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2019 Cooper Union Grant Program Recipients

We are pleased to announce the recipients of the inaugural Cooper Union Grant Program. We received 60 competitive applications for the program, totaling $363,150. Applicants submitted projects that aligned with at least one of three categories: 1) Development of New Courses, Curricula, and/or Pedagogical Approaches 2) Collaborations with Other Organizations, or 3) Creation of Community Spaces at The Cooper Union. Ultimately, decisions were made based on the criteria outlined in the application, prioritizing proposals that combined multiple areas of academic study; involved a mix of faculty, staff, and students; had a clear implementation timeline; and addressed a societal challenge or civic need. We accepted 24 proposals in total, funding $133,250 for these projects. 

2019 Recipients

Collaboration with Other Organization(s)

"Sustainable Salicornia: Hydroponic Farming for Bioproducts"
Benjamin Davis, Faculty, Engineering            
$750

"House of Poetics"
Ceren Bingol, Adjunct Faculty, Architecture 
$10,000

"The Cooper Cube"
Eric Lima, Faculty, Engineering
$10,000

"Reboot: Post-Prison Technology Initiative"
Marget Long, Adjunct Faculty/Staff    
$1,450

"Cooper Climate Week    
Sophie Schneider, Student, Engineering 
Amanda Simson, Faculty, Engineering
$10,000

"The Higher Education Climate Change Roundtable"
Amanda Simson, Faculty, Engineering
Kit Nicholls, Staff, Faculty, HSS
$4,900

"Latinx Art Exchange"
Alva Mooses, Adjunct Faculty, Art
$2,000

"Optimizing Frankie’s Kitchen for the Future"
Sanjeev Menon, Student, Engineering 
$1,000

Development of New Courses, Curricula, and/or Pedagogical Approaches

"The Polar Imagination - a New Transdisciplinary Elective"
William Germano, Faculty, HSS
$1,500

"New Course: Accessing Art Beyond Sight?"
Stephanie Jeanjean, Adjunct Faculty, HSS    
$3,000

"Guest Speakers - Data Science for Social Good course"
Sam Keene, Faculty, Engineering
Taylor Woods, Faculty, Art
$3,020

"The Art Handbook Project"
David Derish, Staff    
$2,500

"Senior Thesis Studio Visit Program"
Harold Ramdass, Adjunct Faculty, HSS    
$5,000

"Visiting Artists for Student Engagement (VASE)"
Marc Robinson, Adjunct Faculty, Art
$5,000

"Center for Autonomous and Connected Vehicles"
Neveen Shlayan, Faculty, Engineering 
Dirk Luchtenburg, Faculty, Engineering      
$9,989

"Cooper Union Sustainable Agriculture Project"
Dhvanil Shah, Student, Engineering
Jessica Martinez, Student, Art
Neveen Shlayan, Faculty, Engineering 
Yasmin Vobis, Faculty, Architecture
$9,440

"Decolonizing the Curriculum: Faculty Student Seminar"
Atina Grossmann, Faculty, HSS
Neveen Shlayan, Faculty, Engineering 
$9,200

"Best Practices in Pre-College Programs"
Aisha Bell, Staff 
Sam Chun, Staff 
Mauricio Higuera, Staff 
Elizabeth Waters, Staff
$10,000

"Seminar: Knowing Bodies- Utilizing Somatic Knowledge as a Theoretical Tool"
Nana Adusei-Poku, Adjunct Faculty, HSS
$1,500

Creation of Community Spaces at The Cooper Union

"Center for Sustainability"
Jack Batson, Student, Engineering
Hannah Quirk, Student, Engineering
$10,000

"Exploration on Prototypes for Learning Environments"
Diana Agrest, Faculty, Architecture
Benjamin Aranda, Faculty, Architecture
$10,000

"Cooper Free Store"
Jami Tortorelli, Student, Art
Ayqa Khan, Student, Art
Griffin Courtney, Student, Art    
$1,000

"The Cooper Union Garden Project"
Jasper Kerbs, Student, Art
Kayla Muldrow, Student, Art
$10,000

"The Cooper Union Concert Series: Music-Based Community Spaces"
Daniel Lepek, Faculty, Engineering    
$2,000

About the Process of Selection

The proposals were reviewed by a committee of faculty, staff, and students. The committee was not given access to the names or budgets of the proposals, but instead, made their decisions based solely on the content of the project.

Committee members were:

Austin Abistado, School of Art student
Chris Chamberlin, Dean of Students
Kevin Chow, School of Architecture student
Gabi Godlewski, School of Engineering student
Anne Griffin, HSS faculty
Andrea Newmark, School of Engineering faculty
Sylvia Tjioe, Assistant Director, Grants, Corporate and Foundation Giving
Tamar Zinguer, School of Architecture faculty

The committee provided its recommendations to the deans and President Sparks, who then discussed and made the final decisions with budget in mind.

We are grateful to the Benjamin Menschel Faculty Fellowship Fund and to the donors of the President’s Venture Fund, both of which will help support these projects. 

All grant recipients will be required to report on their progress. Final reports will posted on this page during the Spring of 2020.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.