By Jennifer Bowie
The Ohio University Foundation has awarded $304,104 from its 1804 Fund to a dozen new research and educational initiatives, bringing awards granted since the fund's inception to more than $14 million.
Projects receiving awards during the 2008 funding cycle range from a collaborative effort to purchase a laser microdissection microscope, which will benefit five departments in three colleges, to "Ohio University: A Campus of Meaningful Places," an investigation of how interactions between people and place generate meaning.
View a full list of this year's funded projects.
"We try to determine which programs best meet the mission of the 1804 Fund and the university's Vision Ohio goals," said Foundation Trustee N. Victor Goodman, who chairs the foundation's grants and funding committee. "What the foundation trustees are about is assisting the president and his administration in doing things that the normal operating budget cannot accomplish."
University Advancement has made it a priority to grow the 1804 Fund endowment from about $6 million currently to $10 million.
"To the extent that we can enhance the monies in the 1804 Fund, we are doing Ohio University and its students a lot of good," said Goodman, a foundation trustee since 1995.
This year, four proposals received a total of $132,052 in the faculty research and graduate studies category, which the Office of the Vice President for Research administers. The projects promote research and scholarly activities, multidisciplinary work and innovations in graduate education. Faculty and staff submitted nine proposals requesting nearly $225,000.
A team of nine faculty members from various disciplines received a $40,000 grant to support the purchase of the laser microdissection microscope.
"This is an important tool for research," said Ramiro Malgor, assistant professor of pathology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. "(It) will be useful for many pieces of research not only in Biomedical Sciences. The applications for this equipment are enormous in areas such as pathology, forensics, plant research, cancer research, live cell research, neurobiology and more.
"People from different departments came together to support the grant application and demonstrated collaboration and teamwork, which is very rewarding," Malgor added.
The foundation awarded $172,052 to eight projects in the undergraduate learning category administered by University College. The funding promotes curricular innovations, programs and activities that enhance the undergraduate educational experience, and collaborative projects that focus on innovations in technology for learning, teaching excellence and writing excellence receive preference. Faculty and staff submitted 16 proposals seeking nearly $375,000.
Roger Aden, a professor of communication studies in the Scripps College of Communication, will use his 1804 Fund grant of $11,962 to work with 20 undergraduates as they explore Ohio University's meaningful places. This fall, his senior capstone class of 20 communication studies students will combine words and images in a bound, color document and Web site that explore the concept of place.
"I hope the students further develop the research skills that they have learned in their COMS courses (and) learn how their experiences and interactions within places contribute to the meanings they, and others, find in those places," Aden said. "I also hope they continue to refine their abilities to learn outside the classroom, especially since they will be leaving Ohio University after this academic year."
The idea for the class sprang from Aden's long-standing interest in the relationship between communication and place, his participation in the Kanawha Project (which received 1804 Fund monies last year) and the Of Place essays featured on the provost's Web site.
The university established the 1804 Fund in 1979 with a gift from the estate of alumnus C. Paul Stocker. Intended to enhance the quality of university programs and life, the fund has assisted more than 550 projects and programs.
To support the 1804 Fund, contact The Ohio University Foundation at 800-592-FUND or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty and staff interested in applying for the 2009 award cycle must have a preliminary discussion with the vice president for research or dean of University College by March 15. Proposals are due April 15. More information is available online at www.research.ohiou.edu/ (under the "funding" link) or www.ohiou.edu/univcollege/fund/.
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