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Grants Received at UW-RF Set Record

By Christine Duellman
UW-RF News Bureau

NOV. 18, 2004--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls has received a record $3.3 million in grants this year from federal and state sources as well as companies and foundations, according to the UW-RF office of grants & research.

Some $3,382,027 for almost 50 grants were received for projects from tutoring and service-learning activities to faculty research grants. Sixty-five proposals were submitted by faculty and staff to fund new and existing programs.

UW-RF's goal was to match its most recent three-year average for number of proposals submitted and grant dollars received, according to Bill Campbell, director of grants and research. Although not as many proposals were submitted this year, the amount of grants funded exceeded goals by 37.2%.

"We've had very good success here," said Campbell. "Our success rate has been more than 50% the last 15 years, and that is really a big accomplishment. Grants allow us to do things we couldn't do otherwise."

University administrators are pleased with the sum. "Outside sources of funds are becoming critical to universities as states have steadily reduced their support of higher education," says Interim Chancellor Virgil Nylander. "Grants from both governmental and private sources are used to support faculty and student research, instructional equipment, and numerous activities that enrich the educational experiences of our students. The quality of the education we provide at this university would suffer without the availability of outside funds."

Here is a sampling of some of the programs funded by grants this year:

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science faculty Gary Onan, Brenda Boetel, and Bill Connelly received $99,715 for "From Pig to Plate: Creating a Model for Value-Added Agriculture Education." This program empowers students to do value-added agriculture, the processing of raw materials to add further value to a product, which is important in this region, says Campbell.

UW-RF history Professor Kurt Leichtle, in collaboration with a history professor from UW-Stout and Cooperative Educational Services Agency (CESA) 11, was awarded $260,289 from the U.S. Dept. of Education for "History through the Heartland along the I-94 Corridor." The grant will fund a three-year $750,000 project for history teachers, who will learn local and regional history and explore connections to historical events on a national level.

Several continuation grants for projects already in place were awarded, including the McNair Scholars program, the Upward Bound program, and Student Support Services. McNair and Upward Bound began in 1999 and Student Support Services began in 1992. Over the years they have received nearly $5 million in grants. The development of these programs also created about 10 permanent full- and part-time positions.

The United States Health and Human Services renewed a grant of $347,678 for a social work program called Western Wisconsin Partnership, in its sixth year. The purpose of this partnership is to contribute to the quality of services being provided to children and families served by child welfare. The University teams up with 24 counties in western Wisconsin to train child welfare caseworkers.

WWP Project Director Jennifer Borup said students benefit from this program because it opens the door to internships and jobs in the counties. "This really fits in with the University's commitment to community partnership," said Borup. "Students benefit from the good will built up with in the counties."

Another grant received was the Merck-AAAS Grant, which provides financial support for students interested in doing research in both chemistry and biology. For the next three years UW-RF will receive $20,000 per year from Merck Foundation and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The University also is contributing an additional $8,000 per year to this program.

Campbell said the UW-RF Office of Grants & Research will continue striving to reach their annual goal. "I’ll do whatever it takes to get a good proposal out the door."

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Last updated: Tuesday, 22-Jun-2010 16:21:18 Central Daylight Time

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