Academic Innovation Initiatives
Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, Director of Academic Initiatives, has a plan to use new information, data and best practices that can lead to new modes of learning and instruction. The goal is to strengthen the quality of a Shepherd University education and to enhance our impact on society. These innovations will be both inside and outside the classroom and in the community, from hands-on learning experiences, to social events, and the use of new technologies. This page highlights forthcoming and current partnerships that align with innovative initiatives, support to our existing community, and other duties as assigned by Executive Leadership and the Academic Affairs team.
Choose Clean Water Coalition
Choose Clean Water Coalition is a partnership of over 230 organizations throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed that harnesses our collective power to advocate for clean rivers and streams in all communities in the Chesapeake Bay region. By coordinating policy, messaging, action, and accountability, the Coalition is work collaboratively to educate communities and use new innovative strategies to clean water. Shepherd’s Diversity and Equity Committee has partnered with Choose Clean Water Coalition to assist local environmental organizations in implementing their mission. The committee will help identify off-campus outreach efforts that impact lives and opportunities of minority populations and underrepresented students, faculty, staff, and community members in the University service area.
Partners: Tanner Haid, Clean Water Coalition and Annie Lewin, Committee Chair, Title IX Coordinator
Circadence offers software that gamifies Cybersecurity for team-based training and assessments. Students and professionals interested in securities studies, political science, criminal justice, global studies can advance their skills. The software can be used for community education credits, workshops, and Shepherd courses. The Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice is exploring various uses for the software.
Contact: Andrew Minnicks, Circadence
FIRST LEGO League and NASA
First LEGO League is a global robotics community preparing youth to use imaginative thinking and innovative strategies. Local youth apply science, engineering, math, and social concepts to develop solutions to real-world challenges. The Shepherd team organizes and hosts the Lego League and Lego League, Jr. robotics competition annually in the Student Center. Elementary and middle school-aged students research a real-world engineering challenge, develop a solution, and compete with MINDSTORMS®-based robots of their own design that they code to perform autonomous missions.
Partners: Todd I. Ensign, NASA, Karen Rice, Director of Lifelong Learning, Dr. Sytil Murphy, Institute of Environmental and Physical Sciences, Dr. Chiquita Howard-Bostic, Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice
Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs
The Director of Academic Innovation Initiatives partnered with the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs and team to review grant projects presented by local community-level, non-profit agencies and organizations that aim to improve community health and economic development in Kanawha, Berkeley, and Jefferson counties. The pilot program, called Building Resources In Diverse Geographic Environments (BRIDGE), is a comprehensive community revitalization effort with a mission of addressing poverty, improving community-wide health, stimulating labor force participation and supporting economic development. The program also aims to combat substance abuse, improve crime rates, and includes neighborhood revitalization.
Contact: Jill Upson, Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, Office of Governor Jim Justice, Charleston, WV
The Martinsburg Initiative (TMI)
Berkeley County Schools and the Martinsburg Police Department are supporting at-risk families in an effort to eliminate basic causes of drug abuse. The innovative partnership includes academic, community, faith-based, health, and law enforcement leaders and organizations. Shepherd students have received training by TMI staff to conduct family meetings, group counseling and mentoring sessions with youth at Berkeley County Schools. Shepherd University will help identify specific program outcomes and an assessment plan, and assist with the analyses.
Contact: Dr. Virginia Hicks, Assistant Provost for Academic Community Outreach
The Academic Innovation Initiatives page links are listed below: (1) new Social Media Promotion (SMP) committee to enhance university branding and new Greek Leadership Committee to enhance student success, (2) digital and technology learning projects, (3) Shepherd Digital coursework and resources, and (4) a host of academic innovation initiatives partners:
Dr. Chiquita D. Howard-Bostic
Director of Academic Innovation Initiatives
Academic Affairs Leadership Team