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2013-14 Outreach Incentive Grant Winners

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville provides special project funding for proposals that specifically enhance the engagement mission of the university.  Currently this funding is allocated through an annual competitive process early in the fall semester. Learn more here.

Brad Collett with Gale Fulton and Valerie Friedmann

Brad Collett

Proposal Title: Tennessee Sustainability Coordination Planning and Engagement (T-SCaPE)

Abstract: This project will bring together planners, designers, and policy makers from across the state in order to achieve greater statewide coordination of sustainability planning activities. Specifically, we will use funding from this grant to conduct a Sustainability Summit at the Nashville Civic Design Center in Nashville, TN. This event will bring a diverse group of key players in sustainability activities from across the state for a two-day charrette aimed at establishing communication networks, enhancing inter-jurisdictional awareness, and developing the Tennessee Sustainability Coordination Planning and Engagement (T-SCaPE) guide. This initial action plan will serve as the starting point for greater coordination of sustainability activities across the state in the future and will be leveraged for additional funding, coordination, and events.

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Terri Combs-Orme, with Terri Geiser and Courtney Morefield

Terri Combs-Orme

Terri Combs-Orme

Proposal Title: A Smart Start for Knox County’s Babies

Abstract: The first three years of life are a period of rapid brain development that lays the foundation for future learning and development. One reason that low-income children begin kindergarten behind more advantaged peers is because they are exposed to fewer resources that enhance development in early life. This project, in cooperation with the Knox County Health Department, will provide a class on early brain development for low-income mothers, as well as resources to support mothers’ efforts. Participants will be recruited through the free car seat class.  A telephone follow-up will assess mothers’ recall and use of the resources.

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Erin Darby with Gilya Schmidt, Raphe Panitz, Deborah Oleshansky, and Jeff Gubitz

Erin Darby

Erin Darby

Proposal Title: Partnership for the Academic Study of Early Judaism: A Multi-Cultural and Multi-Generational Approach to Community Engagement in the Humanities

Abstract: This collaboration between the Department of Religious Studies, the Fern and Manfred Steinfeld Program in Judaic Studies, UT Hillel, and the Knoxville Jewish Alliance will support the creation of a multi-cultural and multi-generational community education program that integrates faculty, students, the Jewish community, and the greater Knoxville community in the academic study of ancient Judaism and the ancient Near East. The pilot program will enhance the life of the mind in the Knoxville community, increase awareness of the study of Judaism at UT, provide opportunities for students to engage the local community, and enhance the research of participating faculty.

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Susan Groenke with Kirsten Benson and Shannon Jackson (Knox County Schools)

Susan Groenke

Susan Groenke

Proposal Title: Crossing the Bridge to Academic Discourse: A Collaborative Exploration of What High School Seniors Need to Know to Write Well in First-Year College Composition Courses – Year 2

Abstract: The Office of Research and Engagement funded our project last year, which began a collaborative partnership between first-year composition instructors at UTK and 12th grade English teachers in Knox County Schools (KCS). Year 1 brought the UTK instructors and English teachers together to learn what “college-ready” writing skills look like. This proposal seeks to fund Year 2 of this collaborative, which involves videotaping writing instruction in the high school English teachers’ classrooms, as well as analysis of artifacts (e.g. syllabi), and one-on-one, semi-structured interviews with KCS teachers who have expressed interest in continuing in the project.

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Karla McKanders and Carlos Pinilla (Centro Hispano)

Karla McKanders

Karla McKanders

Proposal Title: Immigrant Legal Literacy Project: Empowering the Community One Person at a Time

Abstract: During the past decade, Tennessee has experienced a 200% increase in its foreign-born population. This change has increased the need for immigration legal advice. This collaborative outreach partnership brings together the Community Center Centro Hispano with the University of Tennessee, College of Law’s Immigration Clinic to provide free legal consultations on immigration issues. The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to understand the legal needs of immigrants in Knoxville and the surrounding areas. The partners will work together to establish Saturday legal clinics where law students will volunteer with area attorneys to provide consultations for immigrants who cannot afford counsel.

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Alex Miller

Alex Miller

Alex Miller

Proposal Title: UTK Engagement with Regional Nonprofits

Abstract: Unlike most cities its size, Knoxville lacks a nonprofit resource/support center, and the United Way and the Trinity Foundation have asked UT to spearhead development of one.  Following a series of community roundtables led by these agencies, a survey of approximately 1,500 nonprofits, regional foundations, and leading philanthropists will identify the needs of regional nonprofits best met by UTK the United Way, Leadership Knoxville, Knoxville Leadership Foundation, and others. This work will lead to research opportunities, new funding opportunities, new university course work, and improved student placement with the nonprofit sector, the most rapidly growing sector in the US economy.

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Mary Jane Moran with Dawn Coe, Robyn Brookshire, Joyce Farmer, and Renee Hauge

Mary Jane Moran

Mary Jane Moran

Proposal Title: Partners through Playgrounds: A Comparative Study of At-risk Children’s Activity  Levels in Play

Abstract: Faculty and the local Head Start program staff will partner to install natural playscape elements (garden, logs, climbing rocks, bridge) to an urban, traditional playground with the goal of increasing children’s activity levels. Behavior mapping and anecdotal observations will record 120 children’s activity levels and play behaviors.  Obesity and overweight trends in this region are high (13.5% and 20.5%); Head Start numbers are no exception (e.g., 18% and 20%). The aim is positively impact activity levels of at-risk preschoolers to help ameliorate overweight/obesity trends.

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