St. Lawrence Awards Fall 2017 Innovation Grants

St. Lawrence University announced the Fall 2017 Innovation Grant award recipients, which include adulting workshops, a standing-desk project in the library, water leak sensors, recycling bins in areas frequented by students, and a series of workshops on financial literacy for students.

Supported by the President’s Office as a result of a $100,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Innovation Grants program began in 2010 to encourage initiatives that will improve the quality of life at St. Lawrence through curricular, co-curricular or campus life projects and provide a foundation for St. Lawrence’s future. Students, faculty and staff are eligible for the grants.

Below are the winning proposals:

Adulting Workshops
Tiara Davis (Career Services), Charnele Luster (Residence Life), Sarah Barber (English)

Workshops  on “adulting” – a term for managing adult responsibilities – will introduce students to young regional alumni – particularly young women, people of color, and those from under-represented backgrounds – who will share their expertise in four areas: Representing Yourself for Career and Professional Development, Enhancing People Skills and Interpersonal Etiquette, Self-Care, and Personal Finance; each will be the subject of its own workshop. The workshops will be designed for first-years, sophomores and juniors and will begin in the 2018-19 academic year.

Standing Desk Project in ODY Library
Justin Sipher (Libraries and Information Technology), Josie Brown’19, Alexandra Wagner’19 (Thelmo Student Life Committee)

Research shows that the use of standing desks improves both health and concentration amongst those who use them. The grant will support the purchase and placement standing desks in Owen D. Young Library to provide students with an excellent studying option for years to come. Additionally, they create a new study space beyond that which is currently offered. 

Sensing Troubled Waters
Ryan Kmetz (Sustainability and Energy Management) and Ryan Strate (Facilities)

Smart-water leak sensors will be installed in all occupied University building basements. The sensor works by deploying a cable along the edge of the floor in order to detect an increase in conductivity setting off (triggering) a virtual alarm, allowing the University to respond almost immediately to flooding situations. This will ensuring the comfort and safety of building occupants and limit physical damage to the buildings.

Recycling Bins Around Campus
Bridget Ireland’18, Ryan Kmetz (Sustainability and Energy Management), Members of Thelmo Environmental Committee

Nine clearly marked and exclusive recycle bins will be installed in areas frequented by students, including The Suites, the corner of University and Park Streets, Kirk Douglas Hall, Gunnison Memorial Chapel, Intramural Fields and the Townhouse Quad. Individual bins that have clear specifications for what can be recycled in them have been shown in studies to be more likely to be respected and utilized properly. The selected bins have two openings for increased use and are designed to be visually pleasing to increase use.

Student Financial Literacy 
Carol Gable (Finance), Mary Cosmo (Comptroller), Beth Larrabee (Career Services)

Administrators from Student Financial Services, Financial Aid, Career Services, Career Connections, the Business Office, FYP, HEOP, and Alumni Relations will offer a series of workshops for students. Topics for the workshops will include: 

  • Why and How to Create a Budget
  • Understanding Banks and Credit Unions
  • Establishing Credit History and Your FICO Score
  • Student Loans and Repayment/Deferment Options
  • Retirement Plans and Investment Options
  • Employment Benefit Packages

For more information, visit Innovation Grants.