Alessandra Beasley Von Burg

Where Are You From? Project Website and Media Launch

Awarded $2,000 for the period 9/17/12 to 3/31/13

Source: North Carolina Humanities Council

North Carolina is home to one of the fastest growing immigrant populations in the country: about 650,000 foreign-born residents, 6.8% of the population (US Census), and ~325,000 illegal immigrants (Raleigh News and Observer), including ~51,000 children. A reasonable and compassionate response is crucial to a sustainable civic society where newcomers and natives participate, communicate, and build communities. Where Are You From? (WAYF) collects interviews, narratives, examples, and experiences of migration and mobility from new immigrants and long-term residents in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and Charlotte, NC. It is organizing the first 30 interviews on a multimedia interactive website, searchable by themes and capable of gathering more stories. It can be used for training and pedagogical purposes and will engage the community, educators, policymakers, and nonprofits.

Steven M. Giles

Promoting Fidelity Using Remote and On-Site Support

Awarded $19,971 for the period 9/1/05 to 8/31/06

Source: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

All Stars is a program that seeks to prevent high-risk behaviors in adolescents aged 10 to 14. It uses interactive methods to discuss values, ideals, norms, and personal commitments, involving parents through homework assignments and an audio CD to improve their parenting skills. Teachers and community leaders are also trained in All Stars interactive teaching skills and underlying program concepts. In collaboration with researchers at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Dr. Giles supervises development of teacher measures, including a protocol for scoring videotaped observations. He also hires, supervises, and trains coders at WFU, ensuring that at least 2 qualified coders rate each videotape and maintain consistency. He attends research team meetings and corresponds with coaches who assist teachers in improving their implementation of the All Stars curricula. He also writes reports and publications related to the fidelity with which All Stars is implemented in the classroom.

An Investigation into the Communication of Social Norms Related to Thinness and Body Image among College Students

Source: WFU Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science Research Fund

This pilot study aims to determine the ways that parents, dating partners, and campus organizations may foster unrealistic norms of ideal body image for college women, enhancing the risk for eating disorders. It will ask the following questions:

  1. In what ways, if any, do female college students feel pressure to be thin?
  2. How is the pressure communicated by those closest (e.g., parents, dating partners, organizational members)?
  3. What is the relationship between attitudes that foster eating disorders and social networks?
  4. How do the pressures to be thin felt by female students change as they progress through their college careers?
  5. How does the prevalence of eating disorders and subthreshold eating disorder attitudes and behaviors change as female college students progress through the academic system?

Interview data will inform a template for the design of preventative message strategies.

Building Teacher Mastery via an Internet Training System

Awarded $99,132.00 for the period 5/1/05 to 4/30/06

Source: NIH

This Phase II STTR project aims to complete development of a web-based training system called the All Stars Online Community, designed to improve teachers’ delivery of All Stars, an adolescent substance use prevention program. It will provide training material tailored to each teacher’s current level of curriculum mastery, from novice to advanced. Teachers will receive continuous, consistent support and feedback, and a discussion form will allow teachers to ask questions and to get assistance from master teachers.

During Phase II, web-based content and procedures will be expanded, especially the content for advanced teachers. A companion DVD will include examples of teachers delivering All Stars sessions. A randomized field trial will test whether the online training improves curriculum implementation and interactive teaching skills. Effects of training on student outcomes, including changes in student mediators and substance use, will be assessed.

This project will advance the field of substance use prevention through technological innovations to improve the poor implementation associated with reduced outcomes in experimental trials. The project is consistent with Wake Forest’s efforts to use technology to improve instruction. The funding will defray university costs by providing computer equipment, stipends for three graduate students, and indirect costs.

Allan Louden

Benjamin Franklin Trans-Atlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Awarded $250,000 for the period 4/27/12 to 3/31/13

Source: US Department of State (DOS)

Franklin Institute Embassy Funding

Awarded $46,800 for the period 5/1/12 to 8/31/12

Source: DOS

In its seventh season, the Benjamin Franklin Trans-Atlantic Fellows Program hosted 68 high school students from nearly 50 countries. Selected by US Embassies, they represent a variety of interests and share classes, participate in a study trip to Philadelphia and Washington DC, live with US families, and engage in ten days of inquiry and civic engagement. The program is designed to make European and US youth aware of shared values and the principles of freedom and to prepare them for action on the world stage. See and FB group, Ben Franklin 2012.

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Awarded $250,000 for the period 4/22/11 to 3/31/12

Source: DOS

Approximately 60 fellows from over 40 countries will spend a month at Wake Forest University, experiencing home stays and interacting with 10 US fellows and other students. They will study Comparative Constitutionalism, Citizenship and Conflict, Documentary History and Production, and prepare for civic engagement and community service, using Internet applications to study and produce new digital media. They will also enjoy study trips to Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Awarded $212,000 for the period 4/14/10 to 4/30/11

Source: US Department of State (DoS)

Approximately 35 fellows from over 30 countries will spend the month of July at Wake Forest, experiencing home stays and multitiered interactions with 10 US fellows and other students. They will study Comparative Constitutionalism, Citizenship and Conflict, Documentary History and Production, and prepare for civic engagement and community service, using Internet applications to study and produce new digital media. They will also enjoy study trips to Washington, DC, and Philadelphia.

BFTI Grant-Embassy Funding

Awarded $5,000 for the period 7/13/09 to 10/31/09

Source: DoS

The Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Initiative provides two Summer Institutes: the Founders (ages 15-17) and the Diplomats (ages 17-19). The program seeks to create an environment that encourages individual expression, communication, and information-sharing to advance positive relationships among youth of various ethnic and religious groups from Eurasia, Europe, and the United States.

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Initiative: Summer Institute for Youth

Awarded $829,676 for the period 6/1/07 to 12/31/09

Source: DoS

BFTI Grant – Embassy Funding

Awarded $35,104 for the period 6/1/07 to 8/31/07

Source: DoS

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Initiative – Western and Central European Participants

Awarded $31,500 for the period 6/15/06 to 7/30/06

Source: DoS

Benjamin Franklin Transatlantic Fellows Initiative: Summer Institute for Youth

Awarded $171,750 for the period 6/23/06 to 3/31/07

Source: DoS

Professor Louden has won the opportunity for Wake Forest to be the first host of a new national program to promote international understanding among youth. Over 22 days in July, 35 high-school-aged students from 32 European and Eurasian countries and 10 of their counterparts from across the US live together in a residence hall, participate in three workshops, complete a community service project, visit the European Studies Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spend a weekend with Winston-Salem area host families, and take field trips to Williamsburg, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia. Two of the workshops are led by Wake Forest faculty. John Dinan, the Zachary T. Smith Associate Professor of Political Science, leads “Comparative Constitutionalism.” Students examine the US constitution-making process and compare it to those within the European Union and in post-Soviet countries. Ross K. Smith, Wake Forest debate coach, leads “Media Criticism in the Age of the Internet” in which students explore how the Internet and blogs influence the media, public opinion, and political situations around the world. The third workshop, “Bridging Differences though Public Argument” is led by a professor from the University of Pittsburgh.

Southeastern Europe Youth Leadership Institute (SEEYLI)

Awarded $137,178 for the period 11/1/04 to 11/15/05, Year 2

Source: Open Society Institute/DoS

Wake Forest is one of two US universities selected to host a 2004 Southeastern Europe Youth Leadership Institute, involving an international staff and guests from Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. Along with 13 community leaders and teachers representing the 6 countries, 60 high school students, ranging in age from 15 to 17, will spend the month of July on the Wake Forest campus, including 2 weeks with volunteer families in the Winston-Salem area. Workshops and cultural activities are designed to explore US politics and culture and to promote interactions among the students and their hosts, with debate used as a vehicle for exploring civic issues. Kristen McCauliff, Wake assistant debate coach, coordinates summer administration.

Ananda Mitra

Hospice needs assessment

Awarded $6,912 for the period 6/9/15 to 6/30/16

Source: Hospice of the Piedmont

The project will: 1) design a web-based questionnaire to maximize response; 2) conduct a quantitative analysis of structured demographic items and narb analysis of the unstructured data; 3) create tables of the demographic analysis; 4) create narrative maps with key indicators from the narb analysis to show the primary opinion nodes and the strength of their connection; 5) create a data set tagging individual respondents to specific narrative nodes; 6) begin designing targeted message elements based on the narrative nodes for promotional material.

Hospice Needs Assessment

Awarded $7,200 for the period 10/1/13 to 9/30/14

Source: Hospice of the Piedmont.

Study to Prevent Alcohol-Related Consequences (SPARC)

Awarded $36,375 for the period 8/1/11 to 7/30/12

Source: NIH

The Study to Prevent Alcohol-Related Consequences (SPARC) is a five-year, NIAAA-funded randomized trial to reduce high-risk drinking and alcohol-related consequences among college students. Implementation has moved through assessment, coalition-building, and strategic planning; current work focuses on action and sustainability. Specific aims are to extend the intervention for two years and to evaluate its process and impact.

Rapid Responses to Problem Drinking on College Campuses

Awarded $15,824 for the period 8/1/07 to 7/31/08


The research team will implement and evaluate a comprehensive intervention to reduce the incidence of alcohol-related problems among college students at schools chosen by NIAAA. The study has three specific aims:

  1. assist NIAAA and the college in designing and refining an intervention focused on changing both campus and community environments to reduce alcohol abuse;
  2. provide technical assistance to support implementation with a high degree of intensity and fidelity;
  3. evaluate the intervention’s impact using a quasi-experimental design with objective measures, students’ self-reports, and dormitory resident advisors’ reports of alcohol use and alcohol-related incidents.

Two or more intervention schools are paired with control schools, and a pilot study with a historically black college or university will be conducted.

Impacts of the Workplace on Indian Call-Center Workers

Awarded $7,670, Spring 2007

Source: WFU Social, Behavioral, and Economic Science Research Fund

Successful operation of call-centers in India depends on the cultural competence and morale of the phone operators, who, in a virtual diaspora, work outside India while living in it. Their experience is both new and increasing, but, as yet, no reliable studies have assessed its potentially damaging effects. Evaluation of the acculturation processes and the morale/quality of life of the workers is needed to formulate their training and professional development. Focus-group meetings will be held in India to establish the critical items for a web-based questionnaire, administered to a statistically significant sample of call-center employees. The intellectual merit of this study lies in the use of a novel conceptual framework – diasporic studies – to compare the effects of call-center work with removal from place of origin. Through partnership with the Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR), research-based interventions will be devised to address the possible negative effects of the techno-diasporic condition. This pilot study will provide preliminary data for proposals to extramural sources.

Ron Von Burg

Benjamin Franklin Trans-Atlantic Fellows Summer Institute

Awarded $224,997 for the period 4/12/15 to 3/31/16

Source: DoS

The Summer Institute fosters relationships among 35 teenagers from ~30 European countries and 10 of the United States, who travel to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC, for four weeks. Themes include civic education, leadership development, and community activism. Workshops, site visits, and other activities explore shared values, global concerns, and media literacy.

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