Elizabeth Lasker

Interprofessional Program for Academic Community Engagement (IPACE) fellow is working to build a water safety coalition through partnerships with the CEC, local schools and nonprofits, and UMB.

This is the latest in a series from the University of Maryland, Baltimore's Interprofessional Program for Academic Community Engagement (IPACE) highlighting one of its inaugural fellows.

Elizabeth Lasker, assistant director of aquatics at URecFit, is passionate about water safety. As one of the inaugural IPACE FellowsLasker wanted to create a water safety coalition to eventually provide job training and public health education to local young people. While COVID-19 interrupted the original vision for this program, Lasker has been able to adapt much of this work to a virtual setting and build more partnerships along the way. 

This summer, she launched the Virtual Water Safety curriculum and delivered it to students involved with the Summer U camp at URecFit.  Since then, other partnerships have been created and led to opportunities to continue teaching the curriculum this fall.  

Starting Oct. 7, Lasker will teach the curriculum to students participating in the Police Athletic/Activities League (PALS) program at the UMB Community Engagement Center. Through this partnership, Lasker was invited to become a member of the Southwest Sports Alliance and made connections at a local high schoolVivien T. Thomas. She is now working collaboratively with school leadership on their plan to identify eight to 10 high school students to be engaged in the Virtual Water Safety curriculum and, as social distancing restrictions relax, swim lessons and lifeguard preparations will begin 

Simultaneously, Lasker is also working to involve UMB students and give them opportunities to earn service-learning hours and experience. She is partnering with Greg Brightbill, associate director, student leadership and involvement, and the President's Student Leadership Institute to recruit cohorts that are willing to spread the mission of water safety by developing ideas within their own disciplines. 

These initial steps have helped lay the foundation of promoting water safety within Baltimore communities. Lasker is continuing to work with other organizations including Safe Kids Baltimore and Diversity in Aquatics to create more partnerships, more opportunities, and more ways to spread the importance of water safety to all populations and communities. 

To learn more about the IPACE Fellows Programthe work of the other fellows, and the upcoming application for cohort 2, please visit https://www.umaryland.edu/ipace/fellows-program-in-community-engagement/

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