Social Problems Initiative projects selected

Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison

Five projects, on topics ranging from farm-raised crickets as a sustainable food source to decreasing sedentary behavior in older adults, have been chosen for funding as part of the UW–Madison Contemporary Social Problems Initiative.

“The five projects are interdisciplinary and represent five different schools and colleges, and show the breadth of contemporary social problem research on campus,” says Norman Drinkwater, interim vice chancellor for research and graduate education. The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education initiative is backed by funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

Thirty-six projects were submitted and reviewed by a faculty committee. The two-year grants awarded support research with implications for tackling contemporary social problems in order to promote economic prosperity, enhance social and psychological well-being and improve health outcomes in the United States.

This program complements the campuswide Alliance for the American Dream: DreamUp Wisconsin initiative — led by the Institute for Research on Poverty and funded by Schmidt Futures — which seeks to improve economic security and expand, strengthen and stabilize the American middle class.

“All of these projects are deeply rooted in the tradition of the Wisconsin Idea — research in the service of improving the lives of the people of Wisconsin and beyond,” says Jan Greenberg, associate vice chancellor for research in the social sciences.

The five projects are:

  • Enhancing Long-Term Maintenance of Standing Up and Moving More in Older Adults: Kelli Koltyn, principal investigator and professor of kinesiology
  • Enhancing Wisconsin PRAMS to Measure Housing as a Pathway of Racial Disparities in Health Outcomes: Sheri Johnson, principal investigator and associate professor of population health sciences
  • Partnering with Peers in the Community to Improve Diabetes Medication Adherence for African Americans in Madison and Milwaukee: Olayinka Shiyanbola, principal investigator and assistant professor of social and administrative sciences
  • Six-Legged Livestock — Potential for Farmed Insects to Improve Health and Food Security: Susan Paskewitz, principal investigator and professor of entomology
  • Wild Turnips for White Corn: Building Tribal Food Sovereignty on the Fort Peck Reservation Using Oral History and Digitally Mapped Trade Networks: Jennifer Gaddis, principal investigator and assistant professor of human ecology

Learn more about the projects and the initiative.

This story first appeared at news.wisc.edu.

By Natasha Kassulke / May 7, 2019