Marquette, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee partner for ‘President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge: A Crosstown Collaboration to Address Poverty’

An icon graphic representing Social Responsibility Through Community Engagement from the Beyond Boundries Strategic Plan

Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with support from the Johnson Controls Foundation, have announced a new partnership, the “President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge: A Crosstown Collaboration to Address Poverty,” which will focus on poverty, its root causes and its subsequent effects on members of Milwaukee’s various communities.

The President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge will provide funding for interdisciplinary teams of faculty, staff and students from Marquette and UWM to partner on innovative and collaborative work that represents critical areas in the community’s efforts to stem the rise of poverty. Partnerships with community organizations are highly encouraged.

“There are many people and families in our community who live in poverty without access to basic needs and vital resources,” Marquette President Michael R. Lovell said. “The President’s Challenge was started to address the issues and concerns that our neighbors face. This year, we are partnering with UWM to bring together two strong research institutions with tremendous faculty, as well as local community organizations, to address the overarching crisis of poverty that many Milwaukee families experience. I am grateful to Chancellor Mone and the Johnson Controls Foundation in joining Marquette in its mission of service to the community around us.”

The program will support two to three funded projects with budgets of up to $75,000 for an 18-month timeframe. Proposals should address one or more aspects within the following focuses, adapted from the indicators and monitoring framework for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a Global Initiative for the United Nations.

  • Deprivation in nutrition; health care; education; safe drinking water; and modern energy.
  • Access to nutritious and affordable food; full and productive employment; safe and affordable housing; social protection; inclusive and equitable education; a functioning health system; transportation; and internet.
  • Additional areas of interest include but are not limited to household vulnerability to economic shocks and those posed by natural hazards; empowerment or psychological well-being; diverse talent development opportunities; violence; the justice system; financial literacy; sustainable wealth-building; and homeownership.

“Poverty is a vexing societal issue that impacts more than an individual or family. Our entire community suffers,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said. “Putting our best and brightest together is one of the best ways that we can make a lasting difference in people’s lives. This partnership with Johnson Controls and Marquette maximizes the impact we can have. I appreciate this opportunity to join President Lovell for another collaboration in which we partner to address major issues facing Milwaukee and the region.”

Information on submitting a proposal, as well as timelines and updates for the program, are available on the President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge website, hosted by Marquette’s Office of Research and Innovation.

“At Johnson Controls, we believe in finding new pathways to support healthier people, healthier places and a healthier planet,” said Katie McGinty, chief sustainability officer and president of the Johnson Controls Foundation at Johnson Controls. “The President’s and Chancellor’s Challenge is a powerful way to get the best minds in Milwaukee, from the Marquette and UWM faculties, alongside community leaders, focused on finding new ways to tackle these longstanding issues which are often linked to poverty.”

The President’s Challenge was first announced by Marquette in 2018 through a partnership with the Johnson Controls Foundation. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President’s Challenge has adapted to address immediate needs in the community through 2020’s President’s Challenge for COVID-19 Response and the President’s Challenge for Racial Justice and Equity Response in 2021.

About Johnson Controls

At Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI), we transform the environments where people live, work, learn and play. As the global leader in smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, our mission is to reimagine the performance of buildings to serve people, places and the planet. Building on a proud history of more than 135 years of innovation, we deliver the blueprint of the future for industries such as healthcare, schools, data centers, airports, stadiums, manufacturing and beyond through OpenBlue, our comprehensive digital offering. Today, with a global team of 100,000 experts in more than 150 countries, Johnson Controls offers the world`s largest portfolio of building technology and software, as well as service solutions from some of the most trusted names in the industry. Visit for more information and follow @Johnson Controls on social platforms.