Education Briefs

Lovell awards $5 million for innovation projects
Marquette University president Michael Lovell announced the inaugural recipients of the Milwaukee university’s innovation fund awards.

A total of almost $5 million has been granted to 38 projects led by the school’s faculty, students and staff across many disciplines.

The strategic innovation fund was one of the initiatives Lovell identified when he took the helm of the university in the fall. Like a venture capital fund, it will provide seed money for entrepreneurial ventures. Marquette designated $2 million for the fund, and Lovell raised another $3 million in his first two months as president.

Among the areas the 38 projects cover are: academic programs and student support; community collaboration and outreach; water and environmental; advanced manufacturing and engineering; university infrastructure and support; and health and well-being.

More than 270 teams submitted pre-proposals, which were evaluated by the University Innovation Council. Of those, 180 proposals made it to the next round, and 50 were most highly recommended by the Innovation Council’s review teams.

The full list of projects is available at

Playworks names new executive director
Playworks Wisconsin has named Deborah Lukovich as its new executive director.

The organization is part of a national nonprofit based in Oakland, Calif. that works to improve the health and well-being of children by increasing opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play. The Milwaukee chapter launched in 2012 and serves 6,800 elementary students at 14 Milwaukee Public Schools in disadvantaged communities.

ManpowerGroup acquires German human resources firm
Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup human resource consulting firm has announced it plans to acquire German human resource services provider 7S Group for $154.1 million.

The transaction is expected to close later in the year. The purchase price could also include an earnout opportunity based upon 2015 results from operations.

The 7S Group focuses on the skilled trades, engineering and IT sectors. ManpowerGroup will integrate that expertise into its offerings to meet customers’ requests for niche workforce solutions.

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