Business

Madison Trust funds innovation


by Jan Gillis ('07)

 
image: /_images/stories/madison-trust-rainey-232837-1026-655x393.jpg

Madison Trust pairs JMU innovation with private investment from alumni and friends


How do you create meaningful change in times of severe budget constraints?

Enter: Madison Trust, an effort led by University Advancement and guided by two of JMU’s most steadfast and visionary donors, Leslie Gilliam (’82) and Don Rainey (’82), designed to help fund innovation and entrepreneurship.

The initial call for proposals resulted in 55 submissions, which were then narrowed down to the 12 finalists noted below. The 12 teams of faculty, staff and students presented their ideas for innovation at the inaugural event of the Madison Trust Nov. 14. Presenters had 15 minutes to make their pitches, followed by five minutes of Q&A with potential investors.

Investors were so impressed with the expertise and innovation waiting to launch that they stepped up to fund more than $170,000 across the 12 proposals (listed below).

Mark your calendar for next Madison Trust events

To date these projects have been fully funded: Culturally Anchored Eco-Games TM and the ERAMAT Project, exploring solutions to sustainability; Concrete Spit, providing a solution for oyster reef conservation and private aquaculture; Embracing the Need for New Energy Sources: ongoing student research on harnessing energy from infrared light; Evaluation of Polymer Applications that Affect the Stability of Highway Cut Slopes: studying ways to prevent rockfalls on rural highways; Traumatic Brain Injury/New Hearing Test, helping our military service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries; and Winning with Money TED Talk, preparing JMU students and young alumni to make wise financial decisions. Other projects have received partial funding. All the projects have the potential to create real change for a better future.

Follow developments in this groundbreaking JMU initiative in the spring print edition of Madison.

Building a Diverse Mathematical Theater: Establishing a performance venue to enhance STEM comprehension and literacy

  • Dr. Anthony Tongen, professor of mathematics and statistics
  • Dr. Paul Warne, professor of mathematics and statistics

Concrete Spit: An innovative solution for oyster reef conservation and private aquaculture

  • Biology lecturer Patrice Ludwig (’96, ’01M)
  • Industrial design instructor Evelyn Tickle

Culturally Anchored Eco-Games TM and the ERAMAT Project: Exploring solutions to sustainability through community-based games

  • Integrated science and technology professor Michael Deaton
  • International Education associate executive director Jennifer Coffman
  • JMU research analyst Jacob Mayiani Loorimirim (’11, ‘13M)

Duke’s Venture Fund: Growing JMU’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by giving students access to the necessary mentors, seed funding and other resources to develop sustainable and successful businesses.

  • Sophomore business major Andrew Carlone (’17)
  • Management and Venture Creation lecturer Carol Hamilton (’97M)

Embracing the Need for New Energy Sources: Support for ongoing student research and future workshops on the potential for harnessing energy from infrared light

  • Dr. Giovanna Scarel, assistant professor of physics and astronomy

Evaluation of Polymer Applications that Affect the Stability of Highway Cut Slopes: A feasibility study of liquid polymers that could be applied to cut slopes along rural highways to protect motorists from rockfalls

  • Dr. Yonathan Admassu, assistant professor of geology and environmental science
  • Dr. Kyle Gipson, assistant professor of engineering

Innovation-Collaboration-Entrepreneurship Ecosystem: Strengthening JMU’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing resources to help launch viable early-stage companies

  • Mary Lou Bourne, director of technology transfer, ICE

Madison Connect HUB: A web-based platform for matching community partners’ real-world challenges with JMU expertise, resulting in innovative solutions

  • Dr. Kurt Paterson, associate professor and head of engineering
  • Dr. Olga Pierrakos, associate professor of engineering
  • Dr. Jacquelyn Nagel, assistant professor of engineering
  • Dr. Robert Nagel, assistant professor of engineering
  • Dr. Elise Barrella, assistant professor of engineering
  • Dr. Kyle Gipson, assistant professor of engineering
  • Heather McLeod, visiting assistant professor of engineering

The Riverside Initiative: Implementing placed-based learning at the JMU Farm, to include ecological and cultural studies as well as community outreach efforts

  • Dr. Carole Nash, assistant professor of integrated science and technology

Starry Nights JMU:A campaign to make JMU a leader in energy-efficient campus lighting and help reduce light pollution in the Shenandoah Valley

  • Shanil Virani, assistant professor of physics and astronomy
  • Dr. Paul Bogard, assistant professor of English

Traumatic Brain Injury/New Hearing Test: Avoiding distractibility due to normal background sounds: Training our military service members diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and developing a new hearing test and training for central auditory processing disorders

  • Communications Sciences and Disorders professor Lincoln Gray
  • Engineering professor Jacquelyn or Robert Nagel
  • Computer science professor David Bernstein
  • Communications Sciences and Disorders doctoral assistant Kathleen Margaret Burns
  • Communications Sciences and Disorders doctoral assistant Sofia Antonov Ganev

Winning with Money TED Talk: Preparing JMU students and young alumni to make wise financial decisions

  • Financial Aid senior associate director Brad Barnett
  • Alumni Relations associate director Kevin Gibson (’05)
Learn more about the Madison Trust.

Published: Thursday, April 2, 2015

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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