2020 Awardees and Advancing Applicant Awardees


Winning Student Proposal - Advancing Applicant

Collaborative Innovation Workshop, by Nicole Lucente (physical therapy) and Delaney Batik (occupational therapy)

This submission proposes a class to be included in Biomedical Engineering and all Health Sciences programs. The class will be a hands-on workshop for students to participate in interdisciplinary teams and develop solutions to cutting-edge health care problems that face society. Students will identify a need, develop a solution, and if possible develop a prototype. Students will have an opportunity to gain skills in disciplines other than their major and be part of a development team, consistent with the new way of learning favored by Millennials and Generation Z students. Class projects can be suggested from any source (Office of Veteran Affairs was suggested) and can provide a real-world learning environment.


Winning Faculty Proposals - Advancing Applicants

A Mobile Clinic and Makerspace, by Richard Simpson (occupational therapy), Regina Harbourne (physical therapy) and Patrick Cooper (physics)

This proposes a mobile clinic and makerspace (or working space) that supports community-based activities for students and faculty across multiple departments. An on-campus clinic or makerspace is physically removed from the underserved populations who most need assistance. Instead, they propose a van that can provide power, wi-fi, storage, and work surfaces to support a range of educational, scientific, and clinical activities. Activity-specific equipment will be loaded into the van as needed to allow students to provide STEM education to K-12 students, collect data and conduct experiments in situ, or provide clinical services. This cutting-edge approach is directly consistent with the way students today think, learn, and share their knowledge with others.

Community-Based Research & Development: A Cross-Sector, Inter-disciplinary and Inter-Generational Program, by Norm Conti (sociology), Rick McCown (educational foundations and Leadership), et al.

This proposal was submitted by Duquesne faculty, students and community partners from the Elsinore-Bennu Think Tank for Restorative Justice, a cross-sector partnership that convenes at Duquesne. They are proposing a new interdisciplinary learning program that would be geared toward new generations of students, who are increasingly interested in cross-sector, community-based research and development. The program comprises of a set of learning experiences to build competencies in designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating community-based improvement efforts. The co-learners in the program would be undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members from across the university as well as Duquesne’s community partners. For students and community partners, successful demonstration of the competencies through applied learning and assessment–including performance assessment–would result in the award of a certificate in Community-Based Research & Development. Students in any school or major–undergraduate or graduate–would be eligible to earn a certificate (certificates would specify the level of competency and thus afford both novice and advanced students to participate). Community partners who successfully demonstrate the same competencies would receive the same certificate and have their competence documented through our University.

Honorable Mention

Health Inequalities, Professional Preparation, and the Pittsburgh Region: A Multidisciplinary, Community-Engaged Course to Prepare Generation Z for the Future, by Cathleen Appelt (sociology), Jessica Devido (nursing) and Andrew Simpson (history)

This entry proposes a Community-Engaged course dealing with the disparities in employment in the health-care industry that are becoming evident in a new technologically-driven era. Pittsburgh is a region dominated by health care organizations. Many of our graduates and fellow community members will find employment in these organizations and will need to understand the social context of health-care in order to be successful in their careers. The course will work with community partners to provide a solution for a critical health or health-care employment issue. Students will improve their understanding of the industry and will have a defined set of research and communication skills they can highlight when applying for jobs.

Winning Student Proposals - New Applicants

Empathy in the Digital Age, by Benjamin Gaddes

This submission proposes a class to examine the report that that Gen-Z love their devices-and in fact feel distressed without them; or that they loved working at their technologically-sophisticated companies with virtual and augmented-reality home offices-these things seem inevitable, almost self-evident. This class will consider the psychological and economic impacts of these new cultural horizons, and how can we provide genuine experiential instruction on how to relate and connect with each other in the yet unknown 21st century.

Interprofessional Education for Health Sciences, by Laura Kerschner, Abigail Crum and Maggie Verardi

This proposal is the implementation of an Interprofessional Education class for students within the Rangos School of Health Sciences and potentially students in programs outside of Rangos (such as the Mylan School of Pharmacy and the Duquesne School of Nursing). This class would be a mixture of lectures on interprofessional communication and project-based learning using clinical scenarios. Students would be separated into small groups consisting of members of each representative academic program, in which members would collaborate to solve clinical scenarios. Students would learn how to collaborate with health professionals of other disciplines. Additionally, each group member would be able to provide unique contributions to the process which allows students to learn how to approach medical problem solving from different perspectives. While clinical knowledge will be utilized in this course, the main objective will be to help students develop collaborative communication skills. Students will also build foundational skills in conflict resolution, critical thinking and problem solving. Establishing these fundamental communicative skills will better prepare students to work in healthcare teams.

Simulations for Clinical Competency, by Hillary Villarreal, Andrew Harrington, Adele Flaherty and Elizabeth Balskus

Currently, many professionals that perform ethics consultations in healthcare institutions do not have formal training. Even those individuals who have received education in bioethics often have not been exposed to practical training in managing and resolving clinical conflicts. Thus, there is a need for healthcare ethics educational experiences that teach clinical skills. This submission proposes clinical ethics consultation simulations as a means of imparting the communication and interpersonal skills necessary for graduates of the Center for Healthcare Ethics' (CHE) programs to competently perform consultations. The approach enhances knowledge gained through traditional pedagogy from existing courses with innovative teaching strategies and will further Duquesne University's strategic plan to re-imagine the student experience for 21st Century success, help Duquesne become the standard for ethics education and transcend traditional academic boundaries.

Winning Faculty Proposals - New Applicants

From Pedagogy to Practices, by Aleina Smith, Samantha Backstrom, Abby Nimerosky, Maura Rost and Crystal Beriguete-Castro

This proposal submission seeks to create a student-led TEDx speaker's series designed to promote High Impact Practices (HIP) and experiential learning experiences for the following student populations:

  •  Students of Color
  •  First-Generation
  •  Strategies for Academic Success (SAS) and Pathways to Success (PTS) Students

Observations over the past two academic years, have demonstrated that students who participate in
the courses of Strategies for Academic Success or Pathways to Success respond to academic and social challenges that are delivered via student speakers (also former SAS/PTS students). Consequently, these demonstrated interests expand outside of the classroom within the realms of academic branding and successful integration into higher education experience.

CESTL Institute, by Amy Mattila, Jessica Mann and Sarah Breckenridge Wright

This Rangos Prize proposal describes a program that will actively encourage interdisciplinary faculty scholars across all nine schools of study to move towards a higher degree of research, funding, and publication in the field of community engaged learning (CEL). The Community Engaged Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Institute (CESTL) will provide an opportunity for participants to systematically study the effectiveness of their teaching and learning strategies in CEL. The CESTL program will be founded on the principles of a Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. The CESTL Institute will offer faculty an opportunity to engage with participants, content, and their own personal scholarly agenda, to ultimately lead to both a scholarly product and, most importantly, a richer educational experience for Duquesne students.

True Crime and the Justice of God, by Elisabeth Vasko and Lyndsie Ferrara

This entry proposes an interdisciplinary, co-taught, undergraduate course that bridges material in forensic science and Christian theological ethics. Today people are fascinated with true crime. True crime refers to the examination of real crimes across mainstream media outlets such as books, films, tv shows, and podcasts. Utilizing true crime case studies such as Ted Bundy or the Central Park 5, this course seeks to create a learning experience that enlivens Duquesne's Spiritan mission and heritage in fresh ways for the 21st century student.