Media contact: 
David M. Henahan, director of communications
518-587-2100, ext. 2918
David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038
(after 5 p.m. and weekends)

May 28, 2013

Prof. Patrice Prusko Torcivia’s Open SUNY Project Receives Prestigious IITG Funding in Competitive SUNY Program

Center for Distance Learning and International Programs Mentor Patrice Prusko Torcivia has been selected to receive tier-three funding in the second round of SUNY’s competitive Innovative Instruction Technology Grants program.

Patrice Prusko Torcivia

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – May 28, 2013) “The Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning Evaluation Project” developed by part-time Center for Distance Learning and International Programs Mentor Patrice Prusko Torcivia has been selected to receive tier-three funding in the second round of SUNY’s competitive Innovative Instruction Technology Grants program. Bidhan Chandra, associate professor at the Center for Distance Learning, is a co-principal investigator on the project.

Innovative Instruction Technology Grants fund campus innovations and initiatives that have the potential to be replicated elsewhere within SUNY to benefit students and faculty across the state and worldwide. Of the 93 proposals submitted for this year’s competition, 33 were selected to receive awards.

SUNY faculty and staff across all disciplines were eligible to apply for the IITG competitive grant. Recipients will openly share project outcomes, enabling SUNY colleagues statewide to replicate and build upon the innovations, many supporting the university system’s new Open SUNY initiative, which will bring together all of the online courses offered at SUNY campuses.

Tier-three awards provide up to $60,000, the highest level of program funding, and require a 33 percent match. This year, seven members of the college’s faculty and staff are working on IITG projects.

"The IITG program has enabled our campuses to enhance the quality of a SUNY education by leveraging our ‘systemness’ and bringing students the best that technology has to offer," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "This program is one of many that exemplify SUNY's capacity to model innovative instructional practices for higher education nationally and globally. We look forward to seeing these outstanding ideas replicated across SUNY to benefit even more of our students, faculty and staff."

“Congratulations go to Patrice for this prestigious award and to all of the college’s faculty and staff for their contributions and participation in so many winning proposals,” said Meg Benke, acting president of the college. “The creativity, expertise and academic excellence of Empire State College faculty and staff are well reflected by the different projects. Collaborating with colleagues at other SUNY institutions to advance research, scholarship, teaching and learning advances Open SUNY, exemplifies what ‘systemness’ is all about, and, most importantly, provides all SUNY students with a better education.”

“It's an honor to receive this prestigious award,” said Torcivia. “I would especially like to acknowledge the hard work and effort of the entire team in putting together the grant proposal, as well as the guidance provided by Kathy Jelly and Lorrie Anthony in the Office of Research, Innovation and Open Education.”

Working with a consortium of four other campuses, SUNY Cobleskill, The College at Old Westbury, Purchase College, SUNY Ulster and the SUNY Levin Institute, “The Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning Evaluation Project” seeks to strengthen the adoption of e-Portfolio initiatives on participating campuses through creating a Cross-Cultural Experiential Learning Evaluation Toolkit that improves the development and assessment of international experiential learning activities.

The toolkit will provide guidance to faculty to create and deliver international experiential learning activities that strengthen students’ cross-cultural skills and also will provide guidance to students to document their learning artifacts and produce effective reflection pieces for their e-Portfolios.

The development and use of e-Portfolios is a component of Open SUNY. In addition to the evaluation and documentation of student learning in and outside of the class for this particular project, e-Portfolios serve as an electronic repository of student work to aid in students’ connection with technology and their educational growth and development and are a record of continuing growth, a source of information about student experiences and a lifelong evolving dossier of accomplishments.

Nathan Whitley-Grassi, an instructional technologist at the college’s Niagara Frontier Center, is a co-principal investigator on the tier-three IITG award, “The Tools of Engagement Project: On-Demand Discovery Learning Professional Development.”

“The Tools of Engagement Project: On-Demand Discovery Learning Professional Development” will merge with Whitley-Grassi’s 2012 IITG-funded project, “Supporting the Needs of 21st Century Learners: Faculty Development with Tools of Engagement.”

School for Graduate Studies associate professors Diane Gal and Eileen O’Connor are co-principal investigators on another IITG tier-three project, “SUNY Games II,” led by Peter Shea of the University at Albany.

Associate Professor Lynae Sakshaug and Assistant Professor Frank McDonald, of the School for Graduate Studies Masters of Arts in Teaching program, are co-principal investigators for “Developing Co-curricular Courses that Lead to Critical Thinking in Online and Hybrid Coursework,” a tier-two funded project led by Jeffrey Linn at SUNY Brockport.

Innovative Instruction Technology Grants is a competitive program open to SUNY faculty and support staff across all disciplines. The program encourages development of innovations that meet the Power of SUNY’s transformative vision. Grant recipients will share project outcomes in the SUNY Learning Commons, enabling SUNY colleagues to replicate and build upon an innovation.

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Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918

David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038 (after 5 p.m. and weekends)