REAL Challenge Grant recipients 2019-20
The following projects were awarded REAL Challenge Grants in the 2019-20 academic year:
Cultivating a culture of internship engagement in VCU Largest Major
» Rachel Hill
A three-step approach to provide biology students with the skills and opportunities needed to secure an internship - Preparing Students through workshops, Preparing Employers through building affiliations, and Matching Students with Employers at an Internship Matching Fair event.
Broadening Perspectives on Health Equity: Experiential Learning In Safety Net Providers
» Carolyn Watts
This project will design an inter-professional experiential learning pathway for students in partnership with Health Brigade, creating a curriculum in which students split time between the HB organization and faculty-led classroom time.
You First Peer Mentoring Engagement for UNIV 391: Advanced Peer Mentoring and Leadership
» Elizabeth Bambacus
This is an existing course in which upper-level first-generation students mentor first-year first-generation students. The funding provided will allow them to hold an in-person event with mentors and mentees, and also funds a Strengths Quest assessment for the upper-level students, which helps them recognize their strengths and intentionally apply them to both coursework and mentoring.
Coffee an Engineering Approach: A Hands-on Freshman Engineering Experience
» Thomas Roper
This project transitions a traditional lecture based classroom setting into a coffee laboratory - helping CLSE 101 students become familiar with chemical engineering concepts using the non-threatening vehicle of coffee.
Building a Pipeline for Better Environmental Studies Internships and Careers
» Lindsay Freeman
Funding for this project will help attract high-quality guest speakers and incentivize student participation in the Careers and Conversations events held by the Center for Environmental Studies each year, with the goal of building partnerships with these environmental professionals that can serve as a pipeline for students.
Striving and thriving of underrepresented students in STEM programs at VCU
» Dina Tamar Garcia
The goal of this project is to not only increase underrepresented students engagement in STEM, but also to create a culture that reinforces their identity and a sense of belonging in these fields. Funding will help cover both costs of an in-person networking event as well as equipment and an intern needed to create a focused, year-long media campaign.
Engaging more students in experiential learning by attending Institute on Sophomore Success
» Madeline Goldman
This project, proposed by an academic advisor, is designed to help retain students in the Forensic Science major by working with faculty and staff to create experiential learning opportunities earlier in a student’s academic experience. Funding covers the professional development experience of attending University of South Carolina’s Institute on Sophomore Success, to give this advisor the tools and best practices they need to help move the needle within the department.
University College Student Ambassador
» Matthew Vechinski
This funding will provide a student ambassador to work with University College faculty and staff to promote experiential learning in the unit.