Fall 2010 Results

To:                        St. Lawrence Community Members
From:                   Innovation Grants Committee
Date:                    December 1, 2010
Subject:               Recommendations for Funding           
Warm thanks to everyone who participated in the first round of 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.

The Innovation Grants project, announced September 6, received 31 applications from 58 people by the October 15 deadline. The Committee (Bill DeCoteau, Samantha Glazier, Michael Hayden ’13, Nicole Campbell ’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.

We hope to announce very soon the schedule for the second round of funding proposals, planned for the spring semester.   With sincere thanks to all who submitted a proposal and with awe for the great ideas among you, we announce these successful proposals:

Project                                                                                Coordinators

Portable CWA Scanner                                        Allie Shea ’13, Amy Calapa, Robby Glass ’13
Hydration Station                                                   Robby Glass ’13, Amanda Lavigne, Brad Baldwin
SLU for Peace                                                       Sajana Blank, Laura Rediehs
Spirit Week                                                             Joseph Rothrock ’11, Gary Gilmond ’12, Amy Calapa
Campus Connect: Suicide Prevention              Daniel Hernandez and Torrey Center Staff
First-Year Convocation                                         Karl Schonberg, Patti Lock, Tom Pynchon
Healthy Campus Initiative                                    Jodi Canfield, Margie Strait, Robin Durocher
Annual Laurentian Mentorship in the  Arts        Sarah Barber, Pedro Ponce, Amy Hauber
Faculty Café                                                             Alison Del Rossi, Judith DeGroat, Devon Stein
SLU Trail Network                                                  Dan McDonnell

If you’d like more information about the projects, here are brief descriptions.

Portable CWA Scanner:  Students rarely carry cash.  But students want to make donations or purchases. The grant money will purchase a portable scanner that would give students the ability to use the Campus-Wide Account anywhere on campus where there are purchases to be made, not just simply the Bookstore or local restaurants.  The scanner would enable student organizations to become much more efficient and profitable in their sales of goods that support class gifts and senior events, event tickets, and other donation opportunities. This will generate revenue for clubs and organizations, giving them the ability to hold more events and sponsor more activities. 

Haws Hydration Station: The Thelmo Environmental Conservation Committee along with the St. Lawrence University Conservation Council would like to install a Haws Hydration Station on campus in the Sullivan Student Center. The Hydration Station filters tap water and allows one to easily fill a reusable water canister. While some may assume it is easy to fill a reusable water bottle in a sink or at a water fountain, the current water fountains do not allow for ease of bottle filling (due to height of bottle vs. height of water stream). Most refillable water canisters do not fit in the bathroom sink either. In addition, the majority of students do not like the idea of drinking tap water from the bathroom.  Hydration Stations tie directly into St. Lawrence University’s commitment to sustainability.

SLU for Peace:  “SLU for Peace” is a weeklong, campus-wide initiative seeking to facilitate dialogue on peace, justice and conflict resolution through lectures, open-forums, discussions, student-led activities and broader awareness raising campaigns. Initially launched in January 2010, we propose to expand SLU for Peace around the new theme of “Food and Hunger” through meaningful collaborations that cross curricular, extra-curricular, and disciplinary boundaries and raise awareness of peaceful means to resolve conflicts. The multifaceted elements of peace explored through these collaborations and events will inspire an ongoing discussion of these critical issues, and spark action towards creating change. Through SLU for Peace, key partnerships will develop and make it possible for us, as a community, to take a stand and work together to promote peace both in and beyond our college community.

Spirit Week:  Across other college campuses, schools celebrate school spirit in different ways. Here at SLU we are looking to build a tradition of this sort of spirit, based around principal of unifying the St. Lawrence community. Our idea we created is known as Spirit Week. Last year the four Class Councils started such an event. This year the four Class Councils are continuing as the main sponsors.  It kicks off on Thursday, February 10, with a pep rally-style "colors day" where each class wears its respective color. Events on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will culminate in Scarket & Brown Day, February 15, when SLU takes on Clarkson on home ice. Of course, to keep everyone's energy up, we're planning on having a Dana theme brunch or dinner sometime during the week. Throughout the week each of the four classes will also compete with each other for the most participation in Spirit Week events. Participation will be recorded by student id numbers, and put into percentages to see who will have the highest percentage at an event and then win in each event.

Campus Connect: Suicide Prevention:  The program is designed to teach faculty, staff and students, how to identify and refer to counseling, depressed and potentially suicidal students. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students and untreated depression is the number one cause. The good news is that actual suicide is a rare event. The bad news is that a significant number of college students who experience mental health issues do not get referred to a resource, where that important distinction can be made.  A gatekeeper program on campus will identify more students in distress and facilitate prompt referral to appropriate resources. While the primary goal of Campus Connect is to reduce the risk of suicide, there are important secondary gains of providing more treatment for depression and creating greater awareness and empathy on campus.   Campus Connect is highly interactive, with gatekeepers participating in multiple exercises throughout training. Each training group will consist of 20 or fewer participants, to promote an interactive learning process.

First-Year Convocation: for all first year students take place 10:10 – 11:30 on the morning of the fifth Thursday of the Fall semester.  The goals include increasing a sense of community; increasing students’ connection to the University; helping them to understand the idea of becoming a “Laurentian for Life”; exposing them to the resources available to them through the alumni network; increasing the awareness, significance, and visibility of the St. Lawrence Honor Code; building student awareness of the history and traditions at St. Lawrence; and celebrating the St. Lawrence family.  While the program will be finalized in consultation with many offices, we envision a program similar to the following description.     The student chair of the Honor Council would speak and all first year students would sign a large parchment copy of the honor code which will then be displayed throughout their four years here.  In addition,  two or three St. Lawrence alumni would be invited back to campus to talk about what their St. Lawrence education meant to them and how each has stayed connected to the University.  In particular, the idea of the alumni network as a resource for students would be introduced.  The program would likely include a short speech on the history of St. Lawrence.  Each FYP might be encouraged to elect a student representative to give a one-minute speech on the significance of the person the FYP is named after.  University songs would be sung.  Alumni guests would have lunch with students in Dana after the convocation.

Healthy Campus Initiative:  a comprehensive health and fitness program based on universal practices of health and wellness education.  The program will be offered to all faculty and staff, either part-time or full-time employees.  The creation of worksite health programs and fostering employee wellness is viewed as an important criterion for controlling individual and corporate health care costs (Corbin, Welk, Corbin, & Welk, 2009).  This initiative will include individual fitness assessments conducted by department staff, as well as health screening and programming opportunities provided by area hospital partners.  One goal of the program is the development of personalized health and fitness portfolios and the creation of customized exercise and nutrition programs.   In addition, the area hospitals will provide outreach opportunities for cholesterol, diabetes, skin cancer, and breast cancer screenings.    Student internships opportunities (either with or without credit) are also expected to occur with this initiative.  For example, assessments will be conducted by a staff member of our department with the assistance of a student interested in the field.  It is also expected that SSES minors that have an interest in health careers will help develop and implement the individual programs, as well as the organization and development of the brown-bag seminars and health screening events. 

Annual Laurentian Mentorship in the Arts: (ALMA) provides an occasion for students at St. Lawrence to interact with emerging regional artists working in a variety of media in an evening of exhibitions, readings, and performances. Artists presenting will also mentor students in small-group workshops about post-graduation opportunities, including the role of new media and technologies; careers in art, art business, and non-profit arts organizations; graduate education in the arts; and copyright in new media and technologies. Four emerging artists—with a preference given to those creating interdisciplinary, intermedia works and/or works involving new technologies—will lead afternoon workshops—attendance will be limited to pre-registered students—in areas of their expertise. Afterward, the artists will present their work in an early evening event open to the public.  A committee of students from a variety of arts-oriented fields (advised by faculty from Art and English) will select the artist-mentors based on recommendations solicited from faculty across the disciplines.

Faculty Café: The Faculty Development Committee (FDC) proposes to institute a regular symposium for faculty scholarship and creativity.  There is a sense that faculty know too little about what other faculty are doing from a scholarly perspective; yet, there is a wide range and large amount of engaging scholarship being generated by our colleagues that is rarely shared and celebrated. We have conceptualized a “Faculty Café” to replace the more formal, irregularly-scheduled Faculty Forum series. The Faculty Café will invite faculty members to present, in a way accessible to a broad audience, on recently published, performed, or installed work, as well as work in progress.  The FDC’s goals are to create a new venue for faculty to share their scholarly projects with each other; to inspire lively discussion and helpful feedback; and spark interest in future interdisciplinary collaborations.

Trail Rehab Project:  St. Lawrence University owns more than 300 acres of land, adjacent to campus, that have been enjoyed by countless students and employees over the years.  The trail network through these areas was once extensive, giving students and SLU employees alike seemingly endless opportunities to run, bike, walk, ski or snowshoe for hours without ever crossing the same point twice.  In past years, however, many of the trails have been less traveled and effectively forgotten.  Many of the trails that have survived are dead ends, with no options for looping around.  Additionally, the trails have little-to-no-signage, making cautious potential users turn around and go elsewhere.

This proposal will rehabilitate and reclaim the trail system on properties adjacent to our main campus, specifically the “Sand Banks” property that is bordered by the Grasse and Little Rivers, and the Kip Tract.  Student organizations such as the Outing Club, the Hunting and Fishing Club, the Nordic Ski Club, and the Mountain Bike Club have expressed great enthusiasm at the prospect of improving the existing trails as well as creating some much-needed connecting trails.  Outdoor Program-involved students have also committed to helping out.  The coaching staff for the men’s and women’s cross country and Nordic teams support the idea and will likely encourage their team members to lend a hand.