Individualized Study

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Interesting research created by our Interdisciplinary Studies students:
“Social Entrepreneurship: My Strategy to Bring about a Change on UMBC Campus”
Yohka Tanaka
Assistant Director of Student Life David Hoffman

My project involves action research (oriented to practical problem-solving) to explore options for encouraging healthier eating on campus. My project has both an information gathering and analysis component and an advocacy component. My information-gathering addresses the question, “What changes to menu options in UMBC campus restaurants would result in students’ consuming a more balanced diet and win support from UMBC’s primary food vendor?” My advocacy has involved the relationship-building, pulse-taking and information-sharing needed to lay the groundwork for the potential changes I have identified. My research methods have included conducting a literature review relating to nutritional health; participating in meetings with administrators from UMBC and its primary dining services provider, Chartwells; soliciting opinions from students using social media; and conducting observation studies at campus eateries. I reviewed my data and refined my strategy with help from peers and instructors in my Civic Agency & Social Entrepreneurship course. What I found was that nutritional health is an enormous problem on U.S. college campuses; UMBC students are likely to respond favorably to more healthy options; and Chartwells is willing to experiment with menu changes. Chartwells is reviewing my specific proposal for the addition of an affordable menu option in The Commons.

A three quarter portrait of Keren.
Meet Keren. Read her bio here!

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by Diego Tapia

Benefits for Interdisciplinary Studies students:

  • Work with a faculty member
  • Experience hands-on research
  • Reinforce classroom learning
  • Prepare for work or graduate school
  • Travel to national conferences
  • Receive grant funding
  • Publish independent research
    • Evaluating and Improving upon Ecuador’s Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Policies in an Era of Increased Urgency
      Keren Herran. Annals of Global Heath.
    • The Swiss National Compulsory Basic Social Insurance: Examining Access to Specialist Health Care
      James Valentine. UMBC Review Vol.11.

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Individualized Study