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KU faculty, staff receive transportation grant for course-based learning

Thursday, December 07, 2017

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas, the city of Lawrence and MV Transportation have announced the three KU recipients of the 2018 MV Transportation Instructor Grant.

Professor of the Practice Angela Hendershot, William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, and Research Associate Robert Hagen and Lecturer Ali Brox, both with the Environmental Studies Program, will receive a grant as well as additional funding to support course-based experiential learning activities.

Since 2014, MV Transportation has supported student learning through scholarships for transportation research projects.  In an effort to provide more students with experiential learning, this year’s funding will benefit courses that integrate an applied learning project related to public transportation during the spring 2018 semester.

Hendershot’s Journalism 640 Strategic Campaigns class will focus on developing strategies to educate new KU students about Lawrence transit options as well as research, build and present a fully integrated strategic communications campaign to promote public transit in the broader Lawrence community.

“Experiential learning is a core focus for our school,” Hendershot said. “Applied learning is one of the best ways to prepare our students for their careers while also sharing their talents for the community’s benefit.”

Hagen and Brox’s Environment Studies 172 Kansas Landscapes Projects course is the final semester of a three-course sequence for first-year international students in the KU Academic Accelerator Program.

“Public transportation is a topic of worldwide environmental interest,” Hagen said. “We’re thrilled with this opportunity for our international freshmen to learn about the Lawrence and KU bus systems and contribute to their improvement with their research results.”

The spring sections of the course will consist of 80 students who will develop team-based research projects with potential focus on rider demographics and needs assessment as well as economic and environmental costs of transportation alternatives in Lawrence.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to apply interdisciplinary research methods used in Environmental Studies to aspects of local public transportation, which many of them are invested in as international students,” Brox said.

Students from both classes will publically present their projects at the end of spring 2018 semester.

This grant is funded by MV Transportation, the private transportation contracting firm that operates Lawrence Transit for the City under contract for Lawrence and KU on Wheels.

The funding will be administered by KU Endowment, the official, nonprofit fundraising and fund-management organization for KU.

About MV Transportation

Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, MV Transportation is the largest privately-owned passenger transportation contracting firm based in the United States. The company employs more than 17,500 dedicated transit professionals in 146 locations around the world. MV has operated Lawrence Transit since 2000.

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