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Foundation Special Projects Awards

The Winona State University Foundation was chartered in 1963 for the purpose of receiving, managing, and applying funds exclusively for charitable, scientific, or educational activities at Winona State University.

Each year, the Winona State University Foundation grants approximately $100,000 to special project applications pursued by permanent full-time faculty or staff at the University. The object of the awards is to provide financial support for projects that bring innovation and acclaim to the University. The Special Projects Committee of the WSU Foundation Board of Trustees reviews the applications twice a year and selects the winning projects. The number and amount of award(s) shall be determined based on the annual funding available and periodically reviewed by the WSU Foundation Special Projects Committee. The recipients of the awards are announced at the Foundation's annual board meeting.

• An outline of the project (problem to be addressed, significance, goals, methods to be used, ways to evaluate success, future plans)

• A statement of the project's relevance to the mission of the institution and/or college

• one-page budget

• A fundraising plan (if additional funding is needed to complete the project)

• All publication, display, or presentation of any project funded should include appropriate recognition to the WSU Foundation

• It’s benchmarks and measurable results to be reported to the Foundation.

Applicants for the award must be a permanent full-time faculty or staff member at Winona State University and their submitted projects must meet the following criteria. Funds will be awarded for those proposals which encourage the innovative research, curriculum development that lead to new program development and scholarly publications.


An eligible project:

• Is one that needs initial funding

• Advances the goals of the University

• Encourage innovative teaching to innovative research

• Shows clear potential for leveraging additional funding and is submitted by an applicant committed to leading those fundraising efforts

• MUST be authorized and approved by department heads

• Is presented in a proposal that adheres to all the guidelines set forth

• Is a project that will be completed or substantially completed within 12 months

• Will bring visibility to the University

 • Faculty and staff members are only awarded one grant per fiscal year

• Funds awarded must be spent solely for the purposes stated in the application

• Changes to original request require resubmission of the written proposal

• The Foundation will not normally fund supplies, pay salaries, travel, or pay honoraria for WSU faculty and/or staff

• The Foundation will not fund academic course work toward graduate degrees or for post-graduate work

• All property funded by the WSU Foundation must be recorded as part of WSU’s inventory and have a fixed asset sticker applied

• Any inventions or intellectual properties developed must be disclosed to the Foundation

• The Foundation retains the right to claim a fair and proportional benefit from the innovation

• The Foundation will be given an opportunity to participate in the patent process.

Applications are reviewed two times per fiscal year. Applicants must be present to the special projects committee on review day. A ten minute time allotment will be scheduled by the foundation assistant one week before the committee meeting date.

The presenter(s) should be prepared to provide an explanation of the project's relevance to the mission of the institution and/or college. 


Special Project Award Calendar

Semester Deadline  Presentation to Committee
Fall Oct. 12, 2015 Nov. 4, 2015
Spring March 18, 2016 April 7, 2016


 Name Project Request  Award 
 Kate Hansen Expanding Use of Technology in Health Promotion Outreach
Capabilities at WSU
 Misun Bormann WSU Scrubs Camp Student Scholarships $4,500.00 
 Sonja Meiers Development of a Manual to guide use of a psychometric measure:
The Family Caring and Relating Experiences: Chronic Illness Scale
Manny Felix  Disability Health and Adapted Physical Activity Teaching Center  $8,000.00
Vincent Sichula Preparation and Characterization of Organic Materials for Alternate
Energy Production
Tamara Berg  RE Initiative: Creating a Safer Campus  $2,500.00 
Osvaldo Martinez  Exploiting Ebola Virus to Develop Novel Virus-Like particle Vaccines  $6,300.00
Erin White Maternal and Fetal Outcomes from a Prospective Resistance Band
Training Study with Limited Intervention 
Jane Foote  Faculty-Sponsored Graduate Student Research  $2,107.00 
Chuck Ripley  Digital Humanities Speaker Series  $2,886.00 
June Reineke  Children's Garden-An Outdoor Science Learning Center  $1,375.00 


Apply now for a Special Projects Award.

If you have already received an award, fill out the Special Projects Award Final Report form (PDF).

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the WSU Foundation office at 507.457.5020 or Phil Sonnenberg at PSonnenberg@winona.edu.

Special Projects Committee

The Special Project Committee is primarily responsible for special program activities of the Foundation. This includes developing proposal guidelines for projects intended to enhance WSU's academic mission, to improve the quality of its faculty or the level of instruction and to enrich the learning experiences available to its students. The committee encourages, reviews and recommends funding for programs and projects at WSU for which there are no current funding sources available.

Dollars awarded via the Special Project Committee are initially received as unrestricted gifts. These unrestricted donations come from a variety of sources: alumni, corporations, matching gift companies and other friends of WSU. The purpose of the program is broad and designed to serve the curricular, professional and program development priorities of the institution.

Members of the Special Projects Committee include:

  • Ted Fredrickson - Chair
  • Robert Befidi
  • George Bolon
  • Greg Evans
  • Karen Fawcett
  • Steve Heuslein
  • Jim Meyer 
  • Tim Missling
  • Dick Record
  • Phil Sonnenberg - Liaison
  • Dr. John N. Weis