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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.
  • Please provide information regarding the project by answering the following questions in your essay: Describe the project (be specific and include the goals and objectives to be accomplished). Describe the means by which you will evaluate the success of the project.
  • Relate your project to each of the following three factors: Special Benefits to WSU Goals of your Department Special Benefits to Students
  • Describe other sources of funds and what actions have been taken to secure project funding:
  • If you do not receive the total funds requested, what effect will this have on your project?
  • Do you plan on presenting this project at the Faculty Research Symposium?
  • How will you recognize the Foundation and use its logo?

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:

  • Offers new programming or benefit to the University community
  • One that needs initial start-up funds
  • Has sought out additional fund sources
  • Must be supported by the Department / College
  • Encourages innovative teaching to innovative research
  • Shows clear potential for leveraging additional/sustainable funding and is submitted by an applicant committed to leading those fundraising efforts
  • Is a project that will be completed or substantially completed within 12 months
  • Will bring visibility to the University and advances its goals


  • Faculty and staff members are only awarded one grant per fiscal year
  • Typical awards do not exceed $5,000
  • 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 fund:
    • normal operational budget items (e.g., office supplies)
    • staff salaries
    • staff travel
    • honoraria for WSU faculty and/or staff
    • 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 and The Foundation will be given an opportunity to participate in the patent process.

    This short Final Report Form (PDF) is due to the Foundation office within one year of the start of the project.

    Use this Special Projects Budget Form (PDF) to complete the Special Projects application.

    The WSU Foundation logo is available as a PNG, JPEG and PDF to be used on all marketing materials associated with the special projects award.

    Use the Foundation's Voucher Form (PDF) to request fund disbursement from an account held by the WSU Foundation, such as special projects.

    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 Sept. 23, 2017
    October 19, 2017
    Spring March 16, 2018
    April 12, 2018


    Fiscal Year
    Total Award
    Project Title
    Creating Our Future Workforce
    2016 3-SPR Ruth
    Teaching Civic Engagement at the Polls
    2016 3-SPR Carl
    A hardware astronomy project: Phase 1 of the "ROBH.aT Network" - Computer Control of a Telescope Dome
    2016 3-SPR
    Center Stage Leadership
    2016 3-SPR April
    Reboot the Writing Center
    2016 3-SPR
    Equipment for Operant Conditioning in Rats
    2016 3-SPR
    STEM Camp - MinecraftEdu Module
    2016 3-SPR  Rich
    13th Annual High School Honor Jazz Festival
    2016 3-SPR  Jessie
    Social Justice Retreat
    2016 3-SPR Jonathon
    Developing a screen to identify amino acids required for correct neural development
    2016 3-SPR Mitch
    Implementing the COPE2Thrive program for at-risk teens at the RALC
    3-SPR  Amy
    Failure to grow up: failure to transform in tiger salamanders and aging
    3-SPR  Carl
    WSU HS Counselor Conference Bags
    3-SPR  Joseph
    Cyclodiphosphazanes as Novel Cancer Prodrugs
    3-SPR  Wayne
    New Student Orientation Sustainability Initiative


     Name Project Request
    Michelle Darst/Connie Mettille
    Mental Health Training
    Diane Dingfelder/Valerie DeFor
    WSU on Broadway
    Rich MacDonald
    JEN Conference Student Experience $1,929.00
    Theresa Waterbury/Shellie Nelson
    Beta Testing of Proprietary Sensors
    Aurea Osgood
    WarriorThon 2017
    Vincent Sichula
    Preparations of Metal-Free Catalysts
    Ben Sturmoski/Mari Livingston
    Cash Course Promotion
    Amy Hornby Urbie/Linda D'Amico
    Civic Engagement and Leadership Forum
    Wayne Wicka
    Veteran's Outreach Initiatives
    Bethany Wiley/Mary Anderson
    A Great Transformation


    Heather Williams
    Children's Traveling Theatre
    Jennifer Zemke/Hannah Leverentz
    RAMAN Spectroscopy and Computational Modeling


    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 Jennifer Hoffman at JHoffman@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
    • Steve Heuslein
    • Jim Meyer 
    • Tim Missling
    • Dick Record
    • Phil Sonnenberg - Liaison
    • Dr. John N. Weis