meadowood in 2012. The Meadowood location was to be a pilot that, if successful, would be moved to another location in the city the following year. The events were so successful in 2012 that Mayor Soglin decided to continue the Meet & Eats in Meadowood in 2013.

A survey conducted by the City Parks Division revealed that residents wanted a farmers market to be offered in addition to the food cart program. Developing a farmers market from the ground up is a huge task and needed assistance. I had worked with student interns in Meadowood in other capacities and contacted Marian Slaughter and Beth Tryon on the possibility of developing a student internship for the Meadowood Community Farmers Market.

image of Nina Rembert, Meadowood resident and UW Madison student

Meadowood Community Farmers’ Market Manager and UW-Madison Intern
Ms. Rembert is a native Meadowood resident and a senior majoring in International Studies, and Environmental Studies.

MS: Why did you prefer to hire a student intern?

LV: [The] Meadowood neighborhood has a history of UW-Madison student involvement: the Meadowood Frontyard Garden project, Meadowood Community Garden and a youth organizer. I knew that UW-Madison was committed to the city and that the city was welcoming.

MS: What made you seek out the help of CUE to assist you in your job search? How did you know that you could ask CUE for help with this hiring?

LV: I had worked with Marian Slaughter in her capacity at the South West Madison Community Organizers (SWMCO) group. Her involvement in our neighborhood has made a huge difference in how we think about issues.

MS: How did CUE help you? What sorts of tasks did CUE help you with?

LV: Meeting with Marian and Beth provided me an opportunity to further develop the farmers’ market concept at the Meet & Eat events. It was helpful for them to ask questions and for me to think about them.

MS: In what way/s did CUE help you find a suitable intern?

LV: By assisting in development of the job description. [It] helped immensely to find the right person.

MS: Would you use CUE again for a similar purpose?

LV: Yes!

MS: Would you recommend that others use CUE?

LV: Yes!

MS: Is there anything else that you would like to add?

LV: I was very happy with the intern that was eventually hired. It was a learning process for both of us, and now I know what we need to do next year!

CUE staff have repeatedly heard community members comment that one of the most important values of CUE is its function as a “Front door” into the rich, yet highly decentralized University. While CUE continues to develop different ways to facilitate community access to the University, as can be seen through the responses of Ms. Veldran, it is off to a positive start. Not only is CUE supporting neighborhoods with access to UW-Madison support and resources, in this case, UW-Madison students are afforded opportunities to contribute their knowledge, enthusiasm, and commitment to public service to promote the health and welfare of the larger community! ■

<< Back to the list of articles

CUE Awarded a Baldwin Grant and a Morgridge Match

by Sue Stanton and Marian Slaughter

In May 2013, CUE and Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings (UW-Madison, Department of Curriculum and Instruction) were awarded for full funding from the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment for a grant entitled, “Engaging to Close the Gap: Community School District, University.” This competitive grant program is open to University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty, staff and students and is designed to foster public engagement and advance the Wisconsin Idea (the principle that the university should improve peoples’ lives beyond the classroom). CUE’s proposal also received funds through the Morgridge Match Grant Program; this program funds projects which focus on engaged scholarship at the UW-Madison. The combined awards totaled almost $100,000 over two years.

The “Engaging to Close the Gap” grant has two components. The first objective focuses on working with three Madison neighborhood centers to develop after school youth programs to engage K-8 students in activities that stimulate their intellectual, academic and career endeavors. The second component of the grant will focus on supporting site-specific family engagement programming that will build the capacity of marginalized families to constructively engage with the MMSD schools to produce more successful academic outcomes for their children.

Currently, partners in this project include: the Vera Court Neighborhood Center, the Family Voices program at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County, the Meadowood Neighborhood Center, the Madison Metropolitan School District, the City of Madison and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UW-Madison.

CUE’s roles in this project are varied. They include finding and connecting resources, recruiting necessary players, teaching courses, evaluating initiatives, disseminating information, planning and coordinating and creating spaces and opportunities to share best practices.

As the Baldwin Grant is a two-year award, we look forward to providing regular updates of the various program activities through the CUE Newsletter. So stay tuned! ■

<< Back to the list of articles

CUE Chairs Report

Screen Shot 2013-09-27 at 9.03.12 AMGreetings and welcome back to another jam-packed academic year!

Things are starting out full-tilt for CUE this year, adding several new initiatives, you will read about in this issue. Here are just a few highlights.

We were awarded a Baldwin Foundation Grant in collaboration with Curriculum and Instruction Professor Gloria Ladson-Billings, partnering with C&I’s Professor Catherine Compton-Lilly, and Boyd Rossing and Margaret Nellis in the School of Human Ecology. Community partners include the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Family Engagement Office, the City of Madison “MOST” (Madison Out of School Time) Coalition, the Family Voices Project, Vera Court and Meadowood Neighborhood Centers and the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County. CUE Fellows Marian Slaughter and Sue Stanton are leading the implementation of the grant which includes: developing a specialized literacy tutoring program, teaching a tutor/mentor training course on cultural humility, gathering partners to share information around family engagement, and building bridges to campus for youth that may not currently see college as part of their lives. Congratulations to Sue and Marian for the hard work they put into the design of this project and its successful award!

CUE has also embarked on a new partnership with the Vice Chancellor’s Office of University Relations – two new “CUE South Madison Fellows” have been hired to strengthen ties between UW-Madison and the South Madison area. College access will be stressed as well as building community capacity with several nonprofit organizations including the Urban League, where the CUE Fellows will maintain an office, and support for Slow Food UW’s work with Family Voices, Centro Hispano, and the Odyssey Project. Read on for a short introduction of these new Fellows. We are really excited about what they’ve already accomplished and their plans for the year.

Our partnership with the Nelson Institute is going strong. CUE Fellows Ashleigh Ross and Dadit Hidayat secured Zieve Fellowships to teach Community Gardening and a new Community-Based Research class with the South Madison Farmers’ Market, respectively.

We are teaching the former “Delta” graduate course again in a concentrated workshop format as CP620, as well as hosting the Midwest Knowledge Mobilization Network Fall Meeting. Members include Notre Dame, DePaul, Loyola-Chicago, and IUPUI as well as UW-M. Please join us for a free day of learning, sharing, and lunch (who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?) on October 18th. Don’t miss the keynote by Phil Nyden of the Center for Urban Learning and Research at Loyola-Chicago.  ■

<< Back to the list of articles

Relationship Building through Community-Guided Research Reveals Opportunities for SW- Madison Youth Engagement with the UW-Madison

by Marian Slaughter

One of the most exciting outcomes of collaboration between the CUE program and professors engaging in research with community groups is the opportunity they afford for building relationships between the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW- Madison) and communities less connected to the university. The work between CUE and the Capstone Experience-CBR course (Community and Environmental Sociology 500) represents one such collaboration. Taught by Professor Randy Stoecker, the course is designed to engage senior undergraduates in research projects to produce needed information and resources to support various Madison communities.

During the fall 2012 semester, the Theresa Terrace/ Hammersley neighborhood group along with the Meadowood Neighborhood Center (MNC) guided a wide variety of data gathering activities carried out by the Professor Stoecker and his class. There were multiple goals for this data collection work: identifying grants, other funding resources, and skills and knowledge of the neighborhood.

One of the opportunities was working with Terrace/ Hammersley middle and high school youth who regularly attended the MNC. Stoecker and four of his students (Beth Nitz, Kelsey Schroeder, Joe Shook, and Laura Thiessen), supported by CUE Engaged Graduate Fellow Marian Slaughter, worked with the MNC youth to create and administer a survey to identify the services and resources that the youth felt the MNC and other community centers should offer. However, instead of viewing these youth as merely a source of data, the students engaged the MNC youth as researchers who gave input and feedback into the survey design, and administered the survey to their peers at the MNC. The participatory youth-researcher design model provided these middle and high school students with an opportunity to develop research skills while helping to generate information that could significantly impact their communities.

During early conversations about the MNC survey, only two of the six youths participating had ever visited the UW-Madison. This sad circumstance struck all involved as a powerful opportunity to begin building a stronger relationship between the UW-Madison and underserved families and communities living in southwest Madison. So, on November 5, 2012, three of the MNC youth (Alisha C., Roosevelt C., and Savannah W.), MNC administrators Susan Jackson and Beatriz Canas and the four students were hosted to a brief tour of the UW-Madison by CUE Fellow Marian Slaughter. This tour included a visit to the Morgridge Center for Public Service, lunch at the UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center, a hands-on science workshop at the Wisconsin Institutes of Discovery and a trip to Babcock Hall for some delicious ice cream. The group then headed to Agricultural Hall so that the youth could continue working on the MNC youth activity survey with the students. Although the youth were a bit worn out at the end of the day (and they weren’t the only ones!), they all indicated how much they enjoyed the visit and expressed a desire to return. Their enthusiasm encouraged all involved to think about how to provide more opportunities to engage youth from southwest Madison in campus-based activities and events.

The UW-Madison is one of the most prestigious public research and education institutions in the world. All young students, particularly those living in Madison should regard the University as a positive, constructive and – yes, fun – part their lives. The sooner the University becomes a real, active and constructive part of the lives of all Madison youth, including youth from underserved neighborhoods like Meadowood and Theresa Terrace, the greater the chances that these youth will not merely visit the UW-Madison – they will attend and become graduates of this great educational institution. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

DELTA Course: Bringing Community University Partnerships to the Classroom

by Helyn Luisi-Mills

The high-impact practice of community-based learning/ research, embodying the Wisconsin Idea, has been shown to enhance student learning outcomes. Beyond that baseline, deeper and more authentic learning happens when care is taken to build solid long-term community relationships, and working to maximize courses for the best quality of community impact. This interactive course allowed participants to learn and share challenges and insights about these issues in a collaborative learning community approach.

CUE instructors, Beth Tryon, Ashleigh Ross, Marian Slaughter, and TA Helyn Luisi-Mills included readings that provided an overview of good practice in campus-community relationship building. Additionally, through the incorporation of skills and real time competency building, students engaged with community partners and faculty. As a collaborative learning community approach took deeper root, students shared their pre and post-course perspectives on community-based learning challenges and rewards. Community partners were invited to share their unique viewpoint and present current challenges and opportunities in current partnerships as case studies. Participants walked away with tangible skills in building community partnerships and curriculum development.

Students in the course produced final presentations outlining their philosophy, methodology, and activities for a CBL course they would teach in the future. Ideas included a peer education module, a geological science and elementary school STEM program, and a community research action project. Students’ submissions showed that the learning goals set by the syllabus were met. Excerpts from their final projects include:

“It [my class] will incorporate CBR into the [students’] work because it is the most effective route for learning about the individuals we serve.”

“Students will interact with non-technical members of the community and collaborate with a community partner to plan and execute a project deemed useful by both the community partner and the students.”

“. . . these service learning projects are intended to be mutually beneficial for both the students and the community partners. Students will learn how to provide useful services in a non-academic setting.”

This partnership with the Morgridge Center, DELTA, and the community was so successful that the invitation was issued to provide the course again. We plan to offer it again this fall. Please contact Helyn Luisi-Mills for details. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

The Midwest Knowledge Mobilization Network

by Beth Tryon

On October 19th, 2012, representatives from seven universities in the region met at the Center for Urban Research and Learning (CURL) offices at Loyola University-Chicago to discuss the possibility of forming a network of Midwest ‘Science Shops’. Serendipitously, Norbert Steinhaus from the Bonn, Germany Science Shop and coordinator of Living Knowledge, the international science shop network, was able to stop by Chicago on his way from Germany to Toronto (we bent the map a little!) to provide his guidance. According to Steinhaus, the purpose of a science shop network is to share ideas, experience, and research with different communities so that the same research doesn’t get repeated over and over. Science shop networks also give all citizens better access to scientific expertise because academic information is accessible and openly shared. Individual science shops can distribute information to networks so that other communities can benefit as well.

CURL is one of the most established science shops in the US. Director Phil Nyden described how CURL brings community and university knowledge together by using community partners at all levels of research, but most importantly, at the conception of an idea or issue, and embraces learning and teaching that goes in both directions. They work on projects that have deep impact – participatory evaluations, providing data for advocacy campaigns, researching models of successful community programs, and creating educational videos about community issues. CUE’s contributions included Beth Tryon’s description of CUE’s infrastructure, and Randy Stoecker’s presentation on his Community Development model with Mary Beckman of the Center for Social Concerns at Notre Dame. Mary also shared her work on designing CBR for maximum community impact.

At the meeting, representatives decided to pursue this idea of a regional network to create a community of practice that will allow practitioners to ask each other for administrative and research guidance, share their own experiences and best practices and provide a stronger voice for this type of community engagement. Although they wanted to keep this regional network within a driving distance context, it will also link into national and global networks such as Living Knowledge, Community- Campus Partnerships for Health, and GACER (Global Alliance for Community-Engaged Research). The group decided on a working title of “Midwest Knowledge Mobilization Network”.

Indiana University Purdue University of Indiana (IUPUI) has volunteered to host the next Midwest Knowledge Mobilization Network meeting on April 12, 2013 in the IUPUI Campus Center. Agenda, registration info and lodging suggestions will be coming shortly. If you would like to be on the email list for the details, please contact Teresa Bennett of the Solution Center at solution@iupui.edu or 317-278-9170. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

Innovation in the Community- University Partnership

by Dadit Hidayat

On October 9, 2012, Interim Chancellor David Ward officially kicked off the Year of Innovation for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  CUE was tasked to put together a panel on “Campus-Community Partnership: Fostering Innovation.”  The audience learned what community-based work means to student Sherri Bester (Student Liaison to Family Voices Project), Heather Gates (Executive Director, The Natural Step Monona), Dolly Ledin (Instructor, Institutes for Biology Education), Kim Neuschel (Nurse, Public Health Madison and Dane County), Sue Stanton (CUE Graduate Fellow and PhD candidate, School of Education), and Lynet Uttal (Professor, Family Studies and Human Development and Director of Asian American Studies).

Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology Randy Stoecker delivered an introduction.  He shared the inconvenient facts behind many success stories of university- community partnership.  “Untenured faculty literally risks their job, graduate student risks their degree completion, and community groups risk their organization’s productivity,“ he illustrated.  For that reason, he introduced the panelists as “not only the most innovative but also the bravest innovators.  ”When asked about innovation, Bester said, “It is when our [community] voice is recognized and heard.”  Rather different from the mainstream production of knowledge, partnership is about co- production of knowledge or according to Ledin, “a two-way street.”  Knowledge is produced collaboratively between academics and those who may only have an 8th grade education, as suggested by Stoecker.  Only in this way could the partnership make the difference that otherwise communities would not be able to make (on their own), added by Gates.

For Uttal, the motivation to work with community is so that academics are able to learn from local people who are in practice in the real world.  Local theorizing, as Uttal illustrates, is where book knowledge is translated into more conceptual ideas working collaboratively.

When asked about the key to a successful partnership, Neuschel offered thoughts from her experience with an on-the-ground model and the importance of forming sincere relationships with the community.  Stanton added both academics and community members can then speak the same language.

Following the panel, five groups showcased their campus- university partnership projects at interactive table displays.  These included the Family Voices Project, South West Madison Community Organizers, Savor South Madison, Slow Food UW, Institute for Biology Education, and the Community-University Exchange. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

CUE Chair’s Report

by Beth Tryon, CUE Program Chair

Greetings and welcome to the Winter 2012-2013 Issue of the CUE Newsletter. Much has happened since our first issue last August!  Inside this issue you’ll find articles about all of CUE’s latest developments, including:

  • Our graduate seminar taught through the DELTA certificate program. An AACU “Bringing Theory to Practice” grant funded a TAship for our Engaged Scholarship Fellow Helyn Luisi-Mills.  She did a fantastic job refining the curriculum developed in 2011.  Several of the Ph.D. students in the class are now developing new community-based learning course curriculum based on class projects!
  • Our ongoing work in Southwest Madison’s Meadowood Neighborhood Center and the Teresa Terrace-Hammersley area, involving new elements of community gardening and math & science tutoring.
  • We are in the planning phase of a new literacy project with Gloria Ladson- Billings and Catherine Compton-Lilly in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, School of Ed.  We hope to obtain funding for CUE Fellow Marian Slaughter’s tutor/mentor training curriculum and expand tutoring to several community centers.
  • An evaluation of the work of the Slow Food-UW students serving brunch to and with the families in the Family Voices tutoring program, and updates on the partnership, partially funded by a Wisconsin Idea Fellowship award from the Morgridge Center.
  • The fledgling “Midwest Knowledge Mobilization Network” is starting to get legs – our inaugural meeting at the Center for Urban Research and Learning at Loyola-Chicago was a success with 25 representatives from 7 schools.  Our second meeting will be in Indianapolis on April 12th. Please join us there!

We are also involved with the Morgridge Center’s new faculty/staff roundtables – the kick off is February 27th.  There will be another in April concerning faculty tenure and promotion. Interest is high in the Engaged Scholarship Summit on March 20th.  Several of these ongoing projects have been supported by CUE Fellows or are in CUE’s ongoing project areas.

Meanwhile, we continue to grow our infrastructure and look for ways to support the work of the many faculty, staff and students across campus working with the community on academic projects.  We are currently in meetings with the Promise Zone (an initiative based at the Urban League), faculty and staff across campus, and the Vice Chancellor’s Office of University Relations about re-establishing the UW’s physical presence on South Park Street.  We envision a “CUE Station” to help facilitate the comings and goings of UW students in and out of community-based learning projects, decreasing the organizational burden on both faculty and community partners.  The Promise Zone report has highlighted ideas such as a Cultural Heritage Center to bring awareness of all the different cultural identities in South Madison, a space to have community suppers, musical performances, art and other continuing education classes, and community art projects.  The recent residency of internationally- renowned artist Lily Yeh allowed me to connect her to the Promise Zone folks.  Lily has offered to lead a catalytic planning session to galvanize and organize community interest and capacity, so we are working on partnership opportunities to fund that return visit.  The Community-Based Learning in Art 448 class, supported by a CBL Fellow from Morgridge Center, is excited to work with Lily on the methodology of organic design!

I’m sure I’m leaving out many things that our talented CUE Graduate Fellows are germinating, but read on for their detailed reports of activities going on this school year.  Please contact us if you are interested in participating in the South Park Street plans, or to discuss other ways we can collaborate with you to support your community-based scholarship, and check out our website for more updates. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

Promoting Sustainable Madison by Learning from Freiburg

by Dadit Hidayat

This summer from May 29th to June 14th, the Global Health Institute (GHI) funded a 3-week summer course as part of the Wisconsin Without Borders (WWB) initiative called “GreenFreiburg in Madison.”  WWB is a collaborative initiative between the Morgridge Center, GHI, and the Division of International Studies. CUE staff provided curriculum development to instructor Ted Petith, with support from Professors Nancy Mathews, Nelson Institute, and Alfonso Morales, Urban and Regional Planning.  Following up on last summer’s course “GreenSummer in Freiburg”, where15 undergraduates traveled to Freiburg for six weeks for internships, service learning projects, and research about Freiburg’s sustainable practices and technology, this year’s locally-based course brought in Uwe Ladenburger from the University of Freiburg to work with Global Health Certificate students in building awareness of Green Practices that can be replicated here in Madison.  Ted Markus Petith, community co-instructor and Freiburg native, showed students the complex connections between sustainability and global health to identify specific green behavior that improves human health and quality of life.  Mr. Petith designed site visits for students to learn about similar sustainability project initiatives in Madison. Further, students were encouraged to identify opportunities for other potential green projects.  A journal article about this initiative is available online.

Freiburg is one of Madison’s oldest sister cities.  They have achieved 40% CO2 reduction, have integrated public transportation, incentivized low-energy housing and mandated near-zero energy standards for public buildings.  These courses have been set up to facilitate sharing  findings and knowledge of Freiburg with City of Madison engineers, planners, recycling coordinators, and UW-Madison’s Office of Sustainability.  The goal is to continue to grow this exchange. Students will return to Freiburg again in 2013, and the Morgridge Center and CUE are in discussions about creating a “Sustainable Sister-City Network” of faculty, academic staff and students with individual expertise in all aspects of Freiburg’s knowledge base.

As a service-learning course, students’ enthusiasm and energy were also directed toward a tangible “deliverable” product that could be useful for our campus and the City of Madison.  Students worked on a “MadEcoGuide” detailing Green features of our campus and city which will be distributed to students through the Office of Sustainability, Campus Residence’s GreenHouse community, and other locations. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

CUE: South West Madison

by Ashleigh Ross and Marian Slaughter

CUE has been involved with the South West Madison Community Organizers (SWMCO) and their associated work groups since fall of 2011.  SWMCO is a group of southwest Madison residents, UW faculty and students, and Madison/Dane County Public Health Department nurses that work to build leadership in the community as a way to promote holistic health and well being.  SWMCO requested support from CUE to help them better manage faculty and student requests for involvement.  Specifically, SWMCO asked CUE to help them document their community organizing process and model and to act in a role similar to “traffic cop” to coordinate and organize university requests for partnerships.  CUE is also supporting SWMCO in identifying resource gaps and finding ways that students, faculty and staff can help fill them.  CUE graduate students have assisted SWMCO by recruiting interns to help with a local children’s garden, finding science presenters for the Hammersley Youth Activity Day, coordinating with UW classes that are working in Southwest Madison, and participating in SWMCO planning processes.

Professor Randy Stoecker taught a Community and Environmental Sociology capstone course in the spring of 2012 which provided research support for community leaders interested in creating a neighborhood house/community center in the Hammersley area.  Students in the course conducted research about Madison area community centers to determine which services were offered for people of all ages and then provided a list of these possibilities for community leaders that included funding sources, programming, transportation and infrastructure models.

In the next year, at least 3 UW classes, Professors Stoecker in Community and Environmental Sociology, Brian Christens and Shannon Sparks in School of Human Ecology, and Sam Dennis Jr. in Landscape Architecture with Ashleigh Ross, CUE assistant and Environmental Studies TA, will utilize student research and service to support SWMCO’s efforts.  Currently, CUE is working with SWMCO and faculty to determine which priorities will be addressed in these classes.  Through this process CUE staff will be working with SWMCO members to design a process for academic research to ensure that the community is engaged with research and that the UW efforts meet community needs. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

Family Voices Program

by Marian Slaughter

During a Family Voices International Day Meal (CUE, 2012)

The Family Voices (FV) Mentor-Tutoring program arose out of more than five years of conversations between African- American families living in the south side of Madison and faculty and staff of UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology.  While many ideas for community improvement were identified through these extensive conversations, the families felt supporting the academic performance of the community’s children through the use of tutors would be a powerful place to begin. Since 2006, FV has provided tutoring on Saturdays for African American children of South Madison in a variety of venues, including Lincoln Elementary School. In fall 2010, FV began a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County (BGCDC).  The BGCDC/FV partnership is strengthening the program’s foundation and its ability to continue developing and implementing a culturally relevant Saturday morning mentor-tutor-enrichment program for students in grades K-8 with strong parent engagement and with a focus on African American families and mentor-tutors.

Through the rich networks of community-based research projects and researchers, Dr. Boyd Rossing (emeritus), the Principal Investigator of the Family Voices program, learned about CUE, its mission to encourage and support community-based research and the possibility of accessing resources that would assist the Family Voices program increase its capacity to serve its targeted population.  The timing of CUE support could have not been more beneficial! Beginning in the summer of 2011, CUE began assisting the program and BGCDC in three important ways.  First, a CUE staff member supported Family Voices with program administration and development, documentation and implementation support.  Second, in conjunction with the School of Human Ecology, CUE staff developed curriculum and taught a pilot professional development course for the  undergraduates serving as mentor-tutors volunteers. This for-credit course was conducted at the BGCDC on alternating Saturdays during the spring 2012 semester.  Third, UW students participating in CUE-funded courses through the Interdisciplinary Studies department that grew out of the CUE pilot were able to gain important community-based research experience by conducting selected inquiries each semester which facilitated FV program development and improvement.

During the 2012-2013 year, Family Voices anticipates increasing the participation of K-8 students while focusing on developing more parent involvement activities and sharpening its curriculum and instructional practices.  While continuing to support program development, the work of the CUE staff member will shift to from program administration and implementation to the work of program evaluation and documentation of the FV program’s historical evolution. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

Savor South Madison: A Food Campaign

by Dadit Hidayat

“Journalism Professor Young Mie Kim contacted me in search of a community partner for her service-learning course on social media, and the timing could not have been better,” Beth Tryon says.  “It was in fall 2011, and we had just finished our CUE pilot year in South Madison, and her faculty objectives fit perfectly to expand it.”  Building on the findings of Professor McAlister’s Consumer Science students in the CUE pilot, a social media course could provide another way for students to contribute to the goal of improving economic vitality in South Madison, as the new technology had been discussed as a great way to reach new audiences.

A total of twelve undergraduate students signed up for Journalism 676: Technology for Social Change taught by Professor Kim.  They collaborated with the South Metropolitan Planning Council (SMPC) to design and launch a social media campaign that makes salient in the minds of all Madison residents the message that the food culture of South Madison is “young, hip, and truly multicultural.”

The focus on food was originally suggested by John Quinlan from SMPC because one of the strengths of the South Madison community is its globally representative food culture.  The various food establishments in South Madison, specifically on South Park Street, provide many opportunities for people to have a unique dining and social experience.  “We all feel assured by John and that food is an optimal tool to boost social capital in the South Madison area,” according to Amanda Radowszewski, one of the students in the class.  The link to the Slow Food UW work with the Farmers’ Market and the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County also lent a ready-made audience for a cooking contest sponsored by the class.

When conducting this project, among the first steps was to classify the S. Park St. food establishments by their capacity to facilitate bridging and bonding among patrons, an objective in building community capacity around the common interest in eating.  The students discovered in the process that a semester was too short to gain a comprehensive understanding of the level and modes of media and technology use in South Madison.  However, they are confident that accessibility has always been a key issue in media technology usage, and that South Madison is likely lacking technology resources compared to the greater Madison community.

Thus, SMPC and students agreed that a new communication technology should be promoted to connect people more efficiently, combined with the more creative use of traditional media.  The class recommended use of integrated technology such as websites, social networks, texting programs, and other platforms to address the issue.  A website the students designed, SavorSouthMadison.com, is the result of the collaborative work.  That platform is supported by online social media outlets Facebook, Twitter, Pinterests, and Youtube.  This course continued as a Special Topics course in Spring 2012 and is now becoming a permanent part of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication curriculum. ■

<< Back to the list of articles

Slow Food UW Expands Work in South Madison

by Cara Ladd, Co-Chair Slow Food UW

There is a strong food culture in South Madison.  More than just a meal, the local community considers food a key factor in engaging community members.  A few local groups have initiated a variety of food-related programs.  Human capacity to be involved, however, have been an ongoing issue.

This issue led Dr. Margaret Nellis to put out a flyer on campus asking for interns to assist with the South Madison Farmer’s Market.  From only two interns in 2009, the student involvement in South Madison has grown to a cohort of eight interns every semester, who co-facilitate a one-credit module with Dr. Nellis.  They have worked on multiple projects along with coordinating volunteer opportunities for Slow Food UW, a campus student organization.  “I’d say over a hundred Slow Food UW students have participated in at least one activity in South Madison,” according to Dr. Nellis.  Because of Dr. Nellis’ involvement in CUE South Madison, these ongoing food projects were integrated into the CUE matrix during the pilot year.  Since then, the Slow Food UW has been among CUE’s continued supporters in promoting community-based learning on campus.

A Stand at the South Madison Farmer’s Market during the Celebrate South Madison festival (Slow Food UW, 2011).

Aly Miller and Emily Duma, two interns in spring 2011 during the CUE pilot year, determined that the Slow Food UW involvement in South Madison should be directed to meet two primary objectives: (1) generating understanding of our privileges in the food system and using this knowledge to achieve social change, and (2) learning ways to be involved in improving South Madison’s uneven socio-economic landscape.  With the support of a $5,000 Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellowship from the Morgridge Center awarded to Shelbi Jentz, Wally Graeber, and myself in 2011, Slow Food UW was able to specify four areas of activities for involvement: educating the community on sustainability and health, reducing health disparities, improving food access, and supporting Madison area farmers.

Building on these guidelines and with the support of the Slow Food UW team, Shelbi, Wally, and I organized a total of seven programs during the 2011-2012 academic year. Collaboratively with community partners, we

  • served meals and snacks during Science Nights events at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery;
  • offered a one-credit South Madison Food Justice Action Collective class for project participants in the fall and spring semesters;
  • served the Family Voices participants locally-sourced brunches, organized Teen Cooking Nights, and established two gardens with the Boys and Girls Club;
  • provided teaching assistance for Badger Rock Middle School.

Two of our former South Madison interns, Donald Malchow (L) and Tae-Young Nam (C), at a kid’s apple stand during the Celebrate South Madison festival (Slow Food UW, 2011).

In all of these events, a total of 13 Slow Food student interns were involved, 62 meals were served, $5200 was spent, and more than 972 hours of community service were rendered for preparation.

When multiple projects work together in an area, the opportunities to multiply the benefits are greatly encouraged.  The collaboration between the Slow Food UW and Family Voices in South Madison resulted in the children who were enrolled in the program being able to participate in food preparation as educational enrichment while expanding their palates to include more fruits, vegetables, meatless main courses and lower sugar treats.  The parents looked forward to the new and delicious meals that their children helped prepare and sometimes serve.  Similarly, the Slow Food UW students’ passion and enthusiasm for cooking during the Teen Cooking Nights attracted young students into the kitchen to help cook, tell stories and bond over food preparation and sharing.  The same happened at the Badger Rock Middle School, where I provided assistance to a teacher.  Being exposed to hands-on fieldwork where they can learn how to prepare vegetables and cultivate their own garden sparks the conversation in the home about the importance of eating healthy and eating local.  This type of community education and action is really what the project was all about.  Shelbi recalls, “A memorable moment was when kids expressed to us that they sometimes go home and try the recipes [from their Teen Cooking Nights] with their parents.”

Reflecting on his experience, Wally says “Just telling someone that it is “good” to support local and environmentally friendly businesses is not enough.  Those words do not mean anything to them unless you can compare and contrast the effects, good or bad.”

When we open our minds to working with K-12 students, just like other members of a community, their highly critical way of thinking is very positive in helping future leaders.  Community-based learning like this is what helps students improve their  communication and civic engagement skills.  This type of community education and action is really what our project was all about.

It is the plan that Slow Food UW continues to engage South Madison community with their programs for healthy eating.  The next Wisconsin Idea Undergraduate Fellows affiliated with the Slow Food UW, Tori Law and Maddy Levin, plan on continuing their work and sharing more exciting stories. ■

<< Back to the list of articles