New Affordability Initiative Expands Access, Opportunity at Norwich University

Nation’s oldest private military college launches income share agreement program to tackle affordability, retention, and completion

NORWICH UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

July 17, 2018

Norwich University, the oldest private military college in the United States, today announced a new income share agreement initiative aimed at improving affordability, student retention, and degree completion. Beginning in fall 2018, Norwich undergraduate students will have the opportunity to opt-in to an innovative financing model in which they will pay reduced tuition in exchange for a set percentage of income after graduation over a set period of time.

As financial barriers and loan aversion continue to pose challenges for students’ college-going aspirations, persistence, and degree attainment, higher education institutions are turning to new strategies in an effort to expand access, increase affordability, and reduce the risk associated with paying for college. A growing number of colleges and universities have recently implemented ISAs as a new, student-centric model that aligns costs with outcomes.

“Norwich University is committed to offering this new way to help pay for college in a way that aligns incentives and helps reduce financial barriers to degree completion,” Norwich University Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer Lauren Wobby said. “The new Norwich ISA program has the potential to increase educational access and attainment for our students.”

To develop its ISA program, Norwich tapped Vemo Education, a Virginia-based education technology company that works with higher education institutions to design, implement, and maintain income share agreement initiatives. Last year, Vemo powered $23 million of ISAs at a cross-section of colleges and universities across the country, including Purdue University, Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania, and Clarkson University in New York.

“In many cases, the college degree remains a prerequisite for social and economic mobility — but rising costs and questions about affordability often lead students to underinvest in their higher education or not finish their degree program,” Co-founder and CEO of Vemo Education Tonio DeSorrento said. “Income share agreements can address this challenge, supporting college-going aspiration among the students who can benefit the most from higher education.”

Known as the “birthplace of ROTC” (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), Norwich University was founded in 1819 and now serves more than 2,400 undergraduates. The university’s new program, the first ISA initiative offered at one of the nation’s six designated senior military colleges, includes opportunities for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to opt into income share agreements. Seniors will also have access to a specialized ISA program designed to close funding gaps in their final semesters and help them complete their degree.

About Vemo Education

Vemo Education is an educational technology company that partners with colleges and universities to design, implement, and maintain income-based financing programs to address institutional goals ranging from educational access and opportunity to degree completion. Vemo Education’s team is committed to working with schools to use income-based financing to increase educational access, attainment, and reduce the risk of financing higher education. Learn more at www.vemo.com. 

Media contact:

Jenna Talbot, 202.479.7173, jenna@whiteboardadvisors.com 

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).www.norwich.edu 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin, M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Norwich University Receives $20k Grant from TD Bank Charitable Foundation for Design Build Tiny House Project

NORWICH UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

July 9, 2018

Norwich University has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the TD Bank Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® to fund the design and building of additional tiny houses by students and faculty in the School of Architecture + Art and the David Crawford School of Engineering.

The grant will support the Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture (CASA) Initiative, a program within the College of Professional Schools that focuses on research and development of affordable housing for low-income families in Vermont. The first micro-house module produced through the CASA Initiative, the 324-square-foot CASA 802 (pictured), earned the 2016 People’s Choice Award from the Vermont Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIAVT) and is now occupied by a low-income owner at the Shelburnewood Mobile Home Coop in Shelburne, Vermont.

A second iteration of a Norwich tiny house, the 288-square-foot SuCASA (Single-Unit CASA), made with nearly all locally sourced, sawn and produced materials will also be located in Shelburnewood. Additional versions of the house are now available from Fontaine Millwork & Forestry, a family-run sawmill in East Montpelier, Vt.

With this most recent grant, Norwich University is partnering with Down Street Design and the Mad River Valley Planning District to provide affordable housing at the Verdmont Mobile Home Park in Waitsfield, VT. With the building’s particularly tight envelope and an approximate annual electricity cost of $564, the tiny house directly aligns with Vermont’s 2015 Comprehensive Energy Plan goals to reduce total energy consumption per capita by 15% by 2025 and by more than one third by 2050.

“In the true Norwich traditions of experiential learning and service to others, we are offering students credit to research, develop and produce a house that offers a solution to the housing crisis in Vermont, and this generous gift from TD Bank Charitable Foundation is helping to make that possible,” said Aron Temkin, an architect, professor and dean of the College of Professional Schools at Norwich University.

“For over 20 years, design/build has been part of the College of Professional Schools’ curriculum,” School of Architecture + Art Director Cara Armstrong said.

Norwich students have been addressing Vermont community needs through the construction of full-scale projects such as a day-camp classroom and community building in Randolph; outdoor classrooms in Northfield and Twinfield; a passive solar addition to a local library in Roxbury; a mobile, solar-powered laboratory that travels throughout Vermont and New England; and the Delta T-90, its award winning entry into the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon.

The CASA project’s primary objective is to develop a regionally derived, affordable housing model that will serve Vermont end-users.

“We ultimately aim to develop a modular system of tiny houses, units that can stand alone or be combined to create larger, cohesive structures depending on the needs of the occupant,” said Armstrong. “We have committed to continuing our work with students and faculty across disciplines to design and build adaptable and sustainable housing to be affordable by a family living at 80% of Vermont’s median income level and below.”

“TD is committed to driving positive change through working collaborations that enrich the lives of our diverse communities across Vermont,” said Phil Daniels, Market President, TD Bank. “We are honored to be a part of this effort, created by Norwich University, to help provide affordable housing for low-to-moderate income families and individuals in Vermont.”

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed more than $193.8 million and 19,000 grants in charitable donations from Maine to Florida. The Foundation’s mission aligns with The Ready Commitment, a new multi-year program that TD launched in March 2018 to help individuals and communities prosper. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD’s aspiration is to link business, products, services, and community giving to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but about their future and their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit TD.com/thereadycommitment.  More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including the online grant application, is available at TDBank.com.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit TDBank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit TD.com.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).www.norwich.edu 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019.

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin, M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Norwich University Student Only Vermont Student Invited to Present Research in D.C. at Annual “Posters on the Hill”

NORWICH UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

April 4, 2018

Norwich University Senior biology major Joshua Sassi, of Woodbury, Vt., will present his research on the ecology of the lizard malaria parasite at this year’s Annual Poster’s on the Hill event April 17-18 in Washington, D.C.

Hosted by the Council on Undergraduate Research, Posters on the Hill 2018 will showcase 60 top student research projects from over 400 applications. Sassi is the only student chosen from the state of Vermont.

Sassi has completed two research projects while at Norwich, both relating to the ecology of the lizard malaria parasite Plasmodium mexicanum. The first project looked at how drought affects the prevalence of the parasite. The second project looks at whether patterns of coinfection of P. mexicanum and another parasite, Schellackia sp., are suggestive of strong interactions within their lizard hosts. The second project is what he will be presenting at Posters on the Hill.  The title of his project for Posters on the Hill is “Investigation of Parasitic Co-infection in the Western Fence Lizard.”

Understanding the factors that control parasite transmission and prevalence is important for reducing human exposure to disease-causing organisms. Often these factors are ecological: they include things like how the parasite interacts with its host(s), how the parasite is affected by environmental factors like temperature or water, and how other organisms that are necessary for the parasite’s development, such as insects that transmit the parasite, are affected by their environment and the organisms in it. Malaria parasites infect hundreds of millions of people each year and we still struggle to understand some of the basic ecology of the parasite, like why the risk of infection can vary so much on small spatial scales. Sassi’s research aims to improve our understanding of the ecology of these parasites by focusing on how living and non-living factors (co-infecting parasites and severe drought) may impact the prevalence of a lizard parasite that is closely related to the parasites that cause malaria in humans.

“We hope that Josh’s research will have a positive impact on society by improving our understanding of malaria parasite ecology and by highlighting the potential importance of coinfection, an often-overlooked aspect of disease ecology, on disease progression and disease risk,” said faculty advisor Assistant Professor of Biology Allison Neal.

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).www.norwich.edu 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Panel Culminates Yearlong Focus on Innovation

NORWICH UNIVERSITY OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

April 13, 2017

Norwich University presents three nationally and internationally known innovators from the fields of creative design, technological design, and design for social good, for a Todd Lecture panel discussion on Thursday, April 27, in Plumley Armory, which follows a showcase of innovation. The “Making Innovation Symposium” is free and open to the public.

Please join us at 6 p.m. for the “Making Innovation Showcase,” a curated exhibition of student academic and creative research that is the culmination of a yearlong focus on innovation.

The showcase will be followed by a 7 p.m. Todd Lecture panel discussion, “To Act As Well As To Think: Leadership, Innovation, and the Creative Impulse,” an evening with Michael Jager, Natalie Jeremijenko, and William Kamkwamba. The panel will be moderated by entrepreneur Jonathan Speed, a 2014 graduate of Norwich’s Master of Arts in Military History. Two awards will be presented to students at the conclusion of the evening in recognition of work that exemplifies leadership through innovative thought as well as practice.

The Making Innovation Symposium is the culminating event of a series of experiential learning exercises focused on the themes of leadership and innovation. Throughout the year, six co-curricular NU IDEA Design Challenges engaged nearly 100 students to creatively solve real world problems with their peers. The innovation challenges further Norwich’s goal of creating a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative thinking on campus. The final challenge of the term will be facilitated by Jonathan Speed on Wednesday, April 26, at 4 p.m. in the Kreitzberg Library Todd Multipurpose Room.

While panelists are on campus, Norwich will seek their input regarding emerging fields, critical path skills for near-future leaders, as well as recommendations about curriculum to strengthen entrepreneurship-related courses. Panelists will visit with students enrolled in a range of courses across campus, including biology, engineering, nursing, English, writing, and architecture. They will additionally interact with students affiliated with the Center for Global Resilience & Security and the Entrepreneurship Club.

The panelists are:

MICHAEL JAGER

Michael Jager is founding Partner/CCO of Solidarity of Unbridled Labour (formerly Jager DiPaola Kemp (JDK) Design). For more than 25 years, Jager has been creating and collaborating with international brands, driven by the idea that design distinction matters most. Guided by Ezra Pound’s simply but elegantly stated principle, “Make it new,” his work for brands such as Burton Snowboards, Seventh Generation, Xbox, Nike, Levis, and Patagonia is recognized worldwide.

NATALIE JEREMIJENKO (pictured above)

In 2014, Natalie Jeremijenko was awarded the VIDA Art and Artificial Life International Awards Pioneer Prize, “for her consistently brilliant portfolio of work over the past two decades.” Named one of 2013’s Most Innovative People, one of the most influential women in technology in 2011, and one of the inaugural top young innovators by MIT Technology Review, Jeremijenko directs the Environmental Health Clinic and is an Associate Professor in the Visual Art Department at New York University. She holds degrees in biochemistry, engineering, neuroscience, and history and philosophy of science.

WILLIAM KAMKWAMBA

William Kamkwamba is the co-author with Bryan Mealer of the New York Times best-selling book “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope.” A remarkable success story about the power of human ingenuity in the face of crippling odds, Kamkwamba’s story shares his vision for “a new kind of Africa, a place of leaders instead of victims, a home of innovation rather than charity.”

JONATHAN SPEED (Moderator)

An alumnus of Brown University—where he is an emeritus trustee and board member of the Brown Entrepreneurship Program—and Norwich University, Jonathan Speed has 30+ years of business development, finance, and start-up experience with companies in the finance/private equity, life sciences, and technology sectors. He is currently the CFO at Versal Group, a San Francisco-based eLearning company. During his twenty years in the Bay Area, Jonathan has advised non-profits, entrepreneurial organizations, and serves on the boards of four start-up companies. In fall 2017, Jonathan will launch 1790 Media—a student-oriented media platform created to expand entrepreneurial and innovation education, knowledge, and mentorship to today’s diverse student population.

The Making Innovation Symposium is hosted by the Colleges of Professional Schools, Science and Mathematics, and Liberal Arts. It is a capstone event in Norwich’s Year of Leadership, the third of a five-year $100M campaign to transform academics at Norwich University in celebration of Norwich’s upcoming bicentennial.

About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).www.norwich.edu 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu.    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Ideas @ Work: #1 Tiny House

CAD rendering of Norwich University's CASA initiative tiny house design.
33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

Sometimes a big problem requires a small solution. Enter the CASA initiative, a 334-square-foot tiny house with a small $40,000 price tag, solar power included. Norwich University faculty and students developed the house to address Vermont’s affordable-housing crisis. Nearly 12 percent of Vermonters live below the poverty level, and median household income in the state barely tops $54,000. That leaves many low-income residents priced out of the traditional housing market. Those who can, often turn to mobile homes, which cost around $39,900 on average and are typically financed with car loans. But, unlike traditional houses, mobile homes depreciate in value over time.

Seeking to provide an alternative, the Norwich School of Architecture + Art faculty launched the Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture (CASA) initiative last year. Sparked by a $20,000 seed grant from TD Bank, architecture faculty Tolya Stonorov, Danny Sagan, Cara Armstrong, and Matt Lutz worked on the initial design over the summer. Last fall, CASA principal investigator and civil engineering professor Ed Schmeckpeper began designing and assembling the build-out with Norwich engineering and construction management students. This spring, junior and senior architecture students in a design/build studio led by Professor Stonorov will complete the project.

With clean lines and a gabled roof, the nearly 14- by 28-foot home offers a modernist, minimalist take on a classic Vermont farmhouse. Sliding glass doors open from its small front porch onto a high-ceilinged living room/kitchen/dining area. Beyond lies a bathroom, bedroom, and storage space. The tiny home can accommodate two adults and a child. Solar panels supply the home’s electricity needs, while even more high-powered engineering lies under the roof. Starting next year, the CASA initiative team plans to develop additional units that can “plug” into the starter house, enabling households with growing families and incomes to expand.

Stonorov says CASA’s ultimate goal is to create a house that is not just beautiful, practical, and affordable—but widely available. The CASA team aims to partner with organizations that share the goal of bringing innovative, sustainable housing to income-eligible Vermonters. “This project will fail to fulfill its mission if we only produce one.”

Photo illustration courtesy Tolya Stonorov
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Ideas @ Work: #3 Safer Drinking Water

Photo of environmental chemist Seth Frisbie working with villagers in Bangladesh
33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

A series of math errors, rounding mistakes, and other miscues led the World Health Organization (WHO) to issue dangerous drinking water guidelines for inorganic toxic substances, including molybdenum, mercury, and uranium. Norwich environmental chemist Seth Frisbie and several colleagues caught the gaffs. In August 2015, they published their findings in the journal Environmental Health. Since then, the researchers have been working to improve the standards.

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Ideas @ Work: #24 NU Undergraduate Research Symposium

33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

What would a criminal justice system look like if we colonized Mars? How can we cure cancer? As research ideas, the questions are a bit raw. But that’s kind of the point of NUURS, a multi-day symposium designed to foster “scholarly inquiry and creative thinking” at Norwich. The brainchild of English professor Amy Woodbury Tease, the annual event encourages students to pitch their burning research questions. Fellow student and faculty scholars then offer advice on shaping those raw ideas into solid research proposals. Participants also learn more about the nuts and bolts of long-term research projects. Capturing the essence of what the program is all about, this year’s NUURS event was titled, “From Student to Scholar.”

Related Website:

Norwich University Office of Academic Research
academics.norwich.edu/academic-research/

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Ideas @ Work: #33 Washington Policy Week

33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

Now entering its third year, Washington Policy Week brings students in Professor Dart Thalman’s U.S. Security Policy and the Private Sector course to the nation’s capital for a weeklong capstone event. In previous years, students have paid high-level visits to the White House, the FBI, the Pentagon, Capitol Hill, and leading private-sector firms and nonprofits. D.C. activities are coordinated by Thalman and an energetic group of distinguished Norwich alumni led by NU Board of Fellows representative Jon Allen ’94 of Booz Allen Hamilton.

College of Liberal Arts Dean Andrea Talentino describes Washington Policy Week as a “great idea.” She adds that Norwich students who participate or attend similar workshops and events, such as the Foreign Policy Association meeting, West Point’s Student Conference on U.S. Affairs, or the St. Anselm program for Women’s Leadership, “come back saying they changed their lives.” You can read more about Washington Policy Week in the Norwich 2014–2015 Annual Report (PDF) in the fall 2015 issue of the Norwich Record.

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Ideas @ Work: #32 Sparkling Tree Water

33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

On Arbor Day last year, Asarasi CEO and NU alum Adam Lazar M’06 debuted Sparkling Tree Water, his first in a line of planned beverages produced from maple trees. The lightly carbonated, filtered water represents a tiny portion of the estimated 500 million gallons of water that is a by-product of New England and Canada’s maple sugaring industry. In an interview with Innovation Destination: Hartford, Lazar described his start-up as an impact-focused business. “We are impacting water conservation [and] creating value-added products to the maple farming communities of North America.”

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Ideas @ Work: #31 A Glove That Helps Teach Sign Language

33 ideas big and small from Norwich students, faculty, staff, and alumni that are transforming campus and the world.
The Norwich Record

Spring 2016

Overlapping worlds often spark innovation. While watching a sign-language interpreter at a LEGO robotics tournament, engineering major Maggie Cross ’16 came up with the idea to develop a glove that could help teach sign language. Her prototype haptic device uses embedded sensors and buzzers to cue wearers when they make mistakes, an approach known to speed learning.

Read more about Maggie Cross’s research project >>

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