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HPU Presents 'Think Big' Awards

02.19.2009

HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 19, 2009 – Thanks to the Think BIG Awards, four professors can continue pursuing projects that will help further High Point University’s tradition of educational excellence.
 
The professors – Dr. Elizabeth McCorquodale and Dr. Harold Goldston, from the Department of Chemistry and Physical Science; Jay Putnam, from the Department of Performing Arts; and Dr. Jim Casey, from the Department of English – were awarded the grants during a special presentation on Feb 19.
 
The HPU Think BIG Awards represent a one-time allocation of funds that are awarded on a competitive basis to exceptional faculty projects that enhance the student learning experience and enrich the broader academic community. The grants awarded aim to encourage faculty to imagine and design truly innovative, creative and engaging approaches to student learning – and the professors awarded submitted equally impressive projects.
 
McCorquodale and Goldston received $32,465 for their project, titled “After-School Experiential Science Outreach Program.” The grant will help to establish a science outreach program, the AESOP program, which will provide portable laboratory demonstrations, mini lectures and hands-on experiments to take to after-school programs at local elementary and middle schools. Ultimately, the project will help to engage children in science at an earlier age and offer more opportunity for younger students to develop an interest and pursue science as a career. Dr. Barbara Leonard, associate dean of the School of Education, estimates that 60 or more children will be impacted per elementary school visit, and even more in middle schools. Also, a portion of the grant will fund two competitive summer stipends for HPU students to assist in the initial development of the experimental kits.
 
Putnam received $13,850 for his project, titled “The ‘Masters’ Project.” The project is a course of study that will extend the depth of HPU’s theatrical production work by offering students a thorough, detailed, immersive experience. Throughout the yearlong course, students will have the chance to study every aspect of Anton Chekhov’s “The Sea Gull.” Actors will have two semesters to research and develop their characters; directing students and dramaturgical historians will take time for detailed research and interpretations that lead to re-imaginations of the work; and design students will have the opportunity to study and develop historical choices, as well as imaging fresh designs in multiple styles. Two guest artists will also provide inspirations insights to the study, and expanded production support and resources will be available to students as well.
 
Casey received $14,550 for his project, titled “Teaching for Cyborgs: Using E-Readers in the Classroom.” The project will introduce E-book Readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle or Sony’s PRS-700 Reader, into the classroom. Initially, the project will focus on courses specifically designed for the Department of English, but if the E-readers prove to be successful as a pedagogical tool, the project may recommend the adoption of E-books into other courses of study. Wellington DeSouza, vice president for information services at HPU, recommends the project as a cost-effective opportunity to “get ahead of the curve” on a technology that could conceivably replace textbooks.
 
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in a fun environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with more than 3,400 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 50 countries and more than 40 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” The university offers 66 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate-degree majors. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at www.highpoint.edu. Chris DudleyVice President for Administration336-841-4530cdudley@highpoint.edu

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