St. Lawrence University announced the Fall 2018 Innovation Grant award recipients, which include purchasing glasses to correct color vision deficiency, chargers for students’ electronic devices, mental health events that take place outside the Counseling Center, alternative alcohol-free first Saturday events, interpretive signage at building entrances, and bat boxes.
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:
Laura Lavoie (Student Activities and Leadership) and Cheyenne McQuain, ’20
There are limited resources the North Country for students to enjoy a “night out” outside of party culture, particularly during the winter months. While numerous campus events are not centered on alcohol, many are academic or career-preparation focus, which do not fill the need for casual socialization and a break from the rigors of academic coursework. First Saturday alternative-to-alcohol programming will provide free, on-campus events for students who prefer not to engage in drinking culture, to take place on the first Saturday of each month. For Spring 2019: Feb. 2, Extreme Laser Tag; March 2, Paint & Sip with Mocktails; April 6, Grocery Bingo; May 4, Glow-in-the-Dark Roller Rink.
Accessibility for CVD Students
Madeleine Frank ’19, Erkan Toraman (Geology), and Student Accessibility Services
Around 8 percent of males and 0.5 percent of females, about 100 St. Lawrence students, deal with some sort of color vision deficiency, also known as “color blindness.” Color vision deficiency (CVD) can make succeeding in class more difficult, especially in the sciences and arts, where color is often an integral part of learning. The Innovation Grant for Accessibility for CVD Students will purchase Enchroma glasses, which are cost-prohibitive for many students, which optically remove certain wave lengths of light to make color vision possible for people with a deficiency. Student Accessibility Services will provide these glasses free-of-charge on a loan system.
Building Mental Whealth
Tina Tao (Academic Support), Tara Tent (Counseling Services), Tsewang Lama (International Student Services), Colleen Coakley (Academic Development), and Sam Heikkinen ’19
Many people do not feel comfortable accessing mental health counseling but may be open to engage in positive coping strategies. This initiative creates opportunities for all students to access mental health strategies and concepts outside the Counseling Center. The four main components to this program are: 1.) Mental Whealth Days, 2.) “Hear Our Stories,” mental health conversations with faculty and staff, 3.) Translation of health and counseling forms, 4.) QPR suicide prevention training for students. These events will take place throughout the academic year.
Chargers to Borrow
Aimee Hebert ’21, Cecelia Rooney ’20 and Rene Thatcher (Information Technology)
This initiative will provide students with access to chargers for laptops, mobile phones, and tablets while studying in the Sullivan Student Center or the Owen D. Young Library. Chargers for MacBook, iPhone, Androids, and Chromebook will be provided at the Student Life desk on the second floor of the Student Center and at the front desk of the ODY. In exchange for a student ID, students may borrow a charger for as long as they need to complete their work.
Bat Boxes on Campus
Erik Sauer ’20, Eliza Gillilan ’19, and Sara Ashpole (Environmental Studies)
Upstate New York has been the epicenter for the spread of what has become an extremely prevalent disease in bats, White Nose Syndrome. The disease was first sighted in 2006 near Albany and has since spread to locations as far as Washington state. The disease is highly destructive, eliminating as much as 90 to 100 percent of bat populations in a given area. The surviving species need safe places in which they can raise their young and thus ensure the species can recover. Bat boxes are simple wooden structures, not unlike bird houses in appearance, that aim to mimic the space between bark and a tree trunk. The boxes, when fitted with ultraviolet lights, could provide inoculation sites to combat white nose syndrome. The initiative would place four pairs of bat boxes at the Living Lab site and along the Saddlemire Trail. Accompanying these boxes would be small interpretive posters that would educate readers about bats and their value to agriculture and the natural ecosystem.
SLU Building Signage Phase II
Paul Haggett (Library), Marcus Sherburne (Facilities), and Paul Doty (Library)
Many people have influenced the development of the St. Lawrence University campus over its 160 year history. One way of recognizing that influence is through the naming of buildings and other spaces on campus. These names and buildings become landmarks, yet, in many cases, signage identifying them often does not add any historical context to the building or its namesake. This project adds interpretive signage at major entrances to certain campus buildings and other spaces, explaining the history behind the name, the building, or both.
The Innovation Grant committee members included Associate Professor of Music In-Sil Yoo, Hana Bushara ’21, Executive Secretary for Student Life Elaine White, Executive Director of Admissions Jeremy Freeman, and Vice President for Community and Employee Relations Lisa Cania.