Ohio University

skip to main content

University funds initiatives that advance interdisciplinary research, student and community engagement

From staff reports | Feb 28, 2018

Ohio University has provided funding to three new initiatives that advance interdisciplinary research and student and community engagement.

The projects seek to provide interventions to children with behavioral and emotional problems in K-12 schools; develop an indoor-outdoor museum complex on The Ridges; and offer financial, mentoring and curricular support to student entrepreneurs.

Much of the funding comes from the second cycle of the university’s Innovation Strategy program, which fosters interdisciplinary efforts throughout the full spectrum of the university’s activities—including teaching and learning, research and scholarship, creative activity and operational functions.

In January, the program awarded $350,000 total to two projects. In addition, the Office of the President provided $25,000 in funding for a third project that had applied for Innovation Strategy support.

The three projects reflect the university’s Strategic Pathways and Priorities of interdisciplinary research, public service and student engagement.

“I believe that the sustainable future of institutions of higher learning depend, in part, on the sharing of creative ideas,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “Cross-departmental collaborations and interdisciplinary research are vital in developing new and innovative ways to solve the world’s problems and will contribute to the success and longevity of Ohio University’s programs.”

The projects are:

  1. An interdisciplinary team from the fields of psychology, education, medicine and communications will use a $300,000 grant to develop and study the efficacy of a web-based tool designed to help school clinicians implement evidence-based interventions for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems. The tool, Beacon: System of Student Care Coordination, will provide training, materials and custom intervention plan suggestions for each child, as well as a mechanism to track student responses to the interventions. The project strives to improve long-term outcomes for these youth, who are at a higher risk than peers of dropping out of school, unemployment and substance abuse problems. PI: Steve Evans, College of Arts and Sciences.

  2. In partnership with the Kennedy Museum of Art, the Ohio University Museum Complex will transform The Ridges Green into a unique state-of-the-art indoor-outdoor learning laboratory. Leveraging recent renovations to historic Lin Hall made possible by a Konneker Grant for Learning and Discovery, the team plans to use a $50,000 grant to establish an aesthetic outdoor museum trail system. The funds will support interpretive and directional signage, an interdisciplinary museum workshop to inform future exhibits, exhibitions and programming, and public outreach materials. The project team includes faculty and staff from the fields of life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, communication, engineering, theater and recreation. PI: Nancy Stevens, Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.

  3. The Center for Entrepreneurship will use $25,000 from the Office of the President to create the Bobcat Seed Fund. The fund will help students pay for certain goods and services needed by students or faculty who are starting a new business, such as legal and accounting services, software development and prototype creation. Students may apply for grants of up to $1,000. The Center also plans to use the funding to create mentor and partner networks of support for student and local entrepreneurs. In addition, the Center will recruit faculty members from colleges across campus to create a network of “entrepreneurial champions” who incorporate entrepreneurship and innovation into existing or new courses. PI: Paul Mass, College of Business.

During fall 2017, the Innovation Strategy Cycle 2 also provided $40,000 total in planning grants to two projects that will advance biofuel production, led by PI Sarah Davis of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, and seed saving initiatives, led by PI Dawn Bikowski of the College of Arts and Sciences.