Community Based Research
Community Based Research is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners including community organizations, community members, and academic researchers (e.g., students, faculty, staff) in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. Community Based Research begins with a research topic of importance to the community and has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to eliminate health disparities and promote wellness.
The Research Consulting Team is comprised of a group of students who are dedicated to building the capacity of community partner organizations through collaborative research and evaluation. Dr. Sayaka Machizawa oversees the Team and works with community partners to conduct program evaluation—a systematic method for collecting and analyzing information to determine the true impact of their programs and practices—and community needs assessment—a systematic process for determining and addressing needs of their community.
List of Current Research Consulting Projects
Erasing the Distance
Erasing the Distance www.erasingthedistance.org is a non-profit organization that aims
to reduce stigma of mental illness and change attitudes toward individuals with
mental illness through theater performance.
Erasing the Distance puts on performances based on real individuals
experiences of living with a mental illness.
Our Research Consulting team
is evaluating changes in the audience members’ knowledge, attitudes, and
feelings towards depression and Bipolar Disorder before and after viewing the
performance based on these same topics.
Our team is also conducting interviews with Erasing the Distance actors
and staff members to assess for changes in their attitudes and feelings about
mental illness after participating in the project. We are designing the measures and
administering and analyzing the data.
The team consists of students, Patrick Sears and Christine Collins, who
are supervised by post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Jessica Hudson.
Erie Neighborhood House—Super-H and Super-H Itos
The mission of Erie Neighborhood House www.eriehouse.org is to promote a just and inclusive society by strengthening low-income, primarily Latino families through skill-building, access to critical resources, advocacy and collaborative action. The goal of Erie’s health programming —Super H-itos for toddlers and Super H for school-aged youth— is to positively impact the health of children and their parents by promoting good nutritional habits, physical activity, and positive self-concept. Our Research Consulting team is developing evaluation tools to assess the impact of Super H and Super-H-itos on participating Latino children and families in terms of knowledge on healthy eating as well as changes in eating habits and self-concept. The team is comprised of Olakunbi Fashola, Stephanie Philpott-Jones, and Kristin Whitlock, who are supervised by Dr. Sayaka Machizawa.
Community Organizing and Family Issues
Since 1995, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) www.cofionline.org has taught more than 2,200 parent leaders, organizers, advocates, and community partners to use Family Focused Organizing methods in Chicago neighborhoods. Their Family Focused Organizing model helps individuals and communities create positive changes in their own lives and the lives of their families, and in the systems that affect families. Our Research Consulting team is developing evaluation tools to assess short-term and long-term impact of their training curriculum on participants in different neighborhoods. The team is comprised of Olakunbi Fashola, Stephanie Philpott-Jones, and Kristin Whitlock, who are supervised by Dr. Sayaka Machizawa.
Japanese American Service Committee—Out of House Plus Program
The mission of the Japanese American Service Committee (JASC) www.jasc-chicago.org is to preserve and raise awareness of Japanese American culture and heritage and to promote the physical and spiritual well-being of Japanese Americans and the greater multicultural communities in the Midwest. The Out of House Plus Program was designed to help seniors remain physically active, emotionally connected and meaningfully engaged with a community in a way that supports whole health. The Out of the House Plus Program will host a six-week long version of the program designed to provide opportunities for seniors to socialize, understand their own health and psychological needs and empower themselves to take steps that will have an ongoing impact on their mental and physical health. Our Research Consulting team is evaluating the outcomes of Out of the House Plus Program with both qualitative and quantitative measures. The evaluation focuses on participating seniors’ depression symptoms, a sense of connectedness to other seniors, and overall satisfaction with the program. The team consists of two students, Jing Wang and Chris Rogers, who are supervised by Dr. Sayaka Machizawa.