EAST ALTON – This year, the National Great Rivers
Research and Education Center (NGRREC) is partnering with Southern Illinois
University Edwardsville’s Community Oriented Digital Engagement Scholars
(CODES) to solve key issues in the region.
CODES is a new
program offered through SIUE that takes an innovative approach to educating its
students, focusing on real-world experiences and collaboration, hands-on
learning and creating strong faculty-student connections. This year, the 25
CODES students are focusing on Alton, and students are working to study the
resiliency spatial justice in the face of a changing climate.
nonprofits were chosen to work with a cohort of students. In addition to
NGRREC, the other nonprofit organizations included in this year’s program are
the YWCA of Southwestern Illinois and the National Council of Negro Women –
chosen for their emphasis on the river and their rootedness to the region and
to the confluence, which are a critical part of our topic,” said CODES
Director, Jessica DeSpain. “We also wanted to broaden the conception of justice
to think about animals and the natural world as considerations in our work.”
of Operations and Strategic Initiatives Paige Mettler-Cherry said the program
is a perfect fit and aligns with the center’s mission.
committed to expanding the participation of first generation and underserved
student populations in STEM disciplines, particularly as part of our overall
mission of educating the public on the ecology of great river systems. The
CODES students have already provided NGRREC with tremendous insight on how we
can improve our outreach through digital media.”
program at SIUE has been in the planning stages since 2016 and for the
university, it felt there was no better time to implement it.
“It feels like
now is a good time to start CODES to help students understand all facets of a
problem and that the work they are doing in class matters more broadly,”
DeSpain said. “COVID exposed all of the social inequities of our education and
hands-on experiences and collaboration with outside organizations, the CODES
program provides students with financial aid assistance giving students an
opportunity to attend college, no matter their financial background.
“I want students
to be able to take all of what they learn at the University and apply it in a
concrete context to help them become agents of change and effective citizens in
a digital, global world,” DeSpain said.
information about the CODES program visit https://www.siue.edu/vcedi/codes/index.shtml or contact DeSpain at firstname.lastname@example.org .
“We hope to
continue our partnership with the SIUE CODES program and provide additional
opportunities for students who are interested in completing internships at
NGRREC,” said Mettler-Cherry.
information about NGRREC’s internship program visit http://www.ngrrec.org/Internship/ or contact Amy Monroe at email@example.com .
Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC ℠ )
in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to
the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center
aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related
to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and
their associated communities.