Network based systems

Partnership Grants and Shark Tank Competition


In an innovative new initiative to foster academic enrichment opportunities, Andrews University hosted its first Andrews Partnership Grant and Shark Tank Competition on September 30. The program, inspired by the hit television series, included four teams of professors and entrepreneurs who presented to a live audience and panel of judges. Each team shared a proposal that audience members and judges voted on. A total of $200,000 was split among the three winning teams.

Christon Arthur, Provost, explains, “This new Academic Partnership Grant from Andrews University supports emerging cross-disciplinary collaborations on our campus to integrate and energize curricula. Its goal is to foster creative thinking and planning that will revitalize curricular ideas and strengthen existing programs through initiatives that enrich the University community and enhance the student experience. He adds, “The funds will help create space and time to encourage innovative collaboration across disciplines and levels.”

The first funded project, titled “Innovation & Entrepreneurship Transformation of Engineering Curriculum”, received $100,000. Hyun Kwon, professor and president of the School of Engineering, presented the initiative. Created through a joint effort of the School of Engineering and the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the project will establish a combined learning experience that fosters creativity, collaboration and community connections. Funding from the competition will be used to establish a system of communication with industry partners, alumni and cross-campus resources. It will also help implement new engineering projects and equipment, building design and prototyping skills within the existing curriculum.

“It is increasingly important for engineering students to be trained in the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Skills required include the ability to identify opportunities, to learn and re-learn, the willingness to accept failures, the willingness to engage in multi-disciplinary and multi-tasking work, and the ability to bring teams together and communicate across across borders,” Kwon explains. “Our curriculum and proposed innovation and entrepreneurship environments will provide the university with the opportunity to work with external and internal partners and stakeholders, provide excellent engineering education opportunities and enhance collaboration inter-campus and external.”

A second project, “AU Abroad: An International Partnership for Learning, Research and Internships”, was presented by Vanessa Corredera, Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of English, and Aaron Moushon, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and director of the Explore Andrews program. An initiative that has been in the works for over a year, “AU Abroad” will create a summer extension program on the campus of Newbold College. It aims to provide undergraduate students with an international opportunity to enroll in major and general education courses as well as access internships and research experiences. The Shark Tank Competition has awarded the project $50,000 in funding, which will help relaunch the scheme, providing scholarships to participating first-year students, subsidizing student accommodation and transport in the UK, and placing students on internship in recognized multinational companies.

“This funding allows us to be much more than a study trip or study abroad experience,” says Moushon. “It’s unique in that most field study opportunities are experienced at the graduate level. This proposal will allow undergraduate students to engage in research and internships that will have a significant impact on their career readiness. »

The third project, which also received a $50,000 prize, was “Trauma-Informed University Partnership.” The program aims to integrate trauma education and vocational training into the Andrews University curriculum. The project was led by Heather Ferguson, Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Chair of the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders and Director of the Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Program; Charity Garcia, Associate Professor and Program Director for Curriculum and Instruction and Director of K-12 Education Initiatives for the International Center for Trauma Care and Education; Luana Greulich, Associate Professor of Special Education, Chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum and Special Education Program Coordinator; Barbara Harrison, Associate Professor, Acting President and Undergraduate Program Director, School of Nursing; Jenica Joseph, assistant professor in the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders; Rodney Palmer, associate professor of religion and chair of the Department of Religion and Biblical Languages; Ingrid Slikkers, assistant professor of social work and executive director of the International Center for Trauma Care and Education; Curtis Vanderwaal, professor and president of the School of Social Work; and Dustin Young, assistant professor of social work and director of higher education initiatives for the International Center for Trauma Education and Care.

Using the combined knowledge of faculty from this variety of academic disciplines, the program was created as an action plan to deal with the snowball effects of COVID-19 stressors. The proposal aims to train teachers to understand trauma and its impact on learning and will also expose students to a holistic approach to trauma care. Over a three-year period, the grant will help provide training for faculty and undergraduate students, create programs that inform new curriculum and pedagogy, and provide off-campus experiential learning opportunities. through community partnerships.

“This model is faith-affirming and innovative in that Andrews University is not only the first Seventh-day Adventist institution, but also the only U.S.-based institution of higher learning to integrate knowledge and spiritually-informed, trauma-specific skills in the curriculum of multiple schools/departments and colleges,” says Palmer. “We believe this project will help take Andrews to the next level to become a trauma-informed institution.”

Although not all proposals received funding in this round of the competition, each represented the creativity and dedication of Andrews University faculty and staff. Going forward, the university plans to hold more Shark Tank competitions, presenting funding opportunities for continued innovation within the Andrews community.

Anthony Bosman, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, notes, “I have participated in several conversations with professors across the university, discussing how we can work together across disciplinary lines to reinvent the curriculum. While not all of these discussions turned into full, funded proposals this year, the process sparked many innovative ideas that will keep us at the forefront of excellent faith-based education.

Moushon affirms the importance of the opportunities offered by the competition, stating, “I see great value in university-funded programming, and this program offers a unique and exciting way to fund innovative projects. Typically, there is a much longer process to receive funding for academic initiatives, and the Shark Tank competition allows the administration to hear about exciting new ideas and fun initiatives that have the potential to benefit the community. campus community.

The original the article was published on the official news of the Andrews University calendar to place.


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