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2015 Strategic Innovation Fund Awardees

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Summaries are categorized by overarching themes that emerged as grantees were decided.

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3D Printing of Customized Implants for Cleft Lip, Palate and Orofacial Deformities and Defects

Team lead: Dr. Lobat Tayebi

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Cleft lip and cleft palate comprise the fourth most common birth defect in the United States. Cleft lip and cleft palate occur when tissues in the baby's face and mouth don't form properly. Nasoalveolar molding (NAM) of the cleft lip, nose and alveolar palate for restoration of function has been a successful strategy but has some important drawbacks. Removable appliances are inserted before surgical reconstruction and these are bulky and difficult to wear, requiring numerous adjustments, often irritate delicate soft tissues and interfere with the infant’s ability to nurse or feed.

Advances in materials, equipment, and techniques are enabling on-demand, highly customized patient treatments. We will develop a highly innovative method that overcomes the problems with NAM by producing customized 3D printed removable appliances that match the contour and unique features of the cleft patient and permits easy modification and adjustments in size and contour as the segments approximate prior to surgical correction.

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Assisted Living Virtual Environment (ALIVE)

Team lead: Alex Barrington

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The geriatric population is expanding at an ever-growing rate. However, there has been a prevalent divergence between the quantity of life (i.e. life expectancy) and the quality of life, with up to 75% of geriatric residents experiencing “end-of-life” depression according to the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association (AMA).

ALIVE will unite quantity of life with quality of life. ALIVE will create a safe, user-friendly, portable, and panoramic virtual environment where assisted living residents can move through an outdoor scene of their choice. Our portable virtual environment will give geriatric residents an outlet to increase their mobility; decrease the effects of depression, anxiety, and isolation; and improve their quality of life. In doing so, ALIVE will provide residents with an atmosphere of care for the whole person, consistent with Marquette’s Jesuit mission.

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Changing Teens' Responses to Precursors of Dating Violence: A Theatre Intervention

Team lead: Dr. Kristin Haglund

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Our vision is to establish an ongoing and sustainable partnership with the Milwaukee Public Theatre, Marquette University’s College of Nursing and Center for Peacemaking, and youth of Milwaukee’s near west and north neighborhoods to promote youth development and interpersonal peace by engaging in theaterbased, community-based participatory action research (CBPR) projects targeted at issues of violence.

The aim of this partnership is to cultivate relationships as a foundation for CBPR projects that will generate community involvement and leadership, afford direct benefits to the participants and local community, address pressing social and health issues of violence and injury, and promote solidarity with vulnerable young people and communities in Milwaukee. This scalable initiative was intentionally designed small so that the successful components can easily be replicated across the city and country.

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Create Sustainable Psychology Internship and Improve Effectiveness of Milwaukee Nonprofit Agencies

Team lead: Dr. Ed de St. Aubin

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Two years of funding are requested (July 1, 2015 - July 1, 2017) to support the design and creation of a sustainable internship program for the Psychology Department. A major aspect of this work involves community engagement both in terms of vetting non-profits for appropriateness of fit and then working closely with those chosen in piloting interns there and providing workshops and ongoing consultation regarding mentorship and supervision of interns. This component is necessary for a truly successful internship program since non-profit agencies are often under-resourced and ineffective in the mentoring of interns.

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Fostering 21st Century Literacy Acquisition and Instruction in Marquette University's Hartman Center

Team lead: Dr. Kathleen Clark

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The proposed project represents a re-envisionment of the Marquette University Hartman Literacy and Learning Center’s after school reading intervention program for urban Milwaukee children who struggle with literacy acquisition. It seeks to bring the program into the digital era through the use of technology-mediated instruction delivered via iPad devices.

We have two goals: (1) to develop children’s traditional literacies of reading and writing while fostering their acquisition of new literacies, that is, those skills, strategies, insights, and dispositions needed to use and adapt to the information and communication technologies inherent in the world today (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, & Cammack, 2004); and (2) to develop the technological pedagogical content knowledge of the elementary teacher preparation students who serve as children’s instructors in the Center.

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Marquette Democracy Lab: A Research Initiative to Increase Civic Engagement and Improve Communities

Team lead: Dr. Amber Wichowsky

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Marquette Democracy Lab seeks to connect innovative social science research to urban public policy. We do this by bringing together faculty, students, and local stakeholders to conduct impact evaluations of community development efforts. Our goal is to identify interventions that can increase civic engagement and improve neighborhood well-being.

MDL’s collaborative studies address two challenges. The first is to identify ways to increase neighborhood civic capacity, a critical ingredient to policy success. The second is to direct scarce resources to interventions that have an impact, whether on civic engagement, health/wellness, public safety, or sustainability. By focusing on urban policy and governance, MDL fills an important niche; existing groups that provide a similar service focus primarily on global poverty. Our interdisciplinary studies build on the strengths of faculty and the mission of the university, and help connect scholars, policymakers, and civic leaders in the region.

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The Marquette Water Quality Center: A Powerful Catalyst for Water Initiatives

Team lead: Dr. Daniel H. Zitomer

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We propose to grow research, teaching and service on water issues by expanding the Marquette Water Quality Center (WQC). Today, Marquette (MU) is poised at an exciting moment since resources recently have been created. However, lack of administrative structure to coordinate efforts limits growth.

Innovation Fund support is requested as seed funding. The new WQC will ultimately be sustained by research and gift funds. The center will be innovative in that it will be among the few water centers in the US that brings together engineering, science, law and policy to address global water issues. The new WQC will advance MU as a recognized leader in interdisciplinary water issues and a first-choice university for excellent students interested in water. The work will have lasting impact on campus ultimately by being a financially self-sustaining, interdisciplinary venue to involve undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, industry, government and others in research and teaching, as well as link academic, industry and government participants.

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Membrane and Resin Desalination System

Team lead: Emmanuel Kayiwa

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The purpose of the Membrane and Resin Desalination System is to desalinate ocean water at less then half the power consumption of the most prevalent methods, reverse osmosis and thermal distillation. This system has been granted provisional patent status, and the focus of the proposed work is to finalize the design, construct a lab-scale system, and evaluate its effectiveness in treating saline water to potable standards.

Desalination is the sustainable solution to the problem of water scarcity. As Marquette undergraduates we are committed to creating a sustainable water supply that can help many people. Through the pursuit of creating a desalination system, we believe that we can improve, human well-being and make the world a better place.

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Milwaukee Poverty Database

Team lead: Sharon McGowan

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We will create a searchable, sortable database of information on poverty issues. The data will be accessed through Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service (NNS), an online source for objective, professional reporting about central city Milwaukee, and available to the public, journalists, faculty and students on any device capable of Internet access. Data would include employment/unemployment rates; poverty by race, gender and neighborhood; incarceration rates; health statistics including morbidity and mortality, lead poisoning, substance abuse and asthma; and education statistics such as student achievement, dropout and truancy rates.

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Non-Electric Oxygen Concentrator for Developing Countries: Ghana

Team lead: Dr. Lars Olson

The World Health Organization has recently highlighted the need for better oxygen supplies for environments without electricity. Current systems such as commercial oxygen concentrators or delivering tanks are a problem for poor rural regions because of cost and electricity. We propose a new kind of oxygen system for rural clinics that produces and stores oxygen locally, driven principally by renewable energy sources. We call it the NeOx, or Non-electric Oxygen system.

Rather than simply try to fit existing technology from developed countries into poor regions, we aim to redesign the entire oxygen delivery system for rural Africa and beyond. We propose in this pilot study to: (1) refine the NeOx design and build a robust prototype for field testing, (2) install the NeOx system in a rural clinic in Saboba, Ghana, and (3) evaluate its performance and refine the design. The results from this study will be used as pilot data for grants to scale up NeOx for use throughout Africa.

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Pilot Project for Collaborative Research with Industry at the Global Water Center

Team lead: Dr. Patrick McNamara

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Marquette University (MU) resides in the center of Milwaukee, full of opportunities in the global water economy. To be fully engaged in research in action, MU must team with industry and public water utilities to harness the full power of Milwaukee, and more widely distribute the Marquette name throughout the community. At Marquette we strive to be global leaders in water research. To do so we must take advantage of the rich water research opportunities right here in Milwaukee. The Global Water Center (GWC) provides an exceptional opportunity to connect MU with industry and public utilities.

This proposal outlines a plan to develop collaborative infrastructure at the GWC. This infrastructure plan will involve an initial demonstration project focusing on collaboration among MU, private industry, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. This plan will be based on wastewater research that is on-going already at MU. We propose that biochar, a byproduct made from an emerging wastewater treatment process, can be used to remove pollutants of emerging concern from wastewater, and plan to conduct pilot-scale research with partners at the GWC to setup up infrastructure for future projects at the GWC.

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Project Freshwater

Team lead: T Ullrich

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Project Freshwater, a team-taught, project-based learning experience for Marquette University’s Upward Bound (UB) participants, introduces low-income, first-generation young men and women to the vital importance of water to our lives and well being, instructing them in water studies and innovative engineering technologies that help sustain this valuable resource. A five-week, intensive summer educational program on Marquette’s campus, Project Freshwater investigates water’s biological, political, legal, and social dimensions in the University’s Water Quality Center, Law School, classrooms/labs, at Milwaukee’s Global Water Center, Discovery World, and Veolia Milwaukee, and through hands-on studies of Lake Michigan and area rivers.

At summer’s end, students showcase their data and experiments at the annual summer academic exhibition as well as deliver learning units on water studies to Milwaukee inner-city elementary school students. The hub for global water studies, Milwaukee and Marquette provide an ideal setting for Upward Bound students to investigate water quality, policy, usage, and sustainability and to advance the region’s and Marquette’s dynamic role in the water technology and sustainability fields.

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Promoting Assets and Reducing Crime (PARC) on Milwaukee’s Near West Side

Team lead: Patrick Kennelly

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PARC is a five year initiative to revitalize and sustain the Near West Side as a thriving business and residential corridor, through collaborative efforts to promote economic development, improve housing, unify neighborhood identity and branding, and provide greater safety for students, residents, and businesses.

Each Near West Side anchor institution (Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors, Potawatomi Business Development Corporation) is asked to provide the equivalent of one year of funding from each anchor of the initiative.

PARC is rooted in the idea that the challenges in the Near West Side can be solved rather than simply managed. PARC’s proactive, innovative, and multi-faceted asset promotion component and crime reduction component work in tandem to improve life in the target area. PARC convenes the community to invest in and transform the Near West Side.

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Public Marquette

Team lead: Andrew Terenzio

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The purpose of the Public Marquette is to combat food deserts and their corresponding symptoms, especially those present in the Near West Side district that ourselves and our neighbors call home. This involves reconstructing the way in which we as a community think about our supply of food. Presenting a new business model for operating a grocery, we will offer fresh produce and essential items without the breadth of inventory associated with traditional supermarkets. Also diverging from tradition, the Public Marquette is a mobile grocery option designed to service multiple communities.

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Water POD – Mini Water Purification System

Team lead: Hensley Foster

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Our project aims to work with Marquette professors and students to demonstrate a practical, affordable and sustainable means to restore personal wellness and good water stewardship to those individuals and communities presently suffering from contaminated surface and well water. We plan to address these water issues by field testing a water purification unit (the Water POD) that provides premium (potable) water from contaminated sources. Our technology has been developed under the auspices of the Water Council’s Pilot Project at the Global Water Center.

As part of the Pilot Project, the Water Council has agreed to provide 2:1 matching funds for Water POD development. Our proposed project will enable Marquette students to assume an active role in working with impacted citizens and communities and collaborate with scientific researchers, the Global Water Center, the Water Council, and the private sector.

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Ignatian Course Consultation Team (ICCT)

Team lead: Dr. Stephanie Russell

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The advancement of Marquette's mission is deeply dependent upon our students' encounter with faculty who understand and appropriate the Jesuit educational tradition. Often faculty members would like to retool their teaching practices and integrate Ignatian pedagogy into their courses, but do not have the knowledge to do so or easy access to faculty colleagues who can help them assess their courses through this lens.

The Ignatian Course Consultation Team (ICCT) is a first-ever attempt at Marquette for creating interdisciplinary, faculty-run consulting groups whom any faculty member may access to help him/her assess the (a) overall pedagogical approach, and (b) Ignatian character and methodology of his/her courses. The model is loosely based on the Quaker tradition of "clearness committees," which call into service Friends who assist a fellow Quaker to solve a problem or make a decision. The ICCT works with faculty who are creating or redesigning syllabi with the goal of high-quality teaching and infusing Ignatian practice and/or philosophy into their courses.

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MA in Corporate Communication

Team lead: Dr. Sarah Feldner

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We propose a joint MA in Corporate Communication that will intentionally integrate advanced communication theory and practice with the advanced business education that communication executives need in the contemporary global environment. It will be Marquette’s first dual degree with an international partner.

We propose a dual degree Master of Arts in Corporate Communication. Marquette’s College of Communication, College of Business, and Office of International Education would partner with the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) to offer this program. The curriculum would blend advanced communication theory and practice, advanced business education, and close attention to the communication challenges organizations face responding to international markets, working with diverse cultures, and operating in different political systems. The program would prepare students for future roles as high-level communication executives capable of guiding their organizations’ strategy and practice.

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Development of Marquette's University Honors Program

Team lead: Dr. Amelia Zurcher

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We seek funds to help make Marquette’s University Honors Program (UHP) into the premier Jesuit Honors program in the United States. Specifically, we propose to expand the Honors Core to include natural and social sciences and an interdisciplinary capstone course; to integrate the Core curriculum across disciplines; and to develop Honors in the Field programs offering students enhanced opportunities for research and community engagement in their major fields.

A more prominent, integrated, and all-University Honors program that actively fosters pedagogical innovation and offers an enhanced and sustained set of opportunities across College curricula to our strongest undergraduates will recruit outstanding prospective students, both freshmen and transfer; build a culture of academic excellence at Marquette; increase and intensify students’ community engagement; and increase student competitiveness for national and international fellowships and awards.

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Creation of a Diverse, Field-based Masters/Teacher Certification Program

Team lead: Dr. Sharon M. Chubbuck

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Our goal is to explore the viability of creating a stronger, more diverse, K-12 classroom-grounded Masters/Teacher Certification program. Current research points to an innovative focus on masters/certification programs that are streamlined and significantly grounded in classroom experience. This new model is attractive to college graduates, effective in preparing qualified teachers, and potentially successful in building a more diverse teaching force.

To move toward creating this more successful model, we seek innovation funds to support the following four actions: 1) analyze market need by creating, administering, and tallying a survey of interest, specifically targeting organizations with racially diverse populations; 2) research best practices of field-based Masters/Teacher Certification programs; 3) elicit concerns relevant to the potential market of graduate students; and 4) explore the alignment of best practices, the interest and concerns of potential markets, our current course offerings/program structures, and state certification requirements in order inform our creation of a streamlined, K-12 grounded Masters/Teacher Certification program.

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Center for Sales Excellence Initiative

Team lead: Dr. Alex Milovic

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We are requesting funds to develop a sales program within the marketing department. Responding to a call from companies to increase the number of sales graduates (HBR, “Teaching Sales”, 2012), many top universities have started to develop sales programs to provide students with the education and experience necessary to succeed upon graduation. Building on the success of these university programs – which include Baylor, DePaul, Michigan State, and Indiana– we are looking to develop and promote our program both internally (among our students and students who are applying for admission to the university) and to regional and national companies.

Our plan is to develop a pipeline for students to move into advanced sales positions, gain funding from partner companies to increase on- and off-campus events, and to develop a series of courses and training programs that can be delivered to company sales employees for executive education, either at Marquette or at the company’s location.

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CIE Book Loan Program

Team lead: Eva Martinez Powless

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The goal of the Textbook Loan Program is to aid students in their academic success. This will be done by providing them with the ability to borrow specific textbooks, free of charge, at the Center for Intercultural Engagement. The primary focus of this program will be to have at least one of each textbook necessary for Marquette University’s core curriculum courses.

It is necessary to acknowledge that students feel as though textbook costs are overlooked by the university and staff. “According to the Pell Institute, 75 percent of students from families making $100,000 or more graduate within six years. For students from families making less than $30,000, that number is just 40 percent” (Allen ,2014). Students and their families already go to great lengths in order to fund a student’s college education. In most instances the cost of supplies, especially textbooks, is overlooked until the last moment. From the perspective of many educational institutions, textbooks are a given expense left for the student to fund, but more and more as depicted by personal student experiences, many are opting out of purchasing important texts due to cost.

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A Proposal for the Development of a Cognitive Science Major

Team lead: Dr. Corinne Bloch-Mullins

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We propose a dual-stream project: (a) to research, draft, and submit a complete proposal for a new Cognitive Science major (hereafter CS major) while concurrently (b) developing and debuting a new Philosophy of Mind and Science track (hereafter PSM track) in the Philosophy department.

Pursuing these projects concurrently makes logistical sense and brings several strategic advantages, outlined in what follows. Furthermore, both of these goals share the same ultimate aims: they foster interdisciplinary learning experiences and therefore are expected to draw the attention of new and existing students, and they support Marquette’s Jesuit mission and Strategic Plan.

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HPGM Student Chapter Engagement Initiative

Team lead: Antonio Martinez

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In 2013, in partnership with the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee, a group of ambitious Marquette University students started an HPGM Student Chapter. Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee works to create a strong network of Hispanic students and professionals who exercise leadership and responsibility within their workplaces and communities. As an integral part of Milwaukee’s culture and workforce, HPGM believes it is vital to help young Latinos thrive.

HPGM student members at Marquette are ready to take the next step in engaging a diverse group of students and offering more opportunities for growth both in Milwaukee and surrounding areas including engaging in other events with other local HPGM student chapters at UW-Milwaukee, MATC, and Alverno College.

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Human Performance Assessment Core (HPAC)

Team lead: Dr. Paula E Papanek

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We propose the creation of Human Performance Assessment Core or HPAC. This will be an innovative, self-sustaining, and fee-for-service core for assessment of human performance/health/fitness for all populations (i.e., healthy, athletic, and clinical). The core would service researchers, MU community, and the greater SE Wisconsin region. In order to create the HPAC we request funds to pay for specific expertise, equipment including capitol, possibly renovation costs and space.

The core will facilitate new studies and projects for researchers who do not specialize in these assessments (nursing, engineering, athletics and students) and secure projects that are currently being turned away because of inadequate space, equipment, and staffing. Administratively housed in Exercise Science, HPAC would expand collaboration across several colleges/programs such as EXSC/PT, Biomedical Engineering, Athletics, Nursing, Marquette Medical and Sports Clinics, and Employee Wellness.

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Program support for The Commons

Team lead: Charles Ries

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The Commons is a multi-university, cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship education program, whose mission is to attract, educate and retain the brightest entrepreneurial and innovative students in Southeast Wisconsin. The Commons provides students a unique opportunity to form diverse teams and learn about structured approaches to entrepreneurship and innovation while gaining real-world experience solving complex business challenges. The model is experiential in nature, forcing collaboration and the fusion of academic disciplines.

In the fall of 2014, The Commons accepted 143 students representing 19 of the 21 universities for a pilot program that led to the formation of 16 teams working on student startups and corporate innovation challenges. Of those 143 students, over 50 students were enrolled at Marquette. Teams continue learning and working on their projects through a series of innovation workshops currently being held. Based on input from the students, the academic partners and the corporate challengers, plans are now underway to launch a more comprehensive program later this fall.

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The CoLab

Team lead: Samuel Wesley

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In pursuit of increasing excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship at Marquette University, Creighton Joyce (Soph, Engineering) and Sam Wesley (Soph, Business) have created CoLab. CoLab is an innovative workspace with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary involvement that is very visually appealing and well-resourced for student entrepreneurs of all backgrounds. Through well thought out architectural designs of CoLab, entrepreneurial driven students will naturally be attracted to this hub. By having this attraction for these types of students, CoLab will have established a very powerful community for driven students with an entrepreneurial mindset.

With the partnership with the Kohler Center, a community will now be in existence for the support of student ventures. In geographic regards to campus, CoLab will exist in the AMU as a neutral and central space. Due to this high traffic location, all members of the Marquette community will observe CoLab, which is ideal for many student run ventures. CoLab will function to incubate startups and provide resources necessary for surviving the early stages as a startup.

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Center for Flexible Assembly Systems Startup

Team lead: Dr. Joseph M. Schimmels

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The project plan is to establish an NSF Industry/University Collaborative Research Center with the purpose of guiding, coordinating, and performing pre-competitive research directed toward making manufacturing assembly operations more flexible, i.e., more responsive to product/process change. The Center for Flexible Assembly Systems (CFAS) will develop the processes and equipment needed to achieve higher-quality, higher-throughput smart assembly automation systems.

This center will be established with Marquette as the lead institution and is expected to include regional academic collaborators. Local industry demand for a center of this type is high and future federal support is expected. Funds requested would bootstrap the center startup through renovation of existing space and the purchase of the fundamental equipment needed for CFAS research. This dedicated space and research equipment will provide physical evidence of center viability to its potential membership and this investment will show that Marquette is seriously committed to its success.

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Innovations in Teaching and Research: Technology Day at Marquette

Team lead: Dr. Gary Meyer

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The Committee on Academic Technology plans to host this event annually to promote and encourage academic technology. The goals of the event are 1) to demonstrate the innovative use of technology in teaching and research at Marquette University; 2) to encourage collaboration among peers; and 3) to initiate a dialogue regarding academic technology within the institution. Currently, there is no forum or showcase to highlight innovative and excellent use of academic technology. By providing this high-profile event, we expect to inspire and encourage additional technological innovations within the Marquette community.

This year, the day will include opening remarks from Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell, a keynote speaker, Dr. Bryan Alexander, Lightning Talks from Marquette faculty, Faculty panel discussions, and tours of campus technology labs and facilities, such as the Opus College of Engineering visualization lab.

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Catalyzing Innovation: ChangeMakers Unite

Team lead: Nicholas Santos, S.J.

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Marquette University is one of 30 universities worldwide that has been named an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus. Ashoka U, which started in 2008, is modeled after Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs (over 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries). The organization collaborates with universities to break down barriers to institutional change, foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation, and establish a network of universities and students committed to using creative imagination to solve social problems in a more humane, just, and sustainable manner.

All current Ashoka U Changemaker campuses are required to undergo a renewal to stay in the Ashoka U network. Marquette University has requested to go through renewal in February 2016. The renewal process will consist of a launch event, site visit, and selection panel. The renewal process will ultimately produce key insights for the university to continue its social innovation programing. It will also guarantee Marquette stays in the network and receives the official designation as a Changemaker Campus through 2020.

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Research Program of the Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeast Wisconsin

Team lead: Dr. Brian D. Schmit

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This proposed project will develop a core research program for the emerging Stroke Rehabilitation Center of Southeast Wisconsin (SRC). The SCR is a multi-department, multi-institutional center aimed at developing stroke rehabilitation research, enhancing stroke education, improving clinical services and engaging the community. The current partners in the SRC include the Departments of Physical Therapy and Biomedical Engineering at Marquette University and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The proposed project aims to kick start the research program of the SRC, targeting the theme: Neuroimaging for Stroke Rehabilitation. This one-year catalyst project will establish key collaborations across departments and institutions through four innovative, high impact studies. Achievement of proposed milestones will provide the initial research for developing extramural grant proposals through the SRC, including an extramurally funded center grant on this topic (e.g. an RERC).

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Development of an Immersive Undergraduate Research Experience in Drug Discovery and Development

Team lead: Dr. Martin St. Maurice

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This project seeks to develop a pilot program in drug discovery and development (the ME(D)3 program: Marquette Experience in Drug Discovery and Development) that will offer an innovative interdisciplinary research and mentoring experience for undergraduate students. The ME(D)3 program involves cutting-edge, student-directed research with a high potential to generate publications and patentable research products.

The project includes collaboration with the Milwaukee School of Engineering SMART team program that will enable undergraduate and graduate student mentorship of select Milwaukee area high school students. Upon the successful conclusion of this pilot program, the student-directed research and mentoring components will be integrated into an honors-track biochemistry research experience within the existing chemistry and biology curricula.

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English Department Research Colloquium

Team lead: Dr. Melissa J. Ganz

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The English Department Research Colloquium seeks to foster intellectual dialogue within the English department as well as across the University by providing a forum for faculty to present and discuss new research in English studies. The colloquium will build upon this year’s successful Faculty Research Lunch Talk series, which has hosted six talks to date and will host one more talk later this semester.

The topics are wide-ranging and interdisciplinary in focus, and invite participation by both graduate and undergraduate students as well as faculty from across the schools and departments at Marquette. In particular, we aim to enhance community among faculty and students in English, while fostering exchanges with colleagues working in fields such as History, Philosophy, Theology, Foreign Languages, and Sociology as well as Communication, Law, and the Health Sciences

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A Novel Design for Hybrid Biodegradable Bone Scaffold/Implant with Enhanced Mechanical Properties

Team lead: Dr. Lobat Tayebi

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Metallic implants are widely used in bone treatment, but unfortunately these implants are not degradable, and second surgery is often required for their removal from the body. There have been serious attempts among researchers and manufacturers to produce biodegradable implants/scaffolds to avoid the need for the second surgery. However, poor mechanical strength in these products prohibits their commercialization.

We are proposing a hybrid biodegradable scaffold with mechanical properties in the range of the human bone. The materials we are using in this scaffold are all FDA-approved and ready to go through the commercialization process. Our primary results verify 100 times enhancement in the mechanical strength of our new design scaffolds compared to the conventional ones

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Great Lakes Environmental Film Festival (GLEFF) / A Free Annual Event

Team lead: Joseph V. Brown

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The Great Lakes Environmental Film Festival (GLEFF) is a new annual event that examines themes of sustainability, environmental justice, and ecological awareness in the media. GLEFF presents thought-provoking films and dialogue that raise awareness of a wide variety of interconnected ecological, social, and economic themes. The festival provides an experience for the audience that goes beyond passive film viewing: GLEFF inspires audiences into awareness and action while connecting the local to the global. GLEFF is a faculty / student collaboration directed by Joe Brown, former Director of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival and Professional-in-Residence in Digital Media at Marquette’s Diederich College of Communication. GLEFF is sponsored by the Diederich College of Communication.

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Marquette University Water Law and Policy Initiative

Team lead: Joseph D. Kearney

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This proposal envisions the launch of a water law and policy initiative to enhance Marquette’s commitment to make Milwaukee a global destination for addressing water-related problems. The endeavor’s importance cannot be doubted: the world is entering an era in which the success of firms, the destiny of nations, and even the survival of individuals will be determined by whether policymakers wisely steward this critical resource. In short, as Pope Francis recently cautioned, the future of humanity depends on water.

The initiative seeks to develop collaborative strategies that intertwine with and support innovative water-related ideas. It would be housed in the Law School and led by an experienced attorney with interdisciplinary training who will serve as a bridge in the Global Water Center for the Law School with the College of Engineering and other university departments and, as appropriate, between Marquette and the community. Ultimately, we seek to establish Marquette as a leading venue for broad-based engagement with legal and policy aspects of vital water issues.

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Partnerships for Excellence through Advanced Visualization

Team lead: Dr. John F. LaDisa, Jr.

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The MARquette Visualization Lab (MARVL) is a state-of-the-art, $1.2M, 1,700 sq ft space with computers, software, projectors, surround sound, and other hardware that produce threedimensional (3D), immersive (i.e. >180 degree field of view) virtual reality environments. The facility can be used to walk through simulated buildings that do not yet exist, show blood flow through an artery in vivid 3D, or simulate the dangerous collapse of a building in an earthquake with no danger to the viewers.

MARVL was created using alumni donations for Engineering Hall, but does not currently have operating or maintenance budgets. The 3 year project proposed herein will foster MARVL’s sustainability by creating partnerships and operating funding from industry (private & public). This approach is modeled after the 35-year success of the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center Program that provides a structural template for industry collaboration and funding for university center operations.

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Improving the Grant Management Process from Application to Closeout

Team lead: Katherine Durben

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In FY 2014, Marquette personnel submitted 390 grant applications totaling $51.6M and received 182 awards totaling $25.4M. These numbers will double in the next five years. In order to prepare for this, the university must strengthen its grants management infrastructure. The process of submitting applications and managing awards currently in place is fragmented and inefficient. Technology is not being used wisely; there is duplication of effort and rekeying of information, which leads to less productivity and higher chances for error.

To this end, we are proposing to acquire an electronic grants management system. This single system would revolutionize the way a project is managed from the application stage through the grant closeout and would benefit faculty and staff campus wide.

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Building the Technology Transfer Program at Marquette University

Team lead: Katherine Durben

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The overall goal of the proposed initiative is to build a comprehensive and coordinated process for technology transfer at Marquette University that enhances research and innovation and ensures that research deliverables benefit local and global communities.

To this end, the specific aims of this project are 1) to develop a five-year roadmap for expansion of technology transfer capabilities at Marquette University, and 2) to implement shortterm improvements to existing technology transfer processes. The strategic development of technology transfer capabilities will advance the mission of Marquette University by enhancing our culture of innovation, which will lead to a greater sharing of knowledge within our campus and local and global communities.

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