2012 Seed Grants

2012 Seed Grants

OSU Extension Housing Corps – A university partnership to support a statewide AmeriCorps program

OSU Extension Housing CorpThis OSU CARES grant supported a unique partnership between the John Glenn School of Public Affairs, the Department of Psychology, the OSU Extension unit at the Department of Consumer Sciences, eleven OSU Extension county offices, and two state agencies, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism. An AmeriCorps program at OSU Extension offices was tested in rural Ohio counties with particularly high foreclosure growth rates. The goal was to increase rural homeowners’ awareness about the statewide foreclosure prevention efforts. Fourteen AmeriCorps members provided rural homeowners with information and assisted with the online enrollment in the Save the Dream Ohio program. Despite its challenges, the program was successful in reaching over 7,000 homeowners, in engaging about 150 community volunteers, and in providing professional and personal development opportunities of over 200 hours to each AmeriCorps member.

PI(s): Cäzilia Loibl, Associate Professor and State Extension Specialist, Consumer Sciences, Education and Human Ecology; Stephanie Moulton, Assistant Professor, John Glenn School of Public Affairs; Ellen Peters, Associate Professor, Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
Partner(s): William Hall, Executive Director, Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism; Cynthia Flaherty, Director of Homeownership, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Restoring Stability Program; Holly Holtzen, Strategic Research Coordinator, Ohio Housing Finance Agency, Office of Affordable Housing Research; OSU Extension Personnel to host AmeriCorps Program in 11 counties



Access88The OSU CARES Grant has allowed the Access88 program, within the Pay It Forward cohort, to reach new heights during the 2012-2013 academic year. Through the support of the OSU CARES Grant, the Access88 program was able to coordinate 9 core trips, 5 library trips, and 13 campus tours addressing the message of access to and preparation for higher education. These initiatives reached nearly 3,300 K-8 students in the state of Ohio and allowed 197 Ohio State students to contribute approximately 700 hours of service to the community through Access88 programming. Involvement with the Access88 program has not only contributed increased knowledge of higher education to K-8 students in various Ohio counties, but has enhanced the understanding of the issue of access among Ohio State students. See ohiounion.osu.edu/get_involved/csls/access88 for more information.

PI(s): Sarah Graf, Director of Access88, Pay It Forward, Ohio Union, Office of Student Life; Jake Cohen, Coordinator of Service and Outreach, Ohio Union, Office of Student Life
Partner(s): Vicki Schwartz, Associate State Leader, 4-H, OSU Extension; Laura Kraus, Associate Director, Economic Access Initiative


Agricultural Rescue Curriculum – Increasing Response Capacity in Agricultural Communities

Ag. RescueAgriculture consistently remains one of the most hazardous industries in Ohio, and farming continues to rank high as a hazardous occupation. Farm injuries are very traumatic events and equally devastating to the economic wellbeing of the farm family. These incidents can include severe trauma, entanglement, engulfment, confined spaces, heavy equipment, or hazardous chemical exposure. The purpose of this project was to increase the professional capacity of rural, first responders to provide agricultural rescue response in the event of an on-farm emergency.  Project partners developed an agricultural rescue curriculum that will continue to be delivered to Emergency First Responders around the state and Ohio State University Extension will continue to utilze this format to provide agriculutural safety awarness training at agriculutural public events. This partnership ensured that the most up-to-date agricultural rescue and emergency medical services, related to agricultural rescue scenarios was developed for a comprehensive state approved curriculum for fire fighters and EMS personnel. This project provided a common link between the agricultural industry and public safety to ensure effective and efficient emergency response during those times of need in agricultural commuities. See agsafety.osu.edu/programs/agricultural-rescue-programming.

PI(s): Dee Jepsen, Assistant Professor, Leader: Ag Safety and Health Program, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Bill Barks, Program Director, OSU Center for EMS, The OSU Medical Center; Kent McGuire, CFAES Health and Safety Coordinator, Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Science
Partner(s): Gerald Robinson and Scott Walker, Deputy Superintendents, Ohio Fire Academy, Division of State Fire Marshall, Ohio Department of Commerce; and Captain Dave Torsell, Urbana Fire Department.


Youth Empowerment

Our grant created a partnership between two Ohio State University (OSU) departments that believe in helping youth identify their strengths and potential to become productive citizens in the future.  OSU Extension 4-H Youth Development Program (Lucas County) and OSU Young Scholars (Toledo) came together to share programs and resources with the goal of developing life skills to help youth as they prepare for the future and their college career at Ohio State University.  Youth who participated in this project learned about managing income by participating in OSU Extension’s Real Money Real World program, were made aware of their learning style by a presentation on Multiple Intelligences, gained knowledge on diversity awareness by being involved in a field trip to the Holocaust Museum, participated in community service by becoming volunteers with Lucas County Extension’s CARTEENS Program (a teen driving safety program that is taught by their peers) and participated in our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) program, FIRST Lego League (FLL) Robotic  afterschool program.

PI(s): Cynthia Toler, Extension Educator, 4-H, Ohio State University Extension, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences; Ralph Murphy II, Program Coordinator, The Young Scholars Program, Office of Diversity & Inclusion


Educating the community on best practices for purchase, storage, preservation and consumption for optimal micronutrient and phytochemical levels in local fruits and vegetables

tomatoesThere is growing consumer interest in both fresh foods and locally produced fruits and vegetables, with a consequent increase in popularity of farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, produce auctions, Farm to School programs, etc. Although many consumers perceive locally produced, fresh produce to be healthier, few have the knowledge, awareness and skills to retain optimal nutritional quality following harvest or purchase.

The objective of our program was to develop and deliver educational materials to inform farmers’ market consumers on best practices for purchasing, storing, preserving, and consuming local produce to maximize micronutrient and phytonutrient levels. Social marketing theory guided the development of educational materials and strategies for the primary target audience, adult consumers who are interested in local produce, and the secondary target audience, OSU Extension Educators and farmers’ market coordinators. Produce was chosen with consideration of both nutrient density and availability in Ohio. Educational materials and strategies were evaluated by surveys of the target audiences, including a post-test to assess comprehension of the new materials. Our goal was that after using the educational materials, participants would be able to identify the best practices for purchasing, storing, preserving and consuming fruits and vegetables for optimal micronutrient and phytonutrient delivery. Longer term, we see potential for this increased awareness to impact local food purchase decisions, improve dietary patterns, increase nutrient/phytonutrient delivery and ultimately increase the ability of the consumer to use local fruits and vegetables for a greater portion of the year by means of more efficient storage options. Link to the educational materials that were produced.

PI(s): Robin Ralston, Program Manager, Food Science and Technology, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Daniel Remley, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension County Operations, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Linnette Goard, Assistant Professor, OSU Extension County Operations, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Partner(s): Christopher Taylor, Associate Professor, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, College of Medicine


Community Approach to Preventing Abortion in Livestock and Nondomestic Ruminants

displayUsing funds from OSU CARES and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Disease Ecology and Computer Modeling Laboratory (DECML) of Ohio State University was able to build partnerships with local farmers, organizations and businesses in Southeastern Ohio to promote health among wildlife, livestock, and people.  DECML graduate students spent the year traveling around Muskingum, Guernsey, Noble and Morgan counties talking with farmers and hunters and taking samples from wildlife and the environment to get a better idea about how diseases are transmitted between wildlife, livestock and people. They also collected data about all of the things farmers and hunters already do to prevent diseases. It is clear from these results that people in this area spend a lot of time and money in preventing disease, that wildlife are abundant, and that there is ample opportunity for disease transmission between species. Using the results of this research and the new network of local partners, DECML hopes to improve communication about diseases in this area and work with the community to prevent zoonotic diseases.  

PI(s): Rebecca Garabed, Assistant Professor, Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine; William Shulaw, Professor, Preventive Medicine/ OSU Extension - Veterinary Medicine; Mark Moritz, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, College of Arts and Sciences
Partner(s): Mark Mechling, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Associate Professor, OSU Extension - County Operations; Barbara Wolfe, Vice President of Animal Health, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and the Wilds; Karla Moreno-Torres and Brad Ryan, Graduate Research Assistants, Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine; Craig Hicks, Wildlife Disease Biologist, USDA/APHIS - Wildlife Services


Simple Suppers: A novel approach to childhood obesity prevention

Simple Suppers sessionEating behaviors that fuel development of obesity are established early in life and become difficult to change thereafter. Parents play a major role in shaping their children’s food choices and eating behaviors. Thus, in order to reverse current trends in childhood obesity, early intervention and engagement of parents are essential. Many parents face multiple barriers to establishing positive eating behaviors for their children: lack of nutrition knowledge, cooking/food preparation skills; time/budget limitations. Unfortunately, to date, few efforts have been made to design evidence-based nutrition programs that equip parents of young children with the resources to overcome these barriers. There remains, therefore, a critical need to develop innovative strategies that support and encourage parents to improve the food choices and eating behaviors of their young children for increased diet quality, and, ultimately, reduced risk of obesity. In the absence of such interventions, the number of children at risk for obesity and associated health problems will continue to rise. Our long-term research goal is to develop effective community-based, family nutrition interventions to improve the food choices and eating behaviors of young children, and ultimately to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity.

We recruited 21 low-income families with at least one preschool-aged child (2-5 years old) living in the Weinland Park neighborhood or the immediate surrounding area, and 13 families completed the study. Program participants received access on a biweekly basis for 3 months, followed by monthly for 3 months to: nutrition education programming; family meal (dinner); recipes and bag of non-perishable food items; take-home educational materials; and free website access to program information and other related resources. Of the consented families who attended at least 50% of the time, age-adjusted, there was a modest improvement in children’s ability to prepare foods (specifically, ‘cut soft foods with dull knife’) and a trend towards a decrease in children’s intake of added fat. Results from this study helped inform the design of an expanded pilot study aimed at scaling up the Simple Suppers program in five additional Head Start child care sites in low-income zip codes of Columbus, Ohio. For more information, see simple-suppers.ehe.osu.edu/.

PI(s): Carolyn Gunther, Director of Research, Human Nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology; Julie Kennel, Dietetic Internship Program Director, Extension and Human Nutrition, College of Education and Human Ecology; Patricia Gabbe, Clinical Professor, Pedatrics, College of Medicine; Thelma Patrick, Associate Professor, Nursing
Partner(s): Jane Wiechel, Executive Director, Schoenbaum Family Center (SFC), College of Education and Human Ecology; Christopher Holloman, Director, Office of Statistical Consulting, College of Arts and Sciences