Past Community-Based Research Projects

Spring 2017 MAT Projects

Fall 2016-Spring 2017

  • Investigating the Impacts of Geneva Night Out on the Community/ies
    During the fall 2016 and spring 2017 semester, Allison Koch developed an independent research project to assess the impact(s) of Geneva Night Out, (GNO), on the surrounding Geneva community/ies, through an independent study in the Environmental Studies Program. Over the course of the academic year, (under the supervision of Professor Robin Lewis of the Environmental Studies department), Allison administered a community survey and conducted informal interviews, to collect feedback from Geneva community members, Geneva residents, business owners, and visitors. Specifically, she was interested in learning more about community members’ thoughts and perspectives on the impacts of GNO, and about the Geneva community/ies, more generally. Through her experiences, Allison channeled her excitement for sustainable community development work by interacting directly with Geneva community members and developing new relationships. After collecting a wide range of feedback regarding overall impressions of GNO, impacts GNO has on the community/ies and favorite/least favorite aspects of GNO, Allison hopes to provide the GNO organizers with constructive suggestions that will allow the event to grow and expand in the future.

    Student Researcher: Allison Koch '17
    Community Partner: The Geneva Community
    Faculty Adviser: Assistant Professor Robin Lewis, Environmental Studies and Sustainable Community Development
  • Student Feedback on the Campus Compact Civic Action Plan Principles
    During the spring 2017 semester, Allison Koch held a series of public forums, to gather HWS students’ feedback regarding the Campus Compact Civic Action Plan principles that HWS stands by. Campus Compact is an initiative in motion, in efforts to “advance[s] the public purposes of colleges and universities” by strengthening the ability of higher education to help shape a more just, equitable, and sustainable future (Campus Com- pact, 2017). In the next three months, the Colleges are tasked with developing a Civic bAction Plan to operationalize the campus community’s vision for the future of community engagement. Throughout the semester, Allison reached out to a total of 15 clubs and organizations, on campus, and collected a total of 77 student responses. Specifically, she inquired about students’ thoughts and perspectives on civic engagement on campus, and received a broad range of feedback. Through her experiences, Allison learned more about how much time, organization, and communication is necessary for conducting community outreach, as well as how to frame student feedback in a structured and comprehensible way. Allison’s has shared her student feedback and data with Katie Flowers, (CCESL’s Director), and Jeremy Wattles, (CCESL’s Associate Director), who have already used student’s suggestions to implement immediate changes on campus; more generally, they will use Allison’s data to develop HWS’s Civic Action Plan.

    Student Researcher: Allison Koch '17
    Community Partners: Civic Action Planning Committee (Geneva community members, and HWS faculty and staff members)
    Staff Adviser: Katie Flowers, Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning
  • Geneva 2020
    During the fall 2016 semester, Anna Hartnett and Hannah Nichols developed an independent research project to assess the implications and feasibility of moving Geneva 2020 into a downtown location. Anna and Hannah worked with community partners including Katie Flowers, Professor Jack Harris, City Manager Matt Horn, Director of Youth Services Ontatio County Marsha Foote, and Geneva 2020 coordinator Amy Jackson Sellers on this research project. Over the course of the semester Anna and Hannah studied collective impact theory and communities endeavoring to implement collective impact through the StriveTogether network. The students examined national and local poverty trends and read Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis in order to understand how trends of community engagement have shifted over time. Additionally, the students updated the Ontario County Services Directory. Anna and Hannah attended numerous meetings on the Downtown Revitalization Grant Project, met with city officials, and attended the ROC the Future conference. Through this experience Hannah and Anna were able to combine their interests in community engagement, education, and poverty trends into a meaningful project with real im- plications on both the HWS and Geneva community. Anna and Hannah presented their research to city officials including the Mayor of Geneva, City Manager, and Sage Gerling, the Directory of Neighborhood initiatives. Additionally, Anna and Hannah presented their findings at a spring meeting for members of the Geneva 2020 board.

    Student Researchers: Anna Hartnett '17, MAT'18, Hannah Nichols '17
    Faculty Adviser: Director of Community Engagement and Service Learning, Katie Flowers, and Professor of Sociology, Jack Harris
  • The Dual Immersion Program in the Geneva School District
    The dual immersion program began in the Geneva School District in 2014 and therefore the district is continuously looking to enhance its implementation. The students presented their educational research to the district as well as provided suggestions for improvements. The researchers were guided by questions “What is the relationship between students’ bilingual development and their reported self-esteem/ participation patterns in the 2nd grade classroom? (and) How are teachers andor the district taking into account bilingualism and culture when assessing students?

    Masters’ of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Cohort 2018: Julianna Hartnett, Jessica Nelson, Kevin Teel, Maria Arias, Allison Flaherty and Amy Feda
    Faculty Adviser: Assistant Professor of Education Audrey Roberson
  • Reach into Your Wallets: Reconnecting the United Way of Ontario County and HWS
    The United Way’s mission is to raise awareness and outreach to increase community resources to help confront demanding issues in categories relating to financial stability, education, and health. United Way aims for a 30% participation rate, but only 2% of HWS faculty, administration, and staff donate to the United Way (K. Buch, personal communication, March 6, 2017). Why is this happening? Talia, Andrew, Kendra and Jake focused their research on reconnecting Hobart and William Smith Colleges with the United Way of Ontario County.

    Through interviews with Human Resource departments of private colleges/universities in New York State and the affiliated United Way county coordinators, they aimed to discover how to achieve higher participation rates. They also surveyed faculty, staff, and administrators at Hobart and William Smith Colleges to help understand why our participation rates are so low.

    The United Way benefits over 40,000 people in Ontario County every year. If more Hobart and William Smith Colleges faculty, staff, and administrators donate to United Way, the agency will be better able to carry out its mission and help the community solve its most pressing issues.

    Student Researchers: Talia Alon '17, Andrew Feinberg '17, Kendra Manning '17, and Jake Shapiro '17
    Community Partners: United Way of Ontario County
    Faculty Adviser: Professor Jack Harris
  • Can we Promise Housing in Geneva? Evaluating Obstacles Homeless Families Face when Finding Permanent Housing
    There are high levels of homelessness in Ontario County, particularly in the city of Geneva, yet Ontario County lacks an emergency shelter. Family Promise provides year-long support and resources such as a day center with centralized professional resources and temporary housing to homeless families.

    Working in tandem with Family Promise of Ontario County, this research aimed to support Family Promise’s mission to help find permanent housing for homeless families in Geneva. Through in-depth interviews with Geneva based landlords, professionals in various social services organizations, and city government officials, they focused to identify re- sources available to homeless families and compile an inventory of permanent, affordable housing options. The goal of this research was to create a source to assist homeless families in their transition from temporary to permanent housing after they leave the Family Promise program.

    Student Researchers: Hannah Brooks '17, Molly Dietrich '17, John Hillenbrand '17, and Kayla Jones '17
    Community Partner: Family Promise
    Faculty Adviser: Professor Jack Harris
  • Detour or Destination: Alternative Education Programs for Geneva Schools
    Geneva’s graduation rate has slowly been increasing, but 13% of its senior students still fail to graduate on time.

    Those who do not graduate on time tend to live in poverty, have shorter life-spans, and have children who do not graduate high school as well. Alternative education programs are models of educating students with diverse learning needs. Benny, Kim, Lucie and Lesly’s research was aimed at exploring different alternative education programs (AEP) that could address the needs of at-risk students and are appropriate for the Geneva School District.

    As such, their goal was to propose programs that will help students meet the standards of success: decreasing the dropout rate, increasing academic achievement scores, improving attendance, and increasing engagement. By evaluating models of alternative education programs in different school districts, they developed a recommendation of possible AEPs that are viable and feasible for the Geneva School District to implement. Their research methods included surveying teachers and students, observing classrooms, and interviewing school staff in order to further understand the needs of the school community.

    Student Researchers: Benny Calderon '17, Kim Gutierrez '17, Lucie Mendelson '17, and Lesly Rivero '17
    Community Partner: Geneva City School District
    Faculty Adviser: Professor Jack Harris
  • Putting your Numbers where your Math is: An Assessment of America Counts
    Because many students struggle with math, it is important to determine which programs and policies best address academic success. Matt, Allie, Paige and Karley evaluated the effectiveness of the America Counts program at Geneva Middle School. The America Counts program is a federally funded intervention service founded in 2006 that provides homework help and aide to GMS students in mathematics and English Language Arts proficiency from HWS tutors.

    Using secondary data analysis of NYS testing scores and interviews with HWS and GMS administration, they were attempting to gain an understanding of whether or not the program is worthwhile in its current condition and ways in which this pro- gram could be improved. The focus of their research was to create strategies and recommendations to assure that the program is as effective as possible in boosting math proficiency and confidence in Geneva’s students.

    Student Researchers: Matt Cragg '17, Allie Flaherty '17, Paige McKenna '17, and Karley Reuscher '17
    Community Partner: Geneva Middle School
    Faculty Adviser: Professor Jack Harris
  • Geneva’s Multi-Million Dollar Man: Celebrating Arthur Dove
    Arthur Dove’s painting, “Boat Going Through Inlet” recently sold at Christies for $5.43 million. Highly influential in the world of art, with a profound effect on the works of artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, Dove has been largely forgotten and neglected in his hometown of Geneva, New York. The Dove Block Restoration Group plans to open a museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of Dove. The focus of the Dove Block Project is to determine the best ways to create interest and drive traffic to a museum dedicated to the first American abstract expressionist painter. Through researching existing literature and interviewing regional museum staff and local enterprises, including wineries and small businesses, this group strived to understand how niche museums succeed in attaining popularity and notoriety. This project is essential to recognizing a world-renowned artist and helping to revitalize downtown Geneva.

    Student Researchers: Nicolette Kombouras '17, Katie Meyer '17, Sam Solomon '17, and Meredith Surette '17
    Community Partners: Professor Emeritus, Jim Makinster
    Faculty Adviser: Professor Jack Harris
  • Taking Care of Business: Alternative Funding Models for the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva
    Molly, Steven and Laurie’s research centered on alternative funding models for the Boys& Girls Club of Geneva. The program currently serves approximately 400 families in need of afterschool childcare, many of which are under significant financial stress. The Boys and Girls Club is seeking to raise funding without increasing the financial burden on families. Through administration of surveys to current families and interviews with directors of similar organizations, they hoped to discover a way to maximize funding options and minimize harm to participation. Their research aimed to help the Geneva Boys and Girls Club’s community program create a sustainable funding model and allow the program to continue to provide important afterschool care for Geneva residents.

    Student Researchers: Molly Bell '17, Steven Thai '17, and Laurie VanBenschoten '17
    Community Partner: Boys and Girls Club of Geneva
    Faculty Adviser: Professor Jack Harris

Fall 2015-Spring 2016

  • Out with the Old, In with the New: Vere Sandal Company, Sustainability, and Social Innovation, Michael Conte '16
    During the spring semester of 2016, Michael worked as a sales and marketing intern for Vere Sandal Company in Geneva, New York in order to better understand how sustainability and social innovation intersect, while also raising capital for a new innovative medical technology Vere is developing and assisting the company as it transitions into a benefit corporation.
  • Community Re-entry and Criminal Justice Reform, Morgan Stevens '18
    During the spring semester of 2016 Morgan participated in an internship with Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY) and the Ontario County Jail, focusing on the topic of community re-entry. She studied this topic in various ways, including research, organization of several community meetings, and data collection through a survey she created. The survey was given to inmates at the Ontario County Jail and asked about aspects of re-entry and rehabilitation.
  • “You Can’t Say No with Your Legs Open”: Understanding the Knowledge of Consent Among the Youth of the Inner-City of Rochester, Scarlyn Gutierrez '16, Afrika Owes '16, Dana Williams '16
    Scarlyn Gutierrez, Afrika Owes and Dana Williams conducted research during spring 2016 to gain understandings of consent for youth in the inner city of Rochester. Specifically, the group focused on the presence and magnitude of understandings of consent amongst high school adolescents, partnering with Planned Parenthood of Central & Western NY and expanding upon their research about what students in the area have learned about sex education through their education in schools or through other contacts.
  • Pan to Plate: HWS Food Recovery Pilot Project, Maggie O'Reilly '16
    Pan to Plate is a food recovery pilot project created by Maggie O'Reilly '16 with support and guidance provided by the Finger Lakes Institute, HWS Office of Sustainability, Sodexo and Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. During the fall 2015 and spring 2016, Maggie O'Reilly researched the potential donation of overproduced food from HWS Sodexo’s Saga dining hall and the current community need for increased food security in Geneva.
  • Race Dialogues After School, Lesly Rivero '17, Christopher Melendez '16
    During the Spring Semester of 2016 Lesly and Christopher decided to partner up and work on their Social Justice Studies Capstone by creating an independent study. They became interested in a new course being offered in the education department called Race Dialogues, taught by Professor Khuram Hussain, because it centered on the idea of creating a community between HWS students and Geneva High School students.
  • Looking Back, Moving Forward: Success for Geneva’s Children Data, Erica McLaughlin WS’ 16, Danielle Mueller WS’ 16, Ryan Mullaney H’16
    The mission of Success for Geneva’s Children is to “mobilize the community to improve the health and well-being of all our children and their families.” The research team explored various demographic differences between Geneva, NY, the rest of Ontario County, and New York State.
  • HWS Real Food Challenge, Eric Bushnell '16 and Alyssa Kelly '19
    In fall 2015, HWS Real Food Challenge Food Policy Intern Eric Bushnell ‘16 researched sustainable food policies adopted by institutions of higher learning across the country to determine how to best foster more sustainable purchasing at HWS. Bushnell ‘16 compiled his findings and an overview of the status of food purchasing at HWS in the report Hobart and William Smith Colleges Sustainable Food Purchasing Goals (2015).
  • Beesearch: From Novice to Apiculture Expert in 15 Weeks (or Less), Marion Marsh '17
    During the spring 2016 semester, Marion completed an independent study concerning bees, the practice of beekeeping, and the legalization of beekeeping in Geneva.
  • Measuring Preparedness for School of Children Aged 0-5 in Geneva, Randy Regner '16 and Michael Rahling '16
    Literature demonstrates that children develop their key non-cognitive skills in the early years of 3 to 5. Michael and Randy’s project aims at examining surveys collected by Success for Geneva’s Children, a community group with a desire to produce favorable outcomes for the local youth, ages 0-5, in the Geneva area. The researchers hope to reveal patterns in their data that support conclusions as to why young students could be better prepared for their schooling.
  • Oh the Places They Will Go! Surveying the Post Graduate Plans of High School Seniors, Steph Aliquo, '16, Sarah Friedman '16, Joy Gitter '16
    Within a developing focus on increasing college readiness and attendance across the country and in Geneva, Steph Aliquo, Sarah Friedman, and Joy Gitter were interested in the college preparatory activities and post-graduation plans of Geneva High School seniors.
  • Community Outreach Through the Greens Growing Project, Kalley Matthews '16
    During the spring 2016 semester, Kalley worked with the Finger Lakes Institute and the Environmental Studies program to conduct research for the Greens Growing Project (GGP).
  • Geneva Crime Statistics, Ian Pattison '16
    This a research study that focuses on the sources of the discrepancy between crime reports submitted to the FBI by the Geneva Police Department, and the national online data in the Uniform Crime Reporting database (UCR) that draws from these original local reports.
  • Social Integration of International Students at HWS Colleges, Talia Azour '16
    This research explores the social integration of international students with the larger student population at HWS. It explores how international students identify their place on campus, what their habits are, and where they make connections with American students on.
  • A Voice for Justice: Studying the Holocaust in the Rochester Community, Soren Anders-Macleod '18, Susannah Berry '16, Guadalupe Mendoza '18, Anna Philibert '16
    During the fall semester of 2015, Anna, Guadalupe, Soren, and Susannah attended a seminar at Nazareth College led by Father Desbois who is involved with Yahad In Unum. They learned how to prevent violence in the future, the value of the spoken word, the importance of unbiased analysis in interactions, and many interview techniques during the two day seminar. The goal of Yahad is to learn from the past to prevent future genocide and mass killings.
  • Impact of Early Childhood Education, Carmen Sorrentino '16, Olivia Hoden '16, Morgan Drake '16
    Early childhood education and its effects on development is an extremely significant area of concern. We are interested in exploring the effects that exposure to early childhood education has on children’s mental and physical development.
  • Mapping Patrons in Downtown Geneva, Douglas Silverman '16
    Store owners in downtown Geneva cater to two disparate socio-economic groups; locals and non-resident “tourists”. I have previously argued elsewhere, based on ethnographic research, census reviews, a 37-year historic analysis of commercial stores downtown, and interviews with downtown storeowners, that an atypical form of gentrification is taking place whereby affluent summertime tourists have created a demand for consuming high-end experiences.
  • Entrepreneurial Development in Las Piedras Gordas, Panama, Madeline Boles '17, Merritt Cook '18, Sophie Halter '16, Danielle Mueller '16, Emily Ott '17, Afrika Owes '16, Craig Phillips '18, Sam Solomon '17, Jenny Sullivan '18
    From December 2015 to early January 2016, HWS students traveled to Las Piedras Gordas, located in the Coclé region of Pánama, to work with ©Think Impact, an organization focused on identifying community assets and collaborating with community members to reinvent or improve those assets.
  • Community-Focused Sustainable Agriculture through Aquaponics, Rachael Best '18, Katie Rogan '17, Jeff Rizza '16
    During the spring 2016 semester, Rachael, Katie, and Jeff constructed an educational-scale aquaponics system through an independent study in the Environmental Studies Program. The project, funded by grants from the Carver and Delaney Family Environmental Studies Endowment and Kloman Fellowship Fund, aims to inform members of the HWS community and greater Geneva community about the myriad benefits of aquaponic food production methods and sustainable agriculture more broadly.
  • AMST 360: Art, Memory and the Power of Place, Sean Barry '17, Franklin Brown '17, Michael Doeblin '17, Tim Griffin '16, Keegan Balk '17, Kayla Jones '17, Phoebe Moore '16, Michael Potvin '17, Sarah Savitz '18, Jenny Sullivan '18, Mat Sylvan '17, Justin Burke '16
    What stories do communities tell? How do stories help youth imagine a place of their own? How do cultural expression in the arts help youth articulate their visions of the future? Over the past eight weeks, teens from the art program at the GGBC and students enrolled in American Studies 365: Art, Memory and the Power of Place have been working together to research community issues and concerns.
  • SJSP101: Community-based Research Methods
    Sixteen HWS students participated in the Spring 2016 Course, SJSP 101: Community-Based Research Methods, a gateway course in the Social Justice Studies minor. As part of this course, students were introduced to historical and modern information about Geneva, information on the Geneva Boys and Girls Club, and the theoretical groundings of Community-based Research. In addition, they built skills in ArcGIS Analysis and presentation of information in the web-based format, Story Map. Finally, they gained experience in the Geneva community by attending community meetings and events such as Tools for Social Change, Geneva Schoolboard meetings, Neighborhood Coalition meetings, and volunteering at the Community Lunch Program.

    Students and their research proposals
    • Andrea Uhl '19, Lindsay Brown '19, Adam Enxing '19, Emily Wilkinson '19
      Does the Office of Justice Program at the Boys and Girls Club help reduce students’ likelihood reduce absenteeism of these students in high school?
    • Koko Avedisian '19, Olivia Milne '18, Therese Kowalczak '19, Harrison DeMaira '19
      Would relocating the center of activities for the Boys and Girls Club increase the ability of Geneva students to participate in programming?
    • Alyssa Kelly '19, Cameron Kohs '19, Maryum Raheem '16, Liam Cassidy '19
      Would providing bus service from the Boys and Girls Clubs to student homes after evening programming increase the number of students who could participate in Club programming, and would it be economically viable?
    • Simon Corson '16, Rachael Barry '19, Bryan Archino '19, Liam Ford '19
      Can improving connections between Geneva Head Start Program and the Boys and Girls Club improve long-term student success?
  • Who is most likely to support a Geneva Public Library tax increase?, Dimitri Kaye '16
    In the spring semester of 2016, Dimitri assisted the local Geneva Public Library in order to better understand the socio-economic characteristics of the people most likely to support the Geneva Public Library tax increase. Working with the director of the Library, the two are also using this opportunity to increase awareness of the vote on May 17, 2016.

Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Fall 2012-Spring 2013


Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Spring 2011

  • Recycling in Seneca County - Jessica Becker, WS’11, Marissa Biondolillo,WS’11, Anna Giangregorio, WS’11 and Andrew Schettine, H’11

Spring 2010


Fall 2009

Collete Gregoire
Daisy Bird
Jalisa Whitley
Laura Valdmanis
Luke Esselen
Kelsey Lagana

Spring 2009

Cecilia Teye-Ampomah
Leslie Hopke
Christina Kinnevey
Emma Daley
Jaquelyn Sands

Fall 2008

Austin Kana
Sarah Holland

Kayla Shoemaker

Casey Marshall

Susan Kridler

Research projects

Spring 2017 MAT Projects

Fall 2016-Spring 2017

Fall 2015-Spring 2016

Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Spring 2011


Spring 2010



Connect

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

Map/Directions
Contact the Colleges

FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubelinkedin

Quicklinks

Home
Search
Offices and Resources
Campus Directory
Webmail

make a gift

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.