Register for 2021-22 Explorer Challenge; Kick-off is Oct. 13 

The Explorer Challenge invites students, faculty and staff to submit proposals for up to $25,000 in seed money for innovative projects that make an impact and advance Beyond Boundaries, Marquette’s strategic plan.  

The 2021-22 Explorer Challenge begins on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at 3:30 p.m. with a virtual celebration and information session. The kick-off celebration will feature presentations from this year’s three awardees (additional information below), as well as information on how Marquette community members can propose their own projects for the upcoming competition. This year’s competition will again focus on incorporating inclusive practices into project proposals. 

To register, email Amanda Zastrow, graduate assistant in the Office of Research and Innovation.

The 2020-21 Explorer Challenge focused on projects that incorporated inclusive practices. Three innovative and inclusive projects were selected to receive funding:  

Voices Included for People of Color Theatre 

Marquette Theatre is proposing to establish a new theatre series – the Voices Included for People of Color Theatre (VIP Theatre). VIP Theatre seeks to develop an annual production season of plays by artists of color in the Helfaer Theatre on Marquette University’s campus. Students will work with professional artists to produce the work. The long-range vision for VIP Theatre is to grow towards a two-production summer season with an additional show during the academic school year. 

Principal Investigator: Stephen Hudson-Mairet, professor and chair of digital media and performing arts  

On Your Marq 

The Department of Occupational Therapy and On Your Marq (OYM) will develop a cross-campus multidisciplinary collaboration to successfully transition Marquette University (MU) students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to off-campus, community living. This program will specifically focus on functional achievement in daily living skills and community participation. This will be accomplished through an interdisciplinary lens and will cover academic and non-academic expectations and goals. 

Principal Investigator: Ann E. Millard, clinical assistant professor of occupational therapy 

MKE Entrepreneurship Incubation 

This project will offer Marquette students that come from majority low-income, first-generation, or underrepresented backgrounds with the entrepreneurial skills to host pop-up events through a community-minded lens, similar in structure to Pop UP MKE. The events are designed to educate, inspire, and promote the work of students from a sustainable and ethical perspective. The goal is for students to have a direct impact in the Milwaukee community and help them execute their vision for transformable change within their communities while gaining valuable skills to use in the future. Three events will be hosted including the Marquette Market which will be held on campus and will promote student entrepreneurs. In addition to students selling their own products, this event will highlight Milwaukee-area small businesses. After the first event, the scope of the program will shift to hosting events within the Milwaukee community. 

Principal Investigators:  

  • Michelle Barbeyto, office associate for Educational Opportunity Program
  • Roy Avila, former information technology and data systems coordinator for the Educational Opportunity Program 
  • Stephanie Boedecker, graduate assistant for Student Affairs
  • Sonia Garcia, research analyst in the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis 
  • Jeydelyn Martinez, graduate student from the UW-Milwaukee Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program
  • Jaylin Rivas Rodriguez, undergraduate student at Marquette