2023 Mini-Grant Awardees

The CED Core

The overall goal of the Community Engagement & Dissemination Core is to embed a Community First in All Research (CFiAR) approach as a norm across the Interdisciplinary Health Equity Research Center to make research more impactful and responsive to community needs and priorities.

Scroll down to see 2023 Mini-Grant Awardees listed

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2023 Mini-Grant Awardees Announced

Information Campaign Projects

Increasing Prostate Cancer Awareness for African-American Men

Frann K. Franklin, Ph. D., MSW, LCSW


Black/African-American men and those with a family history of prostate cancer are at a higher risk for being diagnosed with prostate cancer. For certain communities, one critical factor in healthcare disparities is the lack of information or knowledge about prostate cancer. The newly formed partnership between DSU and the Delaware Prostate Cancer Coalition (a community-based organization) is to provide information, knowledge and expertise to the community about prostate cancer.

Activities: Information flyers about prostate cancer and community resources will be provided at health fairs. The resource sharing will allow us to strengthen our relationship with the community.

Delaware Prostate Cancer Coalition logo

DDL Telehealth Access Partnership

Delonté Neal, MPA

Master Brown, LPN, MEd

We are delighted to announce a groundbreaking partnership between the Delaware Division of Libraries (DDL) and DSU. DDL has received ARPA funding to provide a pilot initiative that offers Delawareans 24/7 mental health access to licensed therapists.

We have partnered with DDL in developing a statewide initiative to enable and improve technological access to telehealth. Through this program, libraries will provide technology access through private-use kiosks designed to enhance remote access to health and human services. This initiative is particularly crucial for underserved populations. An additional partnership was recently approved for specific libraries with teleservices in Sussex County to promote these kiosks for individuals to be able to connect with providers to receive substance use treatment as well as mental health treatment.

Delaware Division of Libraries logo



Community Engagement Projects

Strengthening Youth Through Targeted Prevention Efforts

Dr. Tana Connell, Ph.D., LMSW., DSU Research Investigator

Dr. Karen Hutchins, Executive Director, KNS Institute

Rona Harris, MHS, LBSW., Community Development Manager, Restoring Central Initiative

NeighborGood Partners, Kidz Next Stage (KNS), and DSU researcher Dr. Tana Connell from the Department of Social Work are collaborating to strengthen youth prevention programming in Dover, Delaware. We aim to engage the Dover community in designing intervention programming targeting inner-city youth. We plan to review needs assessment data to make data-driven decisions; host community-focused listening sessions for youth and adults; and engage community residents in planning and coordinating youth programming through the creation of various subcommittees.

KNS is a seven-week summer camp designed to build resiliency skills, positive identity, and self-esteem among youth aged 5-15. Youth are exposed to academic enrichment activities to improve academic outcomes in the areas of mathematics, technology, communication, and behavioral skills. NeighborGoods Partners is a community-focused agency dedicated to building neighborhoods where adequate housing, employment opportunities, and access to resources are available to youth, individuals, and families. The Department of Social Work at DSU is invested in promoting evidence-based programming and practices among community agencies, bridging the gap between social work research and practice implementation.

NeighborGood Partners logoKNS logo

Prostate Cancer and Healthcare Disparities

Frann K. Franklin, PhD, MSW, LCSW

DSU has formed a new partnership with the Delaware Prostate Cancer Coalition (DPCC), a non-profit, community-based organization, established in 1998 and located in Dover, Delaware. The goal for strengthening community engagement is to provide a platform for Black/African-American men with prostate cancer to have a voice and to feel empowered about contributing to healthcare that directly affects them.

Activities: The collaborative research project will use structured focus groups as a research tool to explore and better understand the perspective and beliefs of Black/African-American men with prostate cancer in Kent County. The emerging themes from the focus group will serve as a foundation for developing future interventions and to help create a culturally competent healthcare system for Black men who have prostate cancer.

Delaware Prostate Cancer Coalition logo

Community Perceived Service Needs: A Partnership Between Delaware State University and First State Community Action Agency (FSCAA)

Amy Habeger, Ph.D., LCSW

Bruce Wright, Manager of Community Development, FSCAA

While DSU and First State Community Action Agency have a long-standing relationship, the partnership between Dr. Amy Habeger and this agency is newly formed. This project will utilize community-engaged research practices to expand knowledge about the health equity needs of the Delaware impoverished community.  Throughout this mixed methods project, residents and population-serving agencies will be engaged to plan, collect, and disseminate findings towards the goal of utilizing community feedback to increase the service availability and utilization of holistic supports to reduce poverty throughout Kent and Sussex counties.

First State CAA logo

An Assessment of Delaware’s Pandemic Shelter Program

Jason Bourke, Ph. D.

With the engagement of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, this project will evaluate this program for the purposes of assessing health equity and experiential outcomes for community members who participated. We hope to build a stronger partnership between DHSS and DSU for the purpose of advancing student involvement in community-engaged research. Importantly, this partnership will pay dividends in providing opportunities for DSU students to participate in Community-Engaged Research projects with our colleagues at DHSS.

The partnership already has a good deal of history and trust, as DHSS and DSU have worked together previously. More active in this current project are relationship building and transparency. This project will build the relationship between new members on DSU’s side of the partnership, DHSS and program participants.

DHSS logo

Youth and Their Families with Type 1 Diabetes

Frann K. Franklin, Ph. D., MSW, LCSW

The Afri-Female and Male Institute began a partnership with the DSU Biomedical, Behavioral, and Allied Health Center located in the Capitol Park neighborhood in Southeast Dover, Delaware approximately four years ago. The Afri-Female and Male Institute has identified limited knowledge about Type I diabetes and lack of access to health care for youth and their families who experience juvenile diabetes in Dover. The plan is to strengthen community engagement by involving the community from design to finding. The goal is to enhance decision-making skills and strengthen resources through the continuum of community involvement.

Activities: Workshops presented by medical personnel and community leaders at local churches about access to community resources and how to manage juvenile diabetes in a healthy manner.

Afri-Female Institute logo

Literacy, Learning & Community Involvement

Delonté Neal, MPA

Master Brown, LPN, MEd

The partnership between DDL and the Delaware Literacy Alliance Advisory Council is a powerful collaboration for positive change. By teaming up with DDL, this partnership strengthens the impact of our efforts to promote literacy, learning, and community involvement. We combine our strengths and resources to create effective programs and initiatives. This collaboration fuels a knowledge exchange, program development, and resource-sharing cycle. Our joint goal is to cultivate a culture of lifelong learning, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to improve their literacy skills and contribute to stronger communities.

This collaboration represents a significant step towards advancing the well-being and success of students by tackling multifaceted challenges in higher education. We are excited to witness the positive impact that this partnership will have on our community and look forward to the innovative solutions that will emerge from this endeavor. Together, we can create a brighter future for students and promote a holistic approach to education.

Delaware Division of Libraries logo