Northern Kentucky University, seeing tremendous potential in its College of Informatics, seeks to raise $15 million to supplement $35.5 million in state of Kentucky bond revenue for the growing program. The George Rieve schl fami l y launched the fundraising effort with a $1 million donation for advanced technology equipment. Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell recently requested a $2 million earmark for the NKU informatics initiative, attached to the budget request for the U.S. Small Business Administration. Informatics refers to the science of managing information for a wide range of uses. The NKU College of Informatics involves several university departments, including computer science, business informatics and communications.

The college wants to invest in a Digitorium, which is described as part digital opera house, part theater and part auditorium, with a 3-D projection system. Another item on the wish list is a computer-assisted virtual environment, which allows professors to create 3-D virtual blueprints, which can be examined from the inside out.

“We quickly realized that we needed to think bigger if we are going to support the information technolog y ne eds of our region’s high-g rowthpotential small businesses,” says Douglas Perry, Ph.D., dean of the college.

Xavier University’s Department of Nursing is adding a new concentration to its Master of Science in Nursing program, aided by an $809,090 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant will be used to develop a Clinical Nurse Leader concent rat ion wi thin the master’s program. The CLN specialty enables experienced, practicing registered nurses to develop advanced skills. Xavier will partner with local hospitals and healthcare providers on this initiative.

And r e a Di xon, who teaches i n the University of Cincinnati’s Col - lege of Business, was honored as Outstanding Marketing Teacher for 2008 by the Academy of Marketing Science at a ceremony in Vancouver, British Columbia. Previously, Dixon was awarded UC’s prestigious col - lege-wide EXCEL (Excellence in Classroom Education and Learning) award for graduate instruction in 2003. This year she was selected as the Ronald J. Dornoff Teaching Fellow, a title she will hold for two years.

Three Miami Universi t y graduate students won third place and $3,000 in the first Environmental Challenge International contest, hosted by the Air and Waste Management Association in Portland, Ore. Team members Ann- Drea Hensley, Alicia Glover and Na Qin were supervised by Sharmila Pradhan from Miami’s environmental health and safety office. They had to prepare and present a solution to a complex environmental problem: How to generate 1,000 megawatts of electric power to meet the energy needs of the Pacific Northwest while also addressing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental concerns.

The University of Cincinnati was awarded $54,000 from the Technology Commercialization Incentive Program led by the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR). The program rated universities on measures such as their contributions to business startups, productive licensing deals with Ohio businesses and industry-financed research expenditures. Of the 16 institutions ranked, UC placed fourth.