ChangeLab Projects Receive Honorable Mentions at Civvys

Posted: Friday, April 30, 2021

Two ChangeLab projects of the University of Evansville (UE) Center for Innovation & Change received honorable mentions at the fourth annual American Civic Collaboration Awards, or Civvys. The event was hosted live from Washington, D.C. on Monday, April 19. 

“We are thrilled to see the positive impact of our student and faculty-led ChangeLab projects recognized not just in our local community, but also at the national level,” said Erin Lewis, director of the Center for Innovation & Change. “Both teams that participated in these award-winning projects worked diligently across disciplines to create powerful change through innovation and inclusion.” 

As an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, UE gives students the opportunity to create a lasting impact in the community through ChangeLabs, which are courses that connect the classroom with the world. Students work together in teams to turn an idea into reality, bringing positive change to businesses, nonprofits, and communities throughout the world. 

The first honorable mention was for “COVID Between the Coasts,” a collaborative ChangeLab project between UE, ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest?, and WNIN. Hypothesizing that news media largely reported on the pandemic from the east and west coasts, this team conducted research to assess COVID-19 exclusively in the Midwest. The project was led by Darrin Weber, PhD, assistant professor of mathematics; and Tamara Wandel, PhD, associate professor of communications. 

Evansville Adaptive Watersports also received an honorable mention at the 2020 Civvys. At UE’s first Community Changemaker Challenge, Philip Jacobs presented a winning idea that would support local residents with disabilities by providing accessibility to watersports. After the event, the ChangeLab project was guided by a team of four undergraduate and graduate UE students: Jamie Born, Jalyn Davis, Brooksie Smith, and Ashlyn Thompson. Evansville Adaptive Watersports successfully launched last fall, and the disabilities served include autism, spina bifida, paraplegic, brain injuries, and more. 

The Civvys highlight best practices in civic collaboration in America, and awards are given at the national, youth, and local levels. The 2020 awards brought a record-setting number of entries, and finalists were selected by the Civvys Review Committee. 

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