The Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council awards $150,138 in grants to programs universitywide

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council, in its seventh grant cycle, awarded $150,138 to 20 programs affiliated with seven IU campuses on June 6. Grants ranged from $500 to $18,000.

The council prioritizes initiatives that develop women's leadership; provide global experiences for IU students; improve public health; increase career and educational opportunities in STEM, particularly for women and underserved youth; and foster inclusion among diverse populations. Since 2012, the Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council has awarded more than $820,000 in grant funds.

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"Through WPLC grants, our donors are able to support a variety of programs that both improve the student experience and provide value to the community," said Penny Gaither, council grants chair. "As we hear from each grant finalist, we truly are in awe of the possibilities proposed and then accomplished each year -- and it seems each year's group gets better than the one before. It is an honor to help guide them through the process."

The IU Foundation Board of Directors and the Well House Society -- one of the foundation's donor recognition societies -- continued to support the council's grant program, each pledging $25,000 in supplemental funding to grant applicants. Members of the Well House Society Advisory Board selected IU Bloomington's Career Development Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Office of Engaged Learning as grant recipients. The CAPS program will also receive funding from the IU Foundation Board, as will IU Bloomington's Kelley Institute for Social Impact, IU Bloomington and IU Kokomo libraries, and IUPUI's Maternal Recovery Program.

"The WPLC grant program provides essential funding for a wide range of student- and faculty-led initiatives that impact IU students, Indiana communities and citizens around the globe," said Dan Smith, president of the IU Foundation. "The continued support of the IU Foundation and Well House Society is a testament to the inspiring ideas and opportunities presented by WPLC grant applicants."

"The Well House Society supports the greatest needs of Indiana University, and this year's grants will benefit female, at-risk and rural students," said Todd M. Harper, chair of the Well House Society Grants Committee. "Specifically, our grants will ensure success by helping women gain the skills needed to break down barriers and advance their careers, providing minority and first-generation students access to counseling services and allowing rural high school students to explore science careers through hands-on summer experiences."

2018 IU Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council grant recipients:

  • IU Bloomington
    • 'Access to Justice' Service-Learning Program: The Access to Justice service-learning program connects law students with legal-aid and social-service providers in Bloomington to develop human-centered design innovations that help community partners deliver access to justice.
    • I Can Persist STEM Initiative: Promoting Academic Persistence Among Women of Color in STEM: The I Can Persist program is a yearlong endeavor to promote recruitment and retention of women and girls of color in science, technology, engineering and math.
    • Global Media Service-Learning and Production Workshop: This workshop will offer students at The Media School a unique opportunity to gain hands-on global media production experience while deepening cross-cultural competencies and empathy, as well as developing capacity for leadership and professionalism.
    • Graduate Women in STEM Teaching Fellows: The Graduate Women in STEM Teaching Fellows program has established a learning community to address challenges faced by women in STEM, as well as strategies to overcome these obstacles; promote and support the use of evidence-based teaching strategies for graduate students teaching or assisting undergraduate STEM courses; and support female scientists in becoming leaders in the transformation of undergraduate STEM education.
    • A Space of Their Own: Toward a Virtual Museum of Art by Women: Funding will be used to help build the largest database and website devoted to female artists active in Europe and North America before 1800. This will also provide an online publication opportunity -- in partnership with IU Press -- for new scholarship on these artists.
    • Women Engaging Globally Program: The Women Engaging Globally Program is a sustaining scholarship and career-development program that will provide tuition assistance for undergraduate female applicants with superior credentials to attend the summer language workshop and institute, an annual three-part seminar series that highlights the career progress and achievements of workshop alumnae.
    • IU Bloomington Women Rising: This program is designed to help all IU students close the vocational gender-equality gap through innovative events and programming.
    • Let's Talk: Multicultural Outreach and Prevention Program: Let's Talk offers embedded counseling resources within key student organizations and academic support units aiding underserved students.
    • Komen Tissue Bank Life-Health Sciences Internship: The Komen Tissue Bank's Life-Health Sciences Internship program is designed to address critical public health issues by providing a hands-on STEM learning experience to students interested in pursuing health information technology careers.
    • Student Outreach Eye Clinic: The IU School of Medicine's Ophthalmology Student Interest Group will purchase new equipment and supplies to improve and expand the services offered to patients through the Student Outreach Eye Clinic.
    • Medical and Emergency Personnel: ASD and Special Needs Preparedness Program: HANDS in Autism will create the Medical and Emergency Preparedness Program, which will provide tools, strategies and training to support medical professionals and emergency personnel in their interactions with patients with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs.
    • 2018 Indiana Public Health Conference -- Reframing Harm Reduction as a Public Health Imperative: The Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health seeks to measure the impact of the IU Grand Challenges' Responding to the Addiction Crisis initiative by supporting a half-day, pre-conference workshop on implementing harm-reduction strategies, such as syringe services programs, HIV testing, wound care and treatment referrals, among others. Funds will also support breakout sessions at the conference that provide naloxone training to participants.
  • IU East
    • Making Words Matter with Kids: This community-based workshop series aims to teach parents, teachers and caregivers how to effectively communicate with children between the ages of 18 months and 12 years.
  • IU Kokomo
    • Family Nurse Practitioner Student Guatemalan Practicum: Family nurse practitioner students and faculty will spend about four days in a women's and children's clinic and an in-patient facility for treatment of malnourished children. There, they will provide assessment, diagnosis and non-invasive interventions for patients in collaboration with and under the supervision of IU Kokomo faculty and Guatemalan nurses as a practicum for their clinical rotation.
    • Campus Garden at IU Kokomo: Products from the garden will provide healthy, organic food options for students in the cafeteria and in the Cougar Cupboard through a voucher system. Products will also be sold at a low-cost market for faculty, staff and students.
  • IU Southeast
    • Dean's Alliance: The Dean's Alliance aims to retain and assist the at-risk students who enter the university system. By providing support and immediate interventions, the program helps first-generation students, working moms and others who face similar challenges persist to graduation.
    • Population Telehealth: Grant funds will be used to purchase telehealth technology for use by nursing students during community screenings completed at the Pine Ridge Reservation.
  • IU South Bend
    • Ecological Horticulture: Student Internships in Environmental Stewardship: This stewardship project will offer paid internship opportunities with Bertrand Farm Inc. and incorporate work at an urban-school-based farm program.
  • Multiple campuses
    • HOPE Mentoring Project -- Helping Offenders Prosper Through Employment in Collaboration with IU Bloomington, IU Kokomo and IU Northwest: HOPE Mentoring pairs incarcerated juveniles with college mentors who support their efforts to avoid recidivism by obtaining and maintaining employment.
    • Information Literacy Online Toolkit in Collaboration with IU Bloomington and IU Kokomo: The Information Literacy Online Toolkit will introduce students and instructors to information literacy practices in an easy-to-access, online format. For students, the toolkit will provide video tutorials that help them discern online information as credible, reliable and authentic. For instructors, the toolkit will provide a pathway to integrate information literacy principles into student coursework.

The Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council awards grants on an annual cycle from the WPLC Fund, which is administered by the Indiana University Foundation. Council members, alumni and friends of IU support the fund with annual contributions. Applications for 2019 grants will be available in December 2018. For more information about grant criteria and applications, contact Charla Stonecipher, associate director of Women's Philanthropy at Indiana University, at

The IU Women's Philanthropy Leadership Council was convened by the Indiana University Foundation Board of Directors in 2010. The council's mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent and resources to Indiana University and to develop women leaders in philanthropy.

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university.

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