Humanities Institute

2008-2009 Community Sabbatical Grantees


Jennifer PetersJennifer Peters

Capital IDEA

Jennifer Peters is Senior Institutional Relations Officer at Capital IDEA, a non-profit organization that lifts working families out of poverty by sponsoring educational services that lead to life-long financial independence. During her Community Sabbatical Research leave, Peters researched best practices in remedial education programs at the community college level and developed a paper or article on Capital IDEA’s College Prep Academy. The Academy is a 12-to-16 week course jointly developed by Austin Community College District (ACC) and Capital IDEA that enables participants to pass the Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) at high rates and to begin college- level coursework without having to take remedial courses. Peters investigated whether this approach is replicable and able to offer a model to other workforce development and education agencies and community colleges.

Faculty advisor(s): Dr. Suanne D. Roueche, Community College Leadership Program, UT-Austin College of Education


Catherine Lee DoarCatherine Lee Doar

Austin Habitat for Humanity

Catherine Lee Doar is a Design Coordinator for Austin Habitat for Humanity, an organization that builds homes for families who live in substandard or overcrowded housing and are unable to obtain conventional home financing.  Doar is responsible for the design, site planning, permitting, and materials procurement for each Austin Habitat home. Her work also includes the research and implementation of green building principles. During her Community Sabbatical research, Doar investigated the many possibilities for shading and wall assembly that have been developed over the past few years. While excellent shading techniques can be found in nearly every new architecture magazine, they are almost exclusively created with expensive materials for high-end homes or commercial projects. Doar investigated shading strategies that can be effected with durable materials at minimal cost and adapted for integration into Austin Habitat for Humanity Homes.

Faculty advisor(s): Dr. Steven Moore, UT-Austin School of Architecture; Dr. Elizabeth Danze, UT-Austin School of Architecture


Rebecca JonesRebecca Jones

Austin Children’s Museum

At the time of her grant, Rebecca Jones was the Director of Education at the Austin Children’s Museum. Over eighteen months, she helped craft a new strategic direction for the museum that aimed to serve an older target audience of children up to eleven years of age by focusing on creative problem-solving through the lens of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Jones used her Community Sabbatical to gain a deeper grounding in current understandings of cognition and inquiry-based learning. She intended to produce a blueprint for the Austin Children’s Museum’s new direction that outlined research-based interpretative strategies and best practices; potential gallery and programmatic themes; and workable space and exhibit design strategies. Ms. Jones passed away on May 13th, 2013.

Faculty Advisor(s): Dr. Jim Barufaldi, director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education, UT-Austin College of Education; Dr. Louise Harpman, UT-Austin School of Architecture