University awards $750K in grants to Abington, collaborators at other campuses

Strategic Plan Seed Grants support key, University-wide strategic priorities
hands, dirt and seedling

Penn State Abington faculty collaborated with faculty from Penn State campuses statewide to form these initiatives.

Credit: © iStock/weerapatkiatdumrong

ABINGTON, Pa. — Penn State recently awarded three Strategic Plan Seed Grants totaling almost $750,000 to collaborative groups that include Penn State Abington faculty. 

Through an innovative strategic planning funding process, Penn State is investing in pilot programs that support key, University-wide strategic priorities while simultaneously advancing the vital and transformative work of Penn State faculty, staff and students across the Commonwealth.

The following proposals were among those approved for funding in spring 2019:

The Penn State Network for STEM Inclusion and Innovation

The campuses of Abington, Brandywine, Greater Allegheny and Lehigh Valley received a $249,606 grant to support the creation of the Penn State Network for STEM Inclusion and Innovation.

Piloted at these four campuses — with the potential to expand to additional campuses — the Network will explore and implement statewide solutions that promote diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields among students from underserved communities across the state.

This grant will fund cohorts of prospective community college transfer students who are interested in pursuing a four-year STEM degree at Penn State and will participate in a six-week non-residential summer program before they start the second year of their associate degree. This is the first program of its kind at Penn State. 

The team includes Abington Chancellor Damian J. Fernandez and Michael Bernstein, chair of Psychological and Social Sciences at Abington.

The SoVA Studio for Sustainability and Social Action (SoVAS3A)

A team that includes Yvonne Love, associate professor of art at abington, received a $249,788 grant for the School of Visual Arts Studio for Sustainability and Social Action (SoVAS3A).

The Studio will promote the development of arts courses and minors through curriculum coordination; public art collaborations with communities throughout the commonwealth; a nationally visible biennial symposium and art exhibition; and a lecture series and workshops by high profile artists, all with sustainability and social action at their core. 

The Equity Pedagogy Network: Embracing Diversity by Institutionalizing Equity Pedagogy and Culturally Sustaining Curricula

Paula Smith, Associate Librarian at Abington, is a co-project leader on the formation of The Equity Pedagogy Network: Embracing Diversity by Institutionalizing Equity Pedagogy and Culturally Sustaining Curricula.

This initiative, which received a $249,745 grant, will create a "networked improvement community" of faculty affiliated with geographically dispersed research, teaching and learning centers to maximize their effectiveness in institutionalizing equity pedagogy and culturally sustaining curricula.

About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With nearly 4,000 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 19 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics and more.