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Diabetes Prevention Grant: Student Participant Information

About the Project

Project Title

Official Title: Developing Evidence-Based Research and Health Literacy Capacity in University of Texas at El Paso Health Sciences Students for the Purpose of Disseminating Reliable Health-Related Information to Extended Family Members in a Historically Underserved Latino Border Community.

Easy-to-Remember Title: "Diabetes Prevention Grant"

Purpose of this project

This project has two goals: 1) train undergraduate students in Public Health-related fields health literacy skills, including where to find information on diabetes from U.S. government sources such as NLM and other HHS departments, as well as on community engagement skills; 2) provide members of a community at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes with information which will enable them to prevent or effectively manage this condition.

Student participants (“health ambassadors”) will receive health literacy and community engagement training, then receive instructions to engage with family members in the El Paso region to inform them about type 2 diabetes prevention strategies and management. 

Project FAQs

UTEP’s Institutional Review Board will review the project to ensure it is conducted ethically. 

University of Texas at El Paso 

  • Harvey Castellano, MLS(Primary Investigator/ “P.I.”) 

Associate Director for Research, Instruction, & Access Services 

University of Texas El Paso Library- Research, Instruction, & Access Services 


  • João Batista Ferreira-Pinto, Ph.D.(Co-P.I.) 

Associate Professor, Center for Interdisciplinary Health Research and Evaluation (CIHRE) 
Assistant Dean, Research and Faculty Affairs, College of Health Sciences 


  • Angela Lucero, MLIS(Co-Investigator) 

Scholarly Communication Librarian 

University of Texas El Paso Library- Research, Instruction, & Access Services 


  • Marissa Testerman, MLIS(Co-Investigator) 

Access Services Instruction Librarian 

University of Texas El Paso Library, Research, Instruction, & Access Services 


Alliance of Border Collaboratives

  • Rosalba Ruiz-Holguin 

Project Coordinator

  • Apolonia Hernández  


The National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine is funding this project through its EnHip program. 

Your participation in the project’s trainings will serve as a blueprint for future, larger-scale projects to train Health Ambassadors. The community engagement you conduct with your families and the evaluations you and your family member(s) provide will help the project’s team evaluate the effectiveness of health literacy and family-based community health engagement. 

Project Participant (Health Ambassador) Expectations


  •     Engagement with project from Summer 2021- late December 2021.
  •     Attend all scheduled live trainings and meetings.
  •     Promptly notify the project’s team of scheduling conflicts so that a make-up session can be scheduled for you (Health Ambassadors will be allowed two absences, and must attend the scheduled make-up session to maintain participation in the project)
  •     Complete any assigned readings, videos, or other activities prior to attending live trainings.
  •     Enroll in RSRC 4033 course (there is no charge for enrolling in the course, and it is a 0 credit-hour course).
  •     Log into the Diabetes Health Literacy course Blackboard course shell at least once a week to check for project updates and/or notices.
  •     Complete journal entry responses on Blackboard as assigned.
  •     Complete CITI online trainings.
  •     Respond to any surveys distributed by the project’s team.
  •     Participate in interviews and focus groups associated with the project.
  •     Conduct engagement activities with family members.
  •     Distribute evaluation instruments to family members.


  •  Aug. 2nd: Project Kick-Off Orientation for students, investigators, and trainers  
  • Aug. 9th: Assign introductory readings and videos to be completed before trainings begin  
  • Aug. 16th: Health Literacy Training #1 (2 hour session: Monday@ 3 PM*)  

  • Aug. 23rd: Health Literacy Training #2  (2 hour session: Monday@ 3 PM*)  

  • Aug. 30th: Health Literacy Training #3  (2 hour session: Monday@ 3 PM*)  

  • Sept. 6th: Community Engagement Training #1 (3 hour session: Monday@ 3 PM*)   

  • Sept. 13th: Community Engagement Training #2  (3 hour session: Monday@ 3 PM*)   

  • Sept. 20th : Community Engagement Training #3  (3 hour session: Monday@ 3 PM*)   

  • Oct. 4th: Health Ambassador Community Engagement Project Instructions Meeting  

  • October 11th- Nov. 29th: Health ambassadors conduct engagement activities with their families, complete journaling assessment independently  

  • Week of Dec. 6th: Students distribute evaluation instrument to select family members  

  • Dec. 6th- Dec. 17th: Interviews with health ambassadors conducted  

  • Dec. 20th- Dec. 28th: Compile and analyze results of training evaluations, family member evaluations, health ambassador journals, and interview discussions  

  • Dec. 29th: Submit findings in project report  


Participant FAQs

You are being invited to participate because your major is related to Public Health, or you are taking a class that is relevant to diabetes prevention and/or management; and because you have a family network in the El Paso region (including Juarez and/or Las Cruces) with whom you can engage with on type 2 diabetes information and prevention/management strategies. 

Participation in the project is completely voluntary. You have the right to refuse to participate, and withdraw at any time. 

  • Risks

  • Time commitment- participation in this project will require at least 30 hours, which you should consider your ability to balance alongside your standing academic, work, and personal commitments. 

  • Benefits 

  • A stipend for Health Ambassadors who fulfill all expectations of participation in the project (see “Expectations of Participants/ ‘Health Ambassadors’” for full list of expectations.) 

  • Community engagement training and experience, which can be listed on your C.V. or resume. 

  • Health literacy training, which can be applied to your academic work and your professional practice once you graduate, and can also be listed on your C.V. or resume.

  • CITI training completed for this project will be valid for 3 years, making it easy for you to participate in research projects and/or studies with other groups and researchers at UTEP. 

  • Snacks and/or meals provided during trainings. 

Because of the nature of the project, in which face-to-face trainings are required, the project’s team will know your identity. For consistency, your journal entries, survey and interview responses, and any evaluation instruments you distribute to your family will be grouped together. However, your name will be removed from these responses before they are analyzed by the project’s team, and your identity will not be attached to any information or data that is presented or published after the project’s completion.

Any information the project team collects from you will be collected using secure UTEP- approved tools, including but not limited to Blackboard, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and QuestionPro. Information you provide will be securely stored in Microsoft One Drive, and will be accessible only to the project’s team. Should you provide any identifying information which applies to yourself or your family members in your journal entries or responses, this information will be removed or modified before analysis and publication/presentation of the project’s results (for example, by using pseudonyms or redaction.) 

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