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Montgomery Middle School

Sandra Sgoutas-Emch

College of Arts & Sciences

This fall semester initiative is linked to a health fair project in Spring 2020, which has taken place annually at Montgomery since 2001 based on collaboration between Sgoutas- Emch and Emalyn Leppard, among other colleagues. This ILVI initiative will help better prepare Montgomery students to become peer health educators in the spring during the fair. Additionally, the initiative aims to develop a program to support middle school health peer educators so students who are interested in going into health professions can have some experiences to support their development. The initiative is linked to PSYC 360, Psychology of Stress, The USD students will work with the Montgomery students to develop a stress education plan for middle school students, and they will practice different stress management techniques. Stress is associated with many health issues but here is little education in K-16 about its impact. This project supports student learning as they will have to research, practice, and apply knowledge learned in class to develop the education plan.

Topher McDougal

School of Peace Studies

This initiative is linked to McDougal's course PJS 594, Environmental Peace and Justice. The course explores the polarized dialectic of environmental justice (typically highlighting environmental issues that disproportionately affect marginalized communities) and sustainability (typically emphasizing conservation efforts spearheaded by privileged communities, sometimes at the expense of marginalized communities). The USD graduate students will be working with Montgomery middle school students and faculty in a number of different areas: environmental policy issues, grant application writing, and securing school board support of community gardens, among others. This initiative builds upon previous collaboration among USD faculty and colleagues at Montgomery Middle School and the Emalyn Leppard Community Garden.