Two years ago, I wrote what has become the most popular post on this grants blog:  “Why I’m so excited about our G3 grant project” I can only guess the post is popular because prospective students are now Googling information about the state’s G3 program, and this page bubbles up in the search results. But back in spring of 2019, we were still trying to figure this G3 thing out. I was excited — like, Buddy the Elf excited — because our grant enabled us to hire the Education Design Lab, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that helps design higher education models that improve opportunity for historically underserved learners. The Lab team facilitated a series of design thinking sessions at Virginia Western — and it was during our first gathering where we talked about relationships as the secret sauce to student success. I’ve stayed in touch with the Lab since we wrapped up that grant project and followed their Innovator Network newsletter, which is how I learned about the remote position I have just accepted: Communications + Brand Manager.  The Lab said they wanted a unicorn, and, well … you know how I am. My last day at Virginia Western is… Continue Reading This is not a goodbye
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Hello, and welcome to the Innovation Lab! This is a virtual lab …  a digital makerspace where we ask a lot of questions, experiment, and play. Our first project is an asynchronous workshop series: How to Design a Successful Innovation Grant. The first step in the series begins on this blog today, and it will end in March 2022, the same month Innovation Grant proposals are due. Hopefully this approach will help you slowly explore your ideas — on your own time, at your convenience — as you continue to juggle your regular to-do list.  If you are serious about pursuing an Innovation Grant, I would suggest you start this journey with us in September, but you can always catch up anytime before the March deadline. And please join us if you’re just curious, or some of your ideas are half-baked. That’s what this process is for! No commitments necessary. Last week, I shared Lab Lesson #1: Grant proposals are not time wasted … even if you FAIL. So let’s boldly move forward, straight to Lab Lesson #2: Know the rules of the game. Yes, I do approach grant applications like a game (or a “Project Runway” challenge), which makes writing grants much… Continue Reading Innovation Grant Lab series: Let’s put on our Thinking Caps (September)
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Image from Pixabay I’m so excited to launch Virginia Western’s own Innovation Lab. Of course, this will be a virtual lab …  a digital makerspace where we ask a lot of questions, experiment, and play. Our first project is an asynchronous workshop series: How to Design a Successful Innovation Grant. What are Innovation Grants? These annual grants are awarded by the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation. We took a break in 2021 due to COVID, but the Foundation plans to award another round in Spring 2022. The maximum award is $10,000, and projects are expected to be finished in about 10 months (May to March). All members of Virginia Western faculty and classified staff, including adjunct faculty and part-time employees, are eligible to submit proposals. The deadline for applications is always the very end of March. Why I love Innovation Grants An innovation grant project can amplify your strengths and what you love most about your job.They can be a way to solve a problem that you have long complained about.Grants are professional development — not only will they stretch you and your collaborative skills, but they will get you noticed on campus, in the community, and if it’s… Continue Reading Welcome, innovators! The Innovation Grant Lab opens Sept. 1
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About Stephanie

Stephanie SeagleStephanie Ogilvie Seagle has served as Grant Specialist at Virginia Western since 2016, but she prefers her honorary title: “Chief Joy Officer.” Stephanie spent most of her career at The Roanoke Times, a daily newspaper, where she served in various news and features roles including “Shoptimist” shopping columnist. She earned a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies at George Mason University and a master’s of arts in liberal studies at Hollins University. Stephanie is a mom to one human daughter and multiple chihuahuas … and is obsessed with reading nonfiction, Halloween, and crafting glow necklaces inspired by the Mill Mountain Star. Glow Roanoke!

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