2021 Partnerships of Distinction Honorees

The Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement’s Partnerships of Distinction Award, conferred annually at the Community Engaged Scholarship Forum, recognizes outstanding partnerships that are exemplars of community engagement. Honorees demonstrate reciprocity, mutual benefit and significant community impact.

Congratulations to the 2021 Partnerships of Distinction Awardees.

The Pittsburgh Data Jam

The Pittsburgh Data Jam is an academic competition for high school students in the Pittsburgh region, which focuses on teaching about the use of big data to answer a research question. Operating in many local Allegheny County high schools, the program is set up in such a way that students work in teams of five to seven students to formulate a research question, find publicly available data sets, analyze their data, make data visualizations, and present their findings to a panel of judges. Students learn skills pertaining to the scientific method, data analysis, and how to give scientific presentations. In this regard, high school students are benefitting from this education in data analytics, and the Pittsburgh business community is benefitting as more young people become interested in data analytics to provide a future workforce. Development of the Data Jam and core curricula to train Data Jam mentors, as well as its current work to develop a curriculum that ties the Data Jam concept to math, computer science, statistics, and science courses in high school, are critical steps needed to make education in data science much more broadly available throughout the U.S. and worldwide.

Partnership Contact: Judy Cameron, Director of Pitt Science Outreach 

Justice Scholars Institute 

The Justice Scholars Institute is a partnership between the University of Pittsburgh and Westinghouse Academy. In collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh’s College in High School (CHS) program, Justice Scholars provides a rigorous college preparation program for students in the ninth through 12th grades. The program implements a culture of college expectations for high school students who may otherwise have little opportunity for college exposure opportunities. A primary program component is the opportunity for the students to earn college credit through University of Pittsburgh courses. In addition to the courses, the institute offers college preparation support, opportunities for community engagement, and various resources that make a successful college transition more tenable. 

Partnership Contacts: Esohe Osia, Assistant Professor of Practice, and Greg Latshaw, Director of Marketing and Communications, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh 

PittPharmacy: SilverScripts 

SilverScripts is a longitudinal Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience for first- and second-year student pharmacists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. SilverScripts provides an early immersion experience for student pharmacists to practice pharmaceutical care with older adults at community centers serving local Pittsburgh seniors. To achieve its mission to help seniors better manage their medications, the program partners with over 20 local senior community centers. At SilverScripts, student pharmacists offer comprehensive medication reviews, blood pressure assessments, and safe medication disposal to help nearly 250 seniors better manage their medications. Student pharmacists are precepted on-site by more than 25 participating PittPharmacy faculty, staff, residents, and fellows assisted by more than 10 practice-ready student pharmacists. In the fall academic term, student pharmacists expand upon their relationships established in the spring term to work collaboratively with students from other healthcare disciplines at the University of Pittsburgh including audiology, dental medicine, nursing, nutrition and dietetics, occupational therapy, and social work. 

Partnership Contact: Lucas Berenbrok, Assistant Professor, Pharmacy and Therapeutics, School of Pharmacy, University of Pittsburgh

Food Ecosystems Honors Scholar Community 

Pitt Honors Scholar Communities are collaborations between faculty and students to confront some of the most critical challenges that touch our lives. The Food Ecosystems Scholar Community examines the global food system through the lenses of agriculture, engineering, environmental science, data, economics, public health, law, policy, humanities, urban planning, and community development in partnership with Food21. The mission of Food21 is to enable our region to become a resilient, self-sustaining, and inclusive food economy. Together Pitt Honors and Food21 will explore issues such as food insecurity; resilience across the food ecosystem; expanding jobs and economic opportunity in the food economy; sustainability through the applications of clean and cost-effective use of energy; equity and inclusive participation in the food economy; and environmental responsibility of food production and processing. These efforts will use data analytics to better understand our food ecosystem and apply this knowledge to create meaningful economic, social, environmental, and policy change related to food. By developing a diverse network of faculty performing research related to issues critical to food ecosystems, a myriad of undergraduate research opportunities become available to students that can provide critical insights for the larger region. 

Partnership Contact: Everett Herman, Director of Student and Faculty Engagement, Pitt Honors College

Hemispheric Conversations Urban Art Project 

Hemispheric Conversations Urban Art Project (HCUAP) partners University of Pittsburgh staff, faculty and students with arts and education organizations in the Pittsburgh area and artists and scholars from national and international institutions. Founded in 2016, the program creates shared opportunities for youth and adult arts education; public conversations about art, activism and social justice; mentorship and networking opportunities for underrepresented artists; and site-specific murals across the city. HCUAP offers three-pronged and synthetic programming: youth workshops, mural production, and public conversations to use dialogue about the arts as a prism for addressing larger community needs. Its model is to work with established local organizations that work in the area of afterschool arts programming, artist development, and education contributing a focus on urban art and public space by generating curricula, mentoring teaching artists, producing murals, and creating larger conversations about just urban governance. Primary activities are organizing youth street art workshops, public conversations, and artist residencies that culminate in murals and gallery shows. All programming is free.

Partnership Contact: Caitlin Bruce, Assistant Professor of Communication, Department of Communication, University of Pittsburgh