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An example of 1804 Fund awardee project

Kids on Campus is an organization dedicated to providing local students with out-of-school programming to develop life lessons.

Photo courtesy of: Rebecca Miller

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Ohio University Foundation announces seven new 1804 Fund undergraduate initiatives

More than $386,000 will support graduate and undergraduate proposals for the 2017 to 2018 academic year

The Trustees of the Ohio University Foundation have awarded approximately $118,000 of the 1804 Fund to seven of this year’s undergraduate proposals. Each grant will be active for two years.

Overall, for the 2017-2018 academic year the foundation has approved more than $386,000 in support of the 1804 Fund. That includes approximately $268,000 allocated to six innovative projects for the Faculty Research and Graduate Studies Awards, which will be detailed in a future article. 

Through the vision of C. Paul Stocker, a 1926 graduate of Ohio University, and his generous endowment, the 1804 Fund was created in 1979 to encourage innovation and collaboration between academic disciplines, and to this day supports the University’s mission of “maintaining, strengthening and enhancing a learning-centered community.”

Since the first award of 1980, the 1804 Fund has supported more than 600 projects and programs, and has granted over $15 million.

“This year the 1804 Fund supported a large number of proposals that seek to bring more state-of-the-art equipment to Ohio University. These new resources will enhance faculty research and increase student learning opportunities,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College.

The Undergraduate Learning proposals chosen are as follows:

Kids on Campus Student Volunteer Expansion Project

Kids on Campus is a partnership between the community and Ohio University that provides children with the opportunity to enhance academic and life skills through out-of-school teaching. Jo Ellen Sherow, director of the Kids On Campus program, and Rebecca Miller, director of the Office of College and Community Partnerships, will use their grant of approximately $19,000 to develop a pilot program for Ohio University students to increase participation in volunteering for the program to create stronger community engagement and more powerful student experiences.

“We are excited to engage OHIO students with the Kids on Campus program and the Athens community. Funding will allow program expansion and the opportunity for area children and OHIO students to interact and learn from one another,” Sherow said.

Boosting Nursing Students’ Confidence and Marketability with Pediatric Simulation

Proposed by a group of Nursing faculty from the Ohio University Southern Campus, this proposal requested approximately $23,500 to fund pediatric simulation equipment for the nursing skills lab. The ability to conduct simulations would be vital to improve student learning and enhance hands-on experience. While also making recent nursing graduate students more marketable for employment, the simulation curriculum may also help increase student enrollment.

Intelligent Lighting Equipment Package

With the constant adaptation of theater lighting technology and transition to LED sources, Professor Michael Lincoln of the College of Fine Arts requested and was granted about $19,700 in order to purchase six new moving fixtures, eighteen LED ellipsoidal units, wireless dimmers and assorted accessories. In order for theater students to leave Ohio University with competitive skills, they need to be familiar with modern equipment. The purchase of new equipment will help them do so.

“I give this proposal my strongest support,” said Elizabeth Sayrs, interim dean of the College of Fine Arts.

Parasites in the Park  

An award of $12,000 was given to Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Tarig Higazi of the Ohio University Zanesville Campus. “Parasites in the Park” is a project that will enhance undergraduate learning by allowing biology majors to examine soil samples of Zanesville’s public parks and playgrounds and investigate the risk of acquiring six parasitic infections. Students will able to have real life hands-on experience while also providing the service to the local community with the Health Department.

Acquisition of a ZetaSizer to Enhance Nanotechnology Research and Education at Ohio University

A group of faculty of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, including assistant professors Amir M. Farnoud and John Staser, as well as faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences, requested approximately $24,700 for a ZetaSizer, an instrument that measures the size and charge of different particles. The purchase of the ZetaSizer will allow for more enhanced nanotechnology research and education capabilities within the university.

“The equipment would serve a well-documented need in upper division courses and provide an excellent educational experience for many students on campus and help in recruiting students as well,” said Dean Dennis Irwin of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Low-Cost, In-Classroom Hands-On Learning for Thermodynamics, Strengths of Materials, Fluid Mechanics, and Heat Transfer

Paul Golter and Todd D. Fantz of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology requested a grant in order to develop their own low-cost and hands-on learning equipment for classroom use. They were awarded $8,250 to develop the new equipment for mechanical engineering and engineering technology courses, which will also have an impact on the civil and chemical engineering programs as well.  

Dean Irwin commented that this initiative acts as an excellent alternative to purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment for all desired experiments among all courses and programs.

Instructional Technology Infrastructure Enhancement Initiative

Thomas Hayes of the College of Fine Arts submitted a joint proposal for both undergraduate and research/graduate segments of the 1804 Grant, and was awarded approximately $11,000 in order to update the technology infrastructure of the Film Division facility on S. Court Street. This grant will not only benefit film majors, but also non-film graduate and undergraduate students.

This article is part one of two announcing the 1804 Fund awardees. The 1804 Faculty Research and Graduate Studies Awards will be detailed in part two.