Current & Recent Projects

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Current & Recent Projects

SPARK Evaluation – The Institute of Bioscience and Social Research has been a partner with the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton in evaluating the Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) initiative since 2005. This innovative initiative is a family-focused program that has helped more than 2,200 families prepare their children for Kindergarten and life-long learning. Dr. Peter Leahy has led evaluation efforts. More information regarding the SPARK initiative can be found at www.sparkohio.org.

HUD HOPE VI Evaluations – The Institute of Bioscience and Social Research recently completed two site evaluations regarding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOPE VI Revitalization Grant for the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA). The two sites included the newly redeveloped Edgewood Village (the former Edgewood Homes neighborhood by the Akron Zoo) and Cascade Village (formerly the Elizabeth Park neighborhood just north of downtown Akron). Lead by Dr. Peter Leahy, the evaluations spanned the 2006-2011 period and have indicated that the HOPE VI initiative has significantly improved the vitality of these two neighborhoods. More information regarding the HOPE VI project can be found at www.akronhousing.org. More information regarding IBSR’s involvement in the HOPE VI evaluation can be obtained by either Dr. Peter Leahy (leahy@uakron.edu) or Dr. Eric Mundy (emundy@uakron.edu).

Akron Schools Problem-Based Learning Assessment – The Institute of Bioscience and Social Research recently completed a site assessment regarding the 2011 Ohio Problem-Based Learning (PBL) STEM Demonstration Grant. The project, a partnership between The University of Akron, Akron Public Schools, Kent State University, and Hiram College, consisted of establishing a professional development exemplar for middle school teachers in the Akron Public Schools to implement PBL and learning communities models within their individual schools. The initial schools included the Hyre Community Learning Center and the Akron Opportunity Center, with plans to replicate the model to other Akron schools as well as other school systems beyond Akron. The initial assessment of professional development model was very favorable. More information regarding IBSR’s involvement in this PBL initiative can be obtained by Dr. Peter Leahy (leahy@uakron.edu) or Dr. Eric Mundy (emundy@uakron.edu).

Accountable Care Community Initiative – The Institute of Bioscience and Social Research is currently actively involved with the Austen BioInnovation Institute and its numerous local community partners in the Accountable Care Community Initiative. This initiative seeks to improve health outcomes for Summit County residents by promoting healthier lifestyles and reducing chronic illness and health disparities. More information on this initiative can be found at www.abiakron.org/acc. More information on the Institute’s involvement in the Accountable Care Community Initiative can be obtained from Dr. Eric Mundy at 330-972-5465 or emundy@uakron.edu.  

OFVPP Evaluation – The Institute of Bioscience and Social Research is currently a partner with the HealthPath Foundation of Ohio in evaluating the Ohio Family Violence Prevention Project (OFVPP). The OFVPP seeks to increase awareness of the scope and consequences of family violence through the dissemination of associated data. More information on the Ohio Family Violence Prevention Project can be found at www.hpio.net/special-projects/ohio-family-violence-prevention-project or by contacting Dr. Eric Mundy at emundy@uakron.edu or 330-972-5465. The results of the evaluation will available on the OFVPP webpage later this year.

AMHA Early Childhood Initiative – Dr. Peter Leahy currently leads evaluation efforts of the Early Childhood Initiative (ECI), sponsored by the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority. This innovative “Parents as Teachers” program seeks to aid parents with children aged 0 to 5 years in several Akron public housing neighborhoods. The evaluation team is examining child and parent gains while they receive the “Parents as Teachers” program through the ECI, and will be tracking school performance of the program participants at kindergarten entry through grade 3 against a comparison group.

Oral Health Project – Dr. Peter Leahy currently leads evaluation efforts of the Oral Health Project funded by the WK Kellogg Foundation through The University of Akron’s School of Nursing (officially known as “Improving Oral Health of Poor and Low Income Pregnant Women, Mothers, and Children Up to Five Years Old: A Pilot Intervention at Urban and Rural WIC Program Sites in Northeastern Ohio”). The purpose of the program is to ensure that at-risk rural and urban children aged 0 to 5 in two Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC) sites in Portage and Summit Counties Parents are also counseled in good dental and dietary practices, such as regular dental checkups. Through multivariate analysis the evaluation will assess changes in the family’s use of a dental home, changes in the child’s teeth and gum status, and changes in the family’s dietary practices as a result of the intervention.

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