2018-19 Funded Projects

Innovation Fund Pilot Projects

Off-Campus Faculty and Staff Mentoring Program

Contact: Leslie Gregg-Jolly and Marc Reed

This pilot project will support external mentors, called Senior Fellows for Advancement of Grinnell College Excellence, for faculty and staff members from underrepresented groups. This program is designed to support inclusive excellence by enhancing mentees’ sense of belonging and productivity, while gaining external feedback on Grinnell’s programs and policies.

Faculty and Staff Development Seminar to Ghana and South Africa

Contact: Shuchi Kapila

This pilot project will support the development of geographical sites in two locations in sub-Saharan Africa for teaching and research in various disciplines and through interdisciplinary and team-teaching opportunities. The grant will support faculty and staff travel to Ghana and South Africa to visit universities, colleges, nonprofit organizations, off-campus study programs, historical sites, and to meet scholars and civil society activists.

Neurohumanities: A Student “Research Arc” for the Liberal Arts

Contact: Joseph Neisser and Ralph Savarese

This pilot project will develop a new curricular model for creating and sustaining undergraduate research. A “Research Arc” combines an interdisciplinary course cluster (or "critical theme") with MAPs, and culminates in a student-hosted conference with faculty and student presenters. In this Research Arc, students and faculty will explore what the humanities can contribute to neuroscientific discussions of human experience and how the humanities can evolve through a critical encounter with neuroscience.

Grinnell Singers Concert Tour to China 2020

Contact: John Rommereim

This pilot project will provide funds for a concert tour by the Grinnell Singers to be undertaken in March 2020 to China. The tour will provide an extraordinary cross-cultural, global learning experience for Grinnell’s students. The project includes a choral/orchestral collaboration between the Grinnell Singers and Chinese musicians, as well as the commission of a new work from a Chinese composer.

Innovation Fund Planning Projects

The East Asian Studies Gateway Seminar

Contact: Mariko Schimmel and Jin Feng

This planning project will support the development of a group-taught East Asian Studies Gateway seminar. This course will function as a foundation course for all East Asian Studies concentrators, but it also will serve the broader student population by combining the disciplinary expertise of the East Asian Studies faculty at Grinnell. The seminar will equip the concentrators with a sense of a cohesive curriculum before they embark on the extensive interdisciplinary work.

Grinnell-in-China: A Digital History Documentation Project

Contact: Weiwei Luo, Christopher Jones, and Cecilia Knight

This planning grant will support the continuation of the Grinnell-in-China project, a pedagogically driven digitization project primarily intended to create new digital materials for use in the Grinnell classroom and hosted in Digital Grinnell. Students participating in creation of this collection gain project management and digital history skills in exhibition and online presentation, metadata and transcription, documentation, licensing, and rights management.

A Proposal for Interdisciplinary Learning Through Clay

Contact: Kelly Maynard

This planning project will explore the development of an interdisciplinary course design that will integrate the creation of ceramics with the history of material culture including course requirements that include ‘learning by doing’. The project will commence in July 2020.

Advancing Digital Literacies for a Liberal Arts Education

Contact: Morris Pelzel

This planning project will support preliminary planning of a curricular initiative in digital literacies and competencies for the Grinnell College academic community. The information ecosystem is increasingly mediated by digital applications, methods, and practices. The project’s mission is to assist faculty, staff, and students in navigating the digital world successfully as reflective citizens, effective workers, and lifelong learners.

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