Engaging Community Locally and Globally
Public Impact Research Initiative grants support nine public scholarship teams
Nine UC Davis-led public scholarship teams have recently been awarded the 2022 Public Impact Research Initiative (PIRI) grants from Public Scholarship and Engagement. Funds from the award will support public scholarship projects that include engaging with communities ranging from female scientists at Davis High School to Afghani refugees to members of 162 Guatemalan villages.
Awardees were selected from more than two-dozen applicants from faculty and researchers from across the UC Davis colleges and schools. Proposals were evaluated through a rigorous review process, which included input from university faculty, community members and Public Scholarship and Engagement staff.
The breadth and scope of projects submitted are a testament to the growing commitment within the university to uplift work that engages with communities, said Vice Provost for Public Scholarship and Engagement Michael Rios.
“Now in its third year, we are beginning to see the ripple effect that these PIRI grants are having on public scholarship efforts at UC Davis,” Rios said. “Not only are the PIRI grants helping support research that is vital to the university’s mission, but the grants also provide seed funding to advance scholarship that eventually garners additional funding and awards.”
Public Scholarship and Engagement established the PIRI grants in 2019 to recognize and support research that is cogenerated with community partners, is of mutual benefit, and has a positive public impact. Through this initiative, PSE provides financial support for new collaborations and sustained relationships that will support publicly engaged research with non-university partners.
All PIRI grants incorporate collaboration with non-university partners who have regional, national and global reach — including governmental agencies, local K-12 educational institutions, and national and international nonprofit organizations. Collaborative partnerships supported by this program not only improve research questions and methods, they often extend a project's longevity and impact.
- Project: Yolo Family Poverty Reduction Pilot
Public Scholar(s): Associate Professor Catherine Brinkley, Center for Regional Change and Department of Human Ecology, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, with collaborator Associate Professor Vikram Koundinya, Department of Human Ecology.
Community Partners: Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency and Yolo County Children’s Alliance
- Project: Stewarding and Improving Asian Specialty Crops with Second Generation Seeds
Public Scholar(s): Assistant Professor Ga Young Chung, Department of Asian American Studies, College of Letters and Sciences, with collaborators Professor E. Charles Brummer, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Katharina Ullmann, Director, UC Davis Student Farm, Antonia Palkovic, Researcher, Department of Plant Sciences, and Laura Roser, Junior Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences.
Community Partner: Second Generation Seeds
- Project: Empowering Young Female Scientists: A Collaboration with Davis Senior High School
Public Scholar(s): Associate Professor Jennifer Funk, Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.
Community Partner: Davis Senior High School
- Project: Mapping Q'eqchi' Autonomy: Youth-Elder Cartographic and Cultural Encounters in Northern Guatemala
Public Scholar(s): Associate Professor Liza Grandia, Department of Native American Studies, College of Letters and Sciences.
Community Partner: ACDIP, the Indigenous Peasant Association for the Integrated Development of Petén
- Project: UC Davis-Huron Middle School Partnership for Promoting Mental Health Resilience in Middle School
Public Scholar(s): Assistant Professor Maciel Hernandez, Department of Human Ecology, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.
Community Partner: Huron Middle School
- Project: Stacking Solar Energy and Ecological Systems for Public Powerful Impacts Through Co-Development
Public Scholar(s): Associate Professor Rebecca Hernandez, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources with collaborators Associate Professor Majdi Abou Najm and Assistant Professor Rebecca Lybrand, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, Assistant Professor Steven M. Grodsky, Cornell University, Lydia Jennings, Postdoctoral Scholar at University of Arizona, and UC Davis graduate student Yudi Li.
Community Partners: Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Electric Power Research Institute (EPR), Xerces Society
- Project: The Murky Politics of Clean Air in the San Joaquin Valley
Public Scholar(s): Associate Professor Jonathan London, Department of Human Ecology, College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences and collaborator Nayamin Martinez, Director at Central California Environmental Justice Network and Co-Chair of the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Center's (EHSC) Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee
Community Partner: Central California Environmental Justice Network
- Project: Open Letters from Prison: Mobilizing Communities of Collective Care
Public Scholar(s): Assistant Professor Benjamin D. Weber, Department of African American and African Studies, College of Letters and Sciences, and collaborator Assistant Professor Ofelia Ortiz Cuevas, Department of Chicana/o Studies, College of Letters and Sciences.
Community Partner: California Coalition for Women Prisoners
- Project: Meeting Health Needs of Newly Arrived Afghan Refugees: The Impact of Cultural Health Navigation
Public Scholar(s): Serena Yang, Professor and Division Chief, General Pediatrics; Vice Chair, Community Engagement, Dept of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, with collaborator Michael Wilkes, Director of Global Health, School of Medicine.
Community Partner: Opening Doors, Inc.
About UC Davis Public Scholarship and Engagement
Public Scholarship and Engagement (PSE) is building and supporting meaningful relationships between communities and UC Davis scholars that work together to solve today’s problems and tomorrow’s challenges.
We envision a university unbound that seeks to serve the public, equitably and inclusively, resulting in reciprocal and mutual benefit to California’s communities and beyond.