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ILLUMINATE Grant Implementation Gallery 

The ILLUMINATE Grant for the Improvement of Teaching provides faculty with funding to increase active learning and authentic hands-on, engaging experiences for students. These projects positively reflect the following National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practice:

  1. Level of Academic Challenge
  2. Student Interactions with Faculty Members
  3. Active and Collaborative Learning
  4. Enriching Educational Experiences

Congratulations to the exemplary faculty who recently received an ILLUMINATE Grant!

Chinese Cultural Experience 

Yan Xie, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Chinese, English and Modern Languages

Amy Xie was awarded an ILLUMINATE Grant to share an authentic cultural experience with her students: a Chinese New Year celebration.  Her students sang Chinese hymns and Bible verses, created music with clapping instruments, demonstrated Tai Chi wearing traditonal uniforms, and played various Chinese games.  To wrap up the cultural experience, students enjoyed some genuine Chinese cuisine.


Theatrical Design Projects Realized: Utilizing the "Stage-in-a-Box" Tabletop Theatre Laboratory

Barry Gawinski, Assistant Professor, Theatre Arts

Barry Gawinski was awarded an ILLUMINATE grant to make learning real with the addition of a few 3-D Stage-in-a-Box design sets.  Prior to the grant, without a theatre lab space, THEA design course projects were paper-based hypotheticals, with only a conceptual analysis by the student (and the instructor) of whether the design is feasible, practical, or even aesthetically pleasing.  Now, with the addition of the Stage-in-a-Box tabletop labs, students enjoy a hands-on, practical experience for planning lighting and staging, as well as working out basic directorial details.


Using Clinical Diagnostic Technology to Facilitate Students' Learning 

Ben Kalu, M.D., Assistant Professor, Biology/Chemistry and Kimberly Ann Mitchell, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Biology 

Drs. Ben Kalu and Kimberly A. Mitchell were awarded an ILLUMINATE Grant to implement an active learning project designed to (a) assist students in understanding the functions and integration of human body systems; (b) how homeostasis is maintained despite changes in the internal and external environments; (c) and effects of disease states.  To make learning real, the grant provided students with medical equipment to record and test EKGs, brain wave patterns, joint angles, and blood flow- all important features in understanding the body's systems in health and disease.  Students can now study the physiology of the cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular systems using populations of human subjects, rather than from a textbook.

Unknown Microbes Unveiled

J. Thomas McClintock, Ph.D., Biology/Chemistry; Randall Hubbard, Ph.D., Biology/Chemistry; and Andrew Fabich, Ph.D., Biology/Chemistry

Drs. J. Thomas McClintock, Randall Hubbard, and Andrew Fabich were awarded an ILLUMINATE Grant to help students quickly and accurately identify unknown microorganisms and bacteria with a high degree of specificity.  The grant provided students with Entertube II rapid diagnostic kits, which are commonly used in clinical, hospital, or research laboratories.  While classical approaches to identifying microorganisms still have merit, they are time-consuming, costly, and impractical.  The use and implementation of the modern rapid kits helped make learning active and simulated modern real-world situations and techniques.

A Professional Jounalist of Faith - Lecture, Critiques and Workshops

Deborah Huff, Associate Professor; Bruce M. Kirk, Associate Professor & Chair; and Harry Sova, Professor, Digital Media and Communication Arts

Deborah Huff and Bruce Kirk were awarded an ILLUMINATE Grant to help train future journalists of faith.  Students worked in teams to create news packages which were sent to WTAE TV ABC-Pittsburgh for professional critique and commentary.  Three-time regional Emmy Award winning news anchor Michelle Wright then visited campus and delivered a lecture and workshop.  Wright then led individual student groups through a personal session on research, content development, writing, and interviewing techniques.