2013 President’s Strategic Planning Grant Recipients

2013 President’s Strategic Planning Grant Recipients

Five collaborative research projects have been announced by President David L. Soltz as recipients of $200,000 in 2013 Presidential Grant Awards as part of the ongoing initiatives of Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future.

Creating community-based hydrologic monitoring and flood forecasting for Fishing Creek

Bloomsburg University Strategic Planning Grants

Project Leaders: Trish Beyer, Tim Pelton, Jennifer Whisner, Benjamin Franek and Stephanie Prater.

Grant Award: $50,000

This project initiates development of a hydrologic monitoring and flood-forecasting system for Fishing Creek in Columbia County, while providing students an opportunity to participate in research and community outreach. The project includes community-based creek monitoring of water levels and long-term data collection to allow for the creation of a computer-based flood-forecasting model. Watershed residents and recreational creek users will be able to monitor the creek through a website that displays water levels reported by community members.

This project will also generate the streamflow and rainfall data needed for flood forecasting through the installation of water level instruments on the creek and several rain gages. A website will make data from these efforts available to community members and community government partners to enhance the county’s emergency management network. Students from all levels will participate in these efforts, use the data collected, and learn with hands-on work that benefits the community.

STEM Magnet Program in the Central Susquehanna Region

Foundation for a Regional Center for Math & Science Education

Bloomsburg University Strategic Planning Grants

Project Leaders: Elizabeth Mauch, James Hollister, Jonathan Lincoln and Robert Marande

Grant Award: $50,000

In the Central Susquehanna region, educational and business leaders have been examining approaches to expand curricular offerings for regional students who have demonstrated an advanced ability in STEM. In order to facilitate high-quality instruction, educational leaders have determined that a collaborative approach amongst school districts, businesses and BU is necessary. The creation of a Regional Center for Math and Science Education that houses our anchor STEM Magnet Program will allow BU to become a leader in preparation and research in STEM fields.

First, we would expand into a regional STEM Magnet School for high school students. Second, we would provide innovative, discovery-based programming for middle school students. Third, the Center would allow BU to better prepare in-service STEM teachers. Fourth, the Center would create a STEM teacher incubator for BU STEM majors. Finally, the Center will allow BU to develop faculty who are STEM education leaders to improve STEM education.

Leading Educators Advocating Diversity (L.E.A.D.) College of Education

Bloomsburg University Strategic Planning Grants

Project Leaders: Elizabeth Mauch, Caryn Terwilliger and Yanhui (Angela) Pang

Grant Award: $33,000

The College of Education's Leading Educators Advocating Diversity (L.E.A.D.) program is designed to recruit and retain highly-qualified students from historically underrepresented minority groups, who are high school juniors and seniors interested in teaching. This outreach initiative strategically partners the COE with regional school districts with an established or increasingly growing diverse demographic, and will enhance academic excellence through personal and professional development of teacher candidates, university faculty, and the PK-12 student population in the region.

BU alumni employed in targeted school districts, guidance counselors, and BU Admissions staff will work directly with the COE to identify potential future teachers who as a cohort will complete a two-year L.E.A.D. program that includes mentoring, campus visits, and educational programming. Developing supportive relationships and providing exposure to our quality education programs and Living Learning Communities will assist L.E.A.D. program participants as they transition from high school student to teacher candidate and future educator.

The Bloomsburg University Sustainable Food Systems Outdoor Classroom

Sustainable Food Systems

Project Leader: John Hintz

Grant Award: $46,000

The Bloomsburg University Sustainable Food Systems Outdoor Classroom, which will be built and begin operation in 2014, will be a working garden and sustainability education center run primarily by student workers and interns. The outdoor classroom will be located on the open area behind Monty’s: a level, sunny, south-facing site that is visible and accessible for tours and visitors.

The completed outdoor classroom will feature walkable paths between well-tended raised garden beds, interactive interpretive signage, a solar greenhouse, a composting site, a rain garden, perennial plants and birdhouses around the periphery, and a seating area and educational kiosk. Coursework, educational workshops, internships, professional development opportunities, and volunteer opportunities at the outdoor classroom will provide high impact practices new to our university. The outdoor classroom will provide a state-of-the-art showpiece of sustainable food production that helps prepare students to be confident, knowledgeable, engaged, and productive citizens.

Center for Healthy Aging

Project Leaders: Deb Sanders, Lori Metzger, Tom Zalewski, Ronnie Evans, Mary Jo Larcom and Shiloh Erdley

Grant Award: $21,000

The Center for Healthy Aging (CHA) will be devoted to aging, health promotion, and chronic disease management in the diverse, older population through interdisciplinary service, education, and research. An interdisciplinary team approach is necessary to confront the multifaceted needs associated with aging. The objectives of the CHA are to establish interdisciplinary educational programs for older adults, educate professionals and paraprofessionals on aging, to offer services for older adults/families/caregivers with chronic disease, and to promote interdisciplinary research among faculty/students.

This CHA will be built upon the strategic issue of “fostering and developing a strong sense of community” as it will serve as the resource for aging-related issues in the university and community at large. Moreover, the CHA will strive to improve quality of life for older adults through innovative, community-based initiatives and evidence-based programs for best practice, thus nurturing connectedness among the university and community.