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Ideas to Action awards first project grants

April 2nd, 2009

Community engagement, collaboration, applying critical-thinking skills in practical ways to coursework and to the process of selecting majors and careers — these are some of the areas that University of Louisville faculty and staff who received internal grants are working on this semester.

Ideas to Action (i2a), UofL’s quality enhancement program, awarded nine Supporting Undergraduate iNnovation (SUN) Grants totaling $42,951 to 13 faculty and staff, said Patty Payette, i2a director. Those faculty represent 10 different undergraduate departments and units.

The grants are funding these projects:

“In the past I have never worked with more than $500,” said Mary Carothers, fine arts professor. “The SUN grant has provided an additional zero on the amount of that sum: $5,000. Money goes quickly, but we’re all pretty excited about the possibilities.”

Carothers’ students have been working with children at St. Joseph Children’s Home and also collaborated with humanities students to create public art that is being displayed in TARC bus shelters.

The photo posters include poems by students of humanities professor Annette Allen. The poets will present their works as part of the Humanities Graduate Student Colloquium April 3, 3–4 p.m. in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library, as photography students project their photos onto a screen. Small versions of the bus shelter posters will be on display outside the auditorium, Allen said.

“i2a SUN Grants provide funds for faculty or teams of faculty/staff to develop, implement and assess large-scale projects that will directly and significantly support the sustained incorporation of selected i2a outcomes into undergraduate programs and courses,” Payette said. “With the SUN grants, i2a is breaking new ground at UofL by asking faculty to think about and document their teaching in new ways.”

The Ideas to Action program is designed to sharpen UofL’s existing focus on building students’ critical thinking skills, starting in the general education program and continuing throughout undergraduate major courses.

In its second year of implementation, the program’s focus has been on developing an infrastructure, providing faculty and staff development sessions and facilitating learning communities for faculty and staff, Payette said.

i2a has developed learning communities and the Part-Time Faculty Institute and Lunch & Learn sessions through the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning to help faculty learn about the program. i2a also provides individual consultation.

Related Link
Ideas to Action
Grant summaries

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