Community Engagement Event Focuses on Collaborations

Through strategic collaborations, Harvey Mudd College strives to offer creative solutions to challenging problems facing communities in the United States and abroad. Projects involving faculty, students and staff—many of them science- or technology-related—educate and empower, proving mutually beneficial for all involved.

The Office of Community Engagement hosted a panel discussion and interactive presentation showcasing the diverse community engagement efforts of the College and its community partners. The event, “Voices of Engagement: Celebrating Harvey Mudd College Community Partnerships,” was held Monday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 6 p.m. on campus.

Harvey Mudd Director for Community Engagement Gabriela Gamiz says the event facilitated dialogue to help all involved parties better understand the scope and intent of the College’s outreach efforts. “From summer internships at local NGOs to service projects abroad, these programs provide powerful learning experiences for students and bring tangible benefits to the Harvey Mudd community and to local and global communities,” says Gamiz. Following opening remarks, Dean of Students Maggie Browning discussed the history of community engagement at Harvey Mudd.

Posters and informal demonstrations—led by students, faculty and staff—showcased two dozen community engagement efforts, including Science Bus, Sacred Sistahs and the Middle Years CS (see full list below). “These programs serve to strengthen and diversify the STEM pipeline and help underrepresented students discover a passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics at an earlier age,” says Gamiz.

The formal panel centered on collaborative work being done in chemistry/biology Professor Karl Haushalter’s course, HIV-AIDS: Science, Society and Service. Featured panelists included Haushalter, Sherry Zhang ’15 and Sara Cooley of Partnership for a Positive Pomona (P3), a community coalition established to prevent destructive behavior amongst Pomona youth. Speakers discussed the importance of community outreach as it relates to Harvey Mudd College’s Strategic Vision and to efforts to expand engagement projects in the surrounding and global communities.

The Office of Community Engagement works with students, faculty and staff to develop community partnerships and support community outreach efforts.

Harvey Mudd Community Collaborations

Science Bus

Science Bus aims to inspire young men and women, especially from underrepresented groups, to pursue higher education and careers in the sciences. We write and test our own hands-on science lessons, then implement the lessons each week in local elementary schools.

The SWE Voice of Engagement

The Society of Women Engineer’s largest contribution toward community engagement at Mudd is the annual Women Engineers and Scientists of Tomorrow (WEST) Conference. Two hundred high school female students, as well as their parents, are selected from the local area, including low-income neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Promoting Campus Sustainability

Engineers for a Sustainable World/Mudders Organizing for Sustainability Solutions (ESW/MOSS) organized and ran a number of campus sustainability initiatives, including a campaign for the founding of a Green Fund, an energy competition, a composting audit, red cup recycling and research into the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. We also helped raise awareness for a water reclamation project proposal through the Center for Environmental Studies.

Acceptance of LGBT People in the Vietnamese American

This research project seeks to determine the Orange County and Los Angeles Vietnamese American communities’ attitudes toward LGBT people and issues. Analysis of data will hopefully reveal what factors are responsible for informing their attitudes, and recommendations can be made on how to change or improve these attitudes.

Health Access with Advancing Justice – Los Angeles

Ashuka Xue ’16 worked with a team at Asian Americans Advancing Justice–Los Angeles to deal with health access issues in Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in California, especially pertaining to those with low income or who live in poverty. The main issue addressed was language access and disparities between different ethnicities. Xue did internal development for the team to streamline the workflow and worked with several Health Justice Network partners.

Student-Driven Engagement Projects at Harvey Mudd

Mudders Making a Difference (MMAD) is the student club through which most Mudd volunteer activities are organized. Some of the club’s main activities include attending the Bernard Field Station volunteer workdays, doing beach and trail cleanups, organizing blood drives on campus and collecting funds and shoes for the nonprofit organization Shoes That Fit.

Coalition for the Empowerment of Education, Leadership and Independence (CEELI)

CEELI aims to assist the community of Sibambe, Ecuador, to improve its quality of life through funding educational programs. We are committed to improving school infrastructure and meal programs and to providing after-school programs that help students in low-income areas achieve their full potential. CEELI aims to provide English lessons, tutoring sessions and a sports system free of charge for all children who desire them. Our long-term goal is for all children around the world to have an equal chance to succeed.

Multi-year Optimization of Malaria Intervention Given Budget Constraints

A Harvey Mudd team developed a coupled SIR compartment model and an integer linear program to create a decision-making tool for planning future interventions. The model suggests the best strategy for minimizing people days of malaria infection given an initial population, cost of each intervention and a budget constraint.

Hybridization Between Bottlenose and Fraser’s Dolphins in the Western Pacific

Samuel Woodman ’16 assisted Karen Martien ’95, operations research analyst at Southwest Fisheries Science Center, by performing various analyses to investigate if there was interbreeding between bottlenose and Fraser’s dolphins around the Marianas Islands in the Western Pacific.

Circle K International

Circle K is an intercollegiate club dedicated to three tenets: service, leadership and fellowship. We are united by a common desire to help the community and aim to instill a strong sense of leadership in all our members.

Esperança Means Hope

Esperança is a global nonprofit organization based in Phoenix, Arizona, that focuses on bringing hope, providing health and transforming communities. We partner with community leaders around the world to develop sustainable change focused on health.

Connecting Coursework and Community Engagement: The Napier Course and Beyond

There is an illusion that being an active member of our community requires a schedule that does not allow people to be involved in the community outside of the Mudd bubble. Our experiences highlight how community engagement does not detriment the Mudd experience but enhances it!

Teaching English to Day Laborers

Eun Bin Go ’15 taught English to day laborers at Pomona Economic Opportunity Center as part of the RLST155 Religion, Ethics and Social Practice course. She gained valuable insight into the daily hardships experienced by day laborers as well as their struggle for immigrant rights.

Developing Sustainable Design Solutions to Prevent Water Recontamination

An Engineering Clinic project for Autodesk last year focused on maintaining the purity of water in developing countries. We will present our experiences and discuss the implications for water safety in resource-limited settings.

FIRST Mentors

The members of the FIRST Robotics Club (FRC) at HMC volunteer as part of the FIRST community. This includes, but is not limited to, volunteering at a FIRST Lego League event and an FRC scrimmage at Harvey Mudd.

Homework Hotline

Homework Hotline is a free, over-the-phone mathematics and science-tutoring program for students grades 4–12. During the 2013–2014 academic year, a team of more than 40 HMC students assisted over 3,000 student callers. Homework Hotline is modeled after the successful Homework Hotline at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

Sacred Sistahs and the EDGE Foundation

The annual HMC Sacred Sistahs Math and Science conference reaches out to underrepresented middle and high school girls to get them excited about STEM. The EDGE Foundation holds yearly programming and seeks to prepare and retain women in mathematics graduate programs.

MyCS: Middle Years Computer Science

Professor Zach Dodds, Professor Mike Erlinger and a student team design and deploy CS curriculum for regional public schools. Over 2,500 students have discovered computer science through the MyCS program, and the team looks forward to serving a far larger number in the future.

The Social Rules Project

The Social Rules Project is a public outreach initiative designed to share research insights on the social dimensions of sustainability. Over the past three years, more than 100 students from six colleges in Southern California have contributed to the creation of a website, animated film, videogame, Facebook page and other multimedia materials. This display shows Law of the Jungle, an educational videogame on the drivers of tropical deforestation and what it will take to turn the situation around.

Building Interfaces with Community

This course explores the design, implementation and evaluation of human-computer interfaces, with a particular focus on web- and mobile-based applications. The course revolves around group projects that aim to reimagine and redesign the web presence of local community-based service providers in the greater Claremont/Pomona area in a way that focuses on improving user experience. A primary focus is on design issues that arise for non-traditional users, including culturally sensitive design, accessibility and protecting the privacy and security of novice users.

Water Recycling for The Claremont Colleges and Claremont

The recent movement to recycle wastewater to provide water for landscape irrigation has provided many students with opportunities for community engagement. Posters, maps and a slide show will provide a progress report on the project.