IU Northwest receives $39,000 in grants, thanks to support from IU, national foundations
Grants focus on experiential learning for high school students, technology upgrades for IU Northwest’s library
Indiana University Northwest was recently awarded three grants, totaling $39,000, that will help advance learning opportunities for high school students, as well as contribute to technological enhancements to the John W. Anderson Library.
With these grants, IU Northwest will help to position the next generation of college students with learning opportunities to help them grow and explore their passions.
Forensic Scientists and Criminal Investigators Summer Camp: $21,250
Funding partner: Women’s Philanthropy Leadership Council, IU Foundation
Through this grant, IU Northwest’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) will host a week-long Forensic Scientists and Criminal Investigators Summer Camp (to be held in 2024) for local and regional high school students.
The program is open to all students who aspire to become forensic scientists or forensic investigators with activities focused on solving crime scenarios, lab and case-study analysis, field investigations and trips to local crime lab facilities.
“Forensic science is a growing field as it has been recognized as essential in the modern criminal justice system,” said Monica Solinas-Saunders, associate professor in SPEA and adjunct associate professor of Women & Gender Studies.
“However, the forensic science field often lacks diversity, which can contribute to bias in the solution of crimes and the search for missing persons.
Funding partner: The Black Philanthropy Circle, IU Foundation
Thanks to funding from The Black Philanthropy Circle, a vision years in the making — The Steel City Black Knowledge Bowl — will now come to life.
The Bowl, similar to an Academic Bowl, is designed for high school participants to demonstrate academic knowledge of the African Diaspora and its accomplishments in human history, while also increasing students’ sense of pride in themselves and the contributions of individuals like them.
“Learning these facts through the Bowl is a way in which young scholars can retain and apply the acquired knowledge; thus, that information becomes a part of their daily conversations and interaction, normalizing Black knowledge and Black contributions to society,” said Dorothy Frink, interim vice chancellor for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management.
The Bowl, which will be held on the IU Northwest campus during winter 2024, will also provide students and their parents an opportunity to visit the campus and consider the university for their future educational goals.
Program and event coordinators include Frink, as well as McKenya Dilworth Smith, executive director of Morning Bishop Theatre Playhouse, Inc.; Roy Hamilton, teacher assistant at 21st Century High School College and Career Center; Antoine Hawkins, IU Northwest admissions counselor and Groups Scholars coordinator; and Candace Rayburn, IU Northwest dual enrollment coordinator & ICC management specialist.
With the funding, the library will be able to better serve IU Northwest students, as well as community members through several enhancements, including the addition of a second Google Jamboard. This technology — frequently used by students — is a 55-inch touchscreen, digital whiteboard that allows collaborators to search content, draw, sketch, write, calculate equations, interact with others and access Google Workspace.
Additional library upgrades include the addition of an Infinity Game Table, a digital tabletop gaming system preloaded with new and iconic arcade and board games, as well as timer service for computers specifically set aside for community member use.
“This grant will help us to better serve our students and community patrons, as we work to enhance and utilize emerging technologies to support a 21st-century library learning environment,” said Nicholas A. Casas, assistant librarian for teaching and learning. “As a Hispanic and Minority-Service Institution, it is critical that our library plays an important role in helping Northwest Indiana residents to have equitable access to computers, essential programs and stable and secure internet connections.”
The ALA Building Library Capacity Grants assist libraries at academic Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) across the United States and U.S. Territories that have experienced economic hardship due to the consequences of the pandemic and its aftermath, which has impacted their ability to serve their students, especially traditionally underserved populations.