NC State Outreach and Engagement Incentive Grant Program



    The Outreach and Engagement Incentive Grants Program serves to address significant community challenges by aligning interdisciplinary faculty, their expertise, their students, and their research. The incentive grants connect NCSU faculty to applied scholarship opportunities in communities, stimulating interdisciplinary proposals to compete for funding that will foster innovation between faculty, staff, students, and community partners and help kick-start potential future research and programming in the following three geographic regions of North Carolina:

    1. Kinston/Lenoir County,
    2. Rutherford/Polk Counties (Isothermal Region), and
    3. Raleigh/Wake County.

    Kenan Institute support leverages support from the Vice Chancellor for Research and the Office of the Provost. The fiscal year 2017-18 incentive grants awarded proposals received $10,000 each to support work through June 2019 and are as follows:

    Dr. Lisa Bass, NC State / Wake County Public Schools Affinity Support Network

    Dr. Lisa Bass will be partnering with Wake County Public Schools to address the disparity between the growing number of Latino students and the relatively limited number of Latino teachers/ administrators. The project will engage 20 participants including principals, assistant principals, and teachers well known for their leadership. The educators reflect on personal and professional goals, attend workshops targeting professional skill development, participate in facilitated discussion with faculty or mentors, and showcase knowledge gained through the experience with various presentations. The insight gained from the infinity group can be used to support the development of coursework, learning experiences, enrichment opportunities, and other initiatives for university programming and leadership academy cohort programming.

    Dr. Tiffany Barnes, Bridge to Computing

    Dr. Tiffany Barnes will be working to increase the percentage of lower income or minority students with strong computer skills. The proposed Bridge to Computing program will consist of a six-week alternative activity summer camp for black youth in a neighborhood with a high risk for gang involvement. This pre-college program aims to increase participants’ interest in higher education while simultaneously lowering college eligibility barriers within an underserved community group. To better understand the particular challenges facing these communities, Bridge to Computing will partner with area Historically Black Colleges and Universities to host soft skill workshops. The project will serve as a pilot replication as the camp will produce observational and empirical evidence through student surveys and applicable software log data. This will support future iterations of the camp as well as generate transferable knowledge for similar outreach programs.

    Marshall Brain, Creating a New $60 Million Economic Food Driver for Kinston, NC

    Marshall Brain will study the feasibility of fostering an all-local food culture in Kinston, North Carolina, that could eventually become a $60 million economic food driver for the area. The poverty rate in Kinston is double the national average, leaving the area with only a few economic options. This program aims to conduct research to determine if citizens of Kinston, who spend an average of $63 million per year on food, could feasibly abandon national brands or retailers and buy strictly local instead.

    Dr. Willa Casstevens, The Role of Navigators in Community Reentry from the Judicial System

    Dr. Willa Casstevens will be researching the benefits of training community “navigators” to aid individuals in the transition from the Wake County judicial system back into the community. This will be the first time the use of navigators has been explored with adults exiting the judicial system to re-engage with community settings.

    Dr. Richard Clerkin, Enhancing Leadership Capacities for Social Innovation in Wake County

    Dr. Richard Clerkin will be partnering with extension professors from NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and professionals from Wake County Human services to develop and deliver an adaptive leadership program that fosters innovation. The program is designed to enhance the participant’s leadership competencies at the personal, organizational, and community level. The team will measure changes in participant competencies to collect evidence to seek additional funding to provide the training to social entrepreneurs and innovators across Wake County, as well as seek funding partners to grow the project in other targeting counties.

    Dr. Marc Grimmett, Assessing the Community Counseling, Education and Research Model for Multicultural and Social Justice Counselor Education

    Dr. Marc Grimmett and Dr. Helen Lupton-Smith will be using the Community Counseling, Education and Research Center (CCERC) model to address the critical public health need for accessible, affordable, high-quality mental health services focused on wellness. The results from evaluating the CCERC model, which includes a framework for counselor training and mental health service delivery, will provide researchers with the critical information they need to address structural problems within mental health systems.

    Dr. Whitney Knollenberg, Modeling the Craft Beverage Tourism Product in Wake County

    Dr. Whitney Knollenberg will be researching the craft beverage tourism product market in Wake County. The research is designed to identify the resources that are required for developing and supporting a craft-beverage tourism product and to identify the benefits of a craft-beverage tourism product. Through researching and improving the craft-beverage tourism product in Wake County, this model could be replicated throughout North Carolina to stimulate the economy in rural areas to enhance residents’ quality of life.