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Twenty-two academic initiatives win grants through 2001 Vision Fund program
Twenty-two academic initiatives win grants through 2001 Vision Fund programJanuary 20, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
Syracuse University has awarded Vision Fund grants to 22 newacademic initiatives for the year 2001 funding cycle. The Vision Fund programwas established in 1998 to stimulate innovative approaches to teaching andlearning.
Coordinated by the Center for Support of Teaching and Learning (CSTL), theprogram consists of two categories of grants: a small grant fund that providesup to $5,000 to support creative ideas of individual faculty and staff, and alarge grant fund that targets departments, schools and colleges, and providessupport ranging from $10,000 to $30,000.
Originally designed as a three-year initiative, the University has extendedthe Vision Fund Program for another year, according to Franklin P. Wilbur,associate vice president for undergraduate studies and executive director of theCSTL. A call for proposals for a fourth round of funding will be sent out duringthe fall 2001 semester.
“This third round of Vision Fund winners are among the most excitingyet,” Wilbur says. “Many are cross disciplinary, and all have a highpotential for improving student learning. For an institution with innovation asa core value, this fund underscores the importance we place on encouragingvisionary, experimental and creative thinking, and to removing barriers tocreative change.”
The Vision Fund proposals are reviewed by a committee of faculty, staff andstudents against criteria that emphasizes teaching and learning, diversity, andinterdisciplinary approaches that would impact the greatest number of students.CSTL staff offers training and support for faculty and staff in both writing theproposals and in implementing the projects.
Proposals funded this year include:
? Art, Education and Environment: A collaborative project among interiordesign students in the College for Human Development, students in the School ofEducation and children of the SU Early Education and Child Care Center todevelop classroom environments that enhance teaching and learning;
? Peer Training Program to Improve Performance of Undergraduates whoProvide Community Service to Children and Youth: A focused training programencompassing a 90-minute formal training session with three hours of follow-upactivities to provide students with the skills they need to create a saferelationship with the children they work with;
? Ritual and Religion-Selected Work from the Light Work Collection: thefirst in a series of exhibitions featuring the Light Work Collection, which willbe curated and designed by students in the Introduction to Curatorship course inthe Museum Studies Graduate Program in the College of Visual and Performing Artsin cooperation with students from the Department of Religion in the College ofArts and Sciences;
? The Interfaith Middle East Experience: An experiential learning programwhere Muslim, Jewish and Christian students will travel together to the MiddleEast to explore each other’s faith traditions and to enter into dialogue withthose engaged in regional efforts toward peace and justice;
? Lockerbie-Beyond the Tragedy: A project that will build upon the uniquelink between a town and the University by taking a team of undergraduate studentphotographers and writers to Lockerbie to document a place and its people, not adisaster. The work will be assembled into a book that examines the broad historyand present of Lockerbie;
? The Syracuse Workshop Project-Graduate Students Teaching Creative Writingin the Community: A program designed to train graduate students to teachcreative writing workshops in community sites such as schools, youth centers,prisons and give the students opportunities to conduct these workshops incommunity settings;
? Underground Railroad and Freedom Trail Course: The course will sendstudents to communities across New York State and to neighboring regions wherethey will conduct research as an extension of their classroom experience; and
?A Hypothesis-Driven Field and Laboratory Course in Environmental Science:A cross-disciplinary collaboration between the departments of Earth Science andBiology in The College of Arts and Sciences designed to give studentsopportunities to develop testable hypotheses, visit field sites to collect data,analyze the data and present conclusions in written and oral formats. The coursewill provide students with real-life problem-solving situations similar to thosefaced by professional researchers and environmental managers and policy makers.