2016-2017 Innovation Grants

During the 2016-2017 academic year, the Babson/Olin/Wellesley Three College Collaboration offered two rounds of Presidential Innovation Project Fund Grants.

All proposals were reviewed by the college Provosts, BOW administration, and the BOW Faculty Steering Committee.  

A total of $27, 090.00 was awarded.

The project titles, team members and their affiliations are:

Marie Schneider Orchestra Residency

Maria Schneider is a rarity in today’s world: female bandleader, composer, instrumentalist and entrepreneur. She came to the BOW Colleges on March 7–10, 2017, for a residency comprising of workshops and master classes at Wellesley College; an Arts & Business Conversation at Babson College; and a capstone concert at Babson’s Sorenson Center with her orchestra. Every event was open to students, staff, and faculty at all three schools; the concert open to the public. 

Team Leaders:
Sandra Graham, Faculty Director, Sorenson Center for the Arts /Associate Professor of Music,  Babson College;
Isabel Fine, Concert Manager, Wellesley College 

Design For America

Design For America is an award-winning nationwide network of college students using design to create local and social impact in the areas of Health, Education, Economy and the Environment. This organization highly encourages interdisciplinary teams and emphasizes the fact that anyone studying any major, can be considered a designer. The project the studio will be working on this year is in collaboration with Sustainable Wellesley. The goal is to tackle the problem of how many of the students who attend Wellesley Public Schools drive to school individually. This results in high traffic congestion as well as health and safety concerns.

Team Leaders:
Isaac Vandor Olin College
April Chen, Babson College
Rachel Dodell Wellesley College

Knotty Problems in Research 

The goal of this program is to provide a space for faculty to chat with each other about issues in their research. The meetings are modeled on the successful “Knotty Problems Roundtable” that has been run for the past four years at Wellesley College. The meetings are held during breakfast or lunchtime while the participants have a "micro-research" conversation.  One at a time, a person presents his/her dilemma and gets feedback from the others in the group. If time remains once the formal activity is over, the conversation can continue naturally in any way that the participants choose.

Team Leader:
Lori Parmet Associate Director of Sponsored Research, Wellesley College

TechGen Start Up

Babson, Olin and Wellesley Colleges  joined forces to connect Boston area Tech Start-Up Companies with business, engineering, and liberal arts talent. The
goals were to:

  • stimulate connections between start-ups and student entrepreneurs
  • educate students about the variety of opportunities in the Boston Tech Start-Up community
  • tap into TechGen’s strong brand and extensive network within the Boston/Cambridge innovation community
  • provide Start-Ups with top level talent
  • expose students to summer 2017 internships and potential full-time opportunities
  • build the brand of the BOW collaboration in this sector

The event took place on 4/12/17, 5:30-7:30 pm, on Babson’s Campus. Students and employers (with current job postings) engaged in small groups of 8-10 at round tables for approximately 10-15 minutes. Students had the opportunity to sit with at least four companies. At the conclusion of the event, students attended an open networking reception to mix with all employers. This small group format was used to successfully encourage the opportunity for more intimate/in-depth conversation.

Team Leader:
Brenda Kostyk Career Adviser & Relationship Manager, Undergraduate Center for Career Development


Bandaloop, a unique “vertical dance” company will be in residence at Wellesley in October 2017. This weeklong residency and the culminating six performances, with live music played by Music Department faculty, will occur on the sides of the newly opened Arts addition and in the completely renovated Art Department. Bandaloop’s performances and workshops will anchor a community-wide celebration of a vital new collaborative and cross-disciplinary direction in the arts at Wellesley. The celebration will also include the premiere of a commission by renowned composer Augusta Read Thomas, various art and new media installations, site-specific music performances, and other activities yet to be planned, both inside and outside the buildings.

Not only does this effort represent collaboration between and among the arts, but between institutions as well. This will be the second time that Wellesley College’s Concert Series works closely with Babson and Olin to bring unparalleled performers to our campuses at little to no cost to the public.  A unique benefit to the three-campus students/staff/faculty is the opportunity to participate in experiential workshops with Bandaloop, educational opportunities that address not only innovation in engineering, creativity, and design, but also challenging limitations and transcending boundaries, as individuals, in teams, and as a society. Workshop participants will also be included in a public lecture demonstration of Bandaloop’s work.

Team Leaders:
Diana Dabby, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Music Program Director, Olin College
Steven Maler, Director, Babson Sorenson Center

21st Birthday Social 

Students attending Wellesley, Babson, and Olin who have turned 21 within the last year will be invited to a BOW semi-formal 21st birthday social in the Fall of 2017. The event will focus on celebrating this milestone birthday while messaging about lowering the risk of harm due to alcohol consumption in personal and professional environments. The event will also provide an opportunity for administrators, staff, and faculty from the three institutions to model abstention or moderate alcohol consumption. There will be socializing and structured engagement between the students and professionals. The purpose of this portion of the event is to allow students to engage with alcohol in a controlled and professional setting.

Team Leaders:
Vanessa Britto/ Claudia Trevor-Wright
Director, Health Service/ Assist. Director of Health Education

Grant Writing Workshop 

The Grant Writing Workshop took place on June 16, 2017. The Sponsored Programs Offices at Babson, Olin & Wellesley have a common need to provide the skills and framework necessary for faculty and center directors to apply for external grants.  This workshop was led by Pattie McNulty, a research administration veteran with 25+ years of experience.

The topic was an overview of grant writing essentials, including:

  • Finding funding opportunities
  • Determination of project resource needs
  • Overview of the core components of a proposal

Team Leader:
Sandra Castaldini, Manager, Faculty Sponsored Research,  Babson College

BOW Rock Climbing Club

Climbing fun for everyone! The BOW Climbing Organization Team is founded on several key tenets:

  • Diversity - BOW, All Skill Levels, All Backgrounds
  • Consistency - practices on a weekly basis
  • Lowering the Barrier of Entry for Beginners   (Discounted Passes to Start)
  • Helping Fund and Kick start a Climbing Career
  • Fueling the Competitive Fire for Aspiring Climbers
  • Focuses Strength and Skill Training

The BOW Climbing Organization team goals are to get many BOW students to engage with each other over a common passion, strengthening connection between the colleges.

The Team has coordinated four practices a week, and occasional extra events such as, recreational competitions, social events, and on-campus workouts throughout the semester. The  practices take place on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings along with Saturday afternoons. Tasters for new members will be held 1-2 times each semester

Team Leader:
Izzy Harrison

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