Scholarly efforts

The ISU 4U Promise

ISU 4U Promise Director, Dr. Katherine Richardson Bruna, and a team of collaborators representing early postdoctoral, doctoral, Extension and Outreach, and Financial Aid contributions to the initiative have written an article describing its unique characteristics. The article, cited below, will be published in December 2017.

Richardson Bruna, K., Farley, F., McNelly, C., Sellers, D., & Johnson, R. (2017). If we build it, will they come?: Fielding dreams of college access & affordability through an innovative promise program. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement 21 (4).

Richardson Bruna is working with Todd Abraham, of the Research Institute for Studies of Education (RISE), on the design and implementation of the ISU 4U Promise evaluation and dissemination of findings.

The Urban Ecosystem Project

Richardson Bruna and colleague Lyric Bartholomay, a medical entomologist from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, are co-principal investigators of a $1.25 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health. That project, Young Scientists, Ambitious Teachers Improving Health in an Urban Ecosystem (or UEP), uses the theme of mosquitoes and public health to engage middle-grades ISU 4U Promise youth in authentic science activity inspired by natural curiosity about insects and the natural world. They have presented on this work at the American Anthropological Association, the Association of Science Teacher Education, and the Anthropological Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. For more information, please visit the UEP website.

Community context needs assessments

Richardson Bruna and ISU 4U Promise Postdoctoral Research Associate, Dr. Carla A. McNelly, collaborate on two projects in support of the ISU 4U Promise program. One used interviews with community leaders to learn about the demographically-transitioning neighborhoods served by the initiative and, from these, identifies priorities for ongoing design and implementation as informed by place-based perspectives. The second, Designing Dialogues for Youth and Community Transformation, used a series of mapping activities with ISU 4U Promise youth to identify learning assets and barriers in the community. In this Design Dialogues project, Richardson Bruna and McNelly collaborate with co-PIs, Drs. Jane Rongerude from Community and Regional Planning in the College of Design, and Kim Greder from Human Development and Family Studies in the College of Human Sciences. Presentations on these needs assessments efforts have been made at the American Educational Research Association and American Anthropological Association meetings.

The ISU 4U Promise Scholar 12th grade pathway to college

Wendy Robinder, a School of Education doctoral student and graduate research assistant working with the Admissions Office in support of the ISU 4U Promise, is researching the resources, needs, and challenges of the first fall 2018 Promise Scholar cohort. Katie Seifert, the ISU 4U Promise graduate research assistant and ISU's first Peace Corps Coverdell Fellow, is using the theoretical lens and methodological tools of portraiture to capture the experiences of three 12th-grade Promise Scholars as they develop college-going identities and build among them a sense of belonging. Robinder's and Seifert's research will be integral in helping shape collaborative efforts between Admissions and the ISU 4U Promise and ensure effective outreach for future cohorts.