April 6, 2017

An astrobotics competition, a memorial arts award and a Habitat for Humanity project in El Salvador are among the initiatives seeking financial support through Crowdfund UNC Charlotte, an online platform through the Division of University Advancement that assists members of Niner Nation fund unique opportunities.

Seven projects were selected this spring that are student-, alumni- or community-driven initiatives. UNC Charlotte faculty or staff members provide guidance for the projects. Prior to their selection, project organizers submitted proposals to University Advancement.

Crowdfund UNC Charlotte projects for spring 2017 are “Ketie Memory Jones Memorial Arts Award,” “Habitat for Humanity El Salvador,” “Astrobotics Competition,” “Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament,” “Costa Rica Language and Culture Trip,” “Baseball Scholarship,” and the “R. Bernard Reeves Scholarship.”

Ketie Jones Memorial Arts Award

Family of friends of Ketie Jones have decided to create an endowed scholarship in honor of Jones’ memory, her passion for the arts and her love for Charlotte and its community. This endowed scholarship at UNC Charlotte would be in the arts and for CMS students with financial need. On Oct. 15, 2016, Jones was killed while walking home in the Plaza Midwood area of Charlotte. Organizers are seeking $25,000 to create the endowed scholarship.

Habitat for Humanity El Salvador

The program offers an opportunity for students to build homes side-by-side with Salvadorian families, while learning about their culture and lives. The program integrates the sociological study of religion and movements for social justice with hands-on experience building affordable housing. This is a service-learning course that connects volunteer work with academic course content designed to develop deep understanding of complex social problems. The program is seeking $7,000 for this project.

Astrobotics Competition

UNC Charlotte's Astrobotics team is a group of eight multidisciplinary engineering students who will compete in this year’s NASA Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center. The competition objective is to design and build a completely autonomous robot that can traverse the simulated Martian chaotic terrain, excavate, store and deposit collected basaltic regolith simulant (Black Point-1/BP-1) and ice simulant (gravel) into a collector bin successfully. The team is seeking $2,000 for the competition.

Intercollegiate Mediation Tournament

Each year, UNC Charlotte undergraduates who are enrolled in the Mediation and Conflict Resolution class compete successfully in regional (and national, when near) Intercollegiate Mock Mediation Tournaments. Students develop and apply practical skills that transfer to real-life scenarios they will face as professionals. The group is seeking $5,000 to participate in tournaments.

Costa Rica Language and Culture Trip

This year marks the 28th consecutive year of the Spanish Language and Culture in Costa Rica program at UNC Charlotte. Students study language and culture by attending language classes for four hours per day and going on cultural excursions to museums, markets, national parks, and more in San José, Costa Rica. Students also stay with local host families to deepen the immersion experience. The program is seeking $5,000 for this project.

Baseball Scholarship

Alumni of the Charlotte 49ers Baseball program are challenging all alumni, parents and friends of the program to help endow a scholarship for future baseball team members. Alumni from previous years have formed lasting friendships, set records and achieved great success through the baseball program. The alumni seek to raise $25,000 to endow this scholarship.

R. Bernard Reeves Scholarship

The R. Bernard Reeves Scholarship was created by the alumni brothers of the Zeta Delta Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi in 2015 in appreciation for Reeves’ nearly 40 years of service and dedication to the chapter, the fraternity and to the University. The group would like to endow the scholarship, which will be awarded annually to an undergraduate student at UNC Charlotte. The alumni group is seeking $25,000 to endow this scholarship.

“We’ve been crowdfunding for two years now, and I’ve been blown away by the generosity of Niner Nation as they continue to support students’ projects and scholarships,” said Shayna Long, assistant director of annual giving in the Division of University Advancement. “Niners are doing some really amazing things, and it’s fantastic to witness the power of support from our community.”

Crowdfund UNC Charlotte projects are active for 30 days; online donations for spring 2017 projects will be accepted through Friday, April 14. To launch a project during fall 2017, complete the Crowdfund UNC Charlotte application before May 1, 2017.

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