Giving Back Endowment: Faculty Innovation Grant.

Apply for a $1,000 Faculty Grant

Application Deadline: 4 p.m. on Monday, February 7, 2022

Apply for the grant

The Faculty Innovation Initiative is a signature piece of the Nonprofit Leadership Program's long established commitment to high impact community engagement. With generous funding provided by the Giving Back Endowment, established by Dr. Robert and Patricia Long, the Initiative offers a competitive grant funding of one-time initial support for faculty across campus seeking to incorporate innovative approaches to student-community engagement into their courses.

Past Award Recipients and Projects

Not sure how to blend philanthropy into your course content? See how past award recipients used their grant funds in creative and transformative ways.

  • Megan Smetana, College of Education and Human Sciences
    Students in Neuroscience for Communication Disorders (CDI 410) learned about the effects of music and physical activity on the cognition and communication skills of residents at a local skilled-care facility, while also assisting the facility with needed volunteer help for resident activities.

  • Holly Bloodworth, College of Education and Human Sciences worked with students in ELE 406 Teaching Reading class to create Dyslexia Toolkits based on resources from the Kentucky Department of Education for approximately 120 local elementary students. 

  • Dr. Alyx Shultz, Hutson School of Agriculture
    Students in Shultz’s AGR 700 course worked to provide eight area high schools with multi-week teaching curriculums and AeroGardens (countertop hydroponic plant-growing systems).

  • Dr. Melony Shemberger, Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business
    Students Shemberger's JMC 397 course applied news planning, writing, and design talents to produce a website, poster display, and e-book telling the stories of public education. Community oral histories were recorded as part of an intensive focus on education reporting.

  • Dr. Jessica Branch, College of Education and Human Services (Two-time recipient)
    Students in Branch's ELE390 course developed pretend play kits and donated them to local kindergarten classrooms. These kits provide kindergarten children with open-ended materials and dramatic play props to use in conjunction with standards-based units established by the Murray State students.

    Students in Branch's SED 626 course developed personalized social narrative books for young, local children with disabilities. The books utilized descriptive and directive sentences in child-friendly language, along with photographs of the specific children, to model situations where the children had difficulty displaying socially appropriate behavior.

  • Jake Hildebrant, Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering, and Technology
    Students in Hildebrant's EMT 320 course recycled and refurbished used bikes, which were then donated to regional nonprofit organizations, including the Bridge Ministry in Nashville, TN.

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