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Grants soar to $4.2 million in September

Nov. 21, 2008

DETROIT--Western Michigan University harvested more than $4.2 million in externally funded awards during September, WMU trustees learned at their Nov. 7 meeting.

Research grants grabbed the vast majority of the total, coming in at just more than $3.3 million.

The largest research grant totaled nearly $1.2 million and was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to Dr. Kathleen M. Baker, assistant professor of geography, to use enhanced, high-tech weather forecasting and Web-based information delivery to create crop specific disease forecasts. The project will assess the feasibility of implementing these forecasts across the United States for a myriad of crop diseases and give daily disease risk updates to farmers via the Web.

Another notable research award of nearly $600,000 was from the U.S. Department of Transportation to Dr. Ron Van Houten, professor of psychology, to assess the effects of implementing a seatbelt interlock system in a fleet of vehicles to achieve higher seatbelt use through improved technology.

Public service grants came in at more than $600,000 and were led by a nearly $380,000 grant from Kalamazoo Community Mental Health Services to Dr. Carol Sundberg, director of the WMU Center for Disability Services, to provide daily living, communication, behavior control and social skill services to adults with developmental disabilities.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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