New Presidential Innovation Fund seeks to ‘catalyze the creative capital on campus’ | News

On February 7, in an e-mail from the Chief Operating Officer and Vice President for Strategy Kanika Tamalina, the grant program of the Presidential Innovation Fund was announced. The program aims to fund projects aimed at supporting President Damian Fernandez’s strategic plan.

Fernandez presented Eckerd’s strategic plan in October 2020, highlighting four pillars: Eckerd on the edge: “Innovation in the liberal arts and sciences for our time”; “The city as a class, the campus as a laboratory”; “Inclusive perfection: diversity, justice, inclusion, belonging;” and “Sustainable Future: Striving for Sustainability”.

With this new program, students can apply for primary grants of up to $ 1,000 to assist them in initiating these projects. Projects that “are location-focused, problem-oriented, use an innovative and entrepreneurial approach and involve the collaboration of faculty, staff and students” will have priority, the e-mail said.

In addition, faculty and staff can apply for such grants, according to Vice Vice President of Strategy David Glim. Teachers and staff can apply for up to $ 5,000.

“The goal is to really stimulate creative capital on campus,” Glim said. “Students, faculty and staff probably have a lot of these great ideas … funding can be a source for them to get started.”

According to Glim, the funding process will run in line with Eckerd’s fiscal year. This means that students whose applications are accepted will receive funds on July 1, 2022 and will have these funds until June 30, 2023.

Having a full calendar year to use the funds, Gliem is optimistic that students can make the most of the program.

“It’s about giving students the opportunity to develop and work on field-based issues, experimental learning,” Glim said.

Assistant Dean of Faculty, Scholarships and Scholarships Kat Robinson will be the primary contact for students interested in the program. Robinson said information sessions will be held soon to provide interested students with more information on funding as well as help throughout the process.

Robinson will also coordinate the work of a committee consisting of two faculty members, two staff members and one student from the Eckerd community to review student applications.

Now, almost two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Robinson hopes such a program can help Eckerd return to his core “outside thinking”.

“I really feel that COVID has affected our community in many ways, and one of the most profound ways has been the lack of communication with students and their work outside the classroom and even in the classroom,” Robinson said. “I think so [the program] it will be a great way to open another campus after COVID-19 and use it as a way to celebrate our re-engagement with campus and the culture, community. “

The deadline for applications this year is April 1. Interested students can follow the link sent in an email from Gliem on February 8, or email Robinson at robinskk@eckerd.edu with any questions.

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