Friday, June 7, 2013

Paying it forward with innovative minds

Bloomsburg University's strategic planning grants are geared toward funding new innovative projects and the development of Centers of Excellence and Innovative Programs, leading to academic excellence, fiscal sustainability, enhanced enrollment management and stronger sense of community. In continuation of this successful initiative, the Strategic Planning and Resource Council 2 (SPARC 2) recently invited teams to submit full proposals for the 2013 Presidential Strategic Planning Grants. Thirteen letters of intent were submitted for review in early April. Seven of them have been invited to submit full proposals. Grant recipients will be announced in November.

In the meantime, research continues this summer. And three notable faculty-led projects, which earlier this year earned sizable grant awards (two from the National Science Foundation), will be in full-swing over the summer break.


Highlighted Faculty Research Awards

John Hranitz, professor of biology, National Science Foundation (NSF), $316,000, “Behavior of honeybees and solitary bees in natural pollination systems and their responses to environmental stressors,” (Partnership with the University of Central Oklahoma). Researchers on the eight-week project in Turkey and Greece during summer 2013 will include faculty from six universities in three countries, as well as undergraduate student researchers.

Karl Kapp, professor of instructional technology, National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Education (ATE), $250,000, “Development of an open source, online virtual tensil strength testing stimulation,” (Partnership with Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and the National Office of Project Lead the Way). Materials created from this three-year project will be used by undergraduate engineering technology students and pre-engineering high school students in the Project Lead the Way network of 4,215 schools nationwide.

Heather Feldhaus, assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Center for Rural Pennsylvania, $14,000, “Rural homelessness,” (Collaboration with Columbia County Housing Authority, ColumbiaMontour Homelessness Task Force and researchers from Bucknell University and Lycoming College). The study will identify, gather and evaluate existing patterns of homelessness and housing insecurity. Researchers will report on the current situation and collaborate on a long-term plan to better measure and track homelessness in rural Pennsylvania.