Through its Engaged Scholars Initiative, the Swearer Center also provides support for faculty members interested in undertaking research projects on topics of concern to, and in collaboration with, local community organizations and residents. For example:
- As part of her work on community-based agriculture and food justice issues, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Kathryn DeMaster has organized research projects involving Brown students and community residents, and has worked with John Hope Settlement House on a community-based agriculture project called Cultivating Hope.
- Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jason Sello has engaged local high school students in his research, collecting and analyzing local soil samples to identify microorganisms that can be potentially be used as natural agents in the conversion of organic matter to biofuels.
- Melissa Clark, an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, is working with colleagues at Hasbro Children’s Hospital to better understand both the physical and social environments where families who use the Hospital outpatient clinics live, and how these environments affect their health and their use of health care. In this project, families are seen not just as subjects, but as participants in the research – and when the results are in hand, as collaborators in improving the health of their community.