Past Community-Based Research Projects

Fall 2015-Spring 2016

  • Out with the Old, In with the New: Vere Sandal Company, Sustainability, and Social Innovation, Michael Conte '16
    During the spring semester of 2016, Michael worked as a sales and marketing intern for Vere Sandal Company in Geneva, New York in order to better understand how sustainability and social innovation intersect, while also raising capital for a new innovative medical technology Vere is developing and assisting the company as it transitions into a benefit corporation.
  • Community Re-entry and Criminal Justice Reform, Morgan Stevens '18
    During the spring semester of 2016 Morgan participated in an internship with Legal Assistance of Western New York (LawNY) and the Ontario County Jail, focusing on the topic of community re-entry. She studied this topic in various ways, including research, organization of several community meetings, and data collection through a survey she created. The survey was given to inmates at the Ontario County Jail and asked about aspects of re-entry and rehabilitation.
  • “You Can’t Say No with Your Legs Open”: Understanding the Knowledge of Consent Among the Youth of the Inner-City of Rochester, Scarlyn Gutierrez '16, Afrika Owes '16, Dana Williams '16
    Scarlyn Gutierrez, Afrika Owes and Dana Williams conducted research during spring 2016 to gain understandings of consent for youth in the inner city of Rochester. Specifically, the group focused on the presence and magnitude of understandings of consent amongst high school adolescents, partnering with Planned Parenthood of Central & Western NY and expanding upon their research about what students in the area have learned about sex education through their education in schools or through other contacts.
  • Pan to Plate: HWS Food Recovery Pilot Project, Maggie O'Reilly '16
    Pan to Plate is a food recovery pilot project created by Maggie O'Reilly '16 with support and guidance provided by the Finger Lakes Institute, HWS Office of Sustainability, Sodexo and Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning. During the fall 2015 and spring 2016, Maggie O'Reilly researched the potential donation of overproduced food from HWS Sodexo’s Saga dining hall and the current community need for increased food security in Geneva.
  • Race Dialogues After School, Lesly Rivero '17, Christopher Melendez '16
    During the Spring Semester of 2016 Lesly and Christopher decided to partner up and work on their Social Justice Studies Capstone by creating an independent study. They became interested in a new course being offered in the education department called Race Dialogues, taught by Professor Khuram Hussain, because it centered on the idea of creating a community between HWS students and Geneva High School students.
  • Looking Back, Moving Forward: Success for Geneva’s Children Data, Erica McLaughlin WS’ 16, Danielle Mueller WS’ 16, Ryan Mullaney H’16
    The mission of Success for Geneva’s Children is to “mobilize the community to improve the health and well-being of all our children and their families.” The research team explored various demographic differences between Geneva, NY, the rest of Ontario County, and New York State.
  • HWS Real Food Challenge, Eric Bushnell '16 and Alyssa Kelly '19
    In fall 2015, HWS Real Food Challenge Food Policy Intern Eric Bushnell ‘16 researched sustainable food policies adopted by institutions of higher learning across the country to determine how to best foster more sustainable purchasing at HWS. Bushnell ‘16 compiled his findings and an overview of the status of food purchasing at HWS in the report Hobart and William Smith Colleges Sustainable Food Purchasing Goals (2015).
  • Beesearch: From Novice to Apiculture Expert in 15 Weeks (or Less), Marion Marsh '17
    During the spring 2016 semester, Marion completed an independent study concerning bees, the practice of beekeeping, and the legalization of beekeeping in Geneva.
  • Measuring Preparedness for School of Children Aged 0-5 in Geneva, Randy Regner '16 and Michael Rahling '16
    Literature demonstrates that children develop their key non-cognitive skills in the early years of 3 to 5. Michael and Randy’s project aims at examining surveys collected by Success for Geneva’s Children, a community group with a desire to produce favorable outcomes for the local youth, ages 0-5, in the Geneva area. The researchers hope to reveal patterns in their data that support conclusions as to why young students could be better prepared for their schooling.
  • Oh the Places They Will Go! Surveying the Post Graduate Plans of High School Seniors, Steph Aliquo, '16, Sarah Friedman '16, Joy Gitter '16
    Within a developing focus on increasing college readiness and attendance across the country and in Geneva, Steph Aliquo, Sarah Friedman, and Joy Gitter were interested in the college preparatory activities and post-graduation plans of Geneva High School seniors.
  • Community Outreach Through the Greens Growing Project, Kalley Matthews '16
    During the spring 2016 semester, Kalley worked with the Finger Lakes Institute and the Environmental Studies program to conduct research for the Greens Growing Project (GGP).
  • Geneva Crime Statistics, Ian Pattison '16
    This a research study that focuses on the sources of the discrepancy between crime reports submitted to the FBI by the Geneva Police Department, and the national online data in the Uniform Crime Reporting database (UCR) that draws from these original local reports.
  • Social Integration of International Students at HWS Colleges, Talia Azour '16
    This research explores the social integration of international students with the larger student population at HWS. It explores how international students identify their place on campus, what their habits are, and where they make connections with American students on.
  • A Voice for Justice: Studying the Holocaust in the Rochester Community, Soren Anders-Macleod '18, Susannah Berry '16, Guadalupe Mendoza '18, Anna Philibert '16
    During the fall semester of 2015, Anna, Guadalupe, Soren, and Susannah attended a seminar at Nazareth College led by Father Desbois who is involved with Yahad In Unum. They learned how to prevent violence in the future, the value of the spoken word, the importance of unbiased analysis in interactions, and many interview techniques during the two day seminar. The goal of Yahad is to learn from the past to prevent future genocide and mass killings.
  • Impact of Early Childhood Education, Carmen Sorrentino '16, Olivia Hoden '16, Morgan Drake '16
    Early childhood education and its effects on development is an extremely significant area of concern. We are interested in exploring the effects that exposure to early childhood education has on children’s mental and physical development.
  • Mapping Patrons in Downtown Geneva, Douglas Silverman '16
    Store owners in downtown Geneva cater to two disparate socio-economic groups; locals and non-resident “tourists”. I have previously argued elsewhere, based on ethnographic research, census reviews, a 37-year historic analysis of commercial stores downtown, and interviews with downtown storeowners, that an atypical form of gentrification is taking place whereby affluent summertime tourists have created a demand for consuming high-end experiences.
  • Entrepreneurial Development in Las Piedras Gordas, Panama, Madeline Boles '17, Merritt Cook '18, Sophie Halter '16, Danielle Mueller '16, Emily Ott '17, Afrika Owes '16, Craig Phillips '18, Sam Solomon '17, Jenny Sullivan '18
    From December 2015 to early January 2016, HWS students traveled to Las Piedras Gordas, located in the Coclé region of Pánama, to work with ©Think Impact, an organization focused on identifying community assets and collaborating with community members to reinvent or improve those assets.
  • Community-Focused Sustainable Agriculture through Aquaponics, Rachael Best '18, Katie Rogan '17, Jeff Rizza '16
    During the spring 2016 semester, Rachael, Katie, and Jeff constructed an educational-scale aquaponics system through an independent study in the Environmental Studies Program. The project, funded by grants from the Carver and Delaney Family Environmental Studies Endowment and Kloman Fellowship Fund, aims to inform members of the HWS community and greater Geneva community about the myriad benefits of aquaponic food production methods and sustainable agriculture more broadly.
  • AMST 360: Art, Memory and the Power of Place, Sean Barry '17, Franklin Brown '17, Michael Doeblin '17, Tim Griffin '16, Keegan Balk '17, Kayla Jones '17, Phoebe Moore '16, Michael Potvin '17, Sarah Savitz '18, Jenny Sullivan '18, Mat Sylvan '17, Justin Burke '16
    What stories do communities tell? How do stories help youth imagine a place of their own? How do cultural expression in the arts help youth articulate their visions of the future? Over the past eight weeks, teens from the art program at the GGBC and students enrolled in American Studies 365: Art, Memory and the Power of Place have been working together to research community issues and concerns.
  • SJSP101: Community-based Research Methods
    Sixteen HWS students participated in the Spring 2016 Course, SJSP 101: Community-Based Research Methods, a gateway course in the Social Justice Studies minor. As part of this course, students were introduced to historical and modern information about Geneva, information on the Geneva Boys and Girls Club, and the theoretical groundings of Community-based Research. In addition, they built skills in ArcGIS Analysis and presentation of information in the web-based format, Story Map. Finally, they gained experience in the Geneva community by attending community meetings and events such as Tools for Social Change, Geneva Schoolboard meetings, Neighborhood Coalition meetings, and volunteering at the Community Lunch Program.

    Students and their research proposals
    • Andrea Uhl '19, Lindsay Brown '19, Adam Enxing '19, Emily Wilkinson '19
      Does the Office of Justice Program at the Boys and Girls Club help reduce students’ likelihood reduce absenteeism of these students in high school?
    • Koko Avedisian '19, Olivia Milne '18, Therese Kowalczak '19, Harrison DeMaira '19
      Would relocating the center of activities for the Boys and Girls Club increase the ability of Geneva students to participate in programming?
    • Alyssa Kelly '19, Cameron Kohs '19, Maryum Raheem '16, Liam Cassidy '19
      Would providing bus service from the Boys and Girls Clubs to student homes after evening programming increase the number of students who could participate in Club programming, and would it be economically viable?
    • Simon Corson '16, Rachael Barry '19, Bryan Archino '19, Liam Ford '19
      Can improving connections between Geneva Head Start Program and the Boys and Girls Club improve long-term student success?
  • Who is most likely to support a Geneva Public Library tax increase?, Dimitri Kaye '16
    In the spring semester of 2016, Dimitri assisted the local Geneva Public Library in order to better understand the socio-economic characteristics of the people most likely to support the Geneva Public Library tax increase. Working with the director of the Library, the two are also using this opportunity to increase awareness of the vote on May 17, 2016.

Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Fall 2012-Spring 2013


Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Spring 2011

  • Recycling in Seneca County - Jessica Becker, WS’11, Marissa Biondolillo,WS’11, Anna Giangregorio, WS’11 and Andrew Schettine, H’11

Spring 2010


Fall 2009

Collete Gregoire
Daisy Bird
Jalisa Whitley
Laura Valdmanis
Luke Esselen
Kelsey Lagana

Spring 2009

Cecilia Teye-Ampomah
Leslie Hopke
Christina Kinnevey
Emma Daley
Jaquelyn Sands

Fall 2008

Austin Kana
Sarah Holland

Kayla Shoemaker

Casey Marshall

Susan Kridler

Research projects

Fall 2015-Spring 2016

Fall 2014-Spring 2015

Spring 2014

Spring 2013

Fall 2012 - Spring 2013

Fall 2011 - Spring 2012

Spring 2011


Spring 2010



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