Xavier Giving Circle Awards Grants

April 18, 2012

At its annual Giving Circle Awards luncheon April 18, Xavier University’s Women of Excellence announced ten projects to receive over $66,000 this year. These were chosen from 13 proposals seeking almost $85,000.

Grants Awarded and Amount:
NEXUS Community Garden $9,590
The NEXUS Community Garden is entering its third season as a 30 plot community garden involving over 250 short-term and long-term participants per year including Xavier students, faculty, staff, and neighborhood residents. NEXUS is a hands-on collaborative project that engages students, the broader University community, and surrounding neighborhood residents to grow food, learn about sustainable living, and build community on common ground. Course inclusion, volunteer projects, educational workshops, and student leadership ensures that students are engaged on a variety of levels as this project continues to grow, impacting their Xavier University experience from the intellectual to the spiritual into the future. From March through October each year, NEXUS serves as a hub of experiential learning and community engagement. Success is measured through eager and on-going participation and learning between our three communities. Funds will support increased course involvement, educational workshops, and student garden leadership - project pieces most closely aligned with the WOX mission, for most of the 2012 and 2013 garden seasons.

Girls Advancing Technology: Computer Science Outreach Event $2,680
For most middle school girls, Computer Science is a foreign concept. It's perceived from a young age as something for boys or simply something not interesting. Statistics support this stereotype and the numbers are getting worse every year - the number of women graduating with a Bachelor's degree in CS is down 80% since 2000 (National Science Foundation). One of the glaring gaps for girls and the strongest barrier to entry into a tech career is the lack of female role models. Girls Advancing Technology seeks to improve girls' perception of careers in technology by exposing them to fun computer science activities through hands-on activities with female industry mentors. The program seeks to grow from last year’s half-day to a full day with more students and mentors showing how tech careers can be meaningful and interesting.

Preparing Future Women of Excellence $4,018
The program will create an outreach event that connects the women, both graduate and undergraduate, of the Xavier psychology department with an underprivileged and underserved group of high school girls in the community. This is consistent with the Jesuit tradition of service as well as addresses the psychological issues of self-esteem, modeling behavior and professional development for women. The first goal of the program is to provide young women with mental preparedness, professional materials and interpersonal skills to empower them as future career women. The second goal is to encourage these young women to pursue their collegiate professional dreams through peer modeling and networking with current Xavier students. The final goal is to promote what it means to excel as a future professional.

Xavier University Mentoring Program $5,500
The Xavier University Mentoring program, entering its fourth year, is geared toward connecting professionals with students within the College of Arts & Sciences and Social Sciences, & Education. The program has continued to grow in number and campus presence. Much of the successful growth has come from the financial support of the Women of Excellence Giving Circle. Funding will enable the Career services Center (CSC) to continue to institute initiatives ensuring current mentors and mentees the opportunity to connect and learn as well as allow for targeted, large scale marketing efforts and events geared towards students, faculty, staff and potential mentors.

Tuition Runs Out Day 2013 Seeking: $9,000
For the past five years, Tuition Runs Out Day has served as Xavier University's Student Alumni Association's signature event. With a mission of educating students on the vitality of alumni support and the impact it has on the everyday Xavier experience, SAA has organized passive and active programming throughout the school year culminating in an all-day event for the student body every spring. In working with the new Student Giving initiative, the message of "giving back" applies not only to alumni donations, but also students. Funding will expand the message and educate students on ways they too can give back to Xavier through their time, talents, and treasures.

Strategies for Success Workshop for Non-Traditional Undergraduates $3,000
Fund will allow for development and presentation of a workshop for non-traditional, first time college students or those with little prior college experience. The workshop will prepare them for a successful college experience and will include reading and writing skills, study skills, time management, and technology. Adult students represent the majority of prospective college students in our country and this population is expected to grow. Although most of the non-traditional students have prior college experience, our reports show that those who are entering college for the first time or return to college after a long absence may take a few courses then drop out. This workshop aims to improve the retention of non-traditional students and will help students gain the confidence and tools they need to succeed in college and meet their goal of earning a college degree at Xavier University.

Xavier University 2012 Summer Service Internship Program $5,000
Xavier's Summer Service Internship Program provides a unique opportunity to nurture the commitment to community engagement in Xavier students. Now in its 18th year, the Summer Service Internship Program has provided 368 students with this opportunity. In the summer of 2012, the program will place another 20 Xavier undergraduates in carefully selected placement agencies where each student will provide service for 35 hours per week for nine weeks. The program is designed to teach the interns how to become leaders within the community and to understand the complex problems that disenfranchised populations face. Living together in the residence hall and gathering for reflection sessions and common meals strengthens this experience. As a unique, full-time immersion experience for Xavier students, the program provides two important student benefits: students are made to serve the Greater Cincinnati community in a deep and meaningful way while earning necessary income from summer employment.

Xavier University Multicultural Expressions of Faith Art Exhibition $10,000
This project affirms Xavier’s mission through a community-engaged art endeavor that reflects the multicultural expressions of faith and spirituality of members of the university community. In order to remain vital and viable as an institution, all should aspire to institutionalize these commitments in every aspect and build a culture in which all are accountable for advancing them. A fundamental building block of culture is visual art; hence, the intentional collection and display of multi-culturally expressive art on Xavier's campus. Sponsored by the Department of Art in collaboration with the Office of the Vice Provost for Diversity, the Women's Center, the Center for Mission and Identity, the Dorothy Day Center for Faith and Justice, Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, University Communications, and the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement, this project will include a juried exhibition of original works of art (works of painting, sculpture, ceramics, fibers, printmaking, photography, and mixed-media), open to all Xavier alumni, faculty, staff and students. Selected works will be exhibited in the Xavier University Art Gallery and Gallagher Student Center for public viewing. WOX grant monies will buy art for permanent exhibition on the university's campus, advancing institutional objectives related to mission and identity, diversity, community-engaged learning and outreach, and alumni engagement. It is a first step toward the acquisition of art guided by a mission-based, inclusive vision that seeks to broaden the scope of art currently found on this campus. The ultimate goal is to establish a precedent for a more strategic process of future campus art acquisitions.

TRiO, Student Support Services Enrichment Xcursions $7,700
TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program is committed to providing an academic, professional, financial and personal support system to guide student participants to benefit from educational opportunities and achieve a greater quality of life. TRiO, SSS Enrichment Xcursions will focus on academic, professional and personal development. The academic development component will help students understand their strengths in order to improve their academic performance through taking the StrengthsQuest assessment and receiving training. The professional development component will expose students to graduate school options and help them make the best educational choices for their future in order to be more employable. The personal development component will introduce the students to cultural experiences that they may not otherwise have access to.

Women of Excellence Endowed Scholarship $10,000
Women of Excellence has been established as a major presence promoting women at Xavier. A critical component of that commitment to the advancement of women at Xavier is the establishment of Women of Excellence Scholarships. Women of Excellence recognizes that Xavier's scholarship support is among its greatest needs and that Women's philanthropy is critical to Xavier's future and the establishment of scholarships sets the example for future generations of women who have experienced Xavier's Jesuit education and who are poised to make an impact on their communities and our world. Ten WOX Founding Members have joined together to make a commitment to establish a Women of Excellence Endowed Scholarship at a base level of $50,000. This grant will allow us to grow the base of this already established Women of Excellence Endowed Scholarship so the amount awarded each year will continue to grow. The interest earned each year (currently 4.5%) is distributed in accordance with policies established by the Board of Trustees of Xavier University and pursuant to criteria established by the Founding Members of the Women of Excellence Endowed Scholarship.

Xavier University’s Women of Excellence was created to honor, extend and advance the legacy of Xavier University's and Edgecliff College's women graduates, and provide opportunities for women to grow as organizational and philanthropic leaders for the University. Women of Excellence formed a giving circle through which women collectively support Xavier and encourage the development of women as philanthropic leaders. Giving Circle members are alumnae, parents and friends who believe women as donors are capable of making a tremendous impact on Xavier, its students, faculty and staff. Giving Circle funds are distributed through a grant application process to projects proposed by faculty, staff and student groups of Xavier. The annual distribution of funds is determined through a voting process by Giving Circle members.