Seal Monument | Photo by Grace Ramsdell | The Wright State Guardian
The newest round of Student First Fund grants approved seven new projects benefiting Wright State University (WSU) student organizations, including new cameras and safety programs.
A total of 22 applications were submitted, according to the chair of the Students First Fund grants committee Dave Deptula, and these organizations competed for a portion of the available $50,000 in funding.
“Every year, we are impressed with the quality of the applications that we receive. This year was no exception,” Deptula said. “With so many worthy projects, it’s never easy to decide which ones to fund. The seven projects that were selected for funding will have far-reaching impacts on both the Dayton and Lake Campuses.”
Grants ranged in value from $3,650 to $10,000.
New industry-standard technology
The Guardian Media Group received funding to purchase video equipment similar to what is found in a professional newsroom. This new equipment will be used to create professional-grade video content and give hands-on experience to students hoping to work in the news industry after they graduate.
The Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures will be using their funding to buy an industry-standard camera that motion pictures students can use for their thesis films.
To purchase the camera, that grant will be combined with fees and donations, according to department chair Joe Deer.
“Our Motion Pictures production graduates need to enter the profession with full knowledge of the equipment they’ll be using in the top regional and national jobs that so many of them do attain,” Deer said. “This camera is probably the critical piece of educational equipment to help them do that.”
The Women’s Center will be using their grant to guide the creation of three cohort-mentorship groups for women of color, women in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, math and medicine) and female undergraduate students looking to attend graduate school. These groups will meet monthly and hold a day-long leadership event at the end of the academic year.
The funding will form The Student Patrol program, guided by the Department of Public Safety, to keep the learning environment at WSU safe and secure and help students interested in a career in the public safety field.
Seminars for first-year students at the Lake Campus will be funded. These seminars are designed to assist freshmen in their transition to college and increase student retention.
A new Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) program focused on intercultural engagement will be funded. COIL helps connect students and professors in various countries and allows them to collaborate on projects and discussions.
The eSports club received a $10,000 grant, which will go towards hosting new types of events and larger and more frequent tournaments along with other priorities.
“The club prioritizes its competitive teams, so any funding the club receives will primarily go towards improving the ability of those teams to practice and perform at their highest level,” eSports Club President Ryan Slater said.
This funding will be available for use during the Fall 2021 semester.
The Students First Fund started in 2019 with the mission of supporting WSU’s commitment to recruitment, retention and relationships.
WSU Foundation President Scott Rash explains that these grants would not be possible without support from university alumni who make generous gifts on an annual basis.
“We’re the very fortunate recipients of philanthropy from alumni and friends,” Rash said. “Our committee does a great job of stewarding those gifts and doing good things with it, and the Students First Fund is just another example of that.”