LVC Announces Latest Round of President's Innovation Fund Grants

Professors Mat Samuel and Matt Sayers pose in front of a "Doorway to Diversity" project

Lebanon Valley College recently announced the awarding of the fourth annual President’s Innovation Fund grants. Seven grants were awarded this year, bringing the total number of grants awarded to almost 50 since Dr. Lewis E. Thayne, LVC president, created the program in 2013.

The grants will bring new academic opportunities in mindfulness, culture, writing, and communication. Students, faculty, and staff will benefit from these projects—many of which correlate with the focus areas of the College’s strategic plan, Envision 2020.

The fund’s guidelines set three purposes for each proposal: support innovation in the development of new courses and program ideas; encourage collaboration among existing courses and programs; and, support efforts by departments or programs to achieve standards of excellence in assessing student-learning outcomes. The guidelines were also established to ensure a co-curricular approach to student learning and program development. 

Annual grant applications are open to all members of the campus community. Please visit www.lvc.edu/presidents-innovation-fund to learn more about this year’s grants. A summary of the 2016 grants awarded:

“Mindfulness: Educating for Enhanced Performance”

Dr. Edward Sullivan, professor of business administration; Dr. Carmen Garcia Armero, associate professor of Spanish; Dr. Marianne Goodfellow, associate professor of sociology; Dr. Renee Norris, chair and professor of music; Rev. Dr. Paul Fullmer, chaplain and director of service and volunteerism; Megan Potteiger, director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning/educational technology.

A two-phase innovative program designed to integrate mindfulness-based practices into the culture at LVC begins with providing faculty with mindfulness skills that will enhance the quality and impact of teaching. The second phase focuses on faculty introducing these practices to students to enhance student creativity and innovation, life balance, and compassion. The grant also will help to bring Michael Carroll, an author and longtime student and teacher of meditation in the lineage of the Tibetan master Chogyam Trungpa, to campus this fall. This project will contribute to the development of a higher performing culture, one of the focus areas of the College’s Envision 2020 strategic plan.

 

“Creating a Latino College Culture at LVC”

Dr. Ivette Guzman-Zavala, associate professor of Spanish

This grant will support numerous initiatives to create a more visible space for Latino students. This fall, the class “Spanish for Heritage Speakers” will be offered and assist Latino students with the grammar and cultural components of the language. Readings for the class will focus on environmental problems and initiatives taking place in the Hispanic world. Additional support for the College’s annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration and a service-learning trip to Puerto Rico in May 2017 are also included.

 

“Advisory Committee for Symposium Programming for Business Leaders”

Dr. David Setley, chair of business and economics and associate professor of business administration 

This grant will support bringing speakers from the business community to the College to share their experiences. These funds will also support the revitalization of an advisory committee consisting of area business leaders who will provide their expertise to the MBA and undergraduate business programs.

 

“Writing: A Life”

Dr. Holly Wendt, assistant professor of English; Dr. Cathy Romagnolo, chair and associate professor of English

“Writing: A Life” is a new writers series that will bring a dynamic variety of rising and established creative writers and artists to the College to create student-centered educational opportunities in the arts and humanities. The highlight of the series is a weeklong residency by a notable writer with a reading, workshop, and series of one-on-one consultations with students. Three additional writers will come to campus for shorter durations to conduct public readings and performances, visit courses, and offer workshops.

 

“Intergroup Dialogue at LVC—Phase 2”

Dr. Matthew Sayers, associate professor of religion; Heidi Freeland-Trail, residential life area coordinator

Building on previous Innovation Fund grants for intergroup dialogue (IGD) initiatives, additional members of the LVC community will participate in training to expand IGD programming on campus. The expansion of the program will empower students to “think critically and creatively across boundaries” and “value differences among human beings,” supporting the theme of engaged and impactful learning central to the College’s strategic plan, Envision 2020.

 

“Residential Life–Graduate Assistant”

Dr. Michael Diesner, director of residential life; Heidi Freeland-Trail, residential life area coordinator

Through this grant, a newly created residential life graduate assistant (GA) position will provide developmental opportunities for residents through programming, discipline, and advisement. The GA’s duties include assisting the area coordinators with the supervision of programming, training, and evaluation of staff, along with various administrative and staff recognition responsibilities.

 

“Diverse Affiliate Ministries” 

Rev. Dr. Paul Fullmer, chaplain and director of service and volunteerism

Through this grant, the College will partner with four ministers representing underserved student constituencies at LVC. Ministers from the Catholic, Islamic, Jewish, and Wiccan faiths will facilitate weekly learning and fellowship for LVC students; coordinate with Metz Culinary Services regarding major holidays and dietary preferences of student communities; and oversee engagement between students and local faith communities.