Ohio State Energy Partners award winners advance innovation, collaboration
Twenty-one projects — tackling issues such as addiction recovery, sustainability and income inequality — have been awarded grants in the second year of philanthropic funding from The Ohio State University’s comprehensive energy management partnership.
Ohio State Energy Partners contributes $810,000 each year to the university or affiliated philanthropic causes as part of its commitment to academic engagement.
The university’s Energy Academic Collaboration Council also solicited proposals from faculty, staff and students for consideration and advanced priorities to OSEP. The awards advance university priorities and foster transdisciplinary and community collaboration.
In 2017, the university and OSEP entered into the comprehensive energy management partnership, which launched an innovative energy efficiency program and boosted Ohio State’s standing as an international leader in sustainability. OSEP is a joint venture between ENGIE North America and Axium Infrastructure.
“Ohio State and OSEP share a commitment to tackling the issues that affect us all, locally and globally. I am thrilled that so many outstanding ideas generated by our university community are moving forward,” said Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron.
Recipients of the 2019 OSEP Awards will address a broad range of issues and ideas. The largest single award of $200,000 will support Campus Student Sustainability Challenge. Six student teams received funding for projects to make campus more sustainable.
Another award supports opportunities for more than 3,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students to study abroad through the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Education Abroad program. The program is operated in collaboration with the Office of International Affairs.
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer James Moore said education abroad has immense student benefits, such as increased learning outcomes, retention and degree completion, as well as significant institutional benefits, including campus internationalization and an enhanced international reputation.
“I think it’s important for our students to have these experiences if we want to maintain our global edge,” Moore said.
“One expectation of the students is they will become ambassadors and they will share knowledge as well as shatter myths around education abroad,” he said. “They will explain why it’s important and what it does for them.”
Another award will support a survey of the ecological and economic potential of more than 1,000 acres of forest owned by the university. The School of Environment and Natural Resources is conducting the survey.
Ohio State ADVANCE and the Office of Research received support for the REACH for Commercialization program. REACH is a year-long program for female faculty, research staff and postdoctoral researchers designed to boost innovation and entrepreneurship.
“We could not be more proud of the outcomes we are already starting to see from this partnership. This is only the beginning. There is much more good work to be done,” McPheron said.