MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Middlebury’s Fund for Innovation (FFI) hosted its biannual pitch session on Wednesday, November 8, at the Davis Family Library. The fund’s advisory board heard the pitches of three finalists and granted funding to two of these finalists.
Kerstin Wilsch, director of the Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Jordan, earned funding for her project, Arabic Community Action Summer. Wilsch will pair five Middlebury Arabic students with underserved Arabic-speaking families through a five-week summer pilot program in New Britain, Connecticut.
Nadia Horning, associate professor of political science and director of the Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Middlebury College, was awarded funding for her project, Two Schools, One Purpose: Changemaking in Africa. Horning will bring six Middlebury College students and pair them with six or more African Leadership University students in a series of independent projects in Mauritius.
The FFI has an expedited process for proposals that apply for less than $2,000 in funding. This fall, FFI funded two of these proposals. Donald Sciglimpaglia, visiting professor of marketing, earned funding for his proposal, Social Entrepreneurship Consulting Project in Monterey. Kristina Walowski, assistant professor of geology, received funding for her project, the Augmented Reality Sandbox.
The Ron and Jessica Liebowitz Fund for Innovation was established in honor of Middlebury’s 16th president and his wife in 2015 as a way to foster continuous innovation at Middlebury. In 2017, President Laurie Patton announced the fund would be used to support projects that will inspire educational innovation. Since its founding, FFI has supported more than 20 innovative projects across the College, the Institute, and the Schools.