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The College of Liberal Arts has established an ambitious faculty/student summer research program that allows select students to work with faculty on an ongoing project. This funding opportunity will expand the program, giving more students the chance to work alongside faculty and collaborate on important research. Past projects have included an analysis of campaign ads for the Illinois State Supreme Court, a review of bullying and Internet usage among teens and college students, assisting students with Asperger's syndrome in their transition to college, and the influence of gender in the decision-making of the appellate courts in the United States and Canada.
Short-term, faculty-led experiences abroad help students connect what they learn in class to the global community. This funding opportunity will provide more students with the opportunity to experience a different culture and expand their course of study in China, Vietnam, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. Last year, students studied in Dalian, China as part of a Global Journalism class, and visited Cuba where they studied environmental issues, social justice and eco-tourism. Each experience has helped students to broaden their global perspective in a way that cannot be duplicated by the Internet, textbooks or lectures alone.
While the University provides computers for students to use in classes and labs, they do not address the specific needs of the Graphic Arts and Design student. Today, the industry standard tool for professional graphic designers is the Apple computer, and currently the Graphic Arts and Design, Music and Communication Arts programs must collectively share only one Apple computer lab. A second Apple computer lab with 11 computers will provide students with sufficient time to learn to use the computer’s various design-oriented programs and features outside of class, and create an opportunity to offer additional course sections to more students.
The University’s Music programs have expanded significantly in recent years and the number of students who perform in ensembles continues to grow. Today, students perform as part of the University’s concert series and at other important functions such as Commencement, the Hooding and Honors Ceremony and the annual Christmas concert. Unfortunately, the pianos in the Department of Music are aging rapidly and must be replaced. The piano is an essential instrument for all students involved in music. Three years ago, the University purchased a Steinway grand piano – one of the highest quality pianos in the industry. These pianos will immediately enhance the prestige and stature of the University’s Music program. An ultimate goal of acquiring 10 Steinway pianos will help establish Benedictine as a distinctive, All-Steinway school.
Benedictine University has been represented at the National Model United Nations (UN) Conference in New York City every year since the late 1960s. Under the direction of Joel Ostrow, Ph.D., professor of Political Science and department chair, the University’s Model UN teams have reaped numerous honors and recognition. Only four other universities have comparable records of consistent participation and accomplishment. Additionally, the Model UN program has established a partnership with Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xi’an, China. The site of the two universities’ pre-conference preparation alternates each year between China and the United States. This funding opportunity will help the University continue to support this great tradition.
The television studio used by Communication Arts students has not been thoroughly upgraded in many years and students must create projects using aging equipment. The Department of Communication Arts is in the process of switching to a high definition environment, but this effort will require the upgrading of virtually every aspect of the studio for digital and high definition purposes. New professional cameras and other studio enhancements will help better prepare students, allowing them to excel in internships and future positions requiring advanced TV production knowledge. Currently, Communication Arts students use what are known as “prosumer” cameras, which are better than the devices that are available to most consumers, but are not considered on par with cameras used by professionals. While the prosumer cameras provide for a quality picture (especially now that the department has moved toward a high definition environment) students still cannot learn about or apply professional techniques such as registration, adjustments and color balancing that they will need to know as professionals. The Department of Communication Arts also needs a lighting grid so that students can learn about professional lighting techniques in a studio environment.
While there are scholarships available for students pursuing degrees in Music, Education, Political Science and Art, or who are planning to pursue either Ministry or a monastic life, there are no scholarships available for students who choose to study Criminal Justice, Graphic Arts and Design, Global Studies, Medical Humanities and Theology. This funding opportunity will benefit qualifying students by establishing dedicated scholarships for undergraduates who major in these areas.
This funding opportunity supports the Psychology program by creating a laboratory that will provide students with some of the same tools used by professional psychologists. Currently, no such space exists on campus. A new facility will provide students with a computer lab, furniture, and a room with a two-way mirror for conducting confidential psychological observations.
This funding opportunity for the Center for Civic Leadership Speakers Series supports the continuation of the critically acclaimed series established by former Illinois Attorney General and Distinguished Fellow Jim Ryan. Every year, Benedictine brings high-profile speakers to campus to address issues of national importance. Past speakers have included then-U.S. Senate candidate Barack Obama, Washington Post columnists Bob Woodward and David Broder, CNN’s Peter Bergen, political strategist and political consultant David Axelrod and MSNBC analyst Michael Steele.
The Youth Government Day funding opportunity supports the annual event, which welcomes high school and community college students to Benedictine to learn about the importance of government and public service. Officials from various levels of government, journalists and other keynote speakers join students for discussions on key public issues and activities. Recent events have included a mock Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party rally, and a slate of speakers addressing the problem of political corruption in Illinois.
The Center for Civic Leadership’s Public Service Fellows program will prepare a select group of highly motivated students who are nominated for the program based on their academic performance and leadership potential. As a public service fellow, students will participate in community service and engage in semester-long internships in government and public law. They will also engage in Mock Trial, Model United Nations and Model Illinois Government, and attend classes and seminars on leadership and public service.
This funding opportunity supports the creation of an endowed chair for the department or academic program of the donor’s choice or personal interest. An endowed chair is the highest academic award a University can confer on a faculty member, and is both an honor for the holder of the appointment and tribute to the donor who establishes it. Endowed chairs encourage the recruitment and retention of high-quality faculty, and attract the best and brightest students.