Second Annual Student Innovation Grants Awarded

Beauty shot of the fountain in Yuhas Commons

Cultural travel, networking experiences, academic opportunities, and student programming will be enhanced through the second annual Student Innovation Fund grants announced by Dr. Lewis E. Thayne, LVC president. More than a dozen grants have now been awarded since the program began last year.

Similar to the President’s Innovation Fund, awarded for faculty and staff projects, this initiative focuses on student-initiated pilot projects that have long-term, wide-reaching potential to foster transformative learning on and off campus.   

Students formulate proposals and submit them for review. Proposals must fall into one of three categories:

  • Innovative programming that enhances the educational and/or co-curricular experience of students or programs. 
  • Strategic focus funding that considers initiatives that incorporate aspects of the Envision 2020 strategic plan.
  • Program enhancement funding intended to improve current programs and/or initiatives. 

A summary of this year’s grants follows:


Green Blotter Literary Society
Jackie Chicalese ’18, Jess Coughlin ’17, Sydney Fuhrman ’18

The student editors of the College’s literary journal will travel to Washington, D.C., in February to attend the Associated Writing Programs’ 50th Anniversary Conference. In addition to learning opportunities at the conference, LVC students will staff a table to provide a presence at the book fair for Green Blotter. By attending panels, students will also be able to find appropriate talented writers to bring to campus for the College’s new Poets & Writers Series, Writing: A Life.


Study Abroad Network
Elizabeth O’Connor ’17, Uyen Dang ’17, Devon Malloy ’19, Anh Truong ’18

Sponsored by the College’s Global Education Club, the proposed Study Abroad Network aims to expose LVC’s international students and the wider campus community to life and American culture outside of Lebanon Valley College. By providing safe and inclusive excursions to different cultural environments, these trips will also cultivate new friendships, serve as a catalyst for dialogue about cultures, and further globalize the campus community.


Freedom Rings
Emma Woodward ’19, Neal Rose ’18, Andrew Godleski ’18

Freedom Rings received grant funding to underwrite its annual Freedom Week events, bring guest speakers to campus, and provide travel and registration assistance to club members for national conferences. Freedom Week focuses on LGBT+ culture and diversity, and provides a safe and welcoming week for members of the campus LGBT+ community through events such as a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a drag show, and educational panels. 


Student Government Outdoor Study Spaces
Gavin Kolaric ’17 and Laura Schmidt ’17

This grant, requested by Student Government, will improve the furniture and outdoor space around Rosemary Yuhas Commons to encourage additional outdoor studying and recreation. The grant will support the purchase of new tables and chairs made of recycled materials, which speaks to the College’s commitment to sustainability.


Black Male Initiative
Michael Ogunyemi ’18, Tyler Rhoads ’18, Collin Moore ’18, Ja’von Nelson ’18, Cyree Sutton-Ames ’18, Jonathan Jones ’18, Cameron Boxley ’19

The newly established Black Male Initiative will provide important and relevant academic, professional, and social experiences that will help minority males succeed in all facets of their LVC careers and increase the College’s retention rate. Programs will include support groups and meetings with professional staff members, academic mentoring, social support, development trips, community service, speakers, workshops, and staff networking.