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Wilfred Konneker

This 2003 photo shows Wilfred Konneker, the Konneker Fund of Learning and Discovery Award's namesake, at a book signing for "Chain Reactions: The Life of Wilfred R. Konneker" a biography by David Neal Keller.

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery supports programs with potential for University-wide impact

Trustees of The Ohio University Foundation approved $100,000 of Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery support to fund four projects that benefit OHIO students, faculty, and staff at the Athens campus at their February 2014 meeting. The Konneker Fund supports innovative initiatives designed to advance undergraduate learning, research and graduate education that will have university-wide impact.  

2013-2014 Konneker Fund Recipients

Margaret Boyd Scholars Program: As OHIO’s first women’s scholars program, the Margaret Boyd Scholars Program seeks to inspire and encourage undergraduate women to become engaged, confident and connected leaders at Ohio University and beyond. The program is a collaboration between the Division of Student Affairs, University College, the Ohio University Women's Center, and Ohio University faculty. During the four-year program, this diverse group of scholars participate in a first-year, interdisciplinary seminar with Ohio University women faculty, a second year residential component, a third-year internship or education abroad experience and a fourth-year capstone seminar. The first class was inaugurated in January, 2014. The Konneker Fund awarded the program $50,000 over the next two years.

Inclusive Excellence: Scholarship, Persistence and Engagement: This program aims to attract, retain, and graduate students from diverse backgrounds. “Inclusive Excellence” leverages existing infrastructure, human capital and institutional support housed within the Office for Diversity and Inclusion to develop and implement a comprehensive, innovative, university-wide strategy, guided by five specific goals. Goals include developing and implementing a comprehensive framework using an analysis of best practices; creating the Institute for Inclusive Excellence that will showcase scholarship on issues related to diversity and inclusion; building pedagogical relationships beyond the classroom; strengthening student support services; and empowering students to become future leaders by creating the Summer Scholars Program where students participate in research projects. The Konneker Fund awarded the program $16,500 over the next two years.

Center for Infectious and Chronic Disease Research and Training in Ecuador (CICDR): Transformative Research and Training: This project aims to strengthen and expand multidisciplinary international

opportunities for Ohio University students and faculty based on OHIO’s successful partnership with Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (PUCE), established CICDR in Quito, Ecuador. The CICDR provides the scaffolding for substantial growth in capacity for eight colleges and seven centers and institutes at OHIO and will provide transformative, multidisciplinary research training and international learning experiences for undergraduate, graduate and medical students. OHIO students and faculty will conduct basic and translational research at CICDR aimed at improving the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of major infectious and chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardio-vascular disease, cancer, Chagas disease, dengue fever and malaria. The Konneker Fund awarded the program $22,125.

Graduate Writing and Research Center: A project launched in 2012 through support from the Konneker Fund for Learning and Discovery, the Graduate Writing and Research Center (GWRC) received additional support for this cycle due to the Center’s success and university-wide impact. The GWRC, located in Alden Library, is a space where advanced undergraduate and graduate students, writing tutors in specialized fields, and subject librarians meet to engage in collaborative work that benefits advanced undergraduate and graduate students by establishing a material life-changing support service. The Konneker Fund awarded the program $11,375.

An internal committee – drawn from the University's academic leadership and chaired by the executive vice president and provost –review the proposals. University College Dean and Executive Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies David Descutner, serves on the committee.

“The Ohio University Foundation endorsed the recommendations of the Konneker Fund’s Review Committee,” Descutner said. “Each of the funded proposals is distinctive, but what they all have in common is great potential for university-wide impact since they all support OHIO’s key priorities and offer enriching, innovative educational opportunities to our students, faculty, and staff.”

For additional information about the Konneker Fund and other internal funding opportunities, please visit www.ohio.edu/research/funding.cfm.