Investing in Innovation to Produce Positive Outcomes for Students

Investing in innovation is common practice in the for-profit sector, particularly among technology companies. For community colleges, however, self-funding in innovation is a lot more difficult to achieve.

Community college faculty and staff have to compete for scarce federal, corporate and individual donor support. That is precisely why Northwest Vista College has taken the lead to provide innovation funding to NVC faculty who are enhancing classroom experience but may not have the time nor resources to invest in a large-scale grant proposal or research project.

Last year, the Alamo Colleges Foundation provided $50,000 in funding to all of the five colleges within the Alamo College District. Each college received $10,000.

This year, we are thrilled to expand our funding to five winning proposals in a total amount of $12,500. Four of them will be funded by the 2017-2018 Alamo College District’s Foundation Innovation Grants. One additional grant is being funded by Northwest Vista College.

We had several strong applications but not enough funding to support all the ideas. In the near future, we want to grow our special innovation fund, established in 2015 by former Interim Vice President of Academic Success Dr. Richard Drum. The Jane Moser Drum Encouragement Fund, established in honor of Dr. Drum’s deceased wife, currently holds approximately $5,500.

I would like to thank the faculty and staff who served on this year’s innovation grants selection committee for screening, selection and determining grant amounts.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2017-2018 Innovation Grants:

  • Anatomy & Physiology Interactive Learning through Clay Creations: Roberto Gonzales and Yael Edrey.
  • Enhancing Student Career Development, Institute Selection and Retention: Steven Rodriguez.
  • The Academia & Community Partnership 2018 Exhibit: Rudy De la Cruz, Jr.
  • Compressed Terms: Laura Lawrence and Mike Munoz.
  • Using Linguistic Resources to Support Mathematical Sense Making: Vicki Lynton and Steven Gonzales.

To learn details about these projects, click here.

If you would like to contribute to NVC innovation grants through The Jane Moser Drum Encouragement Fund, you can do so during the “NVC Cares, I Care” campaign starting Aug. 21. For more information, contact Lynne T. Dean, CFRE, director of NVC Institutional Advancement at 210-486-4135 or

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