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Aug. 11, 2015
By Nikeila Jensen, media relations assistant
|Assistant Professor of Recreation Dr. Tyler Tapps, MOERA Director Jon Gustafson and Casey Schulte, representing the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, stand with kayaks and paddling equipment purchased for MOERA through a grant authored by Northwest students. (Submitted photo)|
Northwest Missouri State University students are learning what it takes to write a successful grant application and seeing the results of their hard work.
A grant proposal authored last fall by students in Assistant Professor of Recreation Dr. Tyler Tapps’ grantsmanship course, on behalf of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation, recently received funding from the Gladys M. Rickard Charitable Trust. The funding allowed for the purchase of new kayaks, life vests and paddles for Northwest’s Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area (MOERA).
Recent Northwest graduates Matthew Tohl, Anthony Mittan and Erika Lees, and senior student Carson Smith drafted the grant proposal. Tapps, MOERA Director Jon Gustafson and Dr. Matt Symonds, director of the School of Health Science and Wellness, assisted the students in the process with Symonds providing a small funding match on behalf of the School of Health Science and Wellness.
The team was inspired to secure funding for new equipment by the many positive experiences they had at MOERA. They learned of the need for new paddling equipment during a meeting with Gustafson.
“We wanted to give back to one of the many areas at Northwest that provided educational opportunities outside of the classroom,” Tohl, who completed his zoology degree at Northwest in December, said. “Giving back to the University that had already given so much to each of us was another driving factor for the whole team.”
Students researched paddling equipment, the importance of experiential learning and the impact the new equipment would have for MOERA stakeholders. Then they needed to find an organization to sponsor the grant and another to provide the funding. The Gladys Rickard Charitable Trust supports funding needs in Nodaway County.
“The faculty and staff from both Northwest and the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation were very supportive through the whole process,” Tohl said. “We would especially like to extend our deepest gratitude to Dr. Tyler Tapps and Steve Latour (chief executive officer of the Sigma Tau Gamma Foundation), as they both helped immensely throughout the project.”
Northwest’s grantsmanship course is an introductory course designed to expose students to the grant-writing process and help them understand the steps involved in submitting a grant proposal, including the organization of thoughts and focus on donors.
“This student project shows the high quality of work our students do,” Tapps said. “I am very proud of them and made it my mission to see them through to the end.”
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
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