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NKU announces 2020 Innovation Challenge winners

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. —  Northern Kentucky University has announced the winners of its 2020 Innovation Challenge, a proposal competition for the campus to pitch ideas to support student success. The 10 winning proposals were narrowed down from a pool of 133 submissions during the 2020 Innovation Challenge.

Last fall, President Ashish Vaidya challenged the campus community to “unleash innovation” and allocated $500,000 for student success initiatives. Earlier this month, the 15 finalists pitched their ideas for funding– from $5,000 to $100,000– to implement their plans.

“We know that everyone on our campus has ideas about how to better support our students, and we are happy to be able to bring them to life with funding. Student success is the reason we are all here, and I hope everyone who submitted ideas continue to innovate and collaborate across campus,” said Chief Strategy Office and Vice President Bonita Brown.

2020 Innovation Challenge Winners:

  • $90,000 | Pathways to Financial Success
  • $56,000 | Dual-Credit Instructor Credentialing Scholarship
  • $54,990 | Norse Skolars: From Summer Melt to Student Success *Fan Vote winner!*
  • $38,000 | Students 2 Scholars Retention Program
  • $20,000 | Building Belongingness through Peer Mentors in STEM
  • $17,952 | Grad Cincinnati Goes to College
  • $15,000 | Healthy Minds Survey
  • $10,000 | National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Plots: Recognizing the past, present, and future of historically African-American Fraternities and Sororities at NKU
  • $10,000 | Access to an Education: Textbook Support for At-Risk Students
  • $5,000 | Clean Slate: Promoting Success in STA 205

In addition the winners, NKU will also partially fund some of the finalists’ proposals. They include:

Partially Funded Proposals:

  • $75,000 | The Sandbox: A Student Innovation Lab and Home to NKU Esports
  • $52,813 | All Rise
  • $24,201 | Astronomy Comes to You: Traveling Planetarium Program
  • $20,888 | Second Chance Education
  • $7,500 | “If You Build It, They Will Come”: Creating Internship Opportunities for Humanities Majors

The winning proposals were selected by a panel of judges and two NKU students, Kaitlyn Nally and Leonard Underwood. The panelists included Brigitte Blom Ramsey, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence; Dr. Anton Reece, president of West Kentucky Community & Technical College; and Dr. Kirsten Turner, associate provost for Academic & Student Affairs at the University of Kentucky.

The 2020 Innovation Challenge is part of NKU’s strategic framework, Success by Design, to align student success with the needs of the region. For more information on the winning proposals, visit the 2020 Innovation Challenge website.