The Bucknell Innovation Group (BIG) is an association of faculty and staff who are trying to create an innovation-friendly environment on our campus. We try to provide resources, assistance, and publicity for scholarly, pedagogic, and administrative projects that don’t logically fall in any of the regular silos through which Bucknell dispenses resources.
A number of us within BIG have wanted for some time to create a database that we have provisionally called the “Expertise exchange.” One of the things that hampers innovative projects on our campus is that people don’t know what their faculty, staff, and student colleagues are good at and/or interested in. A biology professor, for example, might do his or her scholarly work on rain forests and wish that s/he could include more literary or cinematic representations of rain forests in his or her courses. At the same time, there might be a creative writing instructor or art professor who makes art using rain forests as a motif and a staff member in Human Resources who was raised in a rain forest environment before his or her family emigrated to the USA. There is no easy way to find out all the things that we all do or are interested in doing. One of our most salient institutional advantages is that nobody is more than a couple of hundred yards away from every office on the campus – this kind of proximity could unleash all sorts of interesting projects for Bucknell, but nobody knows enough about the people one floor away from them because of a departmental/administrative structure that is structured vertically and hierarchically. We need a way to get to know each that is horizontal and cooperative
What we are looking for is a solution that:
- Provides an attractive, inviting interface for a very diverse set of users
- Makes it easy for people to enter the subjects and projects in which they are interested
- Provides matches between people and projects
- Provides tagging and searching functionality for people and for projects
We think that such a resource could increase faculty/staff cooperation, could draw students into research projects with faculty in new and non-traditional arrangements, and let new ideas circulate and germinate more easily.
- The solution should be integrated with myBucknell to become part of the University’s digital landscape.
Points of Contact
- Prof. Doug Allen, School of Management, Bucknell University
- Prof. Karen Castle, Dept. of Chemistry, Bucknell University
- Prof. John Hunter, Program in Comparative Humanities, Bucknell University
- Prof. Steve Shooter, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Bucknell University