Fall 2017 Innovation Grants

Now in its eighth year, the Innovation Grants program has inspired so many wonderful projects on campus.  Take a moment, if you can, to review some of the past proposals as we celebrate the successful Fall 2017 proposals.

Helping students learn about and become proficient in responsibilities related to adulthood,  improving community health with standing desks, enhancing safety with flood sensors, and expanding recycling options are the concepts that the committee found to be most well designed and innovative from among the dozen proposals. The committee members (In-Sil Yoo, Rian Falcon’18, Elaine White, Jeremy Freeman, and Lisa Cania) loved the variety of ideas in all 14 proposals, and chose these five to have the optimum effect on campus. 

NOTE:  the deadline for the Spring 2018 competition is Friday, March 16.

Fall Grants Awarded are:

Adulting Workshops
Tiara Davis, Charnele Luster, Sarah Barber

Adulting (a term for managing one’s adult responsibilities, anything from laundry and grocery shopping to job applications and interviews) is hard to do. SLU’s adulting workshops 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 program will feature an application process, designed for current first-years, sophomores, and juniors. Workshops begin in 2018-2019.

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

Research on the benefits of standing desks supports that the use of standing Desks improve both health and concentration amongst those who use them.  This proposal supports the purchase and placement of a number of standing desks in Owen D. Young Library to provide students at St. Lawrence with an excellent studying option for years to come. Additionally, they create a new study space beyond that which is currently offered.  The Standing Desk Project represents a clear opportunity for St. Lawrence to both modernize its study spaces while also increasing the study options available in our community.

Sensing Troubled Waters
Ryan Kmetz and Ryan Strate

The Sensing Troubled Waters initiative will provide the University campus with a simple risk mitigation tool – a smart water leak sensor to install in our 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, thereby allowing the University to respond almost immediately to flooding situations; therefore, ensuring the comfort and safety of building occupants, limiting physical damage to the buildings and material assets within a building, and mitigating time element losses. The project will take place in all occupied buildings on campus. Buildings in low lying areas with a history of being flooded will be prioritized. The project will cover 100% of our most vulnerable buildings.

Recycling Bins Around Campus
Bridget Ireland’18, Ryan Kmetz, Members of Thelmo Environmental Committee

This project is designed to increase recycling by those on St. Lawrence's Campus. This project will install up to nine clearly marked and exclusive recycle bins around campus in areas frequented by students. These areas include: The Suites, the corner of University and Park Streets, Kirk Douglas Hall, Gunnison Chapel, Intramural Fields and the Townhouse Quad. While many of these area have some sort of trash/recycling bin combination, many times items are tossed into the closest opening rather than separating them. 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. Small opens in the lids limit the possibility of misuse. The selected bins have two openings for increased use and are designed to be visually pleasing to increase use.

Student Financial Literacy
Carol Gable, Mary Cosmo, Beth Larrabee

Several administrators from Student Financial Services, Financial Aid, Career Services, Career Connections, Business Office, FYP, HEOP, Alumni Relations organized an ad hoc committee to discuss how to provide student financial literacy education at St. Lawrence.  Their discussions resulted in a proposal to offer a series of workshops for students; topics for the planned
workshops 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