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The Social Impact Grants and Scholars program — created by the Department of Community Engagement and Center for Inclusive Excellence — funds interdisciplinary social impact projects connecting Point Park University to organizations in the region to effect social change. 

2018-2019 Grant Recipients

Pictured is Robert McInerney, Ph.D. Submitted photo

Robert McInerney, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology
Mobile Thriving Respite (MTR) with Operation Safety Net (OSN)

MTR is a pilot project of the M.A. clinical-community psychology program, led by McInerney and the psychology department. The project utilizes the outreach partnership with OSN to create a place at shelters, like OSN's drop-in center, to socialize, learn, grow and feel empowered. 

Pictured is Jennifer Schaupp. Submitted photo

Jennifer Schaupp, M.A.

Instructor, School of Communication and Department of Literary Arts and Social Justice
Cross-Cultural Communication with Hello Neighbor

Point Park students and refugees will work together on increasing confidence in speaking through shared storytelling exercises via an on-campus event and on the radio. 

Aleina Smith, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Community Engagement
Connecting Communities Using Experiential Learning and Asset-Based Community Development

In partnership with the Council of Three Rivers American Indian Center and the Greater Hazelwood Family Center, this grant will create a six week student-led program designed to serve the Native American Community in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh.  

2017-2018 Grant Recipients

Pictured is Helen Fallon.

Helen Fallon, M.A.

Professor of Journalism, Honors Program Director 
Honors Service Learning with A Giving Heart

Students in the Honors Service Learning course volunteered with A Giving Heart, assisting at the organization's Allentown facility with grant writing and promotional materials.

Pictured is Matthew Opdyke.

Matthew Opdyke, Ph.D.

Professor of Environmental Science
Project Bee Watch: Increasing the Awareness of Pollinators Through Citizen Science 

Students in the Ecology course constructed artificial bee shelters to attract native pollinators at the Audbon Greenway in Sewickley Heights, Pa. Citizen scientists from the Allegheny Land Trust surveyed and monitored pollinators in the field. 

Pictured is Brent Robbins, Ph.D.

Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D. 

Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology
Pittsburgh Catholic Workers Homeless Project  

Robbins and graduate students partnered with Pittsburgh Catholic workers – which provides food, blankets and clothing to the homeless in Pittsburgh's North Side – to develop a plan for the organization to stimulate discussion and creative solutions for the homeless.

Pictured is Andrew Conte. Submitted photo

Andrew Conte, M.S.

Director, Center for Media Innovation
Media Deserts YouthCast Project 

Many communities around the country have seen their local newspaper close and now have a lack of local news coverage creating media deserts. Conte and students partnered with YouthCast (Community and Schools Together), the McKeesport Mayor's office and neighborhood groups to provide journalistic training.