2019 Oliver Innovation Fund Recipients Announced

Augustana University announced the 2019 recipients of the Oliver Innovation Fund. The fund is designed to support ideas that foster creativity, embrace innovation and entrepreneurship and help the University achieve new levels of excellence. The Oliver Innovation Fund was established following the retirement of former Augustana President Rob Oliver and provides grants to faculty through an application process administered by the Office of the President.

Cydney Johnson-Edler received approval for her proposal of a water purification system using natural organic matter. The project includes purchasing a Malvern Zetasizer — equipment that will enable faculty and undergraduate research on sustainability water purification strategies. Funds from the Oliver Innovation Fund were leveraged to secure additional funding in support of this project. The project was also partially funded by the Office of Sustainability at Augustana.

Michelle Powers and Laurie Daily received approval for their project, Makerspace Library. The project expands technology in the model classroom in Augustana’s Madsen Center. It will allow students to be creative, innovative, independent and technologically literate. The interactive space will include a telepresence robot, coding and robotics devices, and various assistive technologies.

Studio 47 received funding for the second consecutive year. Funding received in 2018 was used to create the recording studio that has since produced several successful podcasts, including Patrick Hicks’ weekly radio program ‘Poetry from Studio 47.’ Additional funding from 2019 will be used for on-campus projects over the next two academic years.

"The Oliver Innovation Fund is a unique opportunity for Augustana staff to pursue creative projects to enhance the learning experience of our students,” said Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, Augustana University President. “In turn, we hope these unique experiences inspire students to make meaningful impacts across the globe.”


Katie LeBrun
Public Relations and Communications Strategist