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Wilfred Konneker

Wilfred Konneker

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Konneker Fund supports programs with wide impact and best practices in mind

Trustees of The Ohio University Foundation approved funding for projects that benefit OHIO faculty and students at the Athens and regional campuses through the Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery Endowment at their March meeting. Konneker Funds are aimed at supporting projects that have University-wide impact and align with best practices documented in national research.

Promoting Teaching Excellence

Thomas Carpenter, Charles J. Ping Professor of Humanities, director of the Ping Institute, chair of the Department of Classics and World Religions and professor of classics, and William Condee, the J. Richard Hamilton/Baker & Hostetler Professor of Humanities, director of the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and professor of interdisciplinary arts, received $40,000 in funding for "Toward an Ohio University Teaching Academy," a program that pairs tenured professors known for their excellence in teaching with untenured professors with the goal of raising the profile and quality of undergraduate teaching at OHIO. The program is an initiative of the Ping Institute for the Teaching of the Humanities and honors the already established Bruning Teaching Academy, created in 2005 in University College by former Provost James Bruning and his wife Marlene. Participating faculty will be known as Bruning Teaching Fellows and support from the Konneker Fund will serve as a bridge for securing future funding from national sources for this initiative. The program aims to pair five tenured faculty with five non-tenured faculty in its first year.

Transforming students and communities through engagement

Director of Community Engagement for the College of Health Sciences and Professions Kevin Davis received $30,000 from the Fund to establish The Center for Campus and Community Engagement (CCCE) at Ohio University. Starting in August, 2013, the center will serve as a clearing house for students, faculty and staff who want to learn about opportunities for volunteering, service-learning, applied learning and field-based studies. These transformational learning opportunities, or TLO's, contribute to students' development of academic knowledge, civic responsibility, leadership skills and commitment to the local community, said Davis.

"The CCCE will engage students, faculty, the University and the community in a mutually reciprocal way designed to cultivate academic skills, civic responsibility and commitment to the local community," he said. "By providing these services, the CCCE will be able to help assist Ohio University with its vision to become the nation's best transformative learning community where students realize their promise."

Investing in the future of students at OHIO's campuses

"Investing in Today's Students for Tomorrow's Workforce: Expanding Student Internships, Service Learning, and Research Opportunities" was awarded $30,000 to fund this multi-year, multi-campus program that will support regional campuses students during their transition from an undergraduate college experience into professional careers or onto continuing education opportunities. This program is led by Associate Professor John Prather at Ohio University's Eastern Campus.

"Support from the Konneker Fund will allow the Eastern Campus to coordinate and enhance internship opportunities for its students and perform standard career counseling services," Prather said. "In the long term, we would like to establish a model program at the Eastern Campus that will be shared with the other regional campuses. This program will initially benefit over 1,000 students at OHIO's Eastern Campus, and later expanding services to approximately 10,000 students at other regional campuses throughout southeast Ohio."

About the Konneker Fund

The Ohio University Foundation created the Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery at the request of alumnus Wilfred Konneker, who made a gift of shares of the University's biotechnology spinoff company Diagnostic Hybrids. In addition to supporting the Cutler Scholars Program and the Kennedy Museum of Art, funds generated by the shares were used to create a quasi-endowment fund dedicated to supporting initiatives designed to enhance the University's academic mission and to achieve progress on the University's Four Fundamentals:

  • Inspired teaching and research dedicated to students' academic success and focused on the connection between student learning and the advancement of knowledge and creative activity.

  • Innovative academic programs that draw on the best traditions and practice in the liberal arts, professional and interdisciplinary education.

  • Exemplary student support services committed to helping students fulfill their academic promise.

  • Integrated co-curricular activities that foster a diverse environment of respect and inclusiveness and facilitate students' development as citizens and leaders.

Applicants may request up to $50,000 for two years or $100,000 overall. Faculty and staff are eligible to submit proposals, and collaborative proposals are strongly encouraged.

An internal committee – drawn from the University's academic leadership and chaired by the Executive Vice President and Provost –reviews the proposals. For additional information about the Konneker Fund, and other internal funding opportunities, please visit: