Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.76
Liaison Jamie Greiner
Submission Date March 22, 2021
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Mount Union
AC-10: Support for Research

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Jamie Greiner
Sustainability and Campus Outreach Manager
Nature Center
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have an ongoing program to encourage students in multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability? :
Yes

A brief description of the student research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The Brumbaugh Scholars program supports students engaged in summer research associated with the University's Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center. The students make proposals and select a faculty/staff mentor. Both are compensated during their research. Their results are presented at a showcase that is open to both the University and the public.

The John T. Huston – Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center has allocated resources from the Brumbaugh Endowment to foster research and scholarly activities among students, staff, and faculty that are related to the mission of the Nature Center, which is to “provide and support opportunities for enjoying and learning about our natural and cultural heritage.”

In keeping with that mission, the Nature Center is pleased to invite proposals from current students at the University of Mount Union to conduct summer projects. Student proposals from any discipline or area of interest are welcomed and encouraged. The unifying elements of appropriate research or other projects are:
1. Place-based. The project should relate to the natural and cultural heritage of northeastern Ohio and be explicitly related to the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center and its mission.
2. Student-centered. The intent is to provide students with opportunities to engage in meaningful hands-on activities that complement their classroom education.
3. Collaborative. Students should identify a Mount Union faculty or staff member who will serve as the project mentor. Each project should allow students and mentors to work together in ways that provide genuine experiential learning for the student while also allowing the mentor to further their own scholarly or professional interests.

Students who would like to be considered for this program will be selected based on their proposal and possibly an interview with the Selection Committee. Each proposal should identify a faculty or staff member who is interested in working with the student on the project. If selected, students are expected to commit to a minimum of eight weeks of work during the summer and develop a schedule that is mutually agreeable to both them and their mentor. A maximum of four students will be supported through a combination of hourly pay and a stipend up to $3000/student (based on the number of hours worked). All Brumbaugh Scholars are required to give a final presentation of their work.

Brumbaugh Mentors are expected to work collaboratively with their mentee(s) during the summer—meeting on a regular basis and participating in an end-of-the-season Scholars Showcase (usually held in November at the Nature Center). Mentors are also encouraged to help their students present their work as a Scholar Day presentation, a formal presentation at a conference, and/or a publication.

Mentors will receive a stipend of $3000 (regardless of the number of students supervised) payable in two installments—half at the end of June 2021 and the other after the Scholars Showcase presentation. Any equipment purchased for the project with Nature Center funds will remain the property of the Nature Center.

Some examples of past Brumbaugh Scholars projects include:

• A History of Agriculture and the Brumbaugh family in the Region (Dept. of History)
• Calling Frog and Toad Survey at the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center (Dept. of Biology)
• Paintings Inspired by the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center (Dept. of Art)
• Place, Purpose, Peace: Discovering Self and Community at the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center (Dept. of Philosophy & Religious Studies)
• The Presence of Agricultural Pollutants Utilizing Water & Soil Testing and Indicator Species (Dept. of Earth & Environ. Science)


Does the institution have a program to encourage faculty from multiple disciplines or academic programs to conduct research in sustainability topics?:
Yes

A brief description of the faculty research program, including the incentives provided and any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The Brumbaugh Scholars program supports students engaged in summer research associated with the University's Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center. The students make proposals and select a faculty/staff mentor. Both are compensated during their research. Their results are presented at a showcase that is open to both the University and the public.

The John T. Huston – Dr. John D. Brumbaugh Nature Center has allocated resources from the Brumbaugh Endowment to foster research and scholarly activities among students, staff, and faculty that are related to the mission of the Nature Center, which is to “provide and support opportunities for enjoying and learning about our natural and cultural heritage.”

In keeping with that mission, the Nature Center is pleased to invite proposals from current students at the University of Mount Union to conduct summer projects. Student proposals from any discipline or area of interest are welcomed and encouraged. The unifying elements of appropriate research or other projects are:
1. Place-based. The project should relate to the natural and cultural heritage of northeastern Ohio and be explicitly related to the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center and its mission.
2. Student-centered. The intent is to provide students with opportunities to engage in meaningful hands-on activities that complement their classroom education.
3. Collaborative. Students should identify a Mount Union faculty or staff member who will serve as the project mentor. Each project should allow students and mentors to work together in ways that provide genuine experiential learning for the student while also allowing the mentor to further their own scholarly or professional interests.

Students who would like to be considered for this program will be selected based on their proposal and possibly an interview with the Selection Committee. Each proposal should identify a faculty or staff member who is interested in working with the student on the project. If selected, students are expected to commit to a minimum of eight weeks of work during the summer and develop a schedule that is mutually agreeable to both them and their mentor. A maximum of four students will be supported through a combination of hourly pay and a stipend up to $3000/student (based on the number of hours worked). All Brumbaugh Scholars are required to give a final presentation of their work.

Brumbaugh Mentors are expected to work collaboratively with their mentee(s) during the summer—meeting on a regular basis and participating in an end-of-the-season Scholars Showcase (usually held in November at the Nature Center). Mentors are also encouraged to help their students present their work as a Scholar Day presentation, a formal presentation at a conference, and/or a publication.

Mentors will receive a stipend of $3000 (regardless of the number of students supervised) payable in two installments—half at the end of June 2021 and the other after the Scholars Showcase presentation. Any equipment purchased for the project with Nature Center funds will remain the property of the Nature Center.

Some examples of past Brumbaugh Scholars projects include:

• A History of Agriculture and the Brumbaugh family in the Region (Dept. of History)
• Calling Frog and Toad Survey at the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center (Dept. of Biology)
• Paintings Inspired by the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center (Dept. of Art)
• Place, Purpose, Peace: Discovering Self and Community at the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center (Dept. of Philosophy & Religious Studies)
• The Presence of Agricultural Pollutants Utilizing Water & Soil Testing and Indicator Species (Dept. of Earth & Environ. Science)


Has the institution published written policies and procedures that give positive recognition to interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research during faculty promotion and/or tenure decisions?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s support for interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

Recommendations for continuation, tenure and promotion are based on the following criteria that are stated in our Faculty Handbook.

B. Requirements for Tenure
1. Principal considerations with respect to awarding tenure, all of which must be met, are:
a. The University's present and projected future need in the faculty member's area of competence.
b. Qualification of the individual for the position to be filled. In this regard, it is expected that the individual will hold the terminal degree or its equivalent in his/her field.
c. The potential contribution of the faculty member during a professional lifetime of association with the University.
d. Quality of the individual's performance at University of Mount Union during the probationary period. While detailed factors to be considered in applying each of the criteria cannot be developed with precision, the following delineation of the factors is generally applicable:

C. Effectiveness in Teaching
1. Meeting of all classes as scheduled, use of appropriate and effective pedagogical techniques, organization, fair and clear course policies, and appropriate academic rigor. Out-of-class factors such as availability to students, quality of student conferences and academic advising, and commitment to the best long-term interests of the students are also included.
2. Maintenance of professional competence and/or required certification necessary to remain current in one's field and higher education generally, course revision and development, attending professional meetings, involvement in pedagogical issues, etc.
D. Professional Development and Scholarly Activity
1. Professional development is development of teaching that goes beyond normal
professional maintenance, such as establishing areas of expertise not previously within one's capabilities. This could also be development leading to courses previously outside one's area of competence or development of pedagogical approaches not previously used, achieving additional professional certifications, etc.
2. Scholarly activity is participation in one's field as a professional. This includes activities involving the production of original work, research leading to scholarly papers or books, creative work, presentations at professional meetings, participation in faculty development workshops and seminars, enhanced expertise in clinical work, etc.
E. Contribution to the Total University Community
1. Includes work within the department, committee work, recruiting, on-campus
presentations, advising student organizations, attending faculty meetings, attending campus academic and cultural events, etc.
F. Contribution to Civic and Community Life
1. This includes activities in the broader community that reflect positively on the University.

Professional Development and Scholarly Activity
It defines above Professional development as "development of teaching that goes beyond normal professional maintenance, such as establishing areas of expertise not previously within one's capabilities. This could also be development leading to courses previously outside one's area of competence or development of pedagogical approaches not previously used, achieving additional professional certifications, etc."

This statement in the handbook does not indicate that interdisciplinary research is valued differently than is disciplinary research, but is encouraged - go beyond one's comfort level. Our institution values and promotes interdisciplinary work and explicitly requires it of our students through the general education (Integrative Core) requirements.


Does the institution have ongoing library support for sustainability research and learning?:
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s library support for sustainability research, including any positive outcomes during the previous three years:

The library supports a number of online services that provide access to research in sustainability related fields These include GREENR, HERO database, Environment Complete, ISI Web of knowledge, EJC, JSTOR and numerous other databases. Through a consortium of libraries in Ohio we also have access to a site license for ArcGIS. Every department and program has a budget for book and journal acquisitions. There is also a specific Sustainability Library Guide on the website to assist with access to topical information. Lastly, our Library is participating in the Academic Library Association of Ohio’s Sustainability Interest Group


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.