Our grant program provides financial assistance through a competitive process to full- or part-time Virginia Tech students who promote our core valuesThe John E. Dooley Student Engagement Grant (JEDSEG), enables students to advance their community engagement efforts, research, and education.

John E. Dooley Student Engagement Grant

Through the generosity of many donors, JEDSEG funds highly motivated students or student teams planning to implement or expand community-based civic engagement projects.

The 2017-18 year grant has been awarded. If you are interested in applying for future cycles, please review the minimum eligibility criteria below and descriptions of previously funded projects to get a sense of what we are looking for.

Minimum eligibility criteria

Please review the 2017-18 Request for Proposals document for full details on this year's grant cycle.

  1. Applications must be submitted by a current full- or part-time student or student team at Virginia Tech. For student teams, a designated team leader must submit the application on behalf of the team. A student team can be an informal group or a Registered Student Organization. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply.
  2. Applications submitted by JEDSEG winners from the previous year’s cycle are not eligible.
  3. Proposed projects should be completed by May 2018.
  4. The application materials must request funding for a project that reinforces VT Engage's core values.

Objectives & outcomes matrix to submit with application

2017-18 Grantee

A current intern with the City of Roanoke, Heather Lyne received a $1,500 award for her proposal to develop a story-map of culturally underserved and underrepresented communities connected by the Roanoke River Greenway. A story-map is a narrative about experiences in specific spaces or places. She intends to create the story-map through interviews and surveys of residents along the greenway and at local events.

The story map will then serve as a foundation for public art and place-making projects aimed at empowering those communities. The project aims to strengthen civic cooperation in the area by focusing on greenway spaces where diverse neighborhoods and communities of both domestic and refugee families intersect. She will focus on these areas with mixed histories, heritages, incomes, professions, and beliefs in order to engage artists with residents, businesses and stakeholders in describing their local history and cultivating the social identity and physical fabric of their communities through shared spaces along the Greenway.

The Roanoke River Greenway story-map created in collaboration with neighborhoods will not remain passive. Instead, it will serve as an empowering foundation for a collective public art strategy and offers potential as an inclusive, transformational gateway and arts node, to residents and greenway users alike. Heather graduated with her master's degree in public and international affairs this May from Tech.

Previous winners

2016
"Hale-Y Community Food Forest"
Doctoral forestry student Catherine Bukowski used her grant to help develop and expand the Hale-Y's community food forest.

2015
“A feasibility study to reduce sugar sweetened beverage consumption among middle school youth in Buchanan County, VA”
Behavioral and Community Science doctoral student, Hannah Lane, submitted this winning proposal. The selection committee said “it is an excellent example of the blending of best practices in community engagement  and community-based research”.

2014
Agroforestry club & Hale-Y Community Garden Food Forest student team
This team won for their proposal to provide a workshop through the Argoforestry club and Hale-Y Community Garden Food Forest.This is an interdisciplinary team with three students from Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation: Catherine Bukowski, Pulelehua Kimball, Steven Kruger, as well as Samuel Barnes (civil engineering), Gabe Pent (crop and soil environmental sciences), and Keith O’Herrin (Urban Forestry.)

“One-on-one companion visit kits for dementia residents in a continuing care facility” student team
This team won a grant to implement and assess their one-on-one companion visit kits for dementia residents in a continuing care facility. The team includes three Human Development juniors Shelbie Turner, Lauren Byrd, and Katherine Eastham; senior Suh Yang (Psychology and Biology) and Anne Brown, who is pursuing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry.

2013
Nina Miller, a sophomore in Agribusiness, designed a project to revitalize a community garden that grows produce to donate to the Giving Tree Food Pantry.

Tana M. Schiewer, who is pursuing her degree in Rhetoric & Writing, used her grant to create a workshop for staff at nonprofits to help them create compelling communication messages.