2013-14 Mission Micro Grant Award Projects

Summaries of the 2013-14 MMG
Proposals that Received Funding

Rachelle Belanger (Department of Biology): Material support for the purchase of recycling bins and supplies for Life Science, the Loft, and the Student Center.

At the University of Detroit Mercy, recycling is not currently a priority nor are recycling receptacles prevalent on campus. A past graduate, Raina Halabi wanted to change this. Raina was a part of the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega (APO), in the chapter of Eta Pi, and took her ideas for increasing the recycling opportunities on the campus to the APO faculty sponsor.

After receiving a Mission Micro Grant in 2011, they started a recycling program by placing a few collection bins around campus and incorporated the members of the fraternity in the collection and maintenance of the bins.

APO Members 2013APO Members 2013

The program has been running for several years, and has been a major success. In the fall of 2013, we received our second Mission Micro Grant and Rachel Joseph and Sandra Pui took over the recycling program from Raina Halabi who was graduating.

Within the past academic year, some major changes have been made to the program. Locations of bins were analyzed to make sure they are being placed in high-traffic areas, and input from outsiders and others in the fraternity of where other bins should be placed were taken into account. We have placed our newest bins in our Student Center, where a lot of people tend to study, and in the College of Liberal Arts and Education, the College most recommended for more recycling bins. There are school sponsored recycling bins in the dorm areas and other areas on the university, but we remain unaware of who takes care of those bins and how often they are emptied. As a part of the recycling commitment of APO, more accountability is necessary.

This past year has been a year of discoveries and changes within the recycling committee of the fraternity. Everyone has had great ideas that have helped us improve collection methods and date assignments for collection. Some improvements that will be implemented in the coming academic year are that of using rubber gloves to help clean out the trash that sometimes get tossed in our bins, stressing the collection of returnable bottles that will benefit fundraising for our co-ed fraternity, and making more students and staff aware of how recycling improves our lives and the planet.

One of the biggest problems we have had to deal with is people throwing trash into the recycling bins, even though the bins are clearly labeled for paper or bottles and plenty of other trash cans are available in the area. In the future, we plan to post more signs to prevent this and signs near the garbage pails to encourage the use of our receptacles. Another issue that we have been dealing with is that only one of our recycling dumpsters on campus can take all paper, bottles, and cans. This was only discovered late in the school year, but improvements on where to take recyclables on campus will be made in the current academic year.

The unexpected participation and love for going green at the University of Detroit Mercy has been amazing. Those who are on campus have become more aware of the bins so they are filling up faster. With placing new bins, we have been able to have more brothers from the fraternity participate and help with the collecting and caring of the current bins. With collecting returnable bottles and cans, we have been able to raise money to put back into the co-ed fraternity and to help pay for things such as the rubber gloves mentioned earlier and other recycling receptacles. There has been a lot of success with going green at the University of Detroit Mercy, and hopefully more success to come within the next year or two. We would like to keep the momentum of Raina Halabi going and develop an even more extensive recycling program with receptacles and signage in every building.

Varsity News article “A greener campus: Student's persistence leads to recycling

Fox News Detroit segment “Student gets campus recycling program started at U of D Mercy

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Jocelyn Bennett-Garraway (School Counseling Program / Department of Counseling and Addiction Studies):Material support to provide food, resources, and gift materials for the Graduate Student Counseling Association (GCSA) Community Service Days at the Detroit Veterans Affairs Homeless Shelter and the Neighborhood Services Organization Emergency Homeless Shelter.

Project: The University of Detroit Mercy Mission Micro Grant provided funds for gift bags for the Graduate Student Counseling Association Community Service Day. Counseling and Addiction Studies faculty, students, alumni, and families provided hygiene to the homeless. The Mission Micro Grant funds were specifically used to purchase deodorant, hair combs, body wash, and feminine hygiene products. The students actively engaged in collecting donations from students and faculty.

Project Outcomes: The Graduate Student Counseling Association students put together and distributed 100 hygiene gift bags to the Veteran’s homeless shelter and the NSO emergency homeless shelter. Although the gift bags were helpful to the shelters, the intent of the organization was to offer more than the gift bags. The GSCA wanted to provide meals to the shelters. Even though the GSCA worked hard to contact the both shelters, it was difficult to get return calls and arrange dates for permission to enter the shelters to provide meals.

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Jocelyn Bennett-Garraway (School Counseling Program / Department of Counseling & Addiction Studies): Material support for refreshments for parent workshops for the Detroit Public Schools Parent Resource Center and student workshops in the Detroit Public Schools.

The Detroit Public School Parent Resource Center is a part of the Detroit Public Schools Office of Parent and Community Engagement 2.0 initiative. These centers are a resource and network for parents and grandparents of DPS students, as well as community supporters of DPS. Parents can visit any of the 8 existing centers to receive information and guidance regarding parenting, student academic achievement, and educational resources. For more information on the Parent Resource Centers refer to their website.

Project:The University of Detroit Mercy Mission Micro Grant provided funds for learning materials for parent training classes for the Detroit Public Schools Parent Resource Center’s Parent University. The workshops/classes were to be training clinics, teaching and empowering actively engaged parents with the skills to be parent leaders and mentors to other parents. Courses were offered in four tracks:

  1. Track 1: Student Success – Helping children be academically successful.
  2. Track 2: Life Skills – Maximizing personal potential.
  3. Track 3: Parenting – Effective strategies for raising children.
  4. Track 4: Leadership – Inspiring parents to develop a vision.

The courses within the various tracks covered topics focused on health and wellness, college preparation, academic success, professional development for employment, mental health, self-defense, and life choices. I was the instructor for the following courses:

  1. Track 1
    • Basics of College Financial Aid
    • Getting Ready for High School
    • Helping Your Child with Literacy
    • Making College Tours Matter
  2. Track 2
    • Anger Management
    • Anger Management Part 2: Regain Control of Your Life
    • Becoming Self Aware

This was the first year the Detroit Public School Parent Resource Center offered the parent workshop in a “university” format, leading to a certificate. The format improved the self-esteem of and instilled pride in the parents. This experience helped initiate and encourage parents to pursue post-secondary opportunities. Over 150 parents enrolled in the Parent University program. Parents who completed 20 classes, with at least 2 classes from each track, graduate with a Parent Leader Certificate. On June 26, 2014, 28 parents graduated and were awarded the Parent Leader Certificate at a cap and gown ceremony during the Detroit Public School Department of Parent Community Parent Leader Luncheon and Workshop at the Detroit Marriott.

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Catherine Corrigan, Andrea Kwasky, Carmen Stokes (College of Health Professions (CHP) / McAuley School of Nursing): Material support for refreshments for the MSON Freshman Success Seminars.

The Level 1 Committee at the McAuley School of Nursing provides Freshman Success Seminars as a way of supporting and retaining students new to the nursing program. Freshman Success Seminars provide students with valuable information related to their academic and professional nursing career. The seminar topics include study skills and communication skills; designing your schedule to optimize your success, meet and greet the faculty, and caring for yourself. During the 2013-2014 academic year, the Level 1 Committee hosted 4 seminars:

  • Study Habits, introduction to the SNA (Student Nurse Association)
  • Stress management/ test anxiety/ test taking
  • Summer advising/ schedule management and self-care
  • Orientation for sophomore (clinical) courses

The Freshman Success Seminars are a good way to bring students together to get to know each other as well as several key faculty members who have been identified as support and resource people. Because of the success of the previous year’s meetings, Dr. Shirley Escamilla has made the Freshman Success Seminars REQUIRED as part of the students’ enrollment as Nursing majors. The students are provided with very useful information at these seminars and their attendance counts toward student progression in the nursing curriculum. Although attendance has changed from ‘encouraged’ to ‘required,’ in the spirit of UDM, we continue to offer pizza and pop, which has been very welcomed by students on a limited budget. Additionally, eating during the meetings provides a relaxed atmosphere for the freshman students.

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Beth Ann Finster, SSJ and Sarah Neitz (University Ministry): Material support for the Comfortable Cup of Tea Party celebrating Mercy Day.

The Comfortable Cup of Tea Party promoted the charism of the Sisters of Mercy. When Catherine McAuley was on her death bed, she urged the sisters to “have a comfortable cup of tea when I’m gone.” A cup of tea is not just a drink, but an opportunity to sit down, have a conversation, and fulfill the Mercy tradition of “compassionate service” in a spirit of dignity, cheerfulness, and hospitality.

We decorated the fireplace lounge area outside University Ministry and served tea, scones, and cucumber sandwiches with all the fixings for a proper tea party: jam, marmalade, sugar cubes, and lemons. Thirty students, faculty, and staff gathered with the Ministry staff and Sisters of Mercy to relax and experience hospitality and conversation in the model of Catherine McAuley. We had materials available about the Sisters of Mercy and the Works of Mercy.

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Lori Glenn (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing): Material support for the TeLL team’s printing of healthy dating posters and brochures, printing of dating violence awareness cards, and purchase of candles for a vigil for victims of domestic violence.

The TeLL Team developed a plan to increase awareness and educate the campus community on dating violence with the overall mission to create a safe environment for students. The TeLL Team worked with key departments on campus, including the Dean of Students, Public Safety, and Counseling Center. In October of 2011, the first event was held, a candle light vigil was held on the Kassab Mall to pay tribute to victims.

Since then the TeLL team has presented an educational program to the campus 6 times. Featured are members of the TeLL team and a panel of representatives from key departments that deal with these issues including Public Safety, Student Health and Wellness Center, the Counseling Center, and Student Life. Informational material including a brochure and business cards were developed and distributed at these events as well as through the Public Safety Office. TeLL Team contributions to the Student Handbook outlining the use of university resources in the event of dating violence were put in place in 2012. The TeLL Team is featured on the Public Safety Community website that links to information and resources about dating and domestic violence.

In the 2012-2013 academic year, the TeLL Team presented at Prologues, Transitions, and Viewpoints to incoming freshmen, had presentations and a candle vigil in October 2012 that included a prayer by Father Staudemeier, and made another presentation to the Greek Conference in February 2013. Student involvement has increased in the past academic year. Surveys of participants have been collected at each of the presentations. Findings from surveys support that the goals of increased understanding of dating violence and its impact on physical and emotional health. Just as important, participants also indicated an increased likelihood to protect fellow students from potential abuse situations, report incidents to Public Safety, and utilize the Student Health and Wellness Center if injury occurs.

In 2013-2014, the annual presentation and candlelight vigil was held in October, including participation of Father Tim Hipskind. The work of the TeLL team was enhanced by efforts on the part of Dr. Irene Lietz of the College of Liberal Arts and Education. She conducted two projects in business writing classes that explored the environment of campus dating violence at UDM and proposed ways to make programs such as the TeLL Team sustainable. This included working with students in the emerging leaders program, who met with members of the TeLL team. As a result conversations have begun in regards to brining bystander education to the campus. The TeLL Team also participated in the presentations in January by Dr. Harry Brod, on the ethics of sexual consent. Tell Team Dating Violence Cards were updated for all three campuses, and are to be distributed fully in the Fall 2014.

The outcomes of the TeLL Team work have been disseminated in several ways. A presentation was given in May 2012 at the regional Doctor of Nursing Practice Conference, in Dearborn, MI, a poster was presented in September 2013 at the National Doctor of Nursing Practice Conference, in Phoenix, Arizona; and in March 2014, a scholarly article was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. In May, 2014, Dr. Lori Glenn & Dr. Irene Lietz presented the findings of their work in a presentation for Faculty Development Days.

Funds from the Micro Mission Grant were utilized to print materials, have T-shirts made, and to provide food at events.

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Greg Grobis and Melinda Pacha (Department of Performing Arts): Material support for the multimedia theatrical event, Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter.

Jordan Anderson Writes a Letter (JAWAL) is a live docudrama with scenes on video, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by telling the story of Jordan Anderson’s journey from slavery to freedom and the famous letter he wrote in defiance of his former master. In 1863, Jordan and his family fled their Tennessee master’s plantation to find a new life in Dayton, Ohio under the mentorship of the great abolitionist, Valentine Winters. Researched by Dr. Roy Finkenbine, written by Dr. Arthur J. Beer and produced by The Theatre Company, this Micro Grant allowed for a free performance for the UDM community on the UDM campus.

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Tadd Heidgerken (Architecture / Masters of Community Development): Material support for community engagement events relating to the proposed new hockey arena in Detroit’s Lower Cass Corridor.

The funds were used in support of series of events relating to the new proposed hockey arena district in Detroit’s Lower Cass Corridor. These events were intended to engage and inform residents about the development, as well gather community feedback. Events centered around an interactive map “game” that was designed to orient community stakeholders to the development and allow them to express their concerns and desires.

The goal was to give participants a chance to express—through the use of tactile building blocks—what they'd like to see around the arena development. People could "place" the arena and parking, then infill the remainder of the site with housing, commercial, open space, parking, transit routes, etc. The game could be reset, moved to another location, and played again with a different audience. The game was intended to be used by people from a range of age groups and educational backgrounds, and could be played by individuals or a group working collectively.

The implementation team, which was made up of two MCD capstone students in collaboration with their community coalition partner “Corridors Alliance,” recorded the end product, and compiled the results.

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Erin Henze (Department of Psychology): Material support for graduate students in the School Psychology Program’s childhood literacy project.

Recent research shows that, by the age of three, children from low-income families have heard 30 million fewer words than their more affluent peers. Unfortunately, this may be one factor maintaining the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. One way of addressing this issue is to promote literacy; in our community and beyond, there is a clear need to enhance the literacy of children from low-income families and to provide parents and caregivers with the necessary resources for doing so.

This literacy project had two purposes: to purchase and donate age-appropriate books to children from low-income families and to develop a set of recommendations for reading with young children that could be included with each book. Through the generous support of the Mission Micro Grant program and additional funds raised by students from the UDM School Psychology Graduate Student Association, the project supported the purchase and donation of 150 new children’s books to children from Southwest Counseling Solutions Early Head Start programs in Southwest Detroit. Each book included a brochure containing information on the importance of literacy and early language skills with practical suggestions for parents and caregivers.

We also collected and donated over 50 gently used books for the classrooms. Books were purchased and brochures were translated in three languages—English, Spanish, and Arabic— to meet the needs of children and families from the diverse population served by the Early Head Start program. The books and materials were distributed at the program’s annual Summer Fiesta, which was attended by children and families from the program as well as members of the broader community. It is my goal to continue and expand this project and work with Early Head Start and Head Start programs in our community to enhance literacy of children and their families.

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Heather Hill-Vásquez (Department of English / Women's & Gender Studies Program): Material support for the development and instruction of WGS 2000: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies.

Students in WGS 2000 (in Winter 2014) were particularly engaged with and chose to focus their final exam presentations on the films Brokeback Mountain; The Laramie Project; North Country; Thelma and Louise.

While other films viewed and analyzed in the course did address and involve students in the theme of the course, I would suggest that these four films were particularly effective in their direct attention to the theme of the course: “gender oppressions/societal injustices” and the theory and praxis that the study and understanding of gender oppression must be included as part of any institution’s goal to combat inequality, injustice, and inhumanity.

Thus, the students’ engagement with and decision to focus on these four movies indicate that the project was a success. Specifically, each of these films explores how oppression based upon sexual orientation and sexism is intricately entwined with other areas of social injustice and often plays an identifying role in revealing communities and/or societies in crisis. In addition, in their viewing of and responses to the films, students discussed the ramifications of addressing or not addressing these related injustices and, in turn, the necessity and value of careful and considerate intellectual and spiritual work for enacting beneficial change.

Focusing on these films—in conjunction with readings on feminist theory, contemporary gender issues, and selected short fiction and novels—students were able to identify how meaningful action and positive change require a responsible and mature combination of study, research, critical thinking and self reflection and self analysis. Leaving the course with an understanding of the necessity and value that careful and considerate intellectual and ethical work must play for enacting beneficial change, students came to a fuller understanding of the crucial integration of intellectual, spiritual, ethical, and social development voiced by UDM’s mission statement.

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Gary Hillebrand (College of Engineering & Science): Material support for the creation of an informational brochure detailing the range of support services available to pregnant UDM students.

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Suzanne Keep (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing): Material support for blood pressure clinics for underserved Hispanic and homeless community members provided by Community Health Nursing students.

Through the Mission Micro Grant Program, UDM nursing students at Aquinas College were able to provide blood pressure clinics to the underserved Hispanic and homeless communities in Grand Rapids. The grant provided money for nursing bags with the UDM logo which contained various size blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes.

Blood pressure clinics were held in a Hispanic church after masses and in a Hispanic school with a bilingual nursing instructor. Community health nursing students took blood pressures of over 35 people at the masses. Students educated parishioners about the importance of maintaining a normal blood pressure and were able to provide preventive health information. Individuals were given clinic information if they did not have a health care provider. Students also used the nursing bags at a health fair and at foot care clinics for the homeless. Students will continue using the bags in the community and plan on adding the homeless camps in their experience.

UDM Nursing Students, Aquinus CollegeUDM Nursing Students, Aquinus College

These clinics are in harmony with UDM's commitment to quality education by providing the experience for the students to work with those in need and to provide education in health promotion and prevention for this group. The students provided services to promote not only service of faith, but also promotion of justice and compassion to persons in need. Many of the people served are not documented and have limited resources and limited healthcare.

After providing the blood pressures, students submitted a personal reflection on the experience.

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Andrea Kwasky, Carla Groh (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing), and Erin Henze (Department of Psychology): Material support for a February 2014 Self-Injury Awareness Day panel and discussion.

Self-Injury (SI) is more commonly seen in adolescents and young adults. SI affects 17% of college students, 20% are women and 14% are men. Self Injury is when a person does deliberate and direct harm to their body without having suicidal intent. The most common methods of SI is burning, cutting, and scratching. People engage in self injury because they are dealing with intense emotions that they are not able to tolerate on their own. They also harm themselves to punish themselves when they feel guilty about not do something the correct way.

Presentation: The interprofessional team composed of Drs. Kwasky, Henze, and Groh along with five senior nursing students conducted a Self-Injury Awareness Day campus wide activity for the UDM campus on February 12, 2014 from 6-8pm. This program had two major aims. First, to increase student, faculty and staff awareness that self-injury is a serious health issue in college age students. This was accomplished by hosting a panel discussion on self-injury, which consisted of a professional, a person who self-injurers, and the mother of a self-injurer. The professional (Dr. Susan Brindorf, psychologist) presented the statistics, characteristic of a person who self-injurers, reasons why people self-injurer, and treatment options; the person who self-injurers (Stephanie Blanchard, UDM student) shared her story; and the mother (Dr. Sharla Fasko) of a young woman who self injurers discussed the issue from her perspective. Her story gave another aspect of SI, as she highlighted the events leading up to her daughter’s participation in harming herself and how she was able to support her. Having many different perspectives on SI gave the audience a full depiction of self injury. The second aim of this program was to provide educational material on self-injury and to distribute bookmarks that read “Self-Injury Awareness” along with information and resources. Pizza, beverages and resources related to self injury and where to find assistance were provided to the participants thanks to the financial assistance from the Micro Mission Grant.

Results: An 11 question Lickert scale (strongly agree to strongly disagree) was used to survey those who attended the presentation. A total of 104 attendees completed surveys; of those surveyed, 93% said that a presentation related to SI should be offered annually at UDM. In addition, 87% either strongly agreed or agreed that this presentation was educational. Less than 1% of attendees reported that they didn’t know more about self-injury after attending the presentation and 92% of participants strongly agreed/agreed that the speakers on the panel added to their knowledge and positively influenced their learning. Information about this panel presentation and a summary of the results was presented by the student organizers at the University of Detroit Mercy Celebration of Scholarly Achievement as well as at the Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin, Ireland.

Conclusion: Overall, this presentation was beneficial to those that attended. The survey provided information that allows for SI to be a useful annual topic for education to spread awareness. As for the speakers, this was an effective way of communicating information to the audience. We hope that the data collected will help to guide the planning for 2015 and we greatly appreciate the support from the Micro Mission Grant for making this event a success.

The most important lesson learned was the importance of partnering with other departments and organizations that would be interested in the topic. We did approach the athletic department, WGS as well as the psychology and counseling departments, who also provided support. If we decide to hold this event in 2015, we would definitely contact the appropriate departments and organizations in advance to continue to make this campus wide program a success.

Future Plans: Drs. Kwasky, Henze, and Groh believe self-injury is an important area of concern for the young adult students attending UDM. We are considering presenting again in 2015 due to the overwhelming positive feedback from the attendees.

Thank you for your support of this program – the money, resources and effort devoted to this project did positively impact those who attended. Our goal is to increase the number of participants in 2015.

Self Injury Awareness TeamSelf Injury Awareness Team: Dr. Erin Henze, Dr. Carla Groh, Stephanie Blanchard, Jude Coger, Andrea Katsiyiannis, Samantha Wright, Danielle Redding, Dr. Andrea Kwasky

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Katherine Marshall and Andrea Kwasky (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing): Honorarium support for a campus presentation on mental illness by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).

NAMI’s In Our Own Voice (IOOV) unmasks mental illness, using speaker stories to illustrate the individual realities of living with mental illness. Nikki Rashes and Mike Buatti along with approximately 130 attendees from the UDM community spent an evening together in the Life Science building learning and understanding what it is like to live with mental illness and stay in recovery. Nikki and Mike shared the intimate details of their struggle to confront their mental illness and the trials and difficulties of their recoveries. The presentation also provided video documentaries by individuals coping with mental illness which helped humanized the perception of what people living with mental illness are like. The presentation ended with a question and answer session and the completion of an evaluation form. Students were provided documentation of attendance to be used toward course credit in a UDM course endorsing the presentation.

At the conclusion of the event the NAMI Metro Chapter was presented with an Honorarium of $100.00 funded by the Micro Mission Grant and an additional $100.00 donation from a faculty member.

The program had an overwhelmingly positive response, and a repeat presentation will be scheduled for the next academic year. We hope to see you all there!

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Kathy Morgan and Carla Groh (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing): Material support for a study on the relationship between diabetes mellitus (DM), depression, self-efficacy, and glycemic control in urban, underinsured, primarily minority community members.

Methods: This study utilized a mixed-methods correlational design. Thirty volunteers were recruited from McAuley Health Center; the majority of the participants were female and African American with a mean age of 60.7 years. Inclusion criteria were: >18 years old; T1/T2 diabetes for ≥1 year; ability to read English; two documented A1C measurements; willing to complete self-efficacy, depression screen (PHQ-9) and demographic surveys; and participate in a focus group to explore perceptions of depression, self-efficacy and healthcare needs.

Results: The most recent mean A1C level was 8.0% ± 2.3%. Thirty-three percent of the participants scored >10 on the PHQ-9 indicating a positive depression screen. A statistically significant, inverse relationship was identified between PHQ-9 and self-efficacy (p=.002), but the relationship between PHQ-9 scores and A1C was non-significant (p>.294). Six of the participants attended the focus group. The majority of the participants did not perceive that their diabetes impacted depressive symptoms; however, they indicated that they have not received sufficient diabetes education to assist with self-management.

Discussion: Practitioners should consider the impact of depression and self-efficacy on clinical outcomes, and the perceived needs of minority populations. Further, all patients with chronic illnesses should be assessed for depression because it can negatively impact health outcomes and because it is a treatable comorbidity. These results highlight the importance of including education as an option for self-management support. As a result, a follow-up study at McAuley Health Center that includes an interprofessional team (registered nurse and registered dietician, who are also certified diabetes educators) has recently been implemented to provide diabetes education and support. The goal is to determine if there a relationship between interprofessional support, depression, and glycemic control in patients with diabetes mellitus in an urban population.

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Judith Mouch (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing): Material support for foot care clinics at the Ss. Peter and Paul Warming Center provided by Community Health Nursing students.

A Micro Mission Grant was received for a foot care and health promotion program for guests at Ss. Peter and Paul Warming Center in downtown Detroit. The Warming Center is associated with Ss. Peter and Paul Jesuit Church and serves homeless men and women year round. The Warming Center provides hospitality to homeless men and women in the early morning hours. Guests are able to have breakfast, socialize, watch TV, shower, have clothes laundered, a hot lunch later in the morning before heading out for the day. The grant requested was based on the experience of Second Degree Option nursing students who met with guests during their clinical rotation in Term I.

During Term I nursing students met with the homeless, on Wednesday mornings from 7:30 – 10:30 AM to provide foot care. Approximately 20 of the 50 or more guests were able to be accommodated per weekly session. The goal of the project was to improve the health of the guests overall by providing foot care which included teaching and demonstration of proper foot care.

During Term II, which started with a huge snow storm only to be followed by several more, students began to again provide foot care to the guests. Many only had 1 or 2 pair of socks with them, which were often soaked due to walking through the snow in improper shoes. Many also had feet that were dirty, cracked, wounded, frostbitten, or, in some cases, necrotic. A volunteer podiatrist was available one Thursday a month and guests who required further care were referred to him. After a few sessions, a second concern verbalized by many quests was dental care. So, students adapted their original project to include a brochure on personal hygiene and dental care.

The Micro Mission Grant was used to purchase foot care supplies and blood pressure cuffs. Students raised additional funds or sought donations of personal hygiene items to be given to each guest. These kits included: one pair of socks, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, lotion, nail brush, toothbrush and toothpaste. Students evaluated the effectiveness or their program by asking the guests to complete a brief questionnaire. Questions asked were: Was the brochure helpful? Did the clients now have a better understanding of the importance of foot care, hand hygiene, and oral hygiene? The clients were also asked if they were satisfied with the experience overall and if they would recommend continuation of the project.

Guests and staff members gave positive feedback with regards to the project. All of the guests enjoyed their foot care experience and interacting with students. Knowledge regarding foot care, hand/oral hygiene was gained. Continuation of the project and foot care was highly recommended and guests expressed gratitude for the care provided.

The project will be continued in 2014-15 with Second Degree Option nursing students.

Ss. Peter and Paul Warming CenterSs. Peter and Paul Warming Center

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David Nantais (University Ministry): Material support of “Discover the D” Program trips for UDM students.

“Discover the D” is a University Ministry sponsored program that helps UDM students connect with the exciting cultural, culinary, spiritual, and justice-oriented sites in Detroit. Now in its second year, DtD has proven to be a successful program, attracting (on average) 15 students for each urban exploration trip.

Discover the D promotes 2 important aspects of the mission: being student-centered and being committed to the urban community in which we are located. There is also another important aspect of the mission that DtD promotes, which is showing hospitality to international students. We have found that international students are signing up for these tours. There are very few opportunities for these students to get out into the city—they do not have transportation and they do not know where to go. The ISO office at UDM has been helping promote DtD among its students. So there is the added benefit of students from the U.S. meeting international students in a social setting—something that would likely not happen otherwise.

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Patricia Rouen and Elizabeth Nagle (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing): Material support to sponsor a Healthy Cooking class and recipe rehab event for the uninsured, low income women who participate in the MHC WiseWoman Program.

The McAuley Health Center is a nurse managed center that has been providing healthcare services to a primarily African American population for the past 10 years on the East Side of Detroit. McAuley Health Center participates in many community/statewide programs, one of which is the WISEWOMAN program. The WISEWOMAN program screens for cardiovascular risk among women in the city of Detroit who are uninsured or underinsured. We provide screening for hypertension, diabetes, and hypercholesterolemia and offer health coaching to assist with diet, exercise and stress management.

In our years of providing risk reduction counseling and health coaching, we have found that the women struggle with providing healthy, affordable meals for themselves and their families. To meet this need, in 2013 we had two, two-hour Cooking Matters demonstrations, provided by Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. These single events were so well received that we sought to expand our efforts in 2014.

We created a recipe rehab event that would include a class focused on nutrition led by registered dietitian. The class content provided culturally significant nutrition information and emphasized ways to revise favorite family foods into a tasty, healthier (low fat, low salt, lower sugar) versions without incurring added expense. We had 24 ladies participate in our project. At the end of the nutrition/recipe rehab, our expert evaluated the revised food recipes and each woman received a $5.00 gift card to help in purchasing groceries to make their healthier family recipe.

Example of one of the many “made over” recipes:

Banana Bread (regular)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas
Banana Bread (made over)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour + 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed, ripe bananas

The lower fat, lower salt, lower sugar version of the banana bread was even brought in for taste-testing. Everyone loved it and no one could discern a difference between what they were used to eating and the healthier option.

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Mary Serowoky (CHP / McAuley School of Nursing): Honorarium support for a panel of guest presenters from the Ruth Ellis Center to speak with Family Nurse Practitioner students.

Project: The Ruth Ellis Center experts were brought to campus as guest speakers to students in the graduate family nurse practitioner (FNP) program, and to the junior nursing students in the pre-licensure program. The guest speakers were provided with an honorarium. The speakers offered their experiences to the students which enhanced the students’ knowledge of the care of populations that face health and health care disparities.

The Ruth Ellis Center is located in Highland Park, and is dedicated to runaway, homeless, and at-risk LGBTQ, (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-attractional, Transgender and Questioning) youth. The Center provides residential, drop-in, and mental health programs. Research demonstrates that the GLBTQ youth with high levels of family rejection suffer the following poor health outcomes: suicide, depression, substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections, and in particular, HIV.

The nursing students educated at UDM (both graduate and undergraduate) are in the position to improve the lives of youth and our communities by recognizing opportunities for prevention and intervention. UDM FNP and undergraduate students often come into our program having very little experience with this group of persons; this opportunity was intended to improve their recognition of personal biases and assist them to become culturally humble in their interactions with clients.

A pre- and post-test were constructed to evaluate the students’ knowledge and attitude changes as a result of participating with the Ruth Ellis Center. At UDM, we prepare advanced practice nurses to care for the underserved in an urban environment. Persons that suffer health and health care disparities are the face of Jesus to us in our world today. The ethical and social development of students was enhanced by this experience; it assisted them to examine and clarify their own values regarding the health care we provide to clients. The Ruth Ellis representatives offered the opportunity for students to ask questions and engage in dialogue in a more in-depth way than what is normally available in the practice setting.

Implementation: No validated survey tools were discovered either in the literature or provided by the experts. The tool used for this project was created for the purpose of this particular workshop, and used background material provided by the American Psychological Association. The outreach director from the Ruth Ellis Center was in agreement with the tool. Two cohorts of FNP students were projected to participate in the workshop-only one cohort was able to have the opportunity due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, one class of junior pre-licensure nursing students substituted as the second group to participate in the Ruth Ellis workshop. A repeated measures design was used to analyze the results. The statistics employed were a dependent samples t-test and ANOVA (SPSS).

Outcomes: Of the 13 items analyzed on the pre/post test, 10 showed significant changes following the presentation. In the case of two items, the post test showed a decline in students’ impressions of their level of comfort in addressing sexuality with GLBTQ persons as well as a decline in self-efficacy in providing nursing care to GLBTQ persons. One interpretation of these results is that the students’ levels of awareness had been raised and thus they may now have a more realistic estimation of their skills and abilities when interacting with clients that are GLBTQ. There were no appreciable differences between the graduate and undergraduate students. The students had very minimal experience in caring for GLBTQ patients at the time of the workshop. Qualitative verbal feedback from the students was generally positive, in that they felt the experience was valuable in fostering their learning and ability to care for persons suffering health and health care disparities.

Lessons Learned: One cannot assume that even seasoned nurses have heightened awareness of the issues surrounding clients with health disparities. Debriefing has been built into this workshop experience; we intend to assure that in future there will remain time to debrief thoroughly. Other preliminary material and resources to preview prior to class is available-the professor will add this content to the course materials. The desired outcomes for this workshop were improvements in knowledge and attitudes regarding the care of GLBTQ persons. A necessary pre-condition to attitude change is an awareness of personal biases. The exercises in this workshop might serve to enhance the care of all persons or groups that suffer health disparities. I intend to modify the pre-post test to capture this possible additional enlightenment.

Next Steps: This workshop will be offered again in the upcoming academic year; to both graduate and undergraduate nursing students. We intend to convene a inter-professional group of university organizations/departments and the Ruth Ellis Center, to offer a similar learning opportunity to all students/staff. McAuley School of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner program will explore a partnership in the future with the Ruth Ellis Center, to provide opportunities for a primary care clinical practicum.

The following resources were useful in highlighting the issues of health and social disparities for the LGBTQ community:

The Ruth Ellis Center

The Fenway Health Center

Family Rejection as a Predictor of Negative Health Outcomes in White and Latino Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Young Adults.

Office Based Care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth (American Academy of Pediatrics Position Statement)

UCSF Center for Transgender Health

GenSilent- The LGBT Aging Film

America ReFramed: Broken Heartland documentary

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Carol Weisfeld and Sarah Frost (Department of Psychology): Material support for the updating and printing of campus posters addressing the issue of miscommunication between males and females.

Overview and Goals: Last year we investigated human sex differences in reproductive strategies, and how these differences are likely to cause misunderstandings. Males tend to over-infer a female's sexual interest to minimize missed opportunities. Conversely, females are more likely to under-infer a male’s commitment, therefore minimizing the risk of becoming pregnant by a male who might later abandon her. We attempted a pilot study and intervention, during the 2012-13 year, using evolutionary psychology ideas to assist males and females in improving skills of cross-sex communication. The goal was to prevent problems by helping students think about sexual communication in a broader, more accurate way.

This year we expanded on that approach, taking an additional variable into consideration—the cognitive capacities of the young adults who populate our undergraduate courses in Psychology at UDM. We were especially interested in measuring what is called “post-formal thought,” a higher level of complex or abstract thinking that is seen in some, but not all, adults.

Methods and Outcomes: We asked our artist collaborator (Steve Keiser Graphics: sdkeiser@gmail.com) to revise his cartoon poster depicting miscommunication between males and females around sexual overtures. Copies of his “Consent Is Unambiguous” posters were again mounted on UDM McNichols campus buildings for one week. This year we were interested in whether students’ levels of cognitive functioning would influence their responses to the posters and to the accompanying discussions. 83 UDM students aged 19 to 53 (25% male and 75% female) completed questionnaires about cognitive functioning, twice, once at the beginning of the Fall term and again at the end. These students also participated in an hour-long discussion, completing pre- and post-discussion surveys about the poster, under the direction of two individuals from the UDM Psychology Department. (All steps in the protocol, including informing volunteers and obtaining consent, had received approval by the UDM Internal Review Board, under their guidelines for protection of human subjects.)

Just as we found in the previous year, the students had noticed the poster on campus, and they said that the poster was a useful way to introduce the subject of miscommunication between males and females. This year we focused on the students’ level of cognitive functioning and found some interesting results.

First, students at UDM scored higher on cognitive functioning than students at other private institutions cited in the literature (a nice confirmation of our emphasis on critical thinking). Second, age did not predict cognitive functioning in this adult population. Third, no change was found over the course of the semester, probably because post-formal thought requires more time for advances to be measurable. We presented these results in a poster at the UDM Research Fair in April of 2014. Sarah Frost is now completing additional analyses of our data, examining whether cognitive functioning predicts the way that students react to the poster scenarios and to the discussion about male-female communication. These analyses will form the basis of Ms. Frost’s second-year project (for her master’s degree).

We hope to continue this research and we thank the Mission Micro Grant Program for supporting us two years in a row.

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Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster (Institute for Leadership & Service): Material support for three “Step Up: Be a Leader” college transition programs linking UDM student mentors with students from U of D Jesuit, Loyola, and Bishop Foley Catholic high schools.

The Step Up: Be A Leader and Pay It Forward project is a group mentoring program with local high schools and has been operating since 2011 with partial support from the Ford Motor Company Fund. This innovative program involves UDM students providing group mentoring and workshop lessons in social skills designed to help high school juniors and seniors transition to college at schools such as Loyola, University of Detroit Jesuit, Bishop Foley Catholic, Hamtramck, and the former Detroit City High School.

Some of the skills taught during this program have included stress and time management, techniques for reducing prejudice and aggression, and proper use of social media. The “Step Up” program has had great impact on both the UDM students and high school students. The high school students “pay forward” what they have learned by sharing it via a presentation to local junior high students. The UDM student leaders have been provided the opportunity to live the UDM Mission and interact with the community beyond the university campus.

Both the UDM and high school students come alive and mature in their own sense of leadership. Most students believe that leadership is for someone else and they don’t see themselves as leaders. This program builds their leadership capacity and shows them how they can make a difference in the world without a title and by being of service to others, whether it is with their team, their family, their workgroup, or their community.”

In addition, high school students in the program visit the UDM campus on several occasions to learn about academic programs, the college admissions process and college transitions, and to build their leadership and social skills through workshops provided by UDM student leaders. In addition to going to classrooms, the high school students visit the Student Fitness Center, Calihan Hall, the Student Center, and eat lunch in our student cafeteria.

The program was so successful this year that each of the high schools has requested that we expand the program and make it available to more of their students. In addition, a new school, Hamtramck High School, will be added during the 2014-2105 academic year.

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Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster (Institute for Leadership & Service): Material support for the Emerging Leaders Program student workshops.

Students pursuing a Leadership Pin and/or Medallion participated in a series of workshops that included several of the nine components of the UDM adaptation of the Social Change Model (Astin & Astin, 1996). To help students better understand that “leadership” and “service” are inextricably linked at UDM, these workshops focused on encouraging emerging leaders to engage in servant leadership and social change as they live the mission of UDM. The Fall and Winter schedules also include related events that were occurring on campus that “count” toward the students’ pursuit of enhancing their leadership capacity and recognition.

The workshops sponsored with these funds were promoted to all students and presented throughout the academic year. Students participating in Alternative Winter and Spring Break and serving as PTV leaders were also encouraged to participate. Sponsored Alumni Guest Speakers for this academic year included:

  • Dr. Joe L. Greene, Executive Director, American Federation of School Administrators – Leadership: Ethics, Integrity, and Moral Purpose
  • Lauryn Shugars, MA, Manager, Organizational Learning, Sun Communities, Inc. – Authentic Leadership: Practicing Mindfulness and Accountability
  • Jeanette Emerson, MA, Human Resources Manager, Faygo, Gannett Company, Inc. – What does it take to be a Leader?
  • Dr. Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster, UDM – Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

This initiative was driven by the Institute’s mission, which states:

The University of Detroit Mercy’s Institute for Leadership and Service provides opportunities for all members of the UDM community to engage in social change for the common good. The Institute upholds the ideals of our founders who believe in the promotion of justice and compassionate service to those in need as we are: Transforming Lives to Lead and Serve.

Conceptual Model

For more information about the Emerging Leaders Program and the Social Change Model, please visit the Institute for Leadership and Service’s website.

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Lisa Zessin and Christina Socha (Academic Affairs): Material support for prayer study group.

There was a wonderful response to the creation of the Women’s Prayer Group. Thirty-four colleagues joined the group and met nine times in Winter and Summer semesters. The group used a selection of books by author Stormie O’Martian for discussion. Meeting attendance varied from six to 20. The connection between the praying women was overwhelming. Even those who could not attend the meetings sought prayer and often gave praise reports. The sense of community built through this opportunity has been and remains vibrant.

It was an honor to facilitate the group and join together in prayer with other women at the university.

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