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Women & Philanthropy awards grants to 4 ASU programs

May 06, 2014

Grants fund arts entrepreneurship, biomedicine, journalistic access and engineering outreach

Women & Philanthropy, a philanthropic program of the ASU Foundation for A New American University, has awarded $308,808 to four Arizona State University programs that enhance ASU’s goals of excellence, access and impact.

The group’s largest award, a $100,000 grant, will go to the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. The Pave Program infuses the concept of entrepreneurship throughout arts education, teaching students not only their craft, but also how to create business and non-profit opportunities so they can earn a living and contribute to their communities with their chosen art form.

The three other 2013-2014 grant awards will help establish ASU as a global center for biomedical research, enable journalism students to report groundbreaking stories from remote locales across Arizona and promote engineering service-learning.

Women & Philanthropy is one of three engagement programs housed within the ASU Foundation for A New American University. Its grants are generated from the individual contributions of investors, who now number 255. Each member's annual contribution – a minimum of $1,000 – is pooled with others to allow the group to have a greater investment impact on ASU programs and scholarships.

Since 2003, Women & Philanthropy has awarded $2.57 million to 71 programs and initiatives in four categories: education innovation; community outreach; student scholarships; and health care at ASU.

Grant proposals are solicited and reviewed each year by the Women & Philanthropy investment committee and narrowed to a handful of finalists. The entire membership then votes on those that they believe best demonstrate ASU’s leadership and national standing in academic excellence, research and discovery, and local and societal impact. This structure empowers each investor to steward her gift and witness its impact.

The 2013-2014 Women & Philanthropy grant recipients are:

Artist Sustainability, Leadership and Engagement through the Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts | School of Film, Dance and Theatre

The Pave Program in Arts Entrepreneurship teaches emerging artists that through creative engagement with communities and audiences, they can sustain careers in the arts that are meaningful, impactful and excellent. Pave infuses entrepreneurship into arts education through undergraduate and graduate classes; an arts venture incubator that nurtures student-initiated projects; public programming; and faculty development and research, including the journal Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts.

SB.ASU – Sharing DNA Materials to Build Medical Innovations
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering | Biomedical Engineering

Synthetic biology enables inventors – from student researchers to professional scientists – to help develop new technologies with DNA molecules. This program will position ASU as the global epicenter of transforming DNA design ideas into solutions for problems that impact everyday life. Synthetic Biology ASU will be a collection of DNA building blocks for synthetic genes and community-sourced information that will be distributed to scientists and students around the world.

Access Across Arizona
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

In this era of shrinking newsroom budgets, important stories across Arizona are going untold. Examples include children on the Navajo Nation who fight for access to health care, or migrant families struggling to make ends meet. This program will greatly enhance journalism students’ newsgathering operations in places that are often underrepresented by the media. Funds will purchase the Dejero video transmitter. The size of a backpack, this cutting-edge technology will enable students to report from remote locations.

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS)
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering | Academic and Student Affairs

EPICS is an engineering service learning program that incorporates the engineering design process in solving real-world problems. To do this, EPICS teams work with non-profit agencies, as well as students across disciplines. In doing so, engineering students provide needed services and hone their skills as engineers and entrepreneurs. This program also engages high school students in order to promote community service and increase the pipeline of students in STEM pathways.

Melissa Bordow,
Communications Specialist, Editorial Services
ASU Foundation for A New American University