Abby O'Brien / Equinox Staff

Keene State College launched a new program that allows students to make money from home while working on projects that encourage community building.

Keene State Vice President of Advancement and Constituent Relations Veronica Rosa said that the goal of the innovation grant is to provide financial compensation to students who work on projects that support, promote and encourage community building through a virtual format.

“Just because we’re distancing ourselves physically doesn’t mean we can’t be socially, emotionally and mentally connected,” Rosa said. “The resources will help offer additional financial support to our students and strategically create a student-centered virtual KSC experience conceptualized by students.”

Rosa added that all projects must have a faculty, staff or department sponsor and include an anticipated timeframe to completion. She said that students can collaborate with a department, faculty or staff member to conceptualize a project, or the student can create a project on their own then seek a sponsor for their submission.

 “We are hoping submissions are innovative, engaging to broad audiences and collaborative,” Rosa said. “We want this to be about the students and how they envision a virtual campus community.”

Rosa said this challenge grant is a great way for students to earn an income and create their envisioned virtual campus for Keene State. According to Rosa, students will be compensated at $10 per hour and most projects are expected to be 10 to 15 hours a week.

Students will be responsible for logging their own hours and reporting them to their sponsor, who will approve the hours similar to the student workforce approval process. The compensation provided for students will also be earmarked similarly to student workforce dollars, according to Rosa.

Although the college has not yet received any proposals, one of the students working on a project for the challenge grant is Keene State first-year Stacey Willett. Willett said she intends to manage an online art gallery platform for the current and incoming students to showcase their talents. Willett said she wanted to emulate the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery in Keene and capture it through a virtual experience.

“This challenge is a way that students can stay connected to each other and meet new students and staff off-campus while encouraging them to come back to the college,” Rosa said.

Associate Vice President for Institutional Equity and Diversity Dottie Morris said that this challenge offers students something to do other than regular school work.“These students want to use their gifts to contribute to society,” Morris said. “There’s that feeling you have when you contribute to a cause greater than yourself and it’s a great feeling,” Morris added that by allowing students to come up with projects they like, students get a say in what they think is good for the community.

Rosa said she is very happy to be part of the team helping to transform KSC. “With President Treadwell’s leadership, I know we will not only survive, but we will thrive by transforming challenges into opportunities,” Rosa said.


Hunter Oberst can be contacted at

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