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Excellence in Research: Attitudes, Motivations, and Justifications Surrounding Intimate Partner Violence among Black College Students

Dr. Naomi Hall-Byers funded by the National Science Foundation

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a serious public health issue and associated with numerous adverse psychological, physical, and emotional health outcomes. Black men and women experience a disproportionate amount of IPV when compared to other racial groups. This study seeks to understand IPV perpetration and victimization among Black college students by testing a social psychologically grounded conceptual model. There are few available studies focused on how Black college students experience elevated levels of IPV, and that IPV is associated with numerous adverse psychological, physical, emotional, and educational outcomes. Most of the IPV research focused on Black college students was done with those attending predominately-White institutions (PWIs); however, 25% of African American college graduates attend a historically Black college/university (HBCUs). This study will not only contributes to the scientific understanding of IPV perpetration and victimization in general, but also the importance of understanding the human, economic, and psychological costs of IPV, which is a significant area of inquiry for social psychologists.

Collaborative Research: Broadening Participation Research Center for Research on Identity and Motivation of African American Students in STEM

Dr. Rashunda Stitt Richardson funded by the National Science Foundation

Stitt-RichardsonThe Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) has identified research in broadening participation in STEM as one of its priorities and is committed to funding innovative models and research to enhance the understanding of the barriers that hinder and factors that enhance our ability to broaden participation in STEM. The project presented by Howard University, Winston-Salem State University, Coppin State University, and Morehouse College has been designed to initiate the implementation of essential research that will set the foundation for the development of the theoretical models that pertain to the research on identity and motivation of African American students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The project consists of the requisite research, education, knowledge transfer and outreach components. It is uniquely poised to transform current psychology theories on STEM learning while engaging participants from a minimum of 30 HBCUs, thereby giving voice to the diverse contexts that may enhance our understanding of STEM learning and STEM pedagogy. BPRC: Center for the Development of Identity and Motivation of African American Students in STEM are as follows: (1) to develop, implement, and evaluate a partner operational plan that informs the development of a larger scale BPRC; (2) to expand and sustain the research capacity at four institutions (Howard University, Winston-Salem State University, and Morehouse College, Coppin State University) to conduct mixed methods psychology broadening participation research on HBCU undergraduate STEM education; (3) to partner with existing HBCU research labs and the University of Michigan National Center for Institutional Diversity to develop a robust strategy to transfer knowledge about identity-based motivation of African American students in STEM through multimedia and varied forms of dissemination and outreach; and (4) to develop a mixed methods psychology broadening participation research training curriculum to produce the next generation of scholars in the psychological science of broadening participation.

Evaluating HBCU-Public Health Partnerships for Addressing COVID-19 Response Needs

Dr. Kineka Hull and Dr. H. Jackson-Figueroa funded by UNC Policy Collaborative

covid-19The goal of this project is to develop, implement, and evaluate an HBCU-community partner approach to addressing public health infrastructure needs. HBCUs may be a unique partner for addressing health disparities in communities. HBCUs typically are located within communities where there is the greatest need for health intervention strategies; serve as education, social and health outreach; and employ surrounding populations. Partnerships that incorporate faculty, students, and staff from HBCUs, as well as members of the surrounding community could provide the necessary “insider” knowledge of life in African American communities, recognition and appreciation of cultural values that directly and indirectly influence health-related behaviors, and could reflect the social and cultural perspectives of populations in high-risk communities.

Understanding the Economic and Educational Impact of COVID-19 Responses in NC

Dr. Zagros Madjd-Sadjadii funded by UNC Policy Collaborative

Madjd-SadjadiiThis study is an empirical study examining three sets of data: (1) detailed information about pass rates on standardized licensure examinations, entrance examinations, and courses; (2) data from the North Carolina Department of Commerce on starting salaries and employment opportunities for graduates; and (3) spending data from all UNC sister institutions for both during and prior to the COVID-19 crisis.  Expenditure data will be entered into our IMPLAN modeling to gauge the fiscal and economic impact of the change in operations on the universities themselves and the wider economy as well as state finances, including tax implications. We examine the impact of various tax policy changes and COVID-19 social distancing on the universities and the surrounding community.  Since we also already have REMI general equilibrium modelling software, we will further examine these changes through that system to ensure robustness of results and make economic predictions over the next 3 to 5 years. In addition, we aim to look at how these responses to the pandemic are affecting not only educational attainment, but also the broader economic impact of these changes.  This includes looking at how the shuttering of the university system to face-to-face instruction and the continued social distancing on campuses through the Fall 2020 semester are combining to impact not only educational attainment but also the wider economy. Finally, we examine the impact of distance learning and employee tele-working on the environment by using environmental modelling to analyze the impact on emissions and on the opportunity costs associated with higher education.  These data will be sorted by institution, socioeconomic group, and county, which will assist policymakers in all 50 states to better understand the broader implications of going exclusively to distance education even after the current crisis abates.  This type of analysis will be vital in informing public debate surrounding these issues for the foreseeable future.

Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Under-Resourced Communities

Dr. Tammara Thomas, Dr. Keisha Rogers, and Dr. Felicia Griffin funded by UNC Policy Collaborative

Thomas, Rogers, and GriffinFor individuals with disabilities who are also minorities and live in poverty, the combination of factors can be deadly in a pandemic state. It is therefore critical to examine barriers that may be contributive to health care and economic resource accessibility, and public health messaging for populations most adversely impacted by COVID-19.  This study builds upon a current mixed-methods study examining the individual-level and systemic barriers that produce disparities in competitive employment acquisition and upward mobility among minority populations with disabilities in Forsyth County. It will expand the line of inquiry to include examination of barriers pervasive to access to health care, access to economic resources, and availability of public health messaging to minority and elderly populations with disabilities in the Piedmont Triad area. The research question is: To what extent do poverty, disability, and minority status relate COVID related disparities for vulnerable minority populations in Piedmont Triad area? The hypothesis is: there exist common barriers (e.g., healthcare, transportation, childcare, and education) for the target population. The study will utilize a factorial experiment to determine the effect of two or more independent variables on a dependent variable .