New ‘ETSU Elevates’ initiative aims at funding service projects across the region


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – East Tennessee State University President Dr. Brian Noland announced a major initiative that aims at giving back to the area on Thursday.

Dr. Noland debuted what is being called ‘ETSU Elevates.’ The program will award $90,000 to fund service projects across the region.

Grants totaling $5,000 each will be awarded to 15 teams that submit ideas to create ways to improve our region.

Two of those 15 recipients will also receive a $7,500 grand prize at the conclusion of the academic year.

“Two winners will be selected per month over the course of a 10-month time period and that’s an opportunity for new initiatives, the deepening of existing initiatives, and a chance for us to show to the people of the region, here’s what we’re doing to make a difference in your lives,” said Noland.

Teams for these grants must include one member of the ETSU community, which can include students, faculty and staff.

They must also be sponsored by either an officially recognized student organization, an ETSU faculty or staff organization or a college department.

“75% of all healthcare practitioners in this area graduated from here, 80% of all folks with a baccalaureate degree within 30 miles of campus graduated from here,” added Nolan, “but if you ask the person on the street, ‘what does ETSU do for you?’ they kind of scratch their head, so this is a chance for us to really draw attention and elevate the attention around the great work that we do.”

Applicants will then have an opportunity to pitch their proposals in front of a live audience that will vote and determine who receives the grant funds.

The university will hold drawings before each live audience pitch competition to select applicants that will present their proposals.

Five pitch competitions will be held through April 2020. The first will be held in November.

“All of us have limited time, energies, resources, so the opportunity to collaborate together, work together, partner together, some of the support from the grant of the ETSU elevates program will help bridge some gaps,” said Joy Fulkerson, Director of ETSU Leadership and Civic Engagement.

For more information or to apply, you can visit the “ETSU Elevates” website.

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