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Faculty and staff projects funded to spark innovation

DePaul's Lincoln Park Campus
(DePaul University/Josh Woo)

​The Office of Academic Affairs is announcing the first round of DePaul proposals that will be funded to spur innovation at the university.
As part the $2 million Academic Growth and Innovation Fund, all full-time faculty and staff were eligible to submit ideas with the potential to increase university revenue within the next three years.  

Out of 50 proposals submitted to Academic Affairs, 14 received funding totaling approximately $1.5 million. Five proposals are being revised for reconsideration and 23 were referred to other funding sources. 

“The Academic Growth and Innovation Fund was created to find, encourage, and support innovative academic ideas,” says Provost Marten denBoer. “The response to the call for proposals was both affirming and invigorating.”

Because funds remain, Academic Affairs will accept a second round of proposals beginning Nov. 1. Visit the Academic Affairs website for more details.

Funded projects

  • Brian Andrews, College of Computing and Digital Media, “Post-production Technology Media Server”: Post-production for video content has become a dynamic, technology-oriented field. This initiative allows the School of Cinematic Arts to begin leveraging the success of its production-oriented development, like the expansion of DePaul Cinespace Studios, to pivot into the post-production field.
  • Jason Beck, The Theatre School, “The Theatre School Community Drama Division”: The Theatre School proposes developing a Community Drama Division to offer theatre classes to community members in Chicago. The classes would primarily focus on early childhood and elementary age children but could be expanded to include high school students and adults interested in continuing education or recreational learning.
  • GianMario Besana, Office of Academic Affairs, “Classroom Equipment for Synchronous Remote Interactive Students Attendance”: The initiative equips a number of classrooms on both campuses to pilot a tri-modal delivery format with faculty teaching simultaneously to face-to-face students in the room, remote students attending synchronously, and remote students accessing the course online, asynchronously, through a curated version of classroom capture.
  • Samantha Close, College of Communication, “Esports at DePaul: An Opportunity for Advancing Vincentian Values and Establishing Academic Leadership in a Cultural Phenomenon”: The size and growth of esports creates academic, revenue, mission-based opportunities for DePaul. The project identifies several promising curricular and graduate research initiatives, including a graduate student conference, esports workshop, pop-up class in esports, and a two-credit experiential class on esports event production.
  • Jan Costenbader, College of Science and Health, “Developmental Math Emporium Model Pilot”: The Emporium Model eliminates all lectures and replaces them with a learning resource center model featuring interactive software and on-demand personalized assistance from teaching assistants and tutors. The pilot program at DePaul will replace the current Math 95, 101 sequence with a single course deployed as an Emporium redesign.
  • Elissa Foster, College of Communication, “DePaul Health Professions Education Summit”: The project funds two events—a one-day summit in the fall quarter and a one-day follow-up working meeting in the winter quarter—for the purpose of supporting the collaboration of program directors, faculty, and administrators across the university who are involved in health professions education. 
  • Jason Martin, College of Communication, “Communication Career Day at DePaul”: Faculty members in the College of Communication are often faced with a common question from parents and students: what can you do with a Communication degree? This project provides a set of answers through hands-on experience and up-close interaction with DePaul faculty at a day-long Communication careers program.
  • Juan Mundel and Sydney Dillard, College of Communication, “A Multi-faceted Plan for Increasing Enrollment and Diversity in Advertising at DePaul University”: This initiative supports: 1) revisions to the current PRAD program and learning spaces through the development of an industry responsive minor and revenue generating creativity certificates; 2) implementation of the BRAND Summer Ad Program (Building Resources for Advertising Needs and Diversity), a high-school summer enrichment program; and 3) support for PRAD’s ME Lab (Media Engagement Research Lab) as a potential fund generating entity at DePaul.
  • Kelly Pope, Driehaus College of Business, “Shell Games: A Business Simulation”: Utilizing her expertise in fraud research and filmmaking, this project turns her current work-in-process fraud cases into a series of business simulations called Shell Games. Similar to a story-based TV show, Shell Games will tell a complete fraud story arc over the course of a season. Shell Games can result in a cutting-edge, scalable and profitable revenue generating educational product for DePaul.
  • Raffaella Settimi, College of Computing and Digital Media, “Developing a Model for High Production Value Online Programs”: The goal of this proposal is twofold: 1) to develop an online MS in Data Science (OL-MSDS) degree with high production value based on the existing graduate degree; and 2) to build a general model to effectively create and support high production value online programs at DePaul. The MS in Data Science degree is an ideal candidate for this project, as the demand for online programs in data science is high.
  • Filipo Sharevski, College of Computing and Digital Media, “Cybersecurity Competition”: This initiative will design an outreach program for high school students in Chicago focused on learning cybersecurity through hands-on cybersecurity competitions. The program will be hosted at CDM and realized using the CyberOperations RangE (CORE) competition platform.
  • Terry Steinbach, College of Computing and Digital Media, “CDM Retention Pilot Program”: This program aims to connect continuing CDM students with first-year transfer students in an effort to enhance the first-year experiences of those new students. Continuing CDM students will be recruited to serve as peer mentors for transfer students.
  • Allen Turner, College of Computing and Digital Media, “DePaul Game Studio”: This project creates the AGIF Game Studio, an interdisciplinary lab that brings together game artists, designers, engineers, sound designers, and producers to work together in an ongoing large studio experience. The lab is composed of numerous overlapping classes that operate continually with a goal of students working on a game project that ships to the public at the end of the school year.
  • Guillermo Vasquez de Velasco, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, “The Urban Studies Cluster Integrative Strategy for Greater Enrollments and Alumni Engagement”: This initiative will develop a comprehensive, integrative marketing and program strategy for The Urban Studies Cluster and all its participating units (school, departments, programs and centers) to maximize undergraduate, transfer and graduate enrollments; to establish DePaul as a leading provider of project-based learning in the liberal arts and social sciences; and to increase alumni engagement with, and philanthropic investment in, the areas represented by the Cluster.