WMU grants near $2.4 million mark in March

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Grants to Western Michigan University nearly hit the $2.4 million mark in March, pushing the year-to-date total to almost $25 million, WMU trustees learned at their April 22 meeting.

Grants for research closed in on $1 million, followed by grants for instruction at almost $800,000. Grants for public service topped $600,000.

Research grants

Notable research grants included a new, $416,385 award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Dr. Lisa Baker, professor of psychology, A major goal of this research is to implement animal models of substance abuse to evaluate the abuse potential of the chemicals found in the drugs colloquially known as "bath salts." Pharmacological studies indicate the constituents of these illicit substances have actions in the brain similar to other drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA, commonly known as "Ecstasy."

Another new research grant, this one from the Federal Aviation Administration, was for $171,558 and was awarded to a research team composed of Drs. Geoffrey Whitehurst, associate professor, and William Rantz and Vladimir Risukhin, professors, all of aviation sciences, who are part of the Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability with the FAA. The WMU research team will investigate the effect of latency or delay due to data transfer rates of information presented to pilots during bad weather.

Instruction and public service grants

Grants for instruction were led by a $216,370 award from Confucius Institute Headquarters to Dr. Donald G. McCloud, associate professor in the Haenicke Institute for Global Education, to provide new Chinese language and cultural studies options for WMU students and faculty and to dramatically expand international opportunities for regional K-12 schools and local businesses.

Grants for public service were topped by a $498,974 award 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 developmentally disabled adults.

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