Susan Bodnar Deren Receives TWO Grants!!

April 15, 2015

Sociology faculty, Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren was just awarded two grants.  The first is a $19,149 award from the VCU Council on Community Engagement for the project entitled “A CBPR Evaluation of the ‘Mommies, Babies, Bellies & Daddies – The ABCs of Breastfeeding’ – a targeted intervention to encourage inform, and empower mothers to care for themselves, their babies and to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.” This project represents a collaboration between VCU Sociology, the Institute for Women’s Health and two community partners: Healthy Hearts Plus II and Kinfolks Community.

She was also awarded $9,116 Quest Global Impact Award fo her proposal “Forging Cultures of Resistance: History, Health and Education in Communities of Struggle: A comparative study of Richmond Virginia and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.” The receipt of this Quest Global Impact Award will enable Prof. Susan Bodnar-Deren and Prof. Dingani Mthethwa (World Studies) to develop and deliver a virtual global classroom, which will link students from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN).  The course will facilitate a cross-cultural/multidisciplinary examination of social stratification, access and opportunities in both nation-states. Students from both VCU and South Africa will  be working directly with community organizations, to engage in global conversations, with the explicit goals of mobilizing the ideas, skills and passions of community organizations, schools (VCU/UKZN), and people.  Through this project they are developing a virtual space for community members’ voices and perspectives to be heard across the world regarding key issues around inequality, geographic and educational marginalization, and structural barriers to full participation in democracy.

Both of these grants represent the department’s commitment to the themes put forth by the Quest for Distinction. In alignment with Quest, both of these projects and more broadly, Sociology @ VCU are focused on issues of health, sustainability and economic inequality, all of which utilize community engaged research and service learning pedagogy at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

SOCY @ VCU is so very proud of Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren!!

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