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High Impact Practice Grants

High Impact Practices (HIPs) are research-backed strategies for teaching and learning that lead to increased retention, completion, and better learning outcomes for students. HIPs provide intentional and integrative approaches for learning that encourage transference of skills and the creation of meaningful connections between experiences (Watson, et al., 2016). They may include but are not limited to first-year experiences, mentoring, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, study abroad, collaborative assignments and projects, undergraduate research, diversity and inclusion efforts, service learning, community-based learning, internships, and capstone courses and projects. They may be curricular or co-curricular.

What makes HIPs successful?

Effective implementation is the key and they when done properly, they include:

  • Considerable time and effort requirements for students
  • Facilitated learning outside of the classroom (real-world applications and relevance is highlighted)
  • Meaningful interactions between faculty and students
  • Collaboration across disciplines and cultures (experience diversity)
  • Frequent and substantive feedback
  • Reflection and integrative learning opportunities

What are we looking for?

We are looking for creative projects that engage students (undergraduate and graduate) beyond the classroom, enhance the Northeast Florida community, and increase their involvement with UNF. Special consideration will be given to projects that involve students with families, underrepresented students, first generation, students from low-income backgrounds, and marginalized students.

What else do I need to know?

HIPs are open to all faculty of any rank including adjuncts (must be on contract during the semester of the grant), the letter of interest must be submitted to OFE by emailing ofe@unf.edu.


We are currently seeking Summer 2022 projects, the deadline for letter of interest is April 15, 2022, letters will be scored by a team of faculty, winners will be notified by April 29, 2022, funding will be available May 9, 2022, and the projects must be completed by August 5th, awardees will be required to attend an OFE event to share findings and submit marketing materials to UNF Marketing and Publication.

How do I apply?

Submit a Letter of Interest that includes the following information (Two-page max plus budget, single spaced):

  • Narrative (two-pages) that includes:
    • Name of Project, names and departments of faculty that will be involved
    • Succinct Summary – The issue, the change, and the action:
      The Issue: What challenge or opportunity will this project help you and your students address?
      The Change: What change do you intend to see as a result of this project (learning outcomes)?
      The Action: What strategic activities will be included in this project (what are the steps)?

    • How students will be involved (include recruitment plan and number of students).
    • Grant Oversight: Who will be responsible for the project? Who provides the oversight?
    • Monitoring Progress and Results: How will progress and results will be monitored and reported?
  • Budget (Clearly indicate amount requested – up to $10,000): Provide an itemized budget of all items needed for the project (HIPs grant funds are classified as E&G and therefore subject to expenditure guidelines listed on the Controller's website)

HIPS Awardees Spring 2022

Jelena Brezjanović

Jelena Brezjanović | Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work

Immersive Classroom: Using Virtual Reality (VR) to Teach Diversity Appreciation

The continual human rights abuses faced by underrepresented and marginalized groups in the United States are an urgent indication that finding broader and more innovative ways to teach diversity appreciation is crucial to creating a more just society. As more disciplines make positive steps to expand their curriculum and incorporate diversity topics, barriers (e.g. student apprehension, lack of adequate resources, low department support; heightened tensions; lack of empathy, etc.) tend to dilute positive learning outcomes (Simoni et al. 2000).


This project will address the aforementioned barriers of teaching diversity in the classroom by developing a course that combines virtual reality (VR) technology and anthropological methods to create space, adequate resources and immersive experiences to help enhance student empathy and improve learning outcomes.

Sheila Goloborotko

Sheila Goloborotko | Department of Art and Design

Moving the Margins: Many Small Gestures  

The High Impact Practices (HIPs) grant will inspire meaningful actions using art. Funding will support the research, development, collaboration, and production of a responsive solo art exhibition titled Many Small Gestures for The Corner Gallery at the Jessie Ball DuPont Center in Spring 2022. 


This solo exhibition is part of Moving the Margins, a residency program developed by curator Shawana Brooks that matches artists with nonprofits and grassroots organizations, current tenants of the Jessie Ball DuPont Center. Together, artist, students, and nonprofit organizations become a Cohort of Change-makers hosting community conversations to address intersectional themes and shared interests. Such conversations are the seeds of the creative process that materializes in artwork for an exhibition that transforms the vacant retail space at The Jessie, on the corner of Ocean and Adams Streets in Downtown, The Corner Gallery.  


Once installation is complete, students will serve as facilitators, walking the public through the installation during special events. This service and community-based learning experience will bring students a unique opportunity to engage with the diverse public presenting the work they were involved in creating. 

Kally Malcom

Kally Malcom, MFA | Department of Art, Art History, and Design

19th Century Photography Revisited: Wet Plate Collodion Workshop and Visiting Artist Lecture

In photography, wet plate collodion was one of the earliest processes used widely since its advent in 1851. Though firmly tethered to the 19th century, it remains a popular and relevant form of image-making in contemporary times. This grant will allow students and the community to attend a public lecture with visiting artist and wet plate collodion expert, Euphus Ruth. In addition, photography students will be a part of an intensive workshop where they will make images utilizing this process, which will then be exhibited in The Union Gallery on UNF’s campus. 

James P. Beasley

James P. Beasley, Ph.D. | Department of English

Writing as Social Action: The Lincolnville Green Book

In the spring of 2022, my class, ENC 4436, Writing as Social Action, has again partnered with the Lincolnville Museum to conduct research and create a “Green Book” project. Here is the summary of our project, “Writing as Social Action: The Lincolnville Green Book”: This project takes as its object of study how writing technologies can be used to address injustices, collaborate with community groups, and advocate for social change. Throughout the segregated South, it was dangerous to be an African-American traveler. This was addressed by The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual listing of lodging, diners, gas stations, and other businesses. The G​reen Book acted in similar ways as some social media platforms, collecting participation and then directing customers to locations of safety. Students will work with the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center and the St. Augustine Historical Society to create an updated St. Augustine “Green Book” utilizing curation technologies. 

Erin Largo-Wight

Erin Largo-Wight | Department of Public Health

The Community Partner Project

The Community Partner Project is a community-based learning opportunity that is a structured assignment within a course. Students need opportunities to expand learning and put classroom concepts to practice in the real world. The general goal of the Community Partner Project is to strengthen students’ course learning outcomes through community involvement. Specifically, through the Community Partner Project, students will develop health communication skills, interact and network with public health professionals, and increase their knowledge of the breadth of public health in the local community, as well as support our local public health community and efforts.

Linda K. Connelly

Linda K. Connelly | School of Nursing

Brooks Health Happy Hour

Falls in Brooks Rehab pose a significant problem for both the patient who falls and the health care system. In the rehab setting the goal is to restore function including ambulation. Patients with brain injury (stroke), spinal cord injury, and neurologic disorders, so the patients when the patients are not being observed they attempt to walk and fall. On between their therapy sessions A staff member and the 2nd semester nursing students interact with these patients during Brooks Happy Hour and have decreased the fall rate. An education tool is being developed by myself, Brooks staff and the students on fall prevention and the Brooks Happy Hour Fall Prevention Program.

Terri N. Ellis

Terri N. Ellis | Department of Biology

Hands-on Student Training in Microbiology Research

Over the past 18 months, the pandemic forced most UNF Biology courses to develop remote lab exercises. While these exercises were developed with care and quality learning objectives, students from these remote labs are lacking in hands-on familiarity with basic molecular techniques and equipment that are necessary for jobs in these fields. One of the best ways for students to rapidly develop these hands-on skills is though participation in an authentic, immersive research project. This proposal aims to give students the opportunity to gain hands-on lab experience by joining my research lab. Priority will be given to those students without hands-on lab experience, allowing for direct training in these necessary tactile skills. . In the research lab environment students can rapidly master the hands-on skills fundamental to these investigations while also making connections between concepts across the biology curriculum. This experience will also broaden students understanding of the process of scientific research, improve their ability to communicate complex scientific ideas, and expose them to possible careers and employment opportunities.