Charles R. Bantz Community Fellowship Awards

A Legacy of Community Engagement Support

As chancellor of IUPUI from 2003 to 2015, Charles R. Bantz firmly believed in the power of community-engaged research and university–community partnerships that make lasting impacts on our lives and our city, state, nation, and beyond.

The Charles R. Bantz Chancellor’s Community Fellowship and the Community Scholar awards ensure this legacy lives on by providing a unique funding opportunity for IUPUI community-engaged scholars. These awards are granted for one year to support a collaborative research team made up of faculty, staff, students, and community partners/members to address a pressing community issue in Central Indiana.The program is supported by charitable gifts and campus funding. Both awards are further supported by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the Office of Community Engagement, and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. 

For more information or to apply for a Community Fellow or Scholar award visit the Academic Affairs page here.

Congratulations to Our 2023 Bantz Award Recipients

Elizabeth Kryder-Reid, Chancellor's Professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies in the IU School of Liberal Arts, and her Co-PI Laura Holzman, professor and public scholar of Curatorial Practices and Visual Art, in the IU Herron School of Art + Design and in the IU School of Liberal Arts, are the recipients of the 2023 Charles R. Bantz Community Fellowship for their collaborative work to create a traveling exhibit and a series of public conversations to deepen critical thinking about environmental injustice in Indianapolis and to develop strategies to improve the situation. The $40,000 award will support their work “Indy Toxic Heritage: Pollution, Place, and Power” in partnership with The Kheprw Institute, Indy Parks and Recreation, and residents of the Norwood and Riverside neighborhoods. 

Dr. Elizabeth Kryder-Reid stated, "Access to safe, healthy places to live is a human right, and the questions we’re addressing are central to that right. The burdens of living with pollution have been inequitably borne by economically disadvantaged and communities of color. This project explores the structural and systemic issues underlying our toxic heritage. It makes connections across what are sometimes seen as isolated, contaminated places to build a vision of Indy’s city-wide toxic heritage." 

"With support from the Bantz fellowship, we’ll be creating an exhibit that centers community voices, perspectives, and stories. We’ll be highlighting some difficult realities but also celebrating the way generations have fought to create safe, healthy neighborhoods," said Dr. Laura Holzman.

Dr. Elizabeth Kryder-Reid
Dr. Laura Holzman

Sophia Wang, Wesley P. Martin Scholar in Alzheimer’s Education and associate professor of Clinical Psychiatry in the IU School of Medicine, and Veronica Derricks, assistant professor of Psychology in the Purdue School of Science, received the 2023 Charles R. Bantz Community Scholar Award for their research that educates minority communities about the value of early detection of Alzheimer’s Disease and offers free cognitive screenings to community members. The $25,000 grant will fund their project “A Pilot Study of the BE SMART (Brain Health Education to Promote Cognitive Screening in Minority Communities and to Increase Diverse Participation in Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Clinical Trials) Intervention.” This project will be conducted in collaboration with the John Boner Neighborhood Center, the Edna Martin Christian Center, and the CICOA Aging and In-Home Solutions Resource Center. 

 "On behalf of the Indiana Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, we are delighted to be a recipient of the 2023 Bantz Scholar Award. This award will provide critical funding to do cognitive screening in the underserved, diverse communities in Indianapolis who are most at risk of Alzheimer's disease. With a new era of novel Alzheimer's disease modifying drugs, the need to ensure equity for early detection of Alzheimer's disease is more urgent than ever. This award provides much needed support towards achieving this important public health mission," stated Dr. Wang. 

Dr. Veronica Derricks shared that, "We are grateful for the 2023 Bantz Scholar Award to address this important social problem. Despite ongoing efforts to reduce racial gaps in Alzheimer’s disease rates, the ways in which scientists and researchers attempt to engage racially minoritized communities often ignore their voices and perspectives. We are excited to work alongside community members and our community partners to develop educational tools and materials to improve cognitive screening rates in Indianapolis."  

Dr. Sophia Wang
Dr. Veronica Derricks

Congratulations to Our 2022 Bantz Award Recipients

Professor Lahny Silva

The 2022 Charles Bantz Community Fellowship was awarded to Lahny Silva, Professor of Law  in the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law. The project “Community Engagement at its “Best”: A Holistic Approach to Prisoner Reentry” is a collaboration between Thomas Ridley’s 1 Like Me, the Martin Luther King Community Center, and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. The goal of the project is to utilize this collaborative effort in the reentry clinic to reduce recidivism and enhance public safety at a grassroots level in Indianapolis by helping released people from prison successfully navigate reentry related issues. 

Dr. Richard Brandon-Friedman

The 2022 Charles Bantz Community Scholar  Award was presented to Richard Brandon-Freidman, Assistant Professor in the Indiana University School of Social Work and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in the Indiana University School of Medicine. The project, “Families in Transition: Development of a Therapeutic Group for Gender-Diverse Youth and Their Caregivers,” is a collaboration between GenderNexus, Gender Expansive Kids & Co. (GEKCO), and PFLAG-Fishers. This research project will evaluate a therapeutic support group designed to meet the needs of gender-diverse youth (GDY) and their caregivers. The group will enhance the social and emotional well-being of participants through psychoeducation, skill development, familial relationship and communication building, and community connectedness. 

Congratulations to Our 2021 Bantz Award Recipients

The 2021 Charles Bantz Community Fellowship was awarded to Dr. Leslie Etienne, Clinical Associate Professor in the IUPUI School of Liberal Arts. The Co-PI on this project is Dr. Tambra Jackson, Dean of the School of Education at IUPUI and. This award will support their work with the Indianapolis Freedom Schools Partnerships and their project: “A Summer of Service, A Lifetime of Commitment: Developing Freedom School Interns as Community-Engaged Scholars.”

According to Dr. Leslie Etienne, “Our research has its foundations in the history of the Freedom Schools and Citizenship prevalent in the long story of the Black Freedom Movement or Civil Rights Movement. So, by design, we engage the traditions associated with racial and social justice with fidelity. Dr. Tambra Jackson and I are passionate about this research because of the lasting effects it can have in development of literacy as a means for instilling self-confidence and responsibility to the community in the young people our project serves.”

Dr. Tambra Jackson
Dr. Leslie Etienne

The 2021 Charles Bantz Community Scholar award was presented to Dr. Victoria Garcia Wilburn, Assistant Professor with the IUPUI School of Health & Human Sciences, and Dr. Devon Hensel, Associate Research Professor with the IU School of Medicine and Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at IUPUI, received the Charles R. Bantz Community Scholar award for their research on substance-use disorders.

The project, “Understanding Cravings and Triggers in Adolescents Attending a Recovery High School in a COVID-19 Era,” is a partnership with Hope Academy Recovery High School (Hope Academy). The research will allow the researchers and Hope Academy to better understand adolescents’ daily lived experiences, improve client-centered care, and capture the real-life barriers in substance-use disorder.

Dr. Victoria Garcia-Wilburn
Dr. Devon Hensel

Award Year: 2019

Fellow: Elizabeth Nelson, School of Liberal Arts

Project: Indiana Women's Prison History ProjectElizabeth Nelson

In the Indiana Women's History Project, currently and formerly incarcerated women rewrite the history of women’s prisons. A Bantz Community Fellowship allows students at IUPUI, led by Elizabeth A. Nelson, to provide essential research support to the IWP scholars.

Impact by the numbers:

  • Significant progress toward book manuscript with eight currently and formerly incarcerated contributors
  • Two formerly incarcerated students admitted to IUPUI fall 2019
  • Workshops planned include “But for the Grace of God: Women’s Prisons and Prison Education,” Indianapolis Woman’s Club (Indianapolis, October 18, 2019), and Spirit & Place event “Writes of Passage: Moving Beyond Incarceration” (Indianapolis, November 8, 2019)
  • $5,000 for Humanities Action Fellowship from Indiana Humanities

Scholars:  Kim Saxton and Charlotte Westerhaus-Renfrow, Kelley School of Business

Project: Advancing Indy Women: A Year-Long Journey of Professional DeveloKim and Charlottepment

IUPUI, the Kelley School and Linking Indy Women are excited to support 62 women advancing their professional careers In the Indianapolis community with Bantz Community Scholars - #AdvancingIndyWomen

Impact by the numbers:

  • Delivered first workshop as planned with excellent feedback
  • 5 additional workshops planned through May 2020
  • Workshop participants using social media to promote their learning and discoverieswhich generates more interest in the workshops
  • Building strong partnership with Linking Indy Women which resulted in nearly 500 responses to survey

Award Year: 2018

Community Fellows: Barbara Pierce, School of Social Work, and Wanda Thruston, School of Nursing

Project: Creation of Trauma-Responsive Services for Indianapolis Metropolitan High School: Using an Internal-Design Team Approach

Indianapolis Metropolitan High School works with IUPUI professors to implement trauma-responsive strategies in their school.

Impact by the numbers:

  • Using Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) processes have identified trauma neeBarbara Pierceds of school community, challenges and barriers, and strategies to support community engaged participatory action trauma responsive intervention
  • $430,000 from Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Fellows program

Community Scholar: Cristina Santamaría Graff, Ph.D., School of Education

Project:  Community Engagement in Special Education Teacher Preparation Courses on Families: Working Together to Plan and Implement ‘Family as Faculty’ Workshops for Historically Minoritized Families of Children with Dis/abilities.Santamaria

Family as Faculty! A project to authentically engage parents, students, and community partners in meeting common goals.

Impact by the numbers:

  • Involves over 20 student research partners and two community organizations (Down Syndrome Indiana and IN*SOURCE)
  • Multiple courses, publications and presentations and 2 prominent awards for community-engaged research
  • 2019 recipient of the Earnest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement
  • $4,000 from Sam H. Jones Scholarship Program; $5,000 from Campus Compact Indiana

Award Year: 2017

Community Fellow: Gabriel Filippelli, School of Science

Project: Building healthy cities through community-engaged science and action: Getting the lead out.

The Healthy Cities Project empowers youth leaders in polluted communities to be citizen-scientists and advocates for environmental justice.

Impact by the numbers:

  • Production of a video featuring youth citizen scientists that teaches people how to sample their own yards for lead contamination housed on the Healthy Cities Project 
  • 25 seminars and workshops presented in the United States, China and Europe
  • 16 undergraduate and graduate students involved in research activities including sharing outcomes in academic  publications
  • A key proof of concept in a larger citizen-science environmental health proposal will be submitted in 2020 to the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Community Scholar: Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, School of Social Work

Project: Pathways to school success: Evaluation and support program (ESP) partnership with community partner Warren Township schoolsCarolyn

IUPUI and MSD of Warren Township develop ESP model and disrupts school-to-prison pipeline with alternatives to student expulsions and arrests.

Impact by the numbers:

  • Positive outcomes for 93 of 121 students in program
  • Expansion of this model program to two additional sites
  • Work aided in passage of SEA 1421 – positive school discipline practices
  • $150,000 from Legacy Fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF)

Award Year: 2016

Community Fellows: Susan Hyatt and Paul Mullins, School of Liberal Arts

Project: Invisible Indianapolis: Race, Heritage and Community Memory in the Circle City

Invisible Indianapolis examines the heritage and materiality of Susan Hyatt“invisible” neighborhoods in order to illuminate the histories of class, cultural, and racial inequalities that have shaped the contemporary landscape.  

Impact by the numbers:

  • Revival of public interest in which policy initiatives have shaped current landscape of the city
  • Significant volume of public scholarship on a wide range of Indianapolis neighborhoods and shared publicly on Invisible Indianapolis blogPaul Mullins
  • Multiple presentations and programs including Spirit & Place that bring community members together
  • $27,000 from Indiana Arts and Humanities Initiative

Community Scholar: Richard Holden, School of Medicine

Project: B-PHIT Indy: A Community Partnership for Brain Health-Promoting Information Technology

School of Medicine investigator Richard Holden builds community partnRichard Holdenerships promoting senior brain health through user-centered design

Impact by the numbers:

  • Partnership between IUPUI, Joy’s House, Eskenazi Health and Mental Health America of Indiana
  • Project continues in a new “academic home” to expand the research
  • $4 Million from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; $7.8 Million from the National Institutes on Aging (NIA); $25,000 from Regenstrief Institute

“IUPUI is a model urban campus because it is not only geographically co-located with the community but actively seeks to partner with and improve it. As the premier university in the area, local organizations and the people they represent look to IUPUI for guidance in the latest science and access to bright young students. At the same time community partners want to give their expertise, remain autonomous, and make progress on their goals. Our project achieved both “give” and “take” with our partners, strengthening the bond between IUPUI and the community, while striving to improve Hoosier brain health," said Richard Holden.