Tuesday, May 17, 2016

UM-Dearborn faculty and students explore new opportunities with Southwest Detroit Schools

DETROIT.- On Friday, May 13, 2016, faculty and students from UM-Dearborn College of Education, Health, and Human Services enjoyed a delightful and informative morning as they went on a tour exploring the vibrant community of Southwest Detroit while visiting its most well-known public schools.
Ines De Jesus, coordinator of Community Schools
rogram at Southwest Solutions,
was the tour guide.

Associate Professor Martha Adler, Director of the Field Placement program in the college (CEHHS), decided to organize the tour to make faculty and students alike knowledgeable of the neighboring, largely Hispanic community, to UM-Dearborn. Even though there are some students who are already doing their practicums in some of these schools, the goal is to increase the college's presence in SW Detroit through more practicum placements and student teaching.

A year ago, UM-Dearborn and Southwest Solutions joined together to bring both communities closer and therefore, mutually benefit from each other’s assets. Ines De Jesus, coordinator of Community Schools program at Southwest Solutions, was the tour guide who led the group through the city's Hispanic neighborhood making stops at area public schools such as Bennett Elementary School and Western International High School.
The CEHHS group made its first stop
at Bennett Elementary School

De Jesus said that the objective of this tour is to show this neighborhood from a different perspective away from what is shown in the newspapers and on TV, but from a positive view as to engage UM-Dearborn students so they may be inspired to get involved in the local schools.

The group made its first stop at Bennett Elementary School which is well known for the quality of its teaching staff and which is working closely with CEHHS in the revival and upgrade of their library. Community School Site Coordinator at Bennett Kaity Nicastri who is part of the School Library Project, was the host during the walk-through of the Pre-K-5 facility.

On the way to the second scheduled visit, the group drove by Neinas Elementary School in which Associate Professor Chris Burke and his class are working on transforming empty lots into gardens. The group was also able to see other schools such as Harms Elementary School, a Michigan Department of Education "beat the odds" school. Clippert Academy Middle School well known for its professional staff and high achieving students; Academy of Americas K-8 known for its very committed parents and professional staff trained in full dual language Spanish-English immersion programs.

Inside Western International High School
The next stop was at Western International High School, the largest public school in the community with approximately 1700 students and offering a variety of extra-curricular programs in music, arts and sports. The group was able to see the well-kept facilities like the Olympic size swimming pool, the Henry Ford Health Clinic offering full services, the auditorium and the recently renovated performing arts and athletic wings. A third stop was at the recently opened Academy of Americas High School located next to St. Anne de D├ętroit Catholic church, which expands dual language opportunities for students in Spanish and English.

There were also some surprising visits that helped the group experience how engaged and bustling this community really is. Stops at the Ford Resource and Engagement Center as well as the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation showed that Southwest Detroit is committed to a better way of life.

The group returned satisfied with positive comments about the experience. UM-Dearborn student Josselyn Gorman said the tour was "really informative as far as knowing how the community ties in with schools". Professor Danielle DeFauw said, "I just feel like there are so many people making such a difference and I cannot wait to collaborate with these individuals and continue to help push our students out of their comfort zone" and Professor Margaret Rathouz referred to Southwest Detroit schools as "the hub of the whole community" while Professor Chris Burke called it an "informative, inspirational and fun tour".

Overall, all participants were inspired with this community looking forward to expand projects in partnership with Southwest Detroit schools.
Professors Chris Burke and Danielle DeFauw along with
student Josselyn Gorman buying mexican pastry
during a quick stop at a bakery in Southwest Detroit 
The final stop was at one of the most well known
restaurants in Southwest Detroit to enjoy authentic
Mexican food.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

CEHHS Faculty receive grants for research and projects

During the winter 2016 semester, several College of Education, Health, and Human Services faculty were awarded with 10 campus grants.

The grants awarded by the Faculty Senate Research Support Committee were:

  • Faculty Research Initiation and Seed Grant
    to Dara Hill
  • Faculty Research Support and Maintenance Grant
    to Julie Taylor
  • Faculty Professional Development Grant
    to Paul Fossum

The grants awarded by the Advancement of Teaching and Learning fund were:
  • Development of PRE Modules
    to Martha Adler, Danielle DeFauw and Dara Hill
  • Sensory Deficit Simulators
    to David Hill
  • 3D Printer
    to Gail Luera

The grants awarded by MCubed were:
  • Food Insecurity and the role of Food Pantries on College campuses
    to Natalie Sampson, Karen Thomas-Brown, Harmony Reppond, and Carmel Price
  • Coding Instruction for Students with Disabilities
    to David Hill, Stein Brunvand and Mahesh Agarwal

A  grant awarded by the Office of Metropolitan Impact was:
  • Community-Based Research: iGenVoices Project
    to Christopher Burke

A  grant awarded by the Office of Metropolitan Impact, the HUB, and the Commission for Women was:
  • Inside-Out Training
    to Gail Luera

The College of Education, Health, and Human Services congratulates its faculty members for these important achievements.