The power of community-engaged research and strong partnerships was once again highlighted with the 2019 recipients of the Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Fellowship and Community Scholar awards.
The new awardees were named at this year’s Bringle and Hatcher Civic Engagement Showcase, along with several others being honored for their community-engaged work.
As chancellor of IUPUI, Charles Bantz firmly believed in the power of community-engaged research and university–community partnerships to make a lasting impact on our area. The Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship award ensures his legacy lives on by providing up to $50,000 in funding for community-engaged scholars each year.
This year, both projects honored with Bantz’s awards strongly focus on women.
2019 Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship Award
IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI assistant professor Elizabeth Nelson was awarded the 2019 Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship Award, allowing her to share knowledge gained through her work as coordinator of the Indiana Women’s Prison (IWP) History Project.
Nelson’s project focused on 10 currently and formerly incarcerated scholars, publishing original research on the history of gender and incarceration in the U.S. Nelson’s role was to support the scholars’ work, providing them with the resources and guidance needed to do their research while also helping promote the work to spread awareness.
“As the women of IWP continue presenting at conferences, publishing books, and becoming experts in their field, they are upending common societal expectations and stereotypes regarding incarcerated women and are demonstrating what they are capable of when we take down the barriers that stand in their way,” Nelson wrote in her proposal.
“It is my hope that a partnership between the university and IWP, supported by a Bantz fellowship, can help open up the conversation about what IUPUI can do to address these issues and create a ‘prison to school pipeline.’”
Emily S. Beckman, director of the Medical Humanities and Health Studies, wrote in her letter of recommendation that Nelson’s project would offer a unique opportunity for students to extend their reach beyond the classroom and into the community.
Nelson’s work, which will include hiring a Ph.D. student to support the scholars, hosting workshops at the prison, presenting at conferences and writing journal articles, will continue for the next year.
2019 Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Scholar Award
The second project honored with the 2019 Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Scholar Award was Advancing Indy Women: A Year-Long Journey of Professional Development by Kelley School of Business Indianapolis faculty members Kim Saxton and Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow.
Their work focuses on the advancement of women in the workplace, which they describe as “stuck,” with women comprising nearly half of the workforce, but only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and 15 percent in senior leadership positions, a number that has been the same for about a decade, according to the proposal by Saxton and Westerhaus-Renfrow.
Saxton and Westerhaus-Renfrow are partnering with Linking Indy Women, an organically-grown group of about 2,000 professional women in central Indiana focusing on making women feel good about being successful and striving to be successful.
Their project will include a needs assessment with the group to determine what skills are most needed for women to be promoted in the workplace, and then develop a series of free workshops to help boost those skills.
After the workshops, post-testing will be done to assess the effectiveness of the workshops, with initial goals of having at least one participant promoted and that participants feel there are fewer barriers to their advancement and more satisfaction with their career trajectory, according to their proposal.
Kenneth A. Carow, Executive Associate Dean of Faculty & Research for Kelley School of Business Indianapolis, strongly supported their project in his recommendation letter, saying their work would serve “an important and well-recognized need in our community.”
Their work will continue into 2020 with a plan to apply for a second round of funding to disseminate their findings and translate the in-person workshops into online self-paced trainings, their proposal said.
Nelson, Sexton and Westerhaus-Renfrow were recognized at the Bringle and Hatcher Civic Engagement Showcase on April 9, which recognizes the impact of service, partnership, and research on the IUPUI campus and in the community.
2019 Office of International Affairs Global Engagement Award
The Association for Promotion of IT, Culture and Coexistence (IKS) was awarded the 2019 Office of International Affairs Global Engagement Award for its work contributing to the development of social structures in Croatia for 25 years.
IKS has promoted volunteer programs and youth information, developed “Aktivci” a youth initiative that provides mentoring services and solves the problems of youth in the community, developed a Puppet Studio employing disadvantaged women to work with young people on long-term European voluntary service projects, designed and created “Muppet Puppets Studio” to help engage preschools in civic education and offers a penitentiary program at a prison in Glina, where they offer job seeker clubs, basic computer training, vocational training courses, and puppet shows for families of inmates.
The Showcase also honored this year’s William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion recipients; Dr. Javier Sevilla-Martir, assistant professor of Clinical Family Medicine with the IU School of Medicine, who won the 2018 Chancellor’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement; the John Boner Neighborhood Centers, which won the 2018 Chancellor’s Community Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement; and Jordan Almos, program associate for the Center for Service and Learning, who won the 2018 Nan Bohan Community Staff Award.