Innovation Grants: Recommendations for Funding

Warm thanks to everyone who participated in the Innovation Grants program.  The Committee feels inspired by the proposals we reviewed, which reflect commitment of the University community to improving the quality of life on campus and of the University’s connection to the regional community. Many proposals also reflected commitment to environmental sustainability and to diversity.

The Innovation Grants project received 12 applications from 43 people. The Committee (Bill DeCoteau, Erin McCarthy, Noah Fitch’14, Michael Hayden’13, Alison Almasian, Elaine White, and Lisa Cania) met four times to assess the proposals, an assessment that included a written evaluation rubric completed by each committee member for each proposal, discussion of our results, vetting of proposals with relevant Senior Staff or department leaders, and contacting some of the proposal writers if we had any questions.

Technology-Infused Collaboration Space
Grant Currie and Mike Alzo

These funds would cover the integration of technology into a space on the lower-level of ODY Library in the vicinity of the IT HelpDesk and other Educational Technologies resources. The proposed enhancement to this space could be seen as an extension of the approach we have taken with the Training Lab. In this new space, technology will feature an LCD panel to which a group could connect their laptops or other mobile computing devices and easily switch between displays presented on the panel. This arrangement will facilitate collaborations utilizing the participants' own computing devices. The space will be used by groups of students, faculty, or staff. Planners expect the technology integrated in this space will be mobile so it could be located elsewhere in the library if needed. This will function as a pilot of an approach and inform the Facilities Master Planning process.

Wounded Warriors
Mark Raymond and Joe Keniston

Our goal is to strengthen the relationship between St. Lawrence University and Fort Drum, in conjunction with the military base’s “Wounded Warrior” program. We want to increase awareness of the medical and social problems that our brave servicemen and women face upon returning home from active duty. We hope to enhance the liberal arts education of our students by welcoming a speaker from Fort Drum on Friday, September 7, to address students regarding the Wound Warrior campaign and how raising money and awareness will help benefit our troops. We expect this speaker will cover a variety of topics, from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to prosthetic limbs and family care on the base. On Saturday, September 8, the Saints football team will play the Norwich University Cadets, with “Touchdowns for the Troops” donations going to Fort Drum’s Wounded Warriors to help in the rehabilitation of soldiers. Our student-athletes will wear commemorative uniforms that will be auctioned off following the game, with all proceeds again benefiting Fort Drum. We look forward to providing the opportunity to unite students, faculty, staff and North Country residents by rallying around the bravest of our society and establishing a strong bond between campus and the base.

Marketing Career Services to Student Athletes
Michelle Gould, Molly Lunn ’12, Doug Geraghty ’12, Franco Bari

The SLU Career Services Department, Athletic Department, Student-Athlete Development Committee and Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) wish to collaborate in the proposal of a Student-Athlete Career Day, titled tentatively "Marketing the Student-Athlete Experience." The purpose of this project is to assist student-athletes in gaining experience and confidence in marketing their athletic and co- curricular involvements. This can cultivate an understanding from students that their experience from athletics is highly applicable to their careers and possessing the ability to market these experiences can be hugely beneficial throughout their interviewing processes.

Expansion of the Mediation Program
Laura Rediehs and Kathleen Buckley

Over 30 students (some seniors) and 15 faculty and staff have been trained as mediators, response to this pilot program has been strong.    Students trained as mediators benefit by receiving a highly valuable experiential learning opportunity that gives them skills that are helpful to them and others both while they are at SLU and in their lives beyond graduation. The faculty and staff who are trained find the skills helpful in their daily work, and can assist with faculty/staff issues that come up requiring mediation. All who are trained in mediation have a positive effect on others because of their increased skills at handling conflicts in both formal and informal mediation settings.  Those participating in mediation are also helped, both with respect to helping them resolve the conflict that brought them to mediation, and in the skills they themselves learn by participating in this process. They also learn to listen to others more deeply—no longer immediately taking offense when others don’t express themselves well, but better able to ask the questions that help reveal the legitimate needs that lie behind the sometimes ill-chosen words. The more people who are trained in mediation, the greater the potential for a transformation of our campus culture into one where everyone becomes more skilled at addressing conflicts. We anticipate this program will have far reaching, positive ramifications for our community. This grant expands the program and gives organizers a chance to delegate work in order to concentrate on grant writing.

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