Tag: Grant

$23,000 Grant Boosts Lawrence University Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A $23,000 grant will support Lawrence University’s growing innovation and entrepreneurship program, a university-wide initiative launched in 2008 that engages students, faculty and alumni.

The two-year grant from the National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance will target the program’s flagship course “In Pursuit of Innovation.”  Cross-taught through Lawrence’s economics and physics departments, the course incorporates the use of guest experts from various fields, intertwines innovation with entrepreneurship and employs a project-driven, hands-on component designed to develop a learning community eager to pursue innovative and entrepreneurial ventures.

Since its launch, 41 students have taken the “Innovation” course.  Operating in three-person teams and in conjunction with the FabLab, a prototyping facility at Fox Valley Technical College, students have worked on projects ranging from the development of a multi-directional split-field camera and an ergonomic student desk to a hand sanitizing system for hospitals and schools and a personal identification system that allows health records to be retrieved automatically in the event of an accident.

“From its inception, our course has focused on diverse teams creating innovative products or processes, leading to functioning prototypes,” said Adam Galambos, assistant professor of economics and one of the program’s originators, along with John Brandenberger, professor emeritus of physics and Marty Finkler, professor of economics.  “This grant will enable us to take the Innovation course to a whole new level with student ‘E-teams,’ which will translate ideas into new products or services that benefit society.

“With its long-standing commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, Lawrence is the ideal setting for a program that inspires students and faculty to create innovative new ventures that combine ideas from diverse backgrounds, fields and perspectives,” Galambos added.

The “Innovation” course is designed to prepare Lawrence students to become major contributors to a globally competitive American economy through an immersion in innovation and entrepreneurship.  Students in the course develop their own innovative ideas to lay the groundwork for entrepreneurial ventures, examine how innovation and entrepreneurship invigorate businesses and industries and their roles in creating new ones, study the innovation and entrepreneurship literature and interact with active, successful innovators and entrepreneurs.

“Our students learn to connect theory with the real-world experiences described by our visiting experts and to apply this learning to their own projects,” said Brandenberger.

The impetus for Lawrence’s “In Pursuit of Innovation” course was a highly-influential national publication entitled “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” and a bipartisan piece of legislation leading to the 2007 America Competes Act, both of which warned of slippage in American competitiveness worldwide. The studies pointed toward increased emphasis on innovative and entrepreneurial effectiveness, especially in scientific, technological and engineering pursuits, as one solution to reverse the trend.

In addition to “In Pursuit of Innovation,” courses such as “Entrepreneurship and
Financial Markets ” and “Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Society” also are part of the effort to build an innovation and entrepreneurship program at Lawrence.

Based in Massachusetts, the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance supports technology innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education to create experiential learning opportunities for students and socially beneficial businesses.

Counseling Services Director Discusses Community Suicide Prevention Efforts in Live Webcast

Kathleen Fuchs, Lawrence University’s director of counseling services and adjunct associate professor of psychology, will be the featured guest Thursday, Feb. 11 at 11:30 a.m. in a live webcast interview with members of the editorial board of The Post-Crescent.

Fuchs will discuss Lawrence-led initiatives to engage the campus and Fox Valley communities in suicide prevention efforts. To watch the interview or join the conversation, visit

Lawrence recently was awarded a $25,130 grant from the J.J. Keller Foundation, Inc. to coordinate free suicide prevention training by mental health experts for Fox Valley area educators and youth-serving nonprofit organizations.

Last fall, Lawrence received a three-year $300,000 grant Lawrence from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement a comprehensive initiative designed to lower suicide risk and enhance protective factors among Lawrence students.

Read excerpts from the interview here.

Lawrence University Awarded $25,000 Grant by J.J. Keller Foundation for Community-Wide Suicide Prevention Training

Lawrence University has been awarded a $25,130 grant from the Neenah-based J.J. Keller Foundation, Inc. to coordinate free suicide prevention training by mental health experts for Fox Valley area school districts and youth-serving nonprofit organizations.

Under the direction of Kathleen Fuchs, director of counseling services at Lawrence and adjunct associate professor of psychology, the grant will provide advanced clinical skills training and evidence-based gatekeeper instructor training for area clinicians, student services staff and staff from youth-serving non-profit agencies. The goal is to train key personnel to better recognize early warning signs of suicide risk and connect young people to existing mental health services for earlier and more effective intervention and treatment.

The Keller grant comes on the heels of a three-year $300,000 grant Lawrence was awarded last October by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to implement a comprehensive initiative designed to lower suicide risk and enhance protective factors among Lawrence students.

“The SAMHSA grant was terrific news for the Lawrence community, but the college strongly wanted to ensure that the broader Fox Cities community also benefited,” said Fuchs. “The terms of the SAMSHA grant limited what we could spend on activities that won’t directly benefit a college audience. Through the generosity of the Keller Foundation, this grant will enable us to reach beyond the campus borders and extend some benefits of that federal grant throughout the Fox Valley.

“Given the recent tragedies in the community, we felt it imperative that we accelerate our timetable for carrying out the planned training and make every effort to extend its community impact,” Fuchs added. “With the help of the Keller grant, we’ll be able to begin that training as soon as this March.”

David Mays, a forensic psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin and former director of the forensic program at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, will lead two day-long training workshops in mid-March on mental health and suicide assessment skills for invited participants from the Lawrence and Fox Valley communities. The workshops will include a day of in-depth core competency training specifically for higher-ed, K-12 and community practitioners that will enhance skills in effectively guiding persons at high suicide risk through critical moments in their lives.

Workshop participants will include representatives from local public and private K-12 school districts, Fox Valley Technical College, UW-Fox as well as Affinity and ThedaCare Behavioral Health units. Other key area nonprofit organizations such as NAMI, the YMCA, Goodwill-Harmony Cafe, Boys & Girls Club and others will be invited to participate.

Additional training this summer will utilize QPR — Question, Persuade, Refer — an evidence-based program that empowers ordinary individuals to recognize early warning signs of an individual in distress, open a supportive dialogue that persuades the individual to accept help and connect them to mental health services.

“The QPR model is based on a ‘chain of survival’ approach much like CPR,” Fuchs explained. “With just a 90-minute training session, participants can learn to be ‘gatekeepers’ who know how to recognize early suicide warning signs and reach out to people in distress.”

Fuchs said the QPR gatekeeper instructor training sessions made possible by the Keller grant will involve 62 community members. Those trained instructors will then conduct QPR gatekeeper training for their organization’s internal and external audiences over the course of the ensuing 18 months.

“Through the QPR instructor training, we’ll be able to provide organizations with a self-sustaining resource, allowing us to create a tremendous impact with a relatively small up-front investment,” said Fuchs. “Our first 62 trained instructors will subsequently train at least 1,550 new gatekeepers. If each gatekeeper reaches at least 50 students, colleagues, friends and neighbors, we will have put 77,500 members of our community within reach of early intervention.”

The Keller Foundation’s primary mission is to support organizations, projects and programs that address the causes and consequences of poverty. The focus population is homeless and disadvantaged individuals, the elderly, and children and youth. The Foundation was formed by John J. “Jack” and Ethel D. Keller in 1991 and their family has continued the Keller legacy of giving since their passing. Nearly $25 million has been given to more than 300 community organizations over the past two decades.

Lawrence University Awarded Luce Grant to Study Water Resource Management in China

APPLETON, Wis. — Ten students and two faculty members from Lawrence University will travel to China in December 2009 to study water resource management with support from the Henry Luce Foundation, New York, N.Y.

A $30,000 Luce Foundation grant will enable students to see first-hand examples of the tremendous opportunities and challenges facing China as they visit the Pearl and Yangtze Rivers, the latter being the third longest river in the world.

The study trip is a natural extension of an innovative multidisciplinary symposium titled “Water Wars: Local and Global” which brings environmental, economics, and public policy issues into focus as students seek to understand the increasing scarcity of clean, fresh water and the need for a more efficient and equitable allocation of fresh water.

The trip will also serve to develop relationships that began in July 2008 when Lawrence co-hosted the China-U.S. Water Symposium, which attracted Chinese engineers and policy advisors as well as Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources officials, members of the NEW North economic development consortium, community leaders, legislators, policy experts and academic experts.

“We are extremely grateful to the Luce Foundation for this grant,” said David Burrows, Lawrence provost and dean of the faculty. “The Luce grant will provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn first-hand about important issues in our global environment and develop effective leadership skills.”

The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by the late Henry R. Luce, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc. The foundation today includes grant-making that supports higher education, American art, public policy and the environment, theology, women in science and engineering, and increased understanding between the United States and Asia. In 2005, the Foundation announced two new multi-year commitments: the Henry R. Luce Initiative in Religion and International Affairs, and the Luce Initiative on East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History.

Lawrence University Receives $200,000 Grant for Expansion of Nanoscience Program

Lawrence University has been awarded a $200,000 grant by the National Science Foundation’s Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education program to support an expansion of its growing nanotechnology and nanoscience initiative. Lawrence was one of only 15 institutions nationally to receive the NSF-NUE grant.

The grant will enable Lawrence to incorporate nanoscience experiments and activities into core geology and environmental science courses during the next two years. This is the second NSF-NUE grant Lawrence has received in the past three years. A $100,000 NSF-NUE grant in 2003 helped launch Lawrence’s nanotechnology and nanoscience program, which began by focusing on interdisciplinary research opportunities in chemistry, physics and biochemistry.

Nanotechnology involves the scientific study and use of materials on an unimaginably small scale, including the manipulation of individual atoms. It is widely regarded as having the potential to revolutionize scientific research and science education.

‘Nano’ refers to a nanometer, which is approximately one eighty-thousandth the width of a human hair. Because nanomaterials typically exhibit different characteristics than those in larger forms, they provide unique and innovative applications in areas ranging from medicine and national security to environmental technology and consumer products.

“Lawrence is one of only a few liberal arts colleges in the country that is aggressively incorporating nanoscience into its science curriculum,” said Karen Nordell, associate professor of chemistry and the leader of Lawrence’s nanoscience initiative. “We’re excited about the new opportunities this latest NSF grant will provide, allowing us to expand and strengthen our nanoscience offerings into additional fields.”

Beyond curricular and research activities, the NSF grant will support the purchase of several pieces of sophisticated equipment specifically designed for the study of nanomaterials as well as other laboratory and classroom materials. The grant also will fund the development of several outreach programs, including conferences and workshops for area K-12 teachers and a partnership with the ArtsBridge America program.

“Nanoscience has tremendous potential to attract additional students to science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers,” Nordell said. “Lawrence’s expanded program will enable students and faculty to conduct interdisciplinary research projects not only on our campus but through collaborations with faculty and students at other universities as well. We hope to help raise awareness among undergraduates, middle and high school students and teachers of the many ways that nanoscale science is affecting our daily lives.”