2010 Research Conference

Conference Program

Northern California Regional
Friday, March 5, 2010
Hotel Shattuck Plaza, Berkeley, CA

Workshop A. Be the Change! How Campus & Community Build Partnerships to Improve Lives
Crystal Ballroom, Section II
Host: Perla Barrientos, San Francisco State University

This workshop, composed of a community/campus research team, explores major challenges and facilitating factors in community/campus collaborations while providing a framework for planning and action. Emphasizing CBR as a collective process of knowledge creation, the workshop presents three distinct voices essential to CBR partnerships: community, students, and faculty.

Non-profit perspective - Many organizations find it challenging to work with student interns in a short time frame (less than one year). They might have students organize files, rearrange closets or perform other non-engaging administrative functions. We will walk participants through an exercise to get them thinking outside the box about their to-do lists, including packaging projects in short-term portions and using marketing techniques to write an appealing student job description. We will also discuss how to create benchmarks to ensure the link between student curriculum and nonprofit needs so that everyone benefits.

Student perspective - We will focus on how CBR links classroom-based theory and service practice. We will provide examples of exercises used to help students apply, reflect and act on relevant issues of their community partner and course material. Students will also share the critical steps in the creation of a documentary film, serving the needs of both community and class learning objectives.

Faculty perspective - The focus will be on developing research tools to ensure that both students and nonprofits are benefiting along the way. Examples of research tools will include rubrics, student reflective journals, community partner observations, and surveys. We will provide a hands-on activity that will enable participants to work collaboratively to develop a draft research tool for use in their own CBR project. Audience: All skill and experience levels

  • Vanessa Arnaud, Ph.D., lecturer, Foreign Languages Department, California State University, Sacramento
  • Leslie Just, student in the Honors Program, California State University, Sacramento
  • Jesus Lopez, student in the Honors Program, California State University, Sacramento

  • Jana Noel, Ph.D., professor, Department of Teacher Education and Community Engagement Scholar, California State University, Sacramento
  • Amber K. Stott, M.A., director of community partnerships, Women’s Empowerment

Workshop B. The Community Development and Leadership Initiative: Reminding Us What We Say We Mean To Be
Crystal Ballroom, Section I
Host: Kathleen Rice, KL Rice Consulting

The workshop’s purpose is to share our participatory action research-related insights, to demonstrate our approach to this research through hands-on facilitator/audience interaction, and to challenge observers to reconsider the purpose and potential outcomes of community based research. The workshop will be facilitated by Community Development & Leadership (CDL) organizers and members of the Cal State East Bay Department of Public Affairs research team engaged in an implementation study of the project. CDL is an innovative community-initiated partnership between a consortium of Oakland area community development non-profits and local and county agencies, and the College of Alameda. Following a brief introduction of CDL, facilitators will demonstrate our methodological approach to participant action research. Further, we will engage the audience in applying this method during the workshop, thus giving them practical experience, something they can take away and use, incorporate or borrow from as they plan their own community research projects. Specifically, borrowing from a Narrative Therapy Model, we will engage observers in a reflection team exercise, wherein we share observations and discuss problems arising from the CDL project, then invite the audience to comment on our discussion, then allowing us to respond to their comments, and so on. Through a series of back and forth iterations, audience members experience how members of university research team interact with our CDL community partners. We will then lead a discussion of the technique, focusing on its strengths, weakness, and applicability for others engaged in more traditional community based research. Questions to be considered might include: how does one negotiate calls for “objective” research with this approach; should one try to negotiate such calls for “objectivity;” what ethical concerns does this approach raise; and how does one find support for this kind of research?
Audience: All skill and experience levels

  • Ken Kyle, Ph.D., former assistant professor, Public Affairs and Administration, California State University, East Bay

  • Robert Brem, Ph.D., chair, Politics Department, College of Alameda
  • Megan Montague-Sweeney, Ph.D., instructor, Politics Department, College of Alameda

Workshop C. What Funders Expect
Whitecotton Room, 6th Floor
Host: Cathy Avila-Linn, California Campus Compact

Interested in community-based participatory research but not sure where to find funding or what is expected in an application? The California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) is the fourth largest breast cancer research funder in the country, with several funding mechanisms, including the Community Research Collaboration (CRC) awards. The CRC awards provide $150,000 to $600,000 of funding (plus indirect funds for most institutions) to successful partnerships of CA-based community organizations and research scientists. Join Marj Plumb, collaborative research consultant, to learn more about available funding, CBCRP research priorities, and how to prepare a successful application. Application success rates have historically been high, ranging from 19% to 43%. The call for applications is released each August with a submission deadline in January, so the time to begin finding a partner, forming your team, discussing research ideas and methodology, and getting prepared to apply is now. Past CRC Awards have funded research topics from the fields of: • health policy, public health, and health services • psychology and sociology • epidemiology • behavioral science • environmental sciences • ethnic studies. Lessons learned are transferrable to other funders and funding applications.
Audience: All skill and experience levels

  • Marj Plumb, Ph.D., collaborative research consultant, California Breast Cancer Research Program

Workshop D. When Science Intersects the Community – How to Maintain Scientific Objectivity, Meet Community Needs, and Work Towards Meaningful Change
Boiler Room, Section C
Host: Michael Fallon, San Jose State University

Scientists rarely get involved in community-based research (CBR) and when they do the outcomes are often not what were expected.From a community perspective, scientists must not adopt an “ivory tower” attitude, should be open to addressing community problems, and ideally should interact closely with community members, listen to and understand their needs, and assist them in working towards a resolution.From a science perspective, the general public is often unknowledgeable about the details and nuances of the underlying scientific concepts, may not appreciate the incredible amount of time and funding required to do good scientific work, may have biased opinions or preconceived notions, and may expect yes or no answers to complex problems. At worse, such conflicts can lead to hurt feelings, unproductive or failed collaborations, and even accusations of bias or racism.At best, scientists can educate the community on underlying scientific issues, provide them hard data to prove or disprove specific hypotheses, and hopefully lead to positive outcomes. The focus of this workshop is an open and frank dialogue on the intersection of scientists with the community, including both failures and successes. The workshop will begin with an overview of a few case studies to provide the audience with some examples of recent science-based projects in the community as well as what worked and what didn’t. Breakout sessions will focus on broader issues such as understanding why there are so few faculty in the sciences pursuing CBR projects, identifying pitfalls and barriers that hinder effective collaborations, developing guidelines to promote more effective working relationships between scientists and the community, and sharing ideas on potential projects of interest and possible funding sources.Participants will leave this workshop with a better perspective on how to bring scientists and the community together, the positive outcomes for everyone involved with CBR, and how to bring about positive changes.
Audience: All skill and experience levels

  • Pete Palmer, Ph.D., professor, Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry, San Francisco State University
  • Margaret Handley, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor, Dept. of Family & Community Medicine, UC San Francisco
  • Raymond Tompkins, Ph.D., Educator, founding member of Bayview Hunters Point Coalition on the Environment, and former member of Hunters Point Shipyard Restoration Advisory Board