Healthy Places Seed Grant Hosts Mid-Year Roundtable

By Brianna Rhodes / Dec 15, 2023

People gathered in the great space for a panelist discussion

The School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (MAPP), the School of Public Health (SPH), UMD faculty, staff and students attended the mid-year meeting for the Healthy Places Seed Grant program on Thursday, Nov. 30. The in-person, two-hour meeting, hosted by Dawn Jourdan, dean of MAPP and Boris D. Lushniak, dean of SPH, took place in The Great Space of the Architecture Building. 

The inaugural funding program, initiated by the two deans, is designed to spark innovative research around the challenges of building healthy, equitable communities. Eight projects led by researchers from MAPP, SPH, the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) received grants – ranging between $2,500 and $30,000 – through the program, which supports partnerships across UMD. Awardees had the opportunity to share their experiences, progress and challenges during the roundtable discussion.

You can view a photo essay of the roundtable below: 

Dean Jourdan speaking in the Great Space
Dawn Jourdan, MAPP Dean, welcomes attendees with opening remarks for the Healthy Places Seed Grant mid-year roundtable.
Photo: Jelena Đaković


People gathered in the Great Space
A view of attendees listening as Dean Jourdan speaks about the Healthy Places Seed Grant funding program and its awardees. Photo: Jelena Đaković.


Borish Lushniak
Boris D. Lushniak, SPH Dean, shares opening remarks and comments on the promising research being done by the grant program’s awardees. Photo: Jelena Đaković


Panelists speaking
MAPP researcher Jennifer Xu discusses the progress of the plans for the the “Community Hub – From Neighborhood School to UCAP Headquarters” project, which weaves together multiple disciplines and documents a historical restoration and adaptation of the Fairmount Heights School, a historic landmark in the Fairmount Heights community of Prince George’s County, Maryland. Plans include an exhibit about Sidney Pittman – a noted African American architect and civil rights activist associated with the landmark – and the restoration and adaptive reuse of the building as a community organization, a report and a journal publication. Photo: Jelena Đaković


Group shot of Healthy Seed Grant panelists
Awardees and attendees pictured left to right: Casey Kindall (BSOS), Nicole Noguera (BSOS), Bianca Bersani (BSOS), Elaine Doherty (SPH), Chester Harvey (MAPP), Lauren Porter (BSOS) at the Healthy Places Seed Grant roundtable. Photo: Jelena Đaković


The Healthy Places Seed Grant program continues to build on the growing partnership and emerging research collaborations between MAPP and SPH to explore the impact of the built environment on health outcomes, opportunity and a community’s quality of life. 

Learn more about the grant program and to view more photos from the mid-year roundtable, visit the Flickr album.