Grants Awarded by Towson University Foundation
For the fourth consecutive year, the Towson University Foundation (TUF) has awarded nearly $100,000 in grants to TU projects. The foundation received 22 applications requesting more than $500,000 in funding. Established in 1970 as a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation, TUF enables donors to make tax-deductible contributions to TU scholarships and fellowships, faculty development, research, outreach projects and academic and other programs.
The 2022 grant recipients include projects focusing on secure elections, mental health awareness, curriculum preparation for Living Learning Communities and urban history/cultural teaching in today’s classroom.
Empowering Secure Elections
This project will research, develop and validate online training modules to educate more than 30,000 poll workers on the threats to mail-based voting processes, enable them to identify and mitigate the threats and build stronger awareness of potential election threats and what is being done to protect the integrity of votes.
Students will play a key role in the research. To date, 17 students have contributed to research efforts, and 10 have co-authored work.
“This grant support will provide students with authentic research experiences that directly contribute to the betterment of our local, state and national election processes.” – Josh Dehlinger, professor, Department of Computer & Information Sciences
Healthy Minds, Healthy Tigers
The project will educate the campus community on mental health awareness and response through mental health first aid (MHFA) training. It will also remove mental health stigmas and treatment barriers by providing trauma-sensitive programs for students at the Campus Recreation Center. The program anticipates training 125 people in MHFA and four as MHFA instructors to expand the program.
“We are addressing the mental health needs of our students through education and awareness-building that equips faculty, staff and students to care for students’ mental health and increases their ability to graduate and serve as effective, ethical leaders and engaged citizens.” – Grady Sheffield, director of campus recreation
Housing & Residence Life Learning Community
An Office of Housing & Residence Life and Division of Academic Affairs partnership, this residential curriculum and onboarding process for new Living Learning Communities will increase first-year student exposure to faculty and academic peers and improve academic performance, engagement and retention rates. Lessons learned will be applied to future operations with a goal of 30–50% of first-year residential students actively engaging in learning communities.
“We are committing the combined resources of academic affairs and student affairs to offer more high-impact, co-curricular living learning experiences for our residential students.” – Malinda Jensen, director of housing & residence life
Voices and Places of Baltimore: Exploring Life under Segregation and Community Contributions through an Education-Based Immersion Study
Understanding the impact of urban history in teaching cultural awareness is critical to learning at the K–12 and postsecondary levels. This project brings together K–12 educators from Baltimore City and County with TU faculty and students for remote workshops and in-person, immersive field trips and community experiences. The goal is to prepare seasoned K–12 teachers and TU faculty and students to teach issues of social justice, inclusion and equity.
“Increasing our awareness of the cultural richness of historic Black communities and businesses in Baltimore will transform our own classroom practices.” – Morna McNulty, professor, Department of Elementary Education