Day of Discussion held at Library of Virginia
William and Mary collaborated with Virginia Commonwealth University on a "Day of Discussion" that brought together people from across the state to talk about how to best help women in prison who are pregnant.
The forum was hosted by the Healthy Beginnings Project in Richmond last week and gave inmates, academics, women's rights lawyers and corrections officers a chance to discuss some of the challenges pregnant women in jail face.
The attendees discussed the disparate standards found in jails throughout Virginia. The National Commission on Correctional Health Care has established standards for jailhouse births, but these are not always practiced.
"The biggest goal was to tackle some of these tough topics and raise awareness about them," said Danielle Dallaire, associate professor of psychology at William and Mary and one of the co-directors of Healthy Beginnings. "Different jails across the state have different policies and procedures in place. They're maybe not aware of practices that are happening at other jails. We were really hoping to get them to share different perspectives."
Dallaire said getting everyone in the same room was a crucial first step toward standardizing care across the Commonwealth.
"To do what we do, we have to interact successfully with all the different groups," she said. "What we've learned is that these different groups don't necessarily interact with each other. We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish by bringing these people together."
Healthy Beginnings received a $50,000 grant from the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation in December, and is the country's only organization focusing on incarcerated pregnant women, according to a University press release.
Scallop researchers net millions in funding
Senior Research Scientist Dave Rudders scooped up funding for six scallop research projects at William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science, totaling nearly $6 million in set-aside funding.
Rudders is the lead investigator on five of the six projects, and co-lead on the sixth. Fifteen grants were given out by NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center and the New England Fishery Management Council in all, with VIMS taking home six.
"David Rudders should be commended for his success in this very competitive program. Hard work by Dave, scallop industry partners and colleagues at VIMS and other institutions continue to make the U.S. scallop fishery an international model for sustainability and public-private cooperation," said Tom Murray, head of the Marine Advisory Services Program at VIMS.
Scallops are the second most-valuable commercial fishery on the East Coast, and last year Virginia's scallop fleets hauled in $33.6 million in scallops.
The research done at VIMS advances the understanding of this profitable industry.
"Our decades-long engagement in monitoring and informing management of the Atlantic sea-scallop stock is a real testament to the importance we at VIMS put on advisory service in support of sustainable commercial and recreational fisheries," said VIMS Dean and Director John Wells.
Over $90,000 awarded to environmental sustainability projects
The William and Mary Committee on Sustainability awarded more than $90,000 in funding for projects aiming to reduce the environmental impact both on campus and in the surrounding community.
A solar-powered bike car, known as an ELF, is one of the projects that received funding from the committee. Students will be able to check out the ELF and use it to travel in bike lanes across campus. The vehicle, which is made by Organic Transit, is powered by both the rider pedaling and the sun. According to Organic Transit's web page, the ELF gets the equivalent of 1,800 miles per gallon.
In addition to the ELF, the Committee awarded funds to projects that will prevent birds from flying into the windows at Swem Library, reduce the cost of shark tags for researchers, analyze the feasibility of solar panel installation on campus and provide new recycling bins in three buildings.