Hastings College Foundation Board awards Innovation Grants

Grant funding from the Hastings College Foundation Board of Trustees will help students hone their public speaking skills using virtual reality technology, connect with employers for internships and jobs, and explore civil rights and education in the American South, among other high-impact activities.

At its meeting October 12, the Foundation Board awarded Trustee Innovation Grants totaling more than $50,000 for 17 faculty and staff projects that will enhance teaching and learning, enrich campus life and improve key performance indicators in enrollment, retention and post-graduation success. Grants ranged from $1,400 to $5,000.

The Board received 41 proposals requesting more than $140,000. Kim West Dinsdale, Board chair, provided major funding through the estate of her son, Jackson Dinsdale, who attended Hastings College from 2010 until his death in 2014. Additional funding came from other donors.

“All of the proposals were creative and well-crafted,” she said. “It was exciting to see the enthusiasm of faculty and staff and the diverse range of ideas submitted.”

Grants awarded include:

  • Dr. Bob Amyot, professor of political science, “Improving Hastings College’s Record of Nationally Competitive Scholarships and Fellowships,” $3,000
  • Laura Arnold, resident director, “Residence Hall Experience Trips,” $5,000
  • Dr. Glenn Avent, professor of history, and Susan Franklin, director of Perkins Library, “Hastings College Archives Project,” $4,000
  • Bruce Batterson, associate professor of business administration, “Law School Preparation Assistance,” $1,400
  • Dillon Beede, instructor of voice and fine arts recruiter, “Musical Theater Technology Upgrades,” $4,913
  • Dr. Maggie Callahan, director of Studio 200 and assistant professor of rhetoric, “Studio 200 Funding,” $2,750
  • Nick Dinan, assistant professor of exercise science, physical education and human performance, “Tactical Strength and Conditioning,” $3,700
  • Dr. Stephanie Furrer, professor of psychology, “Disconnect to Reconnect: Technology, Nature and Human Connection,” $5,000
  • Sarah Gevurtz, assistant professor of visual arts, “Turbidity Paintings,” $3,000
  • Kim Graviette, director of vocation and career services, “Professional Roundtables – Engaging Students with Off-Campus Partners,” $5,000
  • Dr. Darci Karr, assistant professor of teacher education, and Dr. Amy Black, professor of business and economics, “Learning to Integrate Technology for Hastings 2.0,” $4,682
  • Kevin Mercer, visiting instructor of art and gallery director, “Fab Lab Enhancements V2,” $4,545
  • Dr. John Perlich, professor of communication studies, “Unreal Communication: Using Virtual Reality Environments to Reduce Communication Apprehension,” $2,220
  • William Sharp, head women’s golf coach, “Improved Indoor Hitting Facility,” $3,500
  • Dr. Lisa Smith, dean of student engagement, “Mentoring Engaged Citizens: An Extended Exploration of Civil Rights and Systems of Education and Community,” $5,000
  • Sarah Swist, assistant professor of visual arts, “Scintilla Art Box Project,” $1,850
    Dr. Mark Zajack, associate professor of psychology, “Teaching Quantitative Analytics and Data-Driven Decision Making,” $3,785

Hastings College is a private, four-year institution located in Hastings, Nebraska, that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement. Hastings College has been named among “Great Schools, Great Prices” by U.S. News & World Report and a “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review. For more, go to hastings.edu.

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