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News April 8, 2004



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President's Initiative hands out $700,000


Phase II of the President’s Initiative Fund Program recently resulted in the handing out more than $700,000 to new programs for Northeast Ohio. Selection was a collaborative effort by the Cleveland Foundation, the George Gund Foundation and Cleveland State University.

Some individuals included in the process were Norm Chagnon from the Ohio Department of Development; Brad Whitehead, senior program officer and director of economic development initiative, Cleveland Foun-dation; and Amanda Hunt from the American Association for the Advancement of Sci-ence.

CSU President Michael Schwartz said in a statement to the press, “As in the past, these funded projects are what we hope will become ‘signature’ programs for Cleveland State.”

“All of the submitted proposals exhibit an extremely high level of creativity, innovation and sensitivity to the needs of our community,” he said.

The goals of these programs is to heighten the awareness of the university, bringing new students and faculty to Northeast Ohio, as well as providing community service, quality instruction, and funding opportunities.

“This initiative reflects the high quality of research, teaching and service of our faculty, and their desire to create partnerships that will provide an even greater impact on the region we serve,” Schwartz continued.

Two of the five proposals received the largest grant of $150,000 by the committee, including launching the Center for the Study of the Arts at Cleveland State University and biomedical, bioethics and health program development.

The other three proposals accepted received $112,238 (Urbanization Impacts on Stream Ecosystems: A Theme for Linking Research and Secondary School Education in Northeast Ohio), $145,600 (Program for the Advancement of Economic Development in Northeast Ohio), and $149,730 (Picture This: The CSU Independent Film Program).

The Independent Film Program guided by Dr. Kimberly Neuendorf, consists of a year-long series of workshops, competitions, and film experiences to develop topics such as, “Directing the Actor for Film,” “Media Art Design,” “Music for Film,” “Performance for the Camera,” “Production Management,” and “Short-form Screen-writing.”

The Urbanization Impact Program under the direction of Dr. Michael Walton is a summer program that involves secondary school teachers in a collaborative community of scientists and student researchers. They will focus on the biodiversity and ecological functions of urbanizing ecosystems in Northeast Ohio.

“The Initiatives program is actually only one part of our overall project. We receive funding through the National Science Center for summer research as well,” Walton said.

“Graduates come from around the area and from around the nation to come and take part of this research. One of our focuses this summer will be on the urbanization of the tributaries connected to the Cuyahoga River,” Walton said.

“We will study plant communities, the physical features of streams, biodiversity, and the genetic isolation and diversity on the fish in those habitats,” Walton said.

The Program for the Advancement of Economic Development in Northeast Ohio directed by Dr. Dr. Ziona Austrian will promote informed public policies that will lead to regional economic growth and develop a signature program for Cleveland State.

The “Launching the Center for the Study of the Arts” at Cleveland State University headed by Kay W. Shames, is a virtual center that will develop a summer inter-disciplinary course specializing in three areas: Dance and Movement, Creative Words and Music, and Creative Thought. The center will also develop a Web-based archive for university productions, arts calendars, and other art-related activities.

The final program, Bio-medical, Bioethics and Health Program Development di-rected by Dr. Mary Jane Saunders, will support a vast range of projects that build on the distinctive biomedical strengths at Cleveland State. It will stress the importance of developing these disciplines for economic development and community outreach, as well as potentially becoming a superior, multifaceted academic program in the biomedical and health arena in Northeast Ohio.

All of these programs display high aspirations to make their mark in the Northeast Ohio community by providing a plethora of services, education and research to its members.

On the day of the decisions, Schwartz said, “Today we are announcing the selection of the ‘best of the best,’ but in effect, they are all winners.”

He continued, “Phase II of the President’s Initiative Fund was again extremely competitive and continued in the excellent tradition established in 2002 and 2003.”

Phase I of the President’s Initiatives consisted of a round of awards to seven faculty teams in December 2002, and another eight teams in April 2003.

Schwartz concluded, “Our sincere gratitude to the Cleveland and George Gund foundations for their financial support and encouragement. Their efforts help make our future look very bright.”

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