USF’s Geyer receives grant to help protect children from lead poisoning

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News release from the University of Saint Francis:

USF’s Geyer receives grant to help protect children from lead poisoning

(June 19, 2012) – Dr. Andrea Geyer, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Saint Francis (USF), has received a Scholarship of Engagement Faculty Grant from Indiana Campus Compact for her proposal, “Protecting Our Children: Lead Poisoning Awareness and Testing Campaign.” Indiana Campus Compact is an organization that supports higher education’s efforts to develop students into well-informed, engaged citizens by providing programs, services and resources.

The grant will allow the university’s environmental chemistry students to work with low-income residents and the city of Fort Wayne to assist with lead paint screening through a service learning component added to the course CHEM 343. The component will include a lead poisoning awareness campaign in September.

Environmental chemistry students will swab test houses for exterior lead paint, and all families in the area will be invited to a neighborhood lead awareness fair. At the fair, children living within the surveyed area can receive lead level sampling services from Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health officials.

Initial meetings between Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and the St. Joseph Community Health Homes Program began in February to outline the project. The service learning project and its results will be presented with the assistance of the USF students at the local section meeting of the American Chemical Society in October.

“This service-learning experience promises to enrich and reinforce the Franciscan identity of the University of Saint Francis, and will be an invaluable experience for our students,” said School of Arts and Sciences Dean Dr. Matt Smith.

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