Skip to main content

Tisch College Community Research Center Awards Student Grants

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Three students received a total of $900 to support valuable research with implications for local communities.

Students, faculty, and partners on Zoom call

For the 2020-2021 summer and academic year, the Tisch College Community Research Center (TCRC) awarded three TCRC Student Microgrants for research projects that prioritize community engagement and demonstrate promise for positive impact. These were awarded to two graduate students and one undergraduate student working on early STEM education, palliative care, and adult learning. Congratulations to Madhu, Avery, and Claudia!

About the Grantees

Student: Madhu Govind
Project: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, and algoRithms: Bringing the 4 R’s of 21st Century Learning to Kindergarten

This project will study an innovative “Coding as Literacy” afterschool curriculum for kindergarten students at the Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School, a Title I school in Cambridge, MA.

Responding to national concerns related to STEM education, “Coding as Literacy” focuses on early childhood to study a kindergarten STEM program. Issues related to coding, computational thinking, and STEM diversity are explored to understand how students’ early experiences shape their STEM learning. Tufts PhD student Madhu Govind, Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development, will facilitate this research under the supervision of Professor Marina Muaschi Bers and in collaboration with the Benjamin Banneker Charter Public School in Cambridge. Together with the DevTech Research Group, the team includes Banneker School partners Jared Perrine (Director of Innovation, Technology, and Digital Learning) and Barbara Brothers (After School Programs Director). They will study the implementation of an afterschool coding curriculum with kindergarten children, including lesson logs, student work documentation, and observations.

Student: Avery Caz Glover
Project: Disparities in the Intensity of End-of-life Care between Chinese-American and Caucasian Patients who Die in the Medical ICU at a Tertiary Medical Center

This project seeks to understand the disparities in high intensity End-Of-Life care between Chinese-American and Caucasian patients who died in the medical ICU at a major hospital in Boston’s Chinatown.
While culturally-competent and equitable treatment is important for high quality health care, little research exists to help us understand the disparities in end-of-life care for Asian patients in intensive care units, particularly across Chinese communities in the United States. Decision-making is compounded by cultural and linguistic barriers which can contribute to disparities in care. This research examines disparities in end-of-life care between Chinese-American and Caucasian ICU patients who died in Boston’s Chinatown. Building on Tufts Medical student Avery Caz Glover’s work with Dr. Tamara Vesel, which found potential differences in care for Chinese-American stage IV cancer patients, this project includes review of patients who died in the medical ICU at Tufts Medical Center, to make comparisons regarding types of treatment, length of stay, readmission rates, and documentation of end-of-life conversations with patients’ families. Findings will be shared through existing relationships with the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center to inform discussions on end-of-life care and other healthcare issues, as well as have the potential to inform related ICU practices at Tufts Medical Center.

Student: Claudia Guetta
Project: Study of the Tufts Educational Re-entry Network (TERN) program of the Tufts University Prison Initiative of Tisch College (TUPIT)

This project combines training of student volunteers via LinkedIn and the development/early implementation of an assessment to understand the impact of the MyTERN pilot on formerly incarcerated people and on the Tufts student volunteer instructors.

Annually, hundreds of thousands of formerly incarcerated individuals return to their communities. They face significant obstacles in housing, employment, health, educational attainment, self-efficacy and self-confidence (Petersilia, 2003) which result in more than 75% of people released from state prisons being reincarcerated within 5 years (Davis et al., 2013).  

The Tufts University Prison Initiative of Tisch College (TUPIT)’s college-in-prison program conducts rehabilitation work inside state prisons, including a re-entry component called TERN (Tufts Educational Re-entry Network) to foster skills and increase employability. In fall 2020, MyTERN will provide training in basic computer proficiency from the Microsoft Office suite, taught by TUPIT Student Coordinators and under the supervision of the TUPIT-TERN Director, Hilary Binda. The TCRC Student Grant will support the coordination and training of student volunteers via LinkedIn and the associated MyTERN research study to assess the impact of this training pilot on both formerly incarcerated individuals and Tufts student instructors. Tufts undergraduate Claudia Guetta will facilitate the research under the guidance of professors Hilary Binda, Jill Weinberg, and Bridget Conley.