Quality of Life

Green Latrine Project

The Green Latrine was developed to compost human waste and produce electricity. It aims to prevent water contamination as well as provide a source of electricity, critical in developing countries. The multipurpose invention is called the Microbial Fuel Cell Pit Latrine and has been installed in Ghana in May of 2012 and is currently in active use. Graduate students are currently researching designs that can modify existing latrines. The team hopes to visit its host community in Agona Nyakrom in fall of 2014.

Protect Our Breasts

Protect Our Breasts is a national student-based/experiential learning organization that shares about environmental toxins that contribute to breast cancer. A team of students from different academic specialties come together to research and share the scientific discoveries and safer alternatives to everyday toxins. Protect Our Breasts hosts a variety of events through chapters on different campuses (including UMass/Amherst) throughout the academic year.

Center for Women and Community

The Everywoman’s Center changed its name to The Center for Women and Community in September of 2012. CWC supports and encourages women and is a nationally recognized leader in achieving gender equity. The center offers services to people of all genders throughout the campus and the greater community. These services include information, referral, counseling, training, support groups and education in many areas. Individual counseling, crisis intervention and rape crisis services are offered for Hampshire County, the Five Colleges and UMass Amherst.

Tick-Borne Disease Network

The Tick-Borne Disease Network program allows free tick testing to people in 32 Massachusetts towns. The TBDN program is funded through the MA Governor’s office, the first network of its kind, and will increase the volume of people using the service giving researchers in the Laboratory of Medical Zoology on campus more data to work with. More information will help identify ticks, the diseases they are carrying and who is getting sick to help prevent future occurrences. Testing and results will be reported to residents, local boards of health and the state Department of Public Health.

Center for Forensics

Bringing together partners across industry, government, and academia to advance scientific and societal understanding of the issues raised by digital forensics technologies, the Center develops and applies novel research and technology in forensics and privacy to address the interests of society, law, and government. To date, over 4,000 arrests for Internet-based child sexual exploitation have been made based on our research and technology. Since April 2012, more than 85 children have been rescued from sexually abusive situations as a result of cases started with our tools.

Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders is a student run organization driven to help local and international communities create sustainable solutions to improve their quality of life and future. EWB aims to develop, fundraise, construct and implement tools necessary for communities to help themselves. The student chapter at UMass Amherst has managed projects in Ghana and Kenya to help develop sustainable methods for clean water.

Electronic Navigation System for Visually Impaired

PERCEPT is an electronic navigation system that provides verbal directions, electronic signs and a virtual information booth for helping the visually impaired around subway stations. The innovative system can be used with a smartphone through a special application with pre-set instructions and near field communication software (NFC) which allows the phone to communicate with electronic tags installed throughout the station. The system hopes to enhance the perception of the blind and visually impaired in unfamiliar indoor environments.

The Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study

The Adult Transitions Longitudinal Study (ATLAS) is a research project documenting the educational outcomes for adult basic education students who participated in an ABE- to- College Transition project (an adult literacy program for graduates to prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education). The project studied a group of 225 adult students to discover whether they enrolled, persisted and succeeded in post-secondary education following completion of a 15-week transition course.

Learning Initiatives for Rural Education

The LIRE project was created by the Center for International Education, addressing the challenge of providing primary education in rural areas such as Senegal and The Gambia. CIE will increase access to primary schools and work with education departments to provide multi-grade training in all areas of teaching. Workshops are available to help teachers enhance their knowledge of classroom management, how to use local resources in schools and integrate the community into the classroom.

VAS-Y Fille!

The VAS-Y Fille! Project, which began in the summer of 2013 aims to enroll 5,000 girls in primary and early secondary schools to help increase girls’ access to education in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The International Rescue Committee project, Save the Children, and Catholic Relief Services are working as a consortium to implement evaluation studies throughout VAS-Y Fille! Provinces.

Strategies for Change: Springfield and the Transformation of Urban America

This course examined Springfield as both a microcosm of challenges facing older industrial U.S. cities and a rich array of community change efforts that engage diverse issues and social actors. Students explored strategies for change through field trips, presentations by Springfield community leaders, written assignments, and readings grounded in an empirical analysis of changing cultural, economic and political conditions. This course was taught Fall 2013..

Futurescape City Tours

Futurescape City Tours is a national public engagement project that enables citizens to explore how new technologies are changing their cities. Springfield, MA, was one of six participating cities in 2013. In addition to UMass/CPPA, partners included the Center for Nanotechnology and Society at Arizona State University, the Loka Institute, the Springfield Science Museum, Putnam Technical High School, the UMass Design Center, and U.S Congressman Richard Neal’s office, among others.

Massachusetts Native American Trail Project

Native American Trail project is a collaborative effort to develop a website of maps of/for/by multiple Native American communities, where each community will share with the public their historical and contemporary cultural heritage. The Commission of Indian Affairs and the University of Massachusetts Amherst will work directly with Native American communities to develop the content and technology for each group. Each Native American community will be responsible for decisions concerning the content and presentation of the content on their site/link.

Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP)

This research provides design/build services to a village in North India, where, due to chronic drought caused by climate change, an entire community is moving to a new site. Faculty work with villagers through community design charettes to help envision this process and plan with digital tools. In addition to drafting master plan documentation and various community land infrastructure, locals are engaged to construct new prototypes on the community space in the new village.

Holyoke/ Chicopee Community Shannon Safety Initaitive

This project examines prevention and intervention strategies to prevent youth violence and gang involvement. Dr. Krezmien, the project's research partner, has developed a unique community-based research site and coordinates activities to ensure that programming is driven by empirical evidence. He is currently working on a risk assessment study that will examine the individual, familial, and community-based factors associated with risk for violence, substance abuse. and gang involvement.

Riverside Industries Employment Services Partnership

The Riverside Industries Employment Services Partnership provides opportunities within our Special Projects grounds crew for people with developmental disabilities to find meaningful work they enjoy. Residential Life Operating Funds are used to employ a job coach from Riverside Enterprises and four Riverside clients, who are hired as University of Massachusetts hourly employees, and Residential Life employees provide program assistance and coordination.

Leadership and Teacher Development

The Leadership and Teacher Development project is a comprehensive teacher education reform in the Middle East’s West Bank and Gaza. The project aims to improve classroom instruction, policies within the Ministry of Education departments and enhance pre-service teacher education. The Center for International Education (CIE) was awarded a $1 million from AMIDEAST, with USAID West Bank & Gaza funding to help implement enhancement and assessment programs such as the Teacher Education Enhancement Program and Teacher Performance Assessment System.

The Fergus M. Clydesdale Center for Foods for Health and Wellness

The Fergus M. Clydesdale Center for Foods for Health and Wellness brings together scientists, educators, government, policy makers and industry executives to develop and implement innovative solutions to food-related health issues. The Center is a world-class academic research center that consists of state-of-the-art laboratories and instrumentation to conduct research on food components that can improve the health and wellness of our food supply.

Higher Education Project

The Higher Education Project (HEP) is part of a long term program undertaking the challenge of building and strengthening the national quality system of higher education throughout Afghanistan. With the USAIDs’ support and managed by the UMass Center for International Education (CIE), HEP has been able to implement solutions to rehabilitate and develop Afghanistan’s education system.

Computer-Based Math Tutor

A computer-based, emotionally perceptive math tutoring software system has been developed by UMass Amherst computer scientists and colleagues to help improve standardized test scores such as the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). After extensive analysis and studies on gender relations with math done with elementary aged children in Holyoke, MA and Springfield, MA schools and elsewhere, the software was written to offer emotional support, found to be appreciated more by girls than boys who are less affected by it.

Resource Economics Practicum: Food Bank of Western MA

In this service-learning class, students did work to evaluate the adequacy of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits in Western MA in cooperation with the Food Bank of Western MA. They found that the current formula used by SNAP to determine the benefits of participants needs to be updated to capture the experience of people living in Western MA—particularly to reflect food and housing costs that are higher than the national average.

Urban Policies in Fair Housing

This service-learning class focuses on a significant and far reaching federal policy, The Fair Housing Act, as a springboard to explore many facets of urban life and policy including, but not limited to, housing, education, health, immigration, zoning, transportation, food security, voting and predatory lending. With this foundation, the second half of the semester focuses on a project with the Massachusetts Fair Housing Center (MFHC) in Holyoke. MFHC will use our work to inform their fair housing program.

SuperCuts SoccerFest

SuperCuts SoccerFest is organized by the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at UMass Amherst and supported by the Sport Event Management class. Representing one of the leading Sport Management Programs in the world, it is dedicated to organizing and running Supercuts SoccerFest with the utmost professionalism. This program creates a unique setting to bring the community together, promoting healthy competition as well as an active lifestyle, and providing a day full of entertainment and fun for all attendees!

Clinical Nurse Leader Capstone

The courses for the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) masters program involve collaborative Health Care Improvement projects in the students’ communities. The student first collaborates with the nursing and interdisciplinary team to identify an important issue for a patient population, and then the CNL capstone involves the development, implementation and evaluation of an improvement project for this patient population in collaboration with the community partners.

Sustainable Infrastructure Systems

Challenges that state and local public works directors face in providing essential infrastructure services (e.g. water, sewer, transportation, utilities) while at the same time satisfying state and local sustainability goals related to the environment, economic development, fiscal responsibility, and public safety are the foci of this course . Several state and local officials serve as guest lecturers, and in some instances they subsequently work with the students on their term team projects addressing a local problem in their community.