$1 million more shared with higher ed institutions to aid student veterans
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Military Family Research Institute (MFRI) at Purdue University on Wednesday (June 15) awarded more than $1 million to 25 Indiana institutions of higher education that proposed ways to enhance services for the state's student service members, veterans and their families.
The grants were made through Operation Diploma, MFRI's higher education initiative. Since 2009 Operation Diploma has awarded more than $2.4 million to Indiana colleges and universities, which have used the funds to produce more effective and supportive services for these students. Institutions submitted competitive proposals for grants of up $100,000.
"This year's proposals demonstrate that we are entering a new phase of campus recognition and support," said MFRI director Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth. "Schools are building on their successes to reach for even higher goals and attracting the attention of their neighbor and peer institutions in the process."
Ivy Tech Community College Richmond won the top award of $99,999, submitting a collaborative proposal with Indiana University East.
Key initiatives of the proposal include:
* Developing a required faculty and staff orientation podcast, which will focus on creating an environment of support for student service members and veterans;
* Strengthening relationships with community agencies such as WorkOne and Veterans of Foreign Wars; and
* Developing a "Boots to Suits" program, which expands and builds on successes achieved in the past two years.
"The proposal is an example of collaboration between two- and four-year campuses that recognizes the logical progression of education to meaningful employment and engages the community in the effort," said Operation Diploma director Stacie Hitt. "It was an impressive submission."
In addition, MFRI funded grants at the following institutions:
* Ball State University
* Franklin College
* Indiana State University
* Indiana University
* Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne
* Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
* Ivy Tech Community College Central Administration (14 regional campuses)
* Ivy Tech Community College Central Indiana
* Ivy Tech Community College Columbus
* Ivy Tech Community College East Central
* Ivy Tech Community College North Central
* Ivy Tech Community College Northeast
* Ivy Tech Community College Richmond
* Ivy Tech Community College Southeast
* Ivy Tech Community College Southern Indiana
* Ivy Tech Community College Southwest
* Purdue University
* Purdue University North Central
* St. Mary-of-the-Woods College
* University of Evansville
* University of Southern Indiana
Since 2009 MFRI has supported proposals at all levels - from start-up projects at the $15,000 level to $100,000 initiatives - that expand existing programs and involve academic and community partners. Last year, Purdue University Calumet distinguished itself by earning the top award for a proposal to create an academic support program geared specifically toward serving student military service members and veterans.
Created in 2008 with a $5.8 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., Operation Diploma focuses on raising awareness and engaging Indiana's postsecondary institutions in creating supportive services and policies for student military service members and veterans. Operation Diploma engages these institutions in the identification, creation and establishment of promising practices to serve these students and enriching the efforts of Indiana's student veterans' organizations as they work to support their members.
Sources: Mike Marn, MFRI director of communication, 765-496-6027, email@example.com
Stacie Hitt, 765-494-9878, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth, 765-494-6026, Shelley@purdue.edu