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Inaugural Projects

The inaugural grants from the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation build on our faculty’s strong track record of and commitment to reimagining what it means to teach and learn. The projects selected for awards represent each of our colleges and a wide range of disciplines, and many take an interdisciplinary approach to their work.

Implementation and research grants

The Math Gym
A team led by Nagaraj Neerchal, professor and chair of mathematics and statistics, will develop The Math Gym, which will feature “conditioning coaches” and “personal trainers” who will help students keep their foundational math skills in good working order. Moreover, the gym will promote healthy math habits among all our students, drawing a clear analogy between the regular work outs and conditioning needed to maintain both athletic and mathematical skill.

Active Computing Teaching and InnoVation Environment
A team led by Marie desJardins, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, will create ACTIVE, a dynamic “laptop laboratory.” The lab will support innovation in computing courses – with a particular focus on improving the retention and success of women, underrepresented minorities and transfer students. The laboratory will extend active-learning environments, such as CASTLE and the new English writing labs, to a new area of the university.

Seed grants

The Wisdom Institute
A team led by Craig Saper, professor and director of UMBC’s language, literacy and culture (LLC) program, will create an institute to expand the role for emeritus professors at UMBC.

Putting Students’ Language Skills to Work
A team led by Susanne Sutton, lecturer in modern languages, linguistics, and intercultural communication, will develop new experiential and service learning course requirements for undergraduates studying German, with a particular focus on connecting students to Baltimore’s German community.

Service Learning in Statics
A team led by Anne Spence, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will develop new service-learning requirements for undergraduates studying mechanical engineering, with a particular focus on identifying components that increase retention and student success.

Bruce Walz, professor and chair of emergency health services, will lead a project to integrate individual cameras into EHS exercises, so that students can receive more personalized and immediate feedback on their performance.

Projects supported by the Innovation Fund will complement the many other creative and enterprising initiatives already underway at UMBC – from the STEM Transfer Student Success Initiative to composition course redesign in English – and will build on our strong history of finding novel approaches to teaching and scholarship.