Academic Affairs Awards Innovation Grants

By Caitlin Burns | November 9, 2020

Academic Affairs awarded 13 proposals for initial or continued funding this year through the Innovative Programming Grants. 

These awards, which were established in 2018, identify areas for growth and support pioneering opportunities. Faculty and staff members who proposed particularly promising ideas were awarded grants in order to focus on developing innovative new programs and strengthening existing academic programs. Some of these ideas build on the success of last year’s funded programs, while others expand into new areas. 

“Arcadia’s ability to create innovative academic programming will play an important role in fostering a university that is vital and forward-thinking,” said Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Vice Provost for Academic Planning and Faculty Affairs Dr. Rebecca Kohn.

Next year, the third and final round of Innovation Grants will be awarded, and Academic Affairs plans to invest resources for the ongoing work of some of the most promising ideas.

This year, the Innovative Programming grants will provide resources to explore: 

Center for Aging and Geriatric Wellness: 
Assistant Professor of Public Health Dr. Margaret Longacre will lead a collaborative planning project between multiple programs and a training and learning center focused on aging and geriatric wellness that will aim to expand Arcadia’s capacity to attend to the needs of the aging population.

Environmental Studies Minor: 
Assistant Professor of Historical and Political Studies Dr. Prash Naidu will explore developing an Environmental Studies minor as a student-centered, social justice incubator with immense potential impact for local and regional environmental problem solving. 

Exploring Transformative University Practices and Pedagogies to Support Students and Inclusive Excellence: 
Professor of Education Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, and Director of the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Mentoring and Professor of Education Dr. Ellen Skilton, will pursue “Inclusive Excellence” in teaching at Arcadia by engaging in a collaborative practitioner inquiry process to explore transformative pedagogies to support all students, especially those of minoritized identities, including students of color, English language learners, and students with disabilities.

Minor/Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): 
Assistant Professor in the School of Global Business Dr. Annette Halpin and Assistant Professor of Philosophy Dr. I.M. Sullivan will explore the development of a minor or certificate in corporate social responsibility, a management concept requiring organizations to consider not only the economic returns from their operations but the social and environmental impact of their products/processes.

Pati Hill Learning Resource Collection: 
Exhibitions Coordinator Matthew Borgen and Director of Arcadia Exhibitions Richard Torchia will explore how to best utilize the recently acquired Pati Hill (1921-2014) Collection, which includes prints, manuscripts, and correspondence from the artist.

Sports Performance and Injury Prevention Institute: 
Assistant Professors of Physical Therapy Dr. Ryan Zarzycki and Dr. Phil Malloy will determine the feasibility of developing a sports performance and injury prevention program at Arcadia University. 

Summer Writing Courses for Generation 1.5 Students:
Interim Director of the English Language Institute Tran Chau will explore developing a summer writing course for Generation 1.5 high school students, characterized as English language learners who have received some formal schooling in grades K-12 in America but who grew up speaking another language at home.

Agribusiness Minor: 
Associate Professor and Chair of Biology Dr. Naomi Phillips and Associate Professor and Chair of the School of Global Business Dr. Raghu Kurthakoti will continue to collaborate on a minor for students interested in both agricultural science and business.

Integrated Physical Therapy and Mental Health Counseling at the Arcadia University Pro Bono Clinic (AUPBC): 
Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy Dr. Allison Harris, Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Cathy Lee, Professor of Psychology Dr. Michael Morrow, and Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Lauren Reid will continue to develop and implement approaches for mental health counseling for people involved in physical therapy.

MakerSpace and Minor Interdisciplinary Object Design: 
Implementation grant awarded to Visual and Performing Arts Department’s Associate Professor Karen Misher and Costume Shop Manager Alisa Kleckner. Projects related to the use of 3D printing and other approaches to designing objects will be developed. This grant continues support for exploration work of the Art and Design and Theatre programs in the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with the departments of Computer Science & Math and Media & Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, and Information Technology.

Public Art Lab and Artist/Scholar Residency: 
Implementation grant awarded to Adjunct Professors of Visual and Performing Arts David Guinn, Krista Profitt, Maryann Worrell, and Associate Professor of Visual and Performing Arts Abbey Ryan. This grant continues support for work building on the success of the public art projects supported through the Art and Design department in the College of Arts and Sciences. Implementation of the inaugural Artist/Scholar Residency Program will increase interactions between the diverse community of residents, businesses, students, staff, and faculty that call Glenside home and support further exploration of an Arcadia Public Art Lab. 

Summer Training Program for Students Underrepresented in the Biotechnology Field:
Implementation grant awarded to Associate Professor of Biology Dr. Sheryl Smith and Assistant Professor of Biology Dr. Christina Swanson. This grant continues support for the implementation work of the Biology Department in the College of Arts and Sciences for a summer research program for students underrepresented in careers in biotechnology. Recruitment of students from local community colleges and mentoring about understanding options for internships and careers in industry will be incorporated into the program.

Social Action Justice Education Dual Enrollment Program: 
Implementation grant awarded to Associate Professor in the School of Education Marc Brasof and Director of the Office of Continuing Studies Kat Phillips. This grant continues support for the School of Education and the Office of Continuing Studies as it implements this ongoing program in collaboration with leaders from the Cheltenham School District, Parkway Northwest School of Peace and Social Justice, Abington School District, Philadelphia High School for Girls, and Springfield Township High School.

Data Analytics Minor/Major: 
Implementation grant awarded to Associate Professor and Chair of the Computer Science and Mathematics Department Yanxia Jia and Associate Professor of Psychology Katherine Moore. This grant continues support for this project, which involves a collaboration between the Psychology and the Mathematics and Computer Science departments and has the potential to include programs and students interested in analyzing large data sets University wide. 

Developing Applied Tracks in Biology Major Concentrations: 
Implementation grant awarded to Associate Professors of Biology Dr. Chris Binckley, Dr. Lauren Howard, and Dr. Phillips. This grant continues support for implementation of new concentrations in the Biology department, including conservation ecology, molecular biology, and biochemistry with a focus on the application of biology in specific areas that connect to multiple career choices.