Texas Tech University

O&E Seed Grants

COHS Engaged Scholarship Seed Grant

The College of Human Sciences (COHS) Dean's Office is pleased to announce the 2022 Engaged Scholarship Collaboration Seed Grant program. This funding opportunity is for COHS faculty and a collaborator from another Texas Tech University (TTU) college or another U.S. institution to design a collaborative engaged scholarship project with a community partner to serve a community need. Full-time COHS faculty are eligible to receive funding for the inaugural year.  Examples of engaged scholarship project themes include the following: community-based participatory research, applied research, needs assessments, and program evaluation.

Award Level: Awards of up to $6,000 each. Funds are to be used for domestic travel and engaged scholarship-related expenses of the TTU faculty member and their collaborator. During their time on the TTU campus, and in addition to meeting with their TTU counterpart regarding the grant, it is expected that the collaborator and community partner will present their work with the faculty seed grant recipient at a college colloquium Funds may be used for a collaborator to visit campus and for the COHS faculty member to travel to a collaborator's institution and/or community partner's site. Funds will be available for use until November 30th, 2022. Each recipient identifies a state or federal grant proposal they will submit for external funding as a result of this funded projects.

There were four funded projects listed below:

  1. PI and collaborators: Julie Hyo Jung, Stacy Lee and Denise Aguirre (and Children's Home of Lubbock)
    1. Project Title: From Foster Care to College: Empowering Youth in Children's Home of Lubbock with Sustainability Education Training Using Virtual Reality
    2. Project Summary:
    3. This project is to provide the sustainability education training using VR glasses for youth in the Children's Home of Lubbock. Research shows that only around 10% of youth in foster care homes enroll in college, even though over 80% want to continue their education at the postsecondary level (Texas Higher Education Foster Care Liaisons, 2022). This is not only because of the financial support alone, but also because of the lack of educational opportunities and resources (Piel, 2018). Thus, the goal of this project is to provide an opportunity of the college education experience and its related resources for foster care youth. Furthermore, this project will be a steppingstone to build the educational aspirations of youth at foster care homes and build sustainable citizenship with a university-community partnership. Along with our research team, this project purports to involve all youth at Children's Home of Lubbock, community partners, students, and faculty in broadening our understanding the educational needs of youth at foster care homes as well as sustainability.
  2. PI and collaborators: Stacy Lee, Sungwon Shin & Janna Andrews (Texas Connections Academy of Houston ISD)
    1. Project Title: K-12 Sustainability Education: A Game-Based Online Learning Approach
    2. Project Summary:
    3. This community-engaged research aims to (a) explore the level of awareness and knowledge of sustainability among K-12 teachers, and (b) investigate the impacts of a sustainability intervention on their knowledge and behavioral intentions. In particular, we aim to partner with a K-12 online school (Texas Connections Academy of Houston Independent School District [TCAH]) in which teachers do not have the resources to train themselves formally and informally in sustainability practices such as recycling and consumption behaviors and educate their students to grow their knowledge and awareness. As we aim to pilot test our intervention with these K-12 online teachers, we plan to use online gamification strategies to design our intervention for sustainability education as we believe that people learn the best when they enjoy learning.  
  3. PI and collaborators: Cindy Miller, Karen Alexander, Kyle Roberson, Elizabeth Murray-Seaman, Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher for Education & Training/Lubbock ISD
    1. Project Title: Family and Consumer Sciences Summer Teaching Camp Evaluation and Impact
    2. Project Summary: 
    3. This research project aims to evaluate the impact of a summer Family & Consumer Sciences (FCS) teaching camp in increasing interest in becoming an FCS educator in a sample of underrepresented high school students. Majority of students enrolling in FCS education undergraduate programs are predominantly white (75%; TTU Institutional Research, 2021). Further, about 68% of Texas K-12 public school students are Black or Latino, but only 39% of teachers are Black or Latino (Texas Education Agency, 2021). Therefore, there is a need to alleviate the FCS basic education to higher education pipeline problem among underrepresented minority students. To address this problem, we will provide a summer camp that affords high school students the following experiences: (1) learning engaging teaching strategies to use in developing and teaching various FCS-related lessons; (2) learning from and interacting with guest speakers from education and FCS-related industries who are from varied racial/ethnic backgrounds; and (3) having local industry partners and FCS educators mentor students in developing their teaching lessons
  4. PI and collaborators: Wilna Oldewage-Theron, Stephanie Shine & Conrad Lyford
    1. Project Title: Bridging the Gap Towards Successful Vegetable Introduction: Proof in Concept for Early Head Start
    2. Project Summary:
    3. The proposed project is designed to significantly improve the ability of the TTU Center for Early Head Start (CEHS) to help families in this environment to improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Techniques for achieving sustainable behavior change will be applied with the project collaborator in behavioral economics.  A specific set of reinforcement activities will be tested for effectiveness in a behavioral nutrition education intervention (NEI).  
    4. The main aim is to evaluate the NEI effectiveness in increasing nutrition knowledge, food preferences, parental self-efficacy and skills to prepare vegetables with healthy recipes, which in turn would motivate them to improve the vegetable intake of their toddlers and achieve the recommended daily 5 fruit and vegetable (F&V) servings. As fruit is already mostly consumed, we aim to serve 2 vegetables at CEHS and for parents to serve 1-2 vegetables (mainly budgetarily frugal items, eg. carrots, peas, cabbage) at home daily. Specifically, the activity of the Early Head Start Center to serve food to toddlers will be utilized to reinforce success in serving vegetables servings to participants.