Innovative Faculty and Staff IDEAS Gain Funding


Presenter speaking in front of committees

Eight creative proposals to help the University work smarter, totaling $50,039, were unveiled during a reception today. These proposals represent the first cohort of University IDEAS projects, which stands for Innovate, Design, Excel and Assess for Success.

“For the first time, the campus has a small fund to promote innovation on campus. This program gives the campus community an opportunity to propose innovative ideas and secure needed resources to improve our campus environment,” said Gitanjali Kaul, vice president for strategic planning, enrollment management, and innovation (SPEMI).

The proposals selected for funding and their presenters included:

  • Yo Puedo (I Can) Boot Camp – Carolina Alfaro
  • Powtoon Platform – Carolina Alfaro
  • Simulation Pilot – Sevaughn Banks
  • Body Positive – Susan Brumm, Ann Marie Washington
  • Maker Space/Fab Lab – Dan Edwards
  • LIFT (Library, Faculty and Tutoring Center) Pilot – Catherine Hannula
  • Creative Project Coordination – Kristina Stamper, Feuna Shahbazian, Miguel Pulido, Brad Peatross
  • Sculpture Area – Jake Weigel

The proposals funded were among 20 submitted by faculty and staff earlier this year. Submissions were reviewed by SPEMI, Human Resources and the University Budget Advisory Committee. President Ellen Junn made the final selections from Cabinet recommendations. 

The IDEAS program grew out of Strategic Plan Goal 3, which urges the University to build an innovative and visionary future, drawing on campus creativity and open to community support. The goal emphasizes using commonsense approaches to solve problems by tapping the collective wisdom of those who know those problems best.

The pilot projects include plans for assessment and evaluation of their results. Entrants were also asked to look at potential budget savings or campus partnerships for their proposals.

“Funding for this program is available on an annual basis.  Another round of competitive proposals will be funded in Spring 2019.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to apply,” Kaul said.