Grants fund paths to college success for Abington students

Abington biology chancellor's grants

Among the Chancellor's Grants awarded, one is earmarked for new anatomical models and software for a biology course critical to nursing and related fields.

Credit: Penn State

ABINGTON, Pa. — Penn State Abington Chancellor Damian J. Fernandez this week awarded $20,000 in inaugural Chancellor’s Grants for efforts such as a program targeting freshman and first-generation students for success in college.

The grants, up to $5,000 each, are funded by the Albert and Suzanne Lord Chancellor Endowment. The six winning plans are:

  • The new Jumpstart summer program will offer individualized, flexible tutoring sessions for incoming freshman who will work with highly trained peer tutors. Proposed by Janel Dia, coordinator of tutoring through The Learning Center, and Jaehan Park, coordinator of ESL.
  • Abington faculty and student researchers are working on predicting and preventing potential crimes at the new Lion's Gate residence hall. The grant will pay for items such as bike locks and additional signage and lighting. An Abington Township Police Department employee will be trained in a form of crime mapping that incorporates environmental features to help understand and predict crime. Proposed by Oren Gur, assistant professor of criminal justice.
  • The Abington library will set up a program to lend museum passes to faculty, staff and students. Proposed by Jennifer Hunter, reference and instruction librarian.
  • The purchase of new anatomical models and computer software for BIOL 129 Mammalian Anatomy, a critical science course for nursing and related majors, to help create a better learning experience for students. Proposed by Eric Ingersoll, associate professor of biology.
  • A three-pronged initiative for first-generation college students, a significant part of the Abington student population. It will include an alumni mentoring program, increased advising, and monthly workshops. Proposed by Eva Klein, senior administrator for Academic Affairs.
  • Increasing faculty and staff participation in Alternative Spring Break, the annual service learning trips, and integrating academics into the programs. Proposed by Tracy Reed, assistant director of Student Life.
Abington police

A grant funds efforts by Penn State Abington and the Abington Township police to reduce and prevent potential crime such as bike theft at the new residence hall.

Credit: Regina Broscius

“The review committee received 18 commendable proposals, and it appreciates the creativity and dedication of all applicants to enhance the educational and outreach programming,” Chancellor Fernandez said.

The Chancellor's Grants fund new programs, activities and initiatives that are innovative and sustainable. The winning proposals support student engagement, retention and graduation; fresh approaches to academics and teaching; seed funding for larger projects; and robust community partnerships for service learning and civic education.


Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 18 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of our 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. The Lion’s Gate residence hall will open in August 2017.