Second round of grants fund new campus projects

Tori Farr | Staff Reporter

Butler University’s $100,000 second phase Innovation Fund awarded grants for eight new projects.

Innovation grants already funded ten other on-campus projects.

Projects recieving funding from the grant include Donald Braid’s implementation and development of critical listening courses, Ken Colburn and the establishment of the Butler Journal of Undergraduate research, Antonia Menendez in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences to establish the Center for the Study of Ethnic Relations, Xenophobia and Diversity, Matt Pivec and Jordan College of the Arts, Doug Spaniol, Donald Braid and Judi Morrel for undergraduate student recruitment, Tracy Sprunger and Samantha Christie to create a public awareness group about prescription drug abuse, and William Watts to develop a new professional writing track within the department of English.

The top three largest monetary awards went to Colburn and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with $25,000, Watts and the English department with $22,000 and Braid and Academic Affairs with $10,000.

Matt Pivec, director of jazz studies and one of the winners this round, said that this was President James Danko’s idea to promote creativity and facilitate innovative projects.

“I am always looking for great ideas for my students and ways to take advantage of the resources offered on campus,” said Pivec.

This lead to Pivec’s $8,000 idea of combining his jazz ensemble students’ talent with the recording industry studies students’ abilities to produce a CD.

Pivec hopes to get into contact with a major music artist to assist the students in the studio as well as be featured on the track list. The artists featured on the CD have yet to be decided.

Pivec said while the university created a recording similar to this idea before, this project will be a large scale production.

The plans for the project will also incorporate students of the Art + Design program in order to create the artwork for the album.

“This is a way to bring together three individual areas and generate buzz for each,”  Pivec said.

Colburn, a sociology and criminology professor and senior editor for the “Journal of Undergraduate Research” said he hopes to engage the entire Butler community with his grant.

Colburn plans to establish a Butler-based, social science journal, the “Butler Journal for Undergrad Research.”

The internet-based  journal will feature undergraduate student research on an annual basis.

Colburn said he will use this upcoming year to fine-tune the details and specifics of the project. He said he envisions this publication to feature the best of the best from the hundreds of student research proposals presented each year.

While the basis for this idea was focused around the idea of publishing students’ honors theses and research projects, Colburn does not want to limit the journal to only Butler students.

“It’s a way to recognize the good work that our students and students from other institutions are doing,” said Colburn.

Colburn said he sees this as a great campus-wide opportunity to engage students amd promote the image and recognition of the university.