Winners of the Nashman Prize for Community Based Participatory Research

Undergraduate and graduate students who present their research at the annual GW Research Showcase event are invited to submit for consideration for the Nashman Prize, which recognizes excellence in Community-Based Participatory Research. First and second prizes are $300 and $200 respectively. 

2020 Nashman Prize Recipients

View the presentations.

1st Place: Jacob Tafrate and Elizabeth Szafranski

The Road Not Taken: Geographic Analysis of Informal Road Networks in Siberia

Partner: Evenk hunters and other local community residents 

"Research questions addressed in this project were informed by interviews conducted in 2019 with Evenk hunters and leaders from several communities within the study area. The map products presented here will also be shared with those same communities when the faculty project advisors return to the study area in July, 2020."

2nd Place (tie): Jillian Morgan, Nikita Vivek, and Errianna Brown

Providing Nutrition Education to Low-Income Families in Washington D.C. Ward 7 and 8: Process Evaluation of Nutrition To GO! with Martha’s Table Joyful Markets’ Customers.

Partner: Martha’s Table

“A key component to addressing the social issue in this project is to develop sustainable and long-term solutions to the lack of nutrition education programs for Martha’s Table customers..... The present project proposes a systematic four step-process in which the pilot testing of the lessons will inform a second delivery of the Nutrition To Go! lessons in the fall 2020. The second delivery of the lessons will be in conjunction with Martha’s Table staff who will be trained in Nutrition To Go!. Trained Martha’s Table staff will in turn train their volunteers in the curriculum to ensure sustainability of the nutrition education lesson to the Joyful Markets customers. This project also aims to build a strong partnership with Martha’s Table, pursue other projects with them, and be an advocate for my peers to be involved in nutrition education lessons. Our partnership with Martha’s Table will facilitate students service at this organization."

2nd Place (tie): Benjamin Turley and Sam Gritz

Investigating D.C. Opioid Use Disorder Demographics and Co-Occurrences in Inpatient and Outpatient Electronic Health Records, 

Partner: Several DC Hospitals and Clinics

"In this project, the researchers partnered with D.C. medical providers and opioid care organizations in order to share resources and develop a comprehensive model of the urban opioid use disorder population."

2019 Nashman Prize Recipients

1st Place: Colleen Packard

Parent and student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of sports injuries and feasibility of expanding athletics activities diversity in a community non-profit organization.

Partner: Beacon House

Colleen’s research was in partnership with Beacon House, a community non-profit organization located in the Edgewood Commons complex of Washington, DC whose mission is to close the education achievement gap for children in Ward 5. Beacon House’s athletics program is a signature offering of the organization, and the tackle football program is the largest and most successful of the sports offered.

However, with increased awareness of concussion risk in youth sports, Beacon House requested this research be done in order to adequately inform any future action by its administration. The purpose of this study is to conduct an assessment of parent and student perceptions of youth sports injuries. The study also surveys Beacon House parents and students to see how the athletics program could potentially expand in the future. The mixed-methods study utilizes survey measures and focus groups to measure both parent and student knowledge, attitudes, and perceptions of concussions. The athletics interest form will furthermore show which sports parents and students are interested in playing, either in lieu of or in addition to tackle football. All methods were reviewed by Beacon House before beginning data collection, and Beacon House staff are integral to participant recruitment.

Colleen Packard is a Masters student in Community-Oriented Primary Care in the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

2nd Place: Ashwarya Bulusu

Dental health assessment in autistic youth: Results from a national study of children’s health.

Partner: Local Young Adults with Autism

Given her previous experiences volunteering in village dental camps near her home in India, Ashwarya developed an interest in dentistry and oral health. In Sean Cleary’s PUBH 6299 course, she had the opportunity to serve with SPARC (specially adapted resource clubs) as well as engage with young adult autistics attending Dr. Cleary’s course. “Due to my interest in oral health, I asked them about their experiences and opinions on dental healthcare and was taken aback to learn that most of their experiences were unpleasant and frightful. This motivated me to focus my research inquiry on what is the current status of dental health and preventative care in oral health among autistic youth, by examining the existing data from National Survey of
Children’s Health.” Ashwarya presented her findings to the autistic young adults, their families, and to SPARC staff. Her future research interests will build upon these findings and upon these stakeholders’ reactions the findings and to their experiences with oral health.

Ashwarya Bulusu is a Masters student in Epidemiology in the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

2017 Nashman Prize Recipients

1st Place: Sara Policastro

Market Manager Relationships Around Financial Incentive Programs at D.C. Farmers Markets.  

"The purpose of this study was to explore market manager relationships with both farmers and customers at urban D.C. farmer'smarkets where local financial incentives (ie. the Produce Plus Program, and matching programs) are accepted. Utilizing both qualitative interviews and 5-Point Likert Scale questionnaires, the study reflected the lived experiences of D.C. market managers from over 6 market organizations city-wide. In addition to filling a gap in academic research around financial incentives at farmer's markets, this research presents the best practices of relationship and community building currently utilized in these spaces as voiced by participants in this study. These best practices were compiled into a toolkit and distributed to farmers market organizations across the city with the intent to encourage continued community building around financial incentive programs."

Ms. Policastro is an undergraduate in the Human Services and Social Justice program, in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2nd Place: Charleene Smith

Black Reproductive Freedom: Contraceptive Counseling.

"Through semi-structured qualitative interviews, this research sought to understand the decision-making process of young Black women of the ages 18-24 regarding how they choose a contraceptive method. The study specifically focused on the role that contraceptive counseling played in making contraceptive decisions. This study differs from majority of existing research by answering the research questions through the incorporation of voices from the marginalized group."

Ms. Smith is an undergraduate in the Human Services and Social Justice program, in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2016 Nashman Prize Recipients

Eighteen studies were submitted to compete for the inaugural Nashman Prize. 

1st Place: Shanna Helf

Aging through Change: Gentrification, Social Capital, and Senior Citizens of Washington DC's Wards 1 and 6.

"This mixed-methods study analyzed quantitative data from 600 responses to the Age-Friendly DC 2015 Livability Study identifying needs across all 8 wards of the city. Second, qualitative data collected during focus groups with seniors from Wards 1 and 6 provided deeper understanding of the first-person experience of aging through gentrification. Initial themes include affordability, respect and inclusion, interracial and intercultural relations, and the deep desire for independent, purposeful, and supported aging. In an era of unprecedented growth of the senior demographic, the results yielded by this study may inform policymakers and direct service providers in Washington, DC."

Ms. Heff is an undergraduate in the Human Services and Social Justice program, in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

2nd Place: Katherine Stasaki and Elsbeth Turcan

CAPITAL Words: Algorithmic Generation of Reading and Spelling Exercises for Low-Literacy Users.

"The goal of the CAPITAL project is to make high-quality learning resources accessible to users of all literacy levels. The project aims to automatically create exercises that will help users improve their reading skills. CAPITAL Words is a mobile application designed to deliver and evaluate responses to exercises aimed at improving a novice reader’s phonemic awareness.  Three types of exercises can be automatically generated: Phoneme Swap, Pick the Misspelling, and Spell the Word. Survey results strongly suggest that our algorithms generate questions that are comparable to human-generated exercises."

Ms. Stasaki and Ms. Turcan are undergraduates in Engineering, in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.