University of Louisville Magazine

FAL 2016

The University of Louisville Alumni Magazine: for alumni, faculty, staff, students and anyone that is a UofL Cardinal fan.

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1 2 | L O U I S V I L L E . E D U News & Impact AOL co-founder Steve Case champions startups, innovation at UofL Serial entrepreneur and America Online co-founder Steve Case visited the University of Louisville this summer to see fi rsthand how the university is driving entrepreneurial innovation. Case, now CEO of the Washington, D.C., investment fi rm Revolution LLC, touted Louisville as an ideal home for start-up companies because of the city's central location, thriving food and health care industries and strong business climate. Case was the featured speaker at an "Innovation Showcase" event hosted by UofL's Institute for Product Realization (IPR). The showcase brought together area entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders to highlight the university's groundbreaking work in science, manufacturing and business. Case also toured the IPR, which includes FirstBuild, the UofL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center and the J.B. Speed School's Engineering Garage. The write stuff "Teachers of writers must be writers," said College of Education and Human Development instructor Jean Wolph. Wolph should know. For more than three decades she has honed strategies for teaching writing. Since 1998 she has been the director of the Louisville Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project based at UofL and part of the Nystrand Center for Excellence in Education. The project's focus is to help K-12 teachers become better writers and teachers of writing. In 2016-17 the LWP marks a big milestone: its 35th year. The reach of the LWP is staggering. Last year, Wolph and her team had 21 separate programs, 133 annual activities and provided professional development to nearly 1,600 teachers from 89 Kentucky counties. Since the program's inception, more than 1,000 teachers in Louisville and nine surrounding counties have sharpened their writing and teaching skills. One of those teachers was Cochran Elementary's NeShaune Lasley. Her goal was to "be a better, more intentional teacher" for her students. "We presume students will pick up writing skills, but I think all students need to learn to be literate," she said. Wolph's LWP co- director, Patti "Grammar Goddess" Slagle, who has been around since the project's inception, has high praise for Wolph. "Jean is just masterful at fostering talent," said Slagle. "She has this sixth sense. She saw a need to develop leadership capacity in the new Common Core standards for writing and she developed it. The LWP is very highly regarded." Highly regarded might be an understatement; Wolph is a sought-after expert. She was on national leadership teams charged with developing curriculum aligned with the Common Core standards, and LWP has, for its entire 35-year history, received over $3 million in grants to continue and expand its programs — no easy feat in an environment of budget cuts for education initiatives. Louisville Writing Project Director Jean Wolph (left) shares a laugh with her longtime colleague Patti Slagle during one of the project's classes at a Louisville-area school. Entrepreneur and America Online co-founder Steve Case was the featured speaker at an "Innovation Showcase" event held at UofL in June. PNC Bank's Chuck Denny, who helped bring Case to town, listened to the speech.

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