Wake Community-University Partnerships WakeCUP

NC State Brick Logo                                                                         


The Wake Community-University Partnership (Wake CUP)
University Outreach and Engagement (UO&E)

The Wake Community-University Partnership (WakeCUP) is an institutional engagement initiative designed to leverage the intellectual capital of NC State University to intentionally respond to community-identified needs in Wake County, NC. WakeCUP responds to the UO&E Strategic Goal #2 focused on community collaboration and partnerships to leverage the distinct assets of the university to realize opportunities that emphasize reciprocity, collaboration and strong partnerships with communities. In the Fall of 2018, the NC State Provost Office and the County of Wake signed a memorandum of understanding that outlines the joint intent and expectations of the University and the County to purposefully, proactively and collectively work towards social and economic vitality in two engagement zones: Southeast Raleigh and Eastern Wake County (including the municipalities of Knightdale, Wendell and Zebulon). The broad focal areas include Civic Engagement, Community Wellness and Economic Opportunity. The long term goals are to build on the numerous local engagement initiatives already operating through the university and with a more intentional focus on reciprocal partnerships that result in broader and positive community impacts.

Over the next 3-5 years The NC State University Office of Outreach and Engagement (UO&E) will work directly with Wake County Social and Economic Vitality (Wake SEV) to connect faculty, students and staff to government, nonprofit, and business organizations in the SEV engagement zones to address community-identified needs. The scope of this partnership will include community-based research studies, joint funding initiatives, program development and implementation, the provision of professional services or technical assistance, community-based learning projects, and service activities.

Over the past two years, the following faculty and projects, funded through the community-engaged incentive awards program sponsored by UO&E, have provided a jump start to WakeCUP in the designated engagement zones:

Dr. Willa Casstevens and Dr. Kimberly Stansbury (College of Humanities and Social Sciences), The Role of Navigators in Community Reentry from the Judicial System. This research study explored the benefits of training community “navigators” to aid individuals in the transition from the Wake County judicial system back into their communities. It was the first time the use of navigators has been explored with adults exiting the judicial system to re-engage with community settings.

Dr. Richard Clerkin (College of Humanities and Social Sciences), Enhancing Leadership Capacities for Social Innovation in Wake County. This partnership between the NC State Institute for Nonprofits, Wake County Cooperative Extension (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), and Wake County Human Services developed and delivered an adaptive leadership program using an innovative approach to enhance the nonprofit leadership competencies of participants at the personal, organizational, and community level. Training was provided to social entrepreneurs and innovators across Wake County in an effort to seek further funding to disseminate the model across the state of North Carolina.

Dr. Kimberly Allen (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), Utilizing Coaching to Enhance Resiliency, Economic Self-Efficacy, and Social Wellbeing in Wake County’s Human Capital Development Program – This project will help reimagine a preexisting human capital development program established by Wake County in 2008, to include new research and promising practices related to adverse child experiences and protective factors. The aims of the project are to (1) train program staff in Family Life Coaching techniques and protective factors, (2) provide recommendations for the program model to include emphasis on protective factors, (3) create messaging to educate the public on family coaching, and (4) collect qualitative data via focus groups from community members for input on program development.

Dr. Qiana Cryer-Coupet (College of Humanities and Social Sciences) and Dr. Angela Wiseman (College of Education), Trauma Informed Parenting Support for Recovery (TIPS 4 Recovery): Collaboration Across Pre-service Teachers and Social Workers – This project will (1) develop collaborative professional development sessions for NCSU pre-service social workers and NCSU pre-service teachers and host discussion groups for students, (2) design a family room at a community partnership site, equipped with books and furniture, where fathers can have a child-friendly space for their children to visit, and (3) plan and deliver a webinar for in-service social workers and teachers in Wake County to utilize the TIPS 4 Recovery Model to address the needs of children who are experiencing adverse child experiences.

Dr. Pamela Gilchrist (College of Sciences) and Dr. Karen Chen (College of Engineering), Imhotep Academy: Virtual Reality and Robotics STEM Program Outreach – The Imhotep Academy is a longstanding virtual reality and STEM-focused outreach program offered through the Science House at NC State. The program will engage underrepresented middle school aged students in interactive, hands-on experience with future technologies, including but not limited to virtual reality and robotics. This summer program will consist of two components: physical world experience and immersive world experiences. The program aims to (1) develop a robotics and immersive virtual learning curriculum, (2) increase students exposure to STEM and potential STEM careers, particularly in computer science and computer engineering, (3) assess the viability of using virtual reality as student learning spaces, and (4) increase student affinity for STEM and potential STEM careers.

Dr. Carrie Pickworth (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences), Expanding Animal Science Related Career Exploration through the Livestock Science Camp Diversity Scholarship Program – Dr. Carrie Pickworth aims to recruit and engage young adults from diverse backgrounds into the livestock sciences, which will promote a future of innovative approaches to solving concerns with sustainable food production and distribution for future generations. The scholarship’s objectives are to: (1) create a culture of engagement and support for prospective students from under-represented populations within agriculture and animal science, (2) build community collaborations and awareness between the animal industries and consumers, and (3) expand the capacity of youth participants and counselors to become vectors of change within the agriculture and animal science industries/ communities. Through the creation of the Outreach Diversity Scholarship Program, the Livestock Science Camp will be able to expand and diversify the pool of camper applications.

For more information contact Verna Best, SEV Program Manager (verna.best@wakegov.com) or Dr. Kwesi Brookins (biadnow@ncsu.edu) or follow us at #WakeCUP or @NCState_oe.