Towson University Foundation announced 2024 grant award recipients

Funding supports a variety of initiatives around the university to propel education, diversity forward

By TOWSON UNIVERSITY on February 8, 2024

Aerial view of campus
Towson University Foundation grants support several different areas of the university, ranging from academics to student well-being. (Towson University)

The Towson University Foundation, Inc. (TUF) awarded $97,230 in grants to five TU projects in December 2023. Established in 1970 as a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, TUF allows donors to make tax-deductible contributions in support of scholarships and fellowships, faculty development, research, outreach projects, academics and other programs.

Each year, the Advancement Committee takes a thoughtful approach to funding programs that address timely and impactful issues,” says Kim Fabian, TUF committee chair. “The quality of applications we receive makes the selection process no easy task. It is very fulfilling to see our generous donors' contributions go to work in such tangible ways.”

TUF received 25 applications requesting more than $550,000 in funding from faculty and staff representing all six colleges and the divisions of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research (SPAR), the Office of Inclusion & Institutional Equity, Enrollment Management and the Albert S. Cook Library. This is the sixth consecutive year TUF has awarded grants.

The following projects will benefit from 2024 TUF grants.

College of Business & Economics: Data Analytics Research Lab: Focusing on analytics with undergraduate research assistants ($25,000)

Clock tower at Stephens Hall
College of Business & Economics building

This immersive experience mentors 10 undergraduate students in the development of their knowledge and skills through faculty–student research focusing on analytics using the Data Analytics Research Lab (DARL). The project will combine undergraduate research with learning analytics through sports and other domains. The participants will disseminate study results through independent presentations at TU student research conferences, non-TU student conferences and co-authored research articles.

Division of Student Affairs: Deepening our commitment to diversity and inclusion ($13,250)

Health and counseling center building
Health and Counseling Center

The Counseling Center will deepen its commitment to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) work through trainings with external experts. For the 27 licensed therapists in the Counseling Center, the initial training will focus on general DEI learning through the lens of liberation psychology, which focuses on how oppressive systems affect mental health. Subsequent training will take the form of workshops specifically focused on education about transgender identities and needs and how TU can best support transgender students. It will include up to 100 of TU’s faculty and staff, 25 students and 30 members of the Counseling and Health centers. 

College of Liberal Arts: The G.I.V.E. Project at TU ($23,040)

College of Liberal Arts building
College of Liberal Arts

Grantwriting in Valued Environments (G.I.V.E) is a BTU Priority Investment in the English department that advances students’ professional writing goals by connecting their coursework to the needs of small nonprofit organizations in Baltimore. Through sustained curricular and experiential learning within a tight-knit, professional community, this project will hire four students as writing and community engagement specialists to increase the resources, assets and capacities of partner organizations. Students will develop professional skills in preparation for career success post-graduation in the nonprofit sector. One hundred and fifty students will benefit from this real-world learning opportunity, and grant funding will support the development of two new undergraduate nonprofit courses and one graduate level course.

Division of Strategic Partnerships & Applied Research: TU Computer & Information Science Student Bootcamp Pilot Program ($17,600)

401 Washington building
401 Washington, home of SPAR

The computer & information science department will collaborate with SPAR on the development and delivery of CompTIA bootcamps for their students. Continuing and Professional Studies offers an array of professional certificate preparation and credentialing programs that can position TU graduates competitively in the workforce. CompTIA certifications are the industry standard for establishing a career in information technology. Forty students will participate in one of two 40-hour summer cohorts to receive the training needed to maximize their potential to receive certification and increase their career readiness. 

College of Education: Helping students on the pathway to becoming teachers ($18,340)

This project, expected to benefit 200 students within the first two years, will provide academic and mentor support to nontraditional undergraduate students in the Pathways Program, designed for school system paraprofessionals seeking a bachelor’s degree. Recognizing that nontraditional students’ needs differ from traditional full-time undergraduates, the support materials, programming and mentoring program pilot will provide nontraditional students with differentiated support as they resume their educational journeys at TU.

“ This award will allow us to provide support for non-traditional students returning to higher education, as a way to address the teacher shortage and decrease barriers for beginning teachers. It will help our school system partners, and the state as a whole, draw on this talent pool that already exists in the P–12 system and recognize the unique strengths of para-educators. ”

Patricia Rice Doran, professor and chair of the Department of Special Education in COE