Strategic Planning Grants announced

For Immediate Release: Feb. 9, 2015

BLOOMSBURG— Six Bloomsburg University initiatives, ranging from water quality monitoring to a sports leadership camp, received funding under the 2014 President’s Strategic Planning Grants. A total of $169,500 was awarded to the projects selected by BU’s president David Soltz in December 2014.

“Establishing a real-time water quality monitoring station for Fishing Creek,” led by faculty Steven Rier, Cindy Venn and Christopher Hallen, was funded for $50,000. A monitoring station will be established on Fishing Creek near Bloomsburg. It will measure water quality and weather parameters, which will be uploaded to an online public database. The project will provide research opportunities for environmental science students and help BU engage with the community by providing meaningful, accurate water quality data.

“A model program to attract quality STEM transfer students from community colleges,” led by faculty Toni Trumbo-Bell, Curt Jones, Steven Rier and Peter Stine was awarded $35,000. The project is to encourage community college graduates to complete Bachelor of Science degrees in science, technology, engineering and math at BU. Beginning with Harrisburg Area Community College, BU faculty will give guest lectures, provide professional development opportunities, and meet on a regular basis to discuss how to ensure the success of transfer students.

“Center for Leadership and Engagement,” led by Ed Valovage, associate director of auxiliary services, and George Kinzel, director of the Center for Leadership and Engagement, received $25,000. The grant will help to fund workshops for students in the Leadership Certification programs and to develop a “train the trainer” program for professional staff, graduate students and undergraduate students. A recruitment program will also be developed for student leader alumni to return to BU to share their expertise.

“BU Institute for Liberal Arts: Educating for Life, Phase 1,” led by James Brown, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, was awarded $30,000. This project aims to increase retention by helping undeclared students discover a major and, through activities, grow in their chosen fields. Phase one includes a videography project, a recent graduate speaker series and a liberal arts symposium.

“Sports Leadership Academy,” led by Susan Kocher, head softball coach, was awarded $15,000. This will be a three-day summer camp open to middle and high school girls and boys. Athletics will be used to teach leadership skills such as interpersonal communication, confidence, courage and teamwork through sports-related instruction, classroom workshops, and Quest outdoor workshops facilitated in part by BU students.

“Center for Visual and Performing Arts,” led by Stephen Clickard, chair of music, theatre and dance, was awarded $14,500. An Applied Arts Conference will be created to exhibit how skills learned in an arts major can be applied directly to an arts field and in other career paths. The goal is to increase recruitment, retention, graduation and job placement rates for arts students. Successful alumni, regional artists and other professionals will share experiences.

These awards are a part of the ongoing Impact 2015: Building on the Past, Leading for the Future initiative by BU.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 10,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.