Community Action Team Accelerating Learning for Youth in Science and Technology

Article I. Name

The name of this student interest group is Catalyst

Article II. Purpose

Catalyst exists to enable young children in the state of West Virginia to establish lifelong healthy habits.

The specific objectives and purpose of this organization shall be:

  1. to educate children about the link between their personal health choices and the development of chronic disease
  2. to encourage children to establish healthy habits now
  3. to provide a basic understanding of the science of the human body through interactive learning modules
  4. to inspire an early interest in the sciences
  5. to sponsor, host and/or participate in events and activities that promote healthy lifestyles
    and prevention of chronic disease

Article III. Membership

Section 1. Eligibility for Membership

Membership in this student interest group is open to all students attending the WVU School of Medicine, to all students of any health profession program at the WVU Health Sciences Center, and to all undergraduate students attending West Virginia University. All members are required to be in good standing (both academically and professionally) with the university or their respective program. Exceptions will be considered by the Catalyst leadership. All Catalyst members shall be considered service volunteers. The term member and volunteer will be used interchangeably throughout this document.

Section 2. New Membership Application

All individuals seeking membership to Catalyst will submit the following to the Coordinator of Recruitment:

  1. A formal application
  2. An up-to-date resume
  3. Two reference contacts

Applications will be reviewed weekly by the Vice President of Volunteers throughout the application period. Once an application is received, reviewed, and approved, the applicant will be contacted for an informal interview. The purpose of this interview is to provide Catalyst leadership with an opportunity to meet all applicants before making a final decision on acceptance. During this interview, prospective applicants will receive a brief overview of the program and a list of member responsibilities. Membership will be granted if the following two conditions are met:

  1. Catalyst leadership approves of the applicant
  2. The applicant agrees to fulfill all responsibilities as outlined in the interview

Membership in this organization will not be denied on the basis of race, sex, color, age, marital
status, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or military status.

Section 3. New Member Training Requirement

New members are required to attend a mandatory membership training meeting before participating in school visits or other events. There will be no exceptions to this policy. Membership training meetings will be held on a monthly basis. Failure to complete this training within 4 months of being granted membership constitutes grounds for termination of membership. Additionally, new members must complete all required CITI trainings if they choose to participate in any ongoing research projects administered by Catalyst. There will be no exceptions to this policy.

Section 4. Rights and Responsibilities of Members

Responsibilities of Catalyst members include, but are not limited to, actively participating in Catalyst sponsored events, attending monthly training meetings, recruiting, and fundraising. Catalyst members have the right to participate in any and all Catalyst sponsored events if they have met all new member training requirements. It is the responsibility of each member to render a report to the Vice President of Volunteers following participation in Catalyst events.

Section 5. Resignation and Termination of Membership

Any member may resign by filing a written resignation with the Vice President of Volunteers. Additionally, membership can be terminated by a majority vote of Catalyst leadership. Grounds for termination include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Failure to complete new member training within 4 months
  • Failure to maintain an attendance rate above 50%
  • A serious or intentional violation of any law, rule, regulation, bylaw, or provision of Catalyst or West Virginia University
  • A serious or intentional violation of any state law committed while participating in a Catalyst sponsored event or meeting

 Section 6. Letters of Recommendation

Catalyst members who have completed at least one full year of active service may request a letter of recommendation from the Catalyst leadership. All requests for letters of recommendation must be submitted no later than three weeks prior to the deadline for which the letter is needed. It is the responsibility of the member to provide Catalyst leadership with all instructions and guidelines for writing the requested letter. All members should be aware that Catalyst leadership will maintain a record of member activity. This information will be reflected in all letters of recommendation written by Catalyst leadership.

Section 7. Equal Opportunity Statement

Catalyst does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to the recruiting process, selection of volunteers, and provision of services. Catalyst is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all its members and clients.

Article IV: Catalyst Events and Meetings

Section 1: School Visits

Catalyst will provide a minimum of 2 public outreach events per year, to provide opportunities for its members to administer the curriculum and to ensure that the program remains active in the community. As Catalyst expands into other regions of the state, each regional branch will be required to provide at least 2 public outreach events per year in its region.

These school visits will follow the curriculum protocols that the members will be trained on. The curriculum protocols will initially be designed in 3 models: 3-stations, 4-stations, and 5-stations. Each of these models will be designed to fit into 2 hours, and the specific model used will depend on the setting availability (gymnasium, auditorium, or classrooms), and the number of classrooms and total number of students in the grade level. If the grade level has 6 classrooms, then the 3-classroom model will be implemented (the grade level will be split into 2 separate groups of 3 classrooms each). The materials for each station will be organized into separate large plastic bins prior to the school visit. The officers will ensure there are sufficient materials and make new purchases as necessary. Additionally, as indicated in the curriculum protocol, children will create either a cardboard body bag that they will attach their “organs” made at each station onto, or they will draw each organ on a sheet of paper outlining the human body. Beside each organ they will write down the function of that organ and lifestyle habits related to it. This is designed to help the children summarize what they learn at each station and visualize what they have learned.

Each school that participates these curriculum models should allocate 5 hours (2-3 hours per day, on 2 consecutive days) for administration of the curriculum. The stations will be divided between the 2 days. 30 minutes each day will be allocated for students to fill out the questionnaires and rotate between the stations. The K-12 students will rotate in groups of 20-35 students between the stations. The station activities are detailed in a protocol that will be given at the training sessions. 

Initially, the school visits will be predominantly in fifth-grade schools in Monongalia County, but Catalyst will expand its impact both into lower and higher grade levels and geographically into other counties in the state. The curriculum will be adapted based on the student audience level (elementary, middle, or high school students).

Section 2: Training Meetings

Training meetings will be held monthly by Catalyst leadership. In general, this meeting will take place during the second week of each month, though this is subject to change. All members will be notified of the time and place of training meetings via e-mail.

The purpose of the monthly training meeting is to enable Catalyst members to develop the skills needed to participate in school visits. During each meeting, training will be offered on each Catalyst module. Before any member can teach a specific module during a school visit, they must first complete the respective training and demonstrate proficiency to catalyst leadership. Additionally, all upcoming events will be announced during monthly training meetings.

Section 3: Annual Meetings

An annual meeting of the members shall take place in the month of April. The specific date, time and location of which will be designated by the President. During this meeting, Catalyst leadership will provide a report of the state of the organization and any ongoing research. Additionally, members who have provided exceptional service to Catalyst will be recognized.

Time will also be taken during this meeting to discuss plans for the future. This includes future events as well as the announcement of new leadership. All members are encouraged to attend and participate.

Section 4. Notice of Meetings and Events

Notice of all training and annual meetings shall be provided via e-mail no later than two weeks prior to the meeting.

A monthly e-mail will be sent to all members providing a schedule of all upcoming Catalyst events and school visits. This schedule will also be accessible by all members at any time via
Google Docs.

Section 5. Other Events

In addition to school visits, Catalyst is intended to expand its outreach into the community through hosting informational sessions and providing programs through:

  • Local and regional science centers
  • Local and regional health-, science-, or education-related community fairs
  • Hosting a Catalyst fair at Health Sciences Center for children and their parents to attend
  • Collaboration with physician office centers

As Catalyst expands its outreach into settings other than K-12 schools, such as community health fairs and local and regional science centers, new protocols will be designed to adapt the stations to these new settings.

A potential long-term goal is to offer the Catalyst training sessions through online modules or as course credit through West Virginia University or other universities, colleges, or education programs across the state.

Article V: Catalyst Leadership

Section 1. Leadership Positions and Responsibilities

President:

  • Research coordinator (including evaluate outcome/success of the program)
  • Develop and revise Protocol
  • Website Manager
  • Executive Power (oversee/manage executive leaders, plan executive meetings, establish agenda for meetings and annual/semester goals, record minutes of meetings)
  • Network with other similar programs
  • Appoint leaders for the following year and recruit for new leaders as needed
  • Oversee projects and deadlines
  • Develop new ideas and projects to grow the program
  • Direct the annual meeting

Coordinator of Schools:

  • Serve as liaison between schools and executive boards
  • Arrange and oversee events
  • Contact schools
  • Administer questionnaires, surveys, consent forms, and assent forms
  • Organize the details of each visit
  • Number of classrooms, number of students, setting and time availability, etc.
  • Make the schedule for the stations, including which classes will be assigned to each station first and order of rotations
  • Lead public relations activities, such as advertising and marketing (social media, flyers, newspapers, TV news reporters)

Coordinator of Logistics:

  • Oversee financial matters and resources/supplies
  • Ensure that each program will have sufficient materials
  • Develop budget
  • Oversee bank account matters
  • Apply for grants/scholarships
  • Organize fundraising activities
  • Seek out non-profit organizations and businesses for donations

Coordinator of Recruitment:

  • Recruit and interview volunteers (Undergrad, MD students, other health professionals)
  • Establish lead and general volunteers
  • Serve as the liaison between volunteers and executive board
  • Arrange and lead training sessions
  • Manage and organize volunteers for events, including ensuring that each program will have sufficient volunteers
  • Track volunteer hours and write letter of recommendations as requested
  • Establish criteria for applications for membership
  • Organize feedback surveys for volunteers
  • Develop online training module

Section 2. Election Process

Members who have been within the program for 1 year and are in good academic standing are allowed to submit an application to the President for a leadership position. Applications for all leadership positions must be submitted by March 1st of each year. The applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified by the annual meeting. The President may appoint the member to the new leadership position as he or she sees fit. If needed, the President may hold a private meeting for voting by the executive board to appoint the new leadership applicant.

Section 3. Regional Branch Officers

It is intended that Catalyst expand its outreach into other regions of the state, initially by establishing regional officers at each of the West Virginia University School of Medicine campuses: Morgantown, Eastern, and Charleston. The leading President of Catalyst will oversee all of the executive boards at each campus. Each campus will have a regional President, Coordinator of Schools, Coordinator of Logistics, and Coordinator of Recruitment.

President

Kathryn Baker - kbaker17@mix.wvu.edu

Coordinator of Recruitment: 

Tyler Hendricks - tah0017@mix.wvu.edu

Coordinator of Logistics: 

Lauren Joseph - lmj0003@mix.wvu.edu

Coordinator of Schools: 

Melissa McGowan - mpm0012@mix.wvu.edu

Faculty Advisor

Dr. James Lewis - jwlewis@hsc.wvu.edu

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