The University Scholars Program and Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Service Research Project (SRP) Awards. These projects are student-directed and offer participants the unique opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams on a year-long service research project. Recipients of the SRP Awards collaborate closely with community partners to help them develop interventions, provide support, and/or deliver site-specific services. A unique option for civic engagement, SRP Awards allow Northeastern students to provide tangible benefits for the populations with which they work and develop critical skills as applied researchers in the field. In addition to financial support to carry out their projects, SRP Award recipients receive mentorship from the staff and Faculty Fellows at the University Scholars Program and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships. The following projects have been funded for 2017-18:
Bits & Bots
Project Leaders: Brett Krutiansky, CCIS ’18; Thurston Brevett, COE ’18; Kim Terrizzi, COE ’18
This project aims to inspire and motivate primarily underrepresented 3rd-8th grade students in the Boston area to further explore and pursue the STEM fields. They seek to provide a high quality introductory robotics education program, free of charge, to Boston-area students at the Grove Hall site of the Boston Public Library. During their sessions, the group will collect data on curriculum planning and student engagement with the goal of developing a STEM program model that can be used to provide robotics education to underserved population.
Project Leaders: Amina Ly, COS ’17; Berta Bartoli, CSSH ’18; Derick Anderson, CCIS ’19
This project partners with the DREAM Program, a youth mentorship organization that pairs college students with grade-school children in an effort to empower and encourage them to achieve their dreams and goals. The team will work directly with the program administration, researching the quality of the mentor/mentee relationships, providing research aimed at improving relationships across multiple sites.
Project Leaders: Ryan Maia, CSSH ’19; Abby Plummer, CSSH ’17
This project aims to provide high school students in Boston Public Schools with environmental education. The group will conduct research to assess strategies for effective delivery of this timely material and will work with Boston Public Schools to secure a time slot to provide these lessons. Their goal is to enhance students understanding of the science and policy of environmental problems, the environmentally conscious lifestyle changes they can implement, and the green projects and careers they can pursue.
Project Leaders: Elise Dovletoglou, COS ’20
This project aims to address issues of nutrition and sustainability in Boston Public Schools through advocacy for plant-based foods in children’s diets and the implementation of more vegetarian options in school lunches. This year, the focus is on conducting research on affordable, local produce farmers and vendors and engage with a local school to implement a pilot program that will offer one vegetarian alternative to everyday lunch options.
Increasing College Preparation for Boston Immigrant Youth
Project Leaders: Camila Simons, COE ’19; Blair Childs-Biscoe, CSSH ’19; Aarambh Pradhan, CSSH ’19
This project’s aims to provide college preparation to immigrant youth in Boston. The group will first focus on developing a survey tool and conducting research in the Boston area to identify areas of concern for college access and opportunity among immigrant youth and their families. The goal is to then collaborate with organizations such as Sanctuary Campus NU and REACT to provide workshops and training sessions based on the results of their survey research.
Increasing and Providing Long-Term Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products
Project Leaders: Danielle Reid, CAMD ’19; Erin Sedita, CSSH ’19
This project aims to break the stigma associated with the menstrual cup as method of menstrual hygiene and ensure more sustainable access to these products for low income women and femmes. The group will conduct research on the techniques used to make menstrual cups and work to find ways to reduce their costs with manufacturers. In a pilot study, the group will distribute to these products through community partners, Sancta Maria House and Rosie’s Place. They seek to analyze the effectiveness of implementing a cost subside, assess the usability of the product, and evaluate its ability to be maintained during its usage.
Malaria Free World
Project Leaders: Kritika Singh, COE ’20
This project aims to raise awareness about malaria and other infectious diseases on a local, national, and global scale through the development and support of research symposiums for high school students, fun interactive activities for K-8 students, and global events in endemic countries. The primarily goal in the upcoming year is to begin development of a mobile app to educate individuals on malaria, help provide resources to eradicate the disease, and empower individuals to take action and seek help. The group will collaborate with Northeastern’s Generate to develop the application, and with Defeating Malaria Initiative and the UN’s Nothing but Nets Program to disseminate information on the disease.
The Playground Project: INDIGO
Project Leaders: Monisha Reginald, CHHS ’18; Durward Benham, CCIS ’18
This project strives to increase the number and quality of inclusive playgrounds in Boston. The group has developed the most comprehensive tool for assessing playground accessibility through extensive local and national research, work with Boston’s Parks and Recreation Department as well as various community organizations. This year the group aims to survey the majority of playgrounds in Boston and draft a paper about the quality of playgrounds throughout the city.
Project Leaders: Tavia Allen, Bouvé ’18; Danielle Murad, CSSH ’19; Cindy Wu, Bouvé ’19; Agota Sakalauskaite, DMSB ’19
This project is dedicated to the well-being of senior citizens in the Boston area by designing curriculum that promotes physical activity and provides opportunities for social and emotional interaction among its participants. The group will hold fitness classes weekly and collect feedback through surveys to assess satisfaction with the sessions, instruction, and physical improvements. They will use these results to implement changes to their programming and tailor the lessons as closely as possible to the needs to the elderly population at Susan A Balis and St. Cecilia’s Apartment Communities.
Project Leaders: Ana Paz, Bouvé ’18
This project is focused on STEM education. The group serves as tutors within the science department at John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science and has crafted a “Science Fair” afterschool curriculum, developed employing the latest in learning science and revised according to student and classroom teacher feedback. The group also assists with science fairs around the city and teaches experimentation classes at Northeastern’s NEPTUN program.
SPLC at Northeastern
Project Leaders: Ololade Akingbade, COS ’18; Gabriel Morris, CSSH ’21; Matthew Cueto, DMSB ’20
For the past two years, this group created and taught a civil rights and social justice curriculum to youth groups and within afterschool programs, utilizing Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance anti-bias and social justice framework. In addition to crafting curriculum, the group conducted surveys about participant learning styles to enhance efficacy. Having crafted a writing and media workshop last year, they hope to expand upon that effort, while further developing the program evaluation dimension of their projects.
Project Leaders: Jessie Sigler, COE ’20; Kiara Taquechel, COS ’19
This project brings STEM-focused enrichment to a public elementary school in Jamaica Plain. Over the past two years, the team has developed a STEM workshop curriculum through research into best practices. Their hope is to create and implement new robotics focused curriculum while contributing to the literature on the efficacy of STEM-education efforts through rigorous evaluation of their work this year. STEMventures is partnered with Northeastern’s Center for STEM Education.
Project Leaders: Suraya Foster, COS ’20; Paulina de Lima, COE ’19; and Niklas Pousette-Harger, CCIS ’21
This project aims to introduce children from all backgrounds to music and dance education. The team combines case studies and direct service to design curricula for young students in the neighborhoods surrounding Northeastern’s campus. This year, the group hopes to continue their direct service and research focus, while creating a resource for other community centers and after-school enrichment programs that will provide lesson templates that can be customized to number of students, age group, and instructor skillset.