CSPP Center for Innovation and Change Awarded California Food Policy Advocates Contract

The Center for Innovation and Change (CIC), which provides our Organizational Psychology students and faculty with opportunities for practical consulting experience at the Alliant Los Angeles campus, has won a $40,000 contract to support the Los Angeles CalFresh Initiative for the California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA).

The goal of this two-year initiative is to help CFPA assess its efforts at increasing CalFresh utilization through community-wide efforts. By so doing, young children particularly from lower-income families in the Los Angeles area will have increased access to healthy food.  CIC aims to help our client organization become more effective through business and advocacy process improvements. CIC student consultants will attend and observe CFPA meetings, interview various stakeholders, analyze data and provide recommendations for needs assessment and process evaluation measures.

The idea for this project arose when an Organizational Psychology doctoral student, James Hsiao shared this opportunity in Dr. Denise Lopez’s class in Qualitative Research and Survey Methods. Subsequent contracting discussions with the potential client ensued, led by Dr. Jonathan Troper, Director of CIC, who partnered with Jim Garbanati, a Clinical Psychology colleague with extensive experience in advocacy. The project kickoff and initial meeting observations started in the first two weeks of December 2012. It will provide many of our graduate students with good opportunities to practice organizational consulting and applied research work, earn internship hours and be paid for their efforts, and be mentored by CIC faculty advisers. At the same time, it’s a great way for Alliant to make a difference in the community!