Team led by Dr. James Werner awarded PIT-UN Grant

An Interdisciplinary Team of Cal Poly Researchers Led by Associate Professor Dr. James Werner Receive Public Interest Technology Grant to Utilize Virtual Reality in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Trainings

An interdisciplinary group of faculty members has been awarded a $45,000 Public Interest Technology University Network(PIT-UN) Challenge grant to further support the critical new field of public interest technology. This funding will go toward a project that incorporates immersive virtual reality (VR) components into sexual and gender harassment, and LGBTQ+ affirming training. Working with partners, including Cal Poly Saferthe Gay and Lesbian Alliance of the Central Coast(GALA) and the San Luis Obispo County Behavioral Health Department, the researchers hope to understand where VR can be added to existing trainings in order to improve inclusion and equity at Cal Poly and in the community. The project will be led by James Werner, associate professor of media arts; Christine Hackman, associate professor of kinesiology and public health; Coleen Carrigan, associate professor of anthropology and science, technology, and society; and Jay Bettergarcia, assistant professor of psychology and child development. The project also will involve several student research assistants, who will help develop scenario scripts, conduct research activities and serve as liaisons between researchers and community partners.

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from the Cal Poly Report

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