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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Deadlines Approaching for Academic Innovation Grants

LATIS is now accepting proposal for the Academic Innovation Grants, which support innovation in teaching and learning through the application of instructional technology. Awards are from $1,000 - 30,000. For more information, and to apply, see Academic Innovation Grants Program. 
If you are interested in applying for a grant, please be aware of two important deadlines. 

Consultations (required): email Cristina Lopez, cla-acadtech@umn.edu by Friday, February 12 to schedule your consultation. You may request a consultation any time, even if you have not yet written your grant application. The meeting will take less than one hour. The purpose of the meeting is to ensure that your project and proposal meet the basic criteria of the grant, and that you have identified all of the resources needed to complete your project. 

Proposals: due March 2, 2016. 

Also available, the Infrastructure for Learning supports equipment upgrades or recurring funding and the long-term evolution and maintenance of the inventory of instructional infrastructure in CLA. This program option is intended to utilize strategic planning with regard to departmental technology equipment. After meeting with their departmental consultant, the department chair submits a single plan for their department for the coming year. 

All proposals for the Academic Innovation Grants and the Infrastructure for Learning Grants programs are dueWednesday, March 2, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. All proposals must be received online at that time. Results will be communicated in May. 

Questions and emails of interest can be sent to cla-acadtech@umn.edu. 

Get to Know LATIS's Emily Stull Richardson

Name: Emily Stull Richardson
Current Position: Educational Technologies Consultant / Technology Enhanced Learning
When did you start working at the U? 2012
What is your favorite aspect of your job? I love that my job is about creative problem solving. Technology is always changing and each faculty member and class has a different approach or philosophy to the role of technology in teaching and learning. A strategy that works for one class or instructor may not work for another; this means researching, testing, talking, and tinkering (all things I love to do!) to find a solution.

What is your dream job (besides the one you have)? When I was in elementary school, I used to love watching the cake decorators at Bylery’s (back in the day the in-store bakery had a window where you could see the pastry chefs at work). I now fantasize about becoming a cake decorator when I retire. I figure I’ll be up early anyway, will want some structure to my day, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do (at least once a month I troll the Wuollet Facebook page to admire their wonderful cake creations.) 

What was your worst or most unusual job? Before entering the field of education, I worked for a year as a Visual Designer at Nordstrom. I designed and built window presentations and visual displays throughout the store, incorporating props, mannequins, and lighting. This meant I was either working in the wee hours of the morning or late at night when the store was closed. One of my favorite parts of the job was knowing where all the secret storage closets were that housed the decommissioned mannequins, wigs, and various props; it is almost magical - like finding a trunk of old play clothes in the attic!

What is your favorite place on campus?  My favorite place is the Washington Avenue Bridge. Having an office on the West Bank means that I frequently make the trek across the bridge for meetings and events on the East Bank. Not only does this mean I get a chance to step away from the office and catch a breath of fresh air, but I also get a chance to drink in the changing seasons and river activity from a beautiful vista right in the heart of the city. From the crew team practices in autumn to the forming and melting of ice floes through winter and spring, I find it all splendid and the walk always brightens my day.

Tell us about one of the coolest projects you've worked on for your job at the U? One of the coolest projects was working with an instructor to plan and record theater exercises for the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program. The class had limited access to the Wurtele thrust stage at the Guthrie, so the instructor wanted to make the most of the class’s time. We recorded exercises specifically designed for actors on a thrust stage using the U’s Stoll theater. Students then watched the videos and practiced the exercises before going to the Guthrie; this way, they had experience employing the techniques and could spend their full time on the Wurtele stage practising rather than losing a good portion of their stage time to observation. This project is a particularly good example of using the flipped classroom approach where the instructor records the lecture or direct instruction for students to watch before class, then spends the in-class time on active, hands-on learning experiences.

What is your favorite book/author and do you prefer paper or e-book? This is a tough one; but if I were forced to pick, I would choose My √Āntonia, by Willa Cather. I first read the novel for an American Studies course and fell in love with Cather’s imagery, landscape, and sense of place in the Nebraska prairie.

As for ebook or paper, I am old school - paper all the way! While I enjoy the transportability and lack of clutter that comes with reading on a tablet, it is the feel of the paper - new and glossy, old and brittle, or loved and worn, that I crave. The book, the object itself, has its own story to tell.

One of my favorite things is to find used books that have mementos pressed between the pages or small notes; they are like footprints through time from the previous owners and readers.

People may be surprised to know: I have finished five marathons and one Tough Mudder.