This page acts as both a location for ongoing reporting about your project as well as a space where you can draft text that will appear in a public description of your activity at the completion of the project. Sections with blue titles will become part of this public description when your grant is complete. Text in these sections should be written for an audience of faculty outside Carleton in mind.

ACE in Health Psychology and Immunology to change the title use the 'Full Editing Tools' option on the right

Ken Abrams & Debby Walser-Kuntz, , Carleton College
This information was derived from your initial application. The goals and assessment sections should be updated as you move through the project.
Psyc 260 & Biol 310
Number of Students in Class:

Project Description

We are applying for a grant to assist us with making an explicit connection between Psyc 260: Health Psychology (taught
by Ken) and Biol 310: Immunology (taught by Debby). In particular, we would like to bridge the Academic Civil Engagement (ACE) components of these courses.

A bit of background: For several years we have both incorporated ACE components into our courses. In Health Psychology, students in small groups critically examine the effects of local public
(e.g., town) or private (e.g., hospital) policies on health outcomes. More specifically, students work with local policy makers to investigate an issue, propose policy changes supported by theory
and research, present formal proposals to the policy makers, and solicit and respond to community feedback. Groups additionally present their findings to the class and community representatives at a poster session at the end of the term. Examples of past projects include the development of a heroin use prevention program at Northfield High School, an examination of oral health problems in local low-income Latinos, and a proposal to combat the development of Type II diabetes among local Latinos.

In Immunology, students have worked with a variety of community partners (Health Finders, GrowingUpHealthy, the - Rice County Public Health Department, and the Northfield and Faribault
school districts) on topics related to public health. The projects are grounded in immunology, and students are asked throughout the term to reflect on how the material covered in the course
connects to their civic engagement project. Past projects range from researching specific asthma risks associated with the mobile homes in Viking Terrace and giving presentations to both local
families and community health leaders about household triggers of asthma and preventive measures, researching pneumonia vaccines and writing grant proposals to cover the costs of a vaccine clinic
at HealthFinders, and translating the science behind the immune system to a group of at risk teens who then wrote and performed "immunology theater" with local elementary students.

Student feedback on civic engagement experiences in both courses has been largely positive, but to maintain successful classroom outcomes, there must be authentic projects needed by the community
partners. Because Northfield is a small town and has a limited number of health-related organizations, we must regularly seek out projects from the same group of community partners, who could become over-taxed by such requests. On occasion, there has been a community partner only minimally invested in the outcome and students on end-of-term course evaluations have (understandably) noted that they would have enjoyed their project more had their community partner seemed more invested in their project.
We would like to work with the Center for Civic and Community Engagement to develop deeper connections with a few key community partners rather than have shallow or sporadic connections with
a large number of community partners.

Looking ahead, we recognize that there are "untapped" potential community partners both in Rochester and the Twin
Cities; one example is the Hawthorne Health Initiative in Rochester. We would use the grant funds, if awarded, in part to identify and visit potential community partners during the summer of 2013.
We would like to explore these new possibilities along with Adrienne Falcon and/or the new HHMI ACE coordinator. At the sites, we would explore ACE projects that could be meaningfully incorporated into both Health Psychology and Immunology.

Once a community partner has been identified - whether in Northfield or outside of the local area - we would also use the grant funds to work together to develop a long-term, multi-component project. Projects would emphasize public health and focus on a health issue specific to the community partner (e.g., smoking, diabetes, asthma, HIV). Although projects in the two courses would be connected, students in each course would focus on the project from the relevant perspective (i.e., psychological or biological). Students in the two courses, however, could share data or resources, become "experts" to teach each other, and could think about approaching a public health issue from
two distinct perspectives. Ideally we would develop a project that could be continued from year to year, thus leading to a deep connection between the community partner and our courses.

We would like to note a few reasons why we think our joint proposal would benefit the College. We believe it would strengthen the ACE component of our two science courses, leading to more authentic
projects and research experiences for our students, strengthen the educational experience for our students interested in public health, and make an explicit connection between courses from different departments.

If you have any questions about or suggestions regarding this grant application, please do not
hesitate to contact us.


Students will learn how to:
1. apply principles of health psychology in an applied setting
2. critically evaluate existing policies of community organizations that relate to health psychology
3. work effectively with teammates and a community partner to complete a joint academic/applied project
4. effectively respond to feedback from community partners 5. effectively present their findings and recommendations in a poster format


This section should be filled out each time a progress report is needed: editing and over-writing any existing text as appropriate. The Description and References field should initially be drafts.

Progress Report

Description and Teaching Materials

References and Resources

This section should be completed after you have used your materials in the classroom.

Lessons Learned

Context for Use

Teaching Notes and Tips