Spring 2011 Results

To:                       St. Lawrence Community Members
From:                   Innovation Grants Committee
Date:                    April 11, 2011
Subject:               Recommendations for Funding Innovation Grants Spring 2011

Warm thanks to everyone who participated in the second 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, Spring 2011, received 20 applications from 38 people by the March 4 deadline. The Committee (Bill DeCoteau, Samantha Glazier, Michael Hayden ’13, Nicole Campbell ’13, Alison Almasian, Elaine White, and Lisa Cania) met three 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 are able to fund 7 applications. 

Summary, with project descriptions follow:

Project                                                                 Coordinators
Campus Arboretum                          Marcus Sherburne, Louise Gava, Carol Cady
Fruit for the Future                             Ryan Gillard ’11, Cassie DiMarino ’12, Amanda Lavigne
Power of Pink                                     Shelly Roiger, Joe Keniston
Sound Installation,                            Michael Farley
Richard F. Brush Art Gallery
Management 101                              Colleen Manley and Debra Mousaw
Improving the                                     Fatima Sall ’13, Dennis Morreale
Calling All Saints Center
The Next Generation                          Ellen Rocco, Dale Hobson, Martha Foley

Campus Arboretum
Marcus Sherburne, Louise Gava and Carol Cady

The location of each of the 3,400 to 4,000 trees on campus will be recorded with a GPS as well as information on tree species, age/size, health and if it is a native species.  With this knowledge, a group of campus stakeholders will be able to decide which trees should be showcased and how visitors should move around our campus to view them.  This project will require funding for signs for selected trees as well as the first printing of the campus tree map/arboretum tour. Upon the establishment of an arboretum it is important to have plan to maintain species selected as well as add trees of species identified as absent from our campus.  This will be a five year plan and will guide the work of the grounds department as tree species and location for planting are selected each year.  The funding for this phase will be done through portions of the Grounds Operating budget dedicated to trees and through the annual capital request procedure. The St. Lawrence University Arboretum will drive our annual tree replacement programs in the future.  We imagine this will be a lovely way for interested students and other visitors to experience our campus as well as a scientifically valuable addition to the St. Lawrence Campus and the Canton Community. 

Fruit for the Future
Ryan Gillard ’11, Cassie DiMarino ’12, Amanda Lavigne

Fruit for the Future is an edible, self-sustaining permaculture landscape, composed of fruit trees (apple, pear, plum), perennial herbs and flowers, and other fruit bushes. This landscape will provide a haven for students and faculty to visit, to enjoy an environmentally beneficial landscape, rather than a simple mowed lawn. This landscape will attract birds, insects, and other wildlife to our space, increasing biodiversity, similar to the intent of the no-mow zones, but more involved and intentional.  Campus and local community members will have the opportunity to benefit from the landscape; class and organization involvement and education will be encouraged. Local farmers can become involved, with education about permaculture and plant care. This type of development in a landscape will be a long-lasting asset to our campus grounds, and a step toward making our space more environmentally sustainable, productive, and inviting. This space will encourage both students and faculty at our university to question the use of open space on our campus, and in communities beyond St. Lawrence.

Power of Pink
Shelly Roiger, Joe Keniston

We would like to increase awareness of the impact that breast cancer is having on our campus community.  We want to offer educational opportunities about the disease, increase the awareness of the impact this is having on our society, and offer support to those who are trying to cope with this reality.  Our week of activities will include a kick off during the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure held during Family Weekend.  From October 1st-8th there will be six athletic events that will strive to bring awareness and fundraising efforts for this cause.  This will be done via halftime contests, business sponsorships, and selling of merchandise. Our student athletes will also be wearing pink to create the visual power of unification and courage.  During the week we would like to hold a panel including a guest speaker who is willing to describe their experience and the impact it has had on their life and the lives of their family.  Our panel would discuss elements such as early detection, education on stages and forms of breast cancer, current treatments being used, and coping mechanisms--perhaps done by a representative from our own mental health center.  There is also a possibility of bringing a mobile mammography unit from the Canton-Potsdam Hospital to campus.

Sound Installation, Richard F. Brush Art Gallery
Michael Farley

Professor Farley and students in his FYP “Sound and Place” will create a permanent sound installation of original music for the Brush Art Gallery.  The grant offsets the cost of the equipment and its placement.  The most observable outcomes will be ambient sound loops in electronic format that play at selected hours.  The art gallery becomes a place not only for visual art but for audio sound created specifically for the space, sensitizing people to intriguing aspects of spaces they may take for granted.

Management 101
Colleen Manley and Debra Mousaw

A function of the Human Resources Office is to provide support to the campus community.  A key element of supporting our colleagues is to provide them with the appropriate tools in which to efficiently and effectively do their jobs.  The Human Resources Office would like to sponsor monthly management training session during the lunch hour to focus on topics instrumental to enabling managers to be more successful by informing and providing up to date department sharing. Our concept is to have at least one manager from each division as a trainee, and this team of trainees can be “peer advisors” to other managers who face questions or issues that could be resolved at the departmental level. 

The Improvement of the Calling All Saints Center
Fatima Sall ’13, Dennis Morreale

The purpose of this project is to improve the working environment of the Calling All Saints program, one of the largest student employment programs on the St. Lawrence campus with over 60 students each semester. Our responsibilities as student callers include contacting alumni, parents, and friends of St. Lawrence to request and secure monetary gifts to the Annual Fund; the gifts made to the fund contribute to the maintenance and proper functioning of this campus annually. In this past fiscal year alone, student callers were able to raise nearly $675,000 from over 4,400 donors.  The call center for the CAS program is currently located in the basement of the Dean-Eaton Residence hall in room 48. This grant will improve the ergonomics and technical support for the callers, improving productivity. Seemingly minor additions would make a world of difference to callers because we would certainly feel appreciated for the work that we do and the cleaner and more efficient environment would be conducive to creating a closer and more productive community.

The Next Generation
Ellen Rocco, Dale Hobson, Martha Foley

We are opening the door for the next generation of public media users and producers to work with North Country Public Radio staff on digital and broadcast platforms. Specifically, we are introducing a new internship program to engage SLU and other regional college students and recent grads in the work of a public media organization. We are interested in working with people who want to know more about producing media for an audience, about curating content from across the digital world, and about making pieces for social media and other digital platforms. We see this project as a three-way street: interns learn from NCPR professionals, NCPR professionals learn from interns about how digital media are used by the next generation, and the public engages with the work produced by all. We propose to work with 1-3 interns during academic year 2011-12.