Grants to WMU top $22.7 million for fiscal year

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KALAMAZOO—Western Michigan University nabbed more than $4.6 million in grants in May and June, bringing the year-to-date total for the 2011-12 fiscal year, which ended June 30, to more than $22.7 million, WMU trustees learned at their July 25 meeting. Awards for May came in at $878,328, or 19 percent of the two-month total, while June grants totaled $3,805,040 or 81 percent.

Research grants surpassed $2.6 million, while grants for public service soared to nearly $2 million. One notable research grant, from the National Science Foundation for $195,000, went to Dr. Pnina Ari-Gur, professor of mechanical and aeronautical engineering, Dr. Pavel Ikonomov, associate professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, and Dr. Daniel Litynski, vice president for research. The grant will be used to create a set of virtual reality lab experiments to be used in an undergraduate materials science course and in other scenarios.

The largest research grant, totaling $467,857, was from the U.S. Department of Education to researchers at partner institutions at the University of North Carolina and Dr. Paula Kohler, associate vice president for research at WMU, to provide knowledge generation, capacity building and wide-scale dissemination and outreach to states and local schools nationwide regarding effective transition education services for youths with disabilities. Public service awards were led by a grant of $1,029,372 from Kalamazoo Community Mental Health Services to Dr. Carol Sundberg, director of the Center for Disability Services, to provide daily living, communication, behavior control and social skill services to adults with developmental disabilities.