Brookdale Community College: Brookdale Community Foundation Comes up BIG

Member Spotlight

As part of its ongoing mission to develop and manage private philanthropic support for the college, the Brookdale Community College Foundation secured a $100,000 donation from a new donor (who wishes to remain anonymous) to augment institutional and Foundation funding of the Brookdale Innovation Grant (BIG) program. The donation will be allocated at $10,000 annually for ten years. The BIG program is designed to promote innovative solutions to institutional challenges. 

:Brookdale is committed to advancing student learning and achievement through innovative teaching, a dynamic curriculum, a supportive learning environment, and activities to promote student engagement," reports Dr. Maureen Murphy, President. "To further its commitment to students, the college and the Brookdale Foundation offer the Brookdale Innovation Grant (BIG) competition to enrich and improve the teaching and learning process. This donation fortifies our commitment to BIG and demonstrates the significant role the Brookdale Foundation plays in supporting institutional priorities."

"The donation was a result of a year-long cultivation spearheaded by the Vice President of Development and Government & Community Relations and our former Interim President," reports Tim Zeiss, Executive Director, Foundation & Alumni Affairs. "We presented this first-time donor with a few options for his consideration and BIG resonated with him. He now wants to make an even more significant donation, so we are working on a larger scale proposal."

Proposed projects must be based on current research, demonstrate a clear benefit to the college, and address an issue of broad significance. Projects must also align with college priorities as detailed in the Educational Services Operational Plan and 2013-2017 Jubilee Plan. The broader themes shown in these documents include: inspire student success; maximize resources; optimize Brookdale partnerships; and leverage Brookdale's excellence. Projects may be individual or collaborative; focus on one discipline, be interdisciplinary, or be cross-divisional; and address a single challenge or multiple challenges.

Applicants may focus their projects on these broader themes or on more specific objectives, such as:

  • Integrate technology and pedagogy
  • Integrate curricular and co-curricular activities
  • Implement activities that empower the whole student
  • Help close achievement gap
  • Enhance first-year experience
  • Promote diversity
  • Ensure dynamic pedagogy engages students in scholarship
  • Respond to workforce development needs and demand occupations
  • Maximize internal and external partnerships
  • Partner in economic and educational vitalization throughout the County

The BIG program is open to all regular employees (those whose position includes benefits). Annual funding includes $10,000 from the donor gift, $5,000 from the Brookdale Foundation operating budget, and $10,000 from the college budget. The maximum award is $3,000 and the college anticipates funding 8-12 projects. The deadline for applicants is late March. Recipients will be selected by a committee comprised of college representatives and Foundation Trustees, and announced at Faculty Day in May.

The BIG program is administered by the Office of Grants & Institutional Development under Laura Qaisaunee, Director, and the Brookdale Community College Foundation under Tim Zeiss, Executive Director, Foundation & Alumni Affairs.