October 23, 2015 at 12:30pm

Millikin University awarded ADM Cares Grant

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) recently donated $50,000 to Millikin University for Performance Learning initiatives and to support instructional technology developments.

Millikin University will use the grant to augment the funds available through Millikin's Performance Learning Enhancement Grant (PLEG) program, and to begin implementation of the instructional technology recommendations from Millikin's Information Technology Advisory Committee made last spring.

"This grant from ADM is welcomed additional support to some areas of specific emphasis at Millikin as we go forward," said Millikin Provost Dr. Jeffery P. Aper. "The funds will help us continue to refine and strengthen outstanding Performance Learning opportunities for our students, and reflect our continuing partnership with ADM to enhance opportunity and innovation in Decatur and Macon County."

This academic year, Millikin University will utilize funds from the Performance Learning Enhancement Grant program for the following projects.

Creating a Millikin Premier Writers Tradition

Millikin's Premier Writers (MPW) gathers outstanding samples of first-year student writing at Millikin University for publication and release into the academic community. The program seeks to foster an environment where students can do the discipline, meaning peers can motivate peers to create high-quality work, improve writing and editing skills, and inspire student leadership.

MPW editors gain firsthand experience with the publishing process by designing and preparing a manuscript for publication. Millikin's training sessions prepare editors to use a diversity of applications and programs in the designing and publishing process. The program is led by Dr. Carmella Braniger, Millikin associate professor of English.

Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl

Millikin University has developed a sustainable competitive team to participate in the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (IEB), under the direction of Dr. Michael Hartsock, Millikin assistant professor of philosophy. The experience develops students' ethical reasoning skills in a cross-disciplinary environment outside the classroom.

The IEB is a competitive but non-adversarial tournament with an innovative approach to applied ethics education for undergraduates. The ethics bowl provides a venue for Performance Learning, and creates a new co-curricular activity, equal with comprehensive success measures, that engages students in Performance Learning.

Assessing the Health of Animals

Due to the support of the Performance Learning Enhancement Grant program, over 100 Millikin students from within four biology courses, plus five undergraduate research students, have gained experience in assessing the health of animals.

Outside of the classroom, students with full research projects have presented their raptor research at multiple scientific meetings, including presentations at international, national, regional, state, and on-campus conferences. Two projects are currently in peer review for publication.

Millikin University is a private, comprehensive university with a diverse student population of approximately 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. A Millikin education features Performance Learning, a unique learning approach offered only at Millikin that gives students the chance to build the confidence and skills to succeed before and after graduation. Millikin offers more than 50 majors in the College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Professional Studies and Tabor School of Business, and is located on a 75-acre residential campus in Decatur, Ill. Last year, 96 percent of Millikin graduates gained employment or admission into professional/graduate school within six months of graduation. More information is available at millikin.edu.

The donation was given through ADM Cares. ADM Cares is a social investment program that directs funds to initiatives and organizations that drive meaningful social, economic and environmental progress worldwide. The program comprises three distinct focus areas: supporting the responsible development of agriculture, improving the quality of life in ADM communities and fostering employee giving and volunteer activities.