Projects: Completed

Artistic collaboration and community engagement: Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition

Students in ARTS292 collaborated with the Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition to create a temporary but moveable installation in Hopkins Green, raising awareness about substance abuse and promoting healthy alternatives.

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition (RAPC)
Research Need
Research Methods Other (see below)
Other Methods Public visual art installation
Completed May 10, 2017
Researchers

Students in ARTS292

Abstract

Students worked on a temporary installation in a public park to raise awareness about youth substance abuse in the Rockbridge area.  As part of this project, student installed a series of suspended, overlapping circles from where they hung long, vibrantly colored nylon strings to represent the different spheres that we all navigate in our lives and communities, including different relationships and social circles, as well as the multitude of ideas and challenges that exist in each of those spheres.  This was an interactive installation, where visitors could walk through the circles and also pick up a card or two with ideas of healthy, fun alternatives to substance use.

As part of their installation, students also paid tribute and made reference to the Serenity Prayer, which is commonly used in treating addiction.

Artistic collaboration and community engagement : Saturday’s Child

Students in ARTS 292 partnered with Saturday’s Child, a youth enrichment program, to erect a permanent installation at the Buena Vista Public library.

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Saturday's Child
Research Need
Research Methods Other (see below)
Other Methods Visual arts
Completed May 16, 2017
Researchers

Students in ARTS 292

Abstract

In deep collaboration with Saturday’s Child and a metal fabrication company in Buena Vista, two Washington and Lee students installed a arbor in Buena Vista’s Public Library and two raised flower beds.

By choosing steel as the material for the arbor, the students sought to honor the town’s manufacturing past.  In closely collaborating with local children and selecting seeds of native flowers, the Washington and Lee students sought to highlight the assets of the community, symbolizing “the hope and possibility for future growth” of the town.

Children participating in Saturday’s Child actively took part in the project by making clay flower pots from scratch, painting them, and also planting flower seeds by the arbor and in the pots and flower beds. In addition to selling steel to the project at a cost, the local metal fabrication company built the arbor that the students designed.

Rockbridge Area Food Access: Mapping and Data Analysis

Student researcher examined data from a a local food access mapping project and a follow-up qualitative study to determine not only where food can be accessed in the Rockbridge area but also where fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, grains, and whole grains can be purchased and at what price point to compose a balanced […]

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Live Health Rockbridge Kids & Virginia Cooperative Extension Office
Research Need
Research Methods Data Analysis
Completed June 8, 2017
Researchers

Jonah Mackay
2017

Abstract

In order to better understand food access in the Rockbridge area, the student researcher integrated a comprehensive food mapping study with qualitative data to analyze not only the number of different places where food can be accessed in the region, but also to look at what types of foods are available in Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County and at what price point.  The student analyzed whether clients could compose an USDA “My Plate” meal and also compared relative prices of a sample meal in the different jurisdictions.

Homelessness Single Point of Entry Best Practices

In order to better address homelessness, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is directing local housing authorities and Continuums of Care to adopt a centralized intake model, whereby clients experiencing homelessness can call a single phone number or single address to enter the homeless service system, rather than bouncing from one agency to the […]

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge Area Relief Association (RARA)
Research Need
Research Methods Best Practices Research
Completed June 1, 2017
Researchers

Edward Stroud
2017
Global Politics and Business Management

Marisa Charley

Abstract

To help the local housing Continuum of Care prepare for the adoption of a homelessness centralized intake model, researchers reached out to other planning groups in the region who had already transitioned to single point of entry. They sought to learn from them what worked, what didn’t work, what obstacles they faced in the process, and how they addressed them.  As part of this project, researchers also compiled a list of all local housing resources in the Rockbridge area, which will be critical in implementing this model.

Hurricane Camille: Elementary Education Local History Unit Design

This project developed a cross-curricular education unit/module on hurricane Camille, aimed at elementary school children.

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge Historical Society
Research Need
Research Methods Other (see below)
Other Methods Education Unit
Completed April 20, 2017
Researchers

Kristin Sharman
2017

Abstract

This community-based research project developed a cross-curricular elementary education unit/module on hurricane Camille. The unit is composed of an identifiable core lesson with different “tentacles” that teachers can follow and explore (like an oral history project or a project reading original sources) and includes standards and differentiation.  While getting children excited about history, the unit highlights hurricane Camille’s ties to and impact on the local community.

Transitioning from a Sheltered Workshop to Supportive Employment: Public Outreach and Communication Strategy

This project developed a public outreach and communication strategy for the Rockbridge Area Occupational Center (RAOC) as it transitions from a sheltered workshop to a supportive employment center.

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge Area Occupational Center (RAOC)
Research Need
Research Methods Other (see below)
Other Methods Communications strategy
Completed April 21, 2017
Researchers

Brooke Peccie
2017

Thomas Cain
2017

Liz Janisse
2019

Abstract

The Rockbridge Area Occupational Center, an organization which serves adults with intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities is transitioning from a sheltered workshop model to a supportive employment model.  Through this project student researchers developed a communication strategy geared toward potential employers of the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities.

YMCA Youth Programming

In partnership with the Rockbridge area YMCA, a student researched youth programming opportunities that exists in other YMCAs across the state and to evaluate which ones might be a good fit for a rural, more dispersed area like ours.  While there are a lot of early childhood and elementary-school-aged opportunities for children in the Rockbridge area, […]

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge Area YMCA
Research Need
Research Methods Best Practices Research
Completed December 15, 2017
Researchers

Andrew Donchez
2017

Abstract

In this project, the student researcher identified YMCAs in Virginia located in a rural area similar to Rockbridge to look at youth programming they offered. The goal of this work was to identify new potential youth programs for the Rockbridge YMCA, highlighting not only opportunities but also identifying existing gaps.

Digital Drawings and Technical Design: Planter Bench

Through this project, engineering students produced digital drawings and technical design of a planter bench, a furniture piece produced and sold by the Rockbridge Area Occupational Center (RAOC), which serves adults with intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities.

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge Area Occupational Center (RAOC)
Research Need
Research Methods
Completed April 19, 2017
Researchers

Students of Engineering 178

Abstract

Engineering students in ENGN 178 produced digital drawings and a technical design of a planter bench.  This is one of the pieces of furniture that is produced and sold by the Rockbridge Area Occupational Center (RAOC), which serves adults with intellectual, emotional, and physical disabilities.

Gifted Education: Best Practices in Identifying Minority Students

This project researched best practices in identifying gifted minority students.

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge County Public Schools
Research Need
Research Methods Best Practices Research
Completed April 23, 2017
Researchers

Alison Masson
2017

Abstract

The goal of this project was to research best practices in identifying minority students for gifted education programs, including determining the most appropriate standardized test, parent survey instrument, portfolio composition, and other relevant criteria.

Qualitative Study of Youth Substance Use

As part of psychology capstone project, a student partnered with the Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition (RAPC) and completed research on qualitative aspects of youth substance use in the Rockbridge area, with particular focus on alcohol.

Project Details at a Glance
Agency Name Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition (RAPC)
Research Need
Research Methods Survey, Data Analysis
Completed February 10, 2017
Researchers

Andriana Bove
2017
Psychology

Abstract

With a focus on alcohol consumption, this research examined qualitative aspects of youth substance use in the Rockbridge area, utilizing survey data collected from all 8th, 10th, and 12th graders in Buena Vista, Lexington, Rockbridge County, and Bath County public schools during the 2015-16 academic year. Understanding the mechanisms behind substance use among local teens will allow RAPC to more effectively target their prevention programming.

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