WMU tops $4.5 million in externally awarded grants in May

Contact: Cara Barnes

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Externally funded grants to Western Michigan University flew past $4.5 million in May, bringing the year-to-date total to more than $31.4 million, with one month left in the 2014-15 fiscal year, WMU trustees learned at their July 8 meeting.

Grants for instruction accounted for most of the total, soaring to just over $4 million. Grants for public service climbed to $263,000, while research grants came in at $248,794. Grants for student services totaled just over $4,000.

A previously announced $4 million award from the Michigan Department of Community Health to boost autism research and training accounted for most of the grant total. The grant, awarded to Drs. Stephanie Peterson and R. Wayne Fuqua, chair and professor of psychology, respectively, is being used to establish the WMU Autism Center of Excellence, increase enrollment in behavior analysis training programs and provide more services to children with autism and their families.

Research grants were led by a supplemental award of $86,729 to Drs. Edmund Tsang, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and Andrew Kline, professor of chemical and paper engineering. The duo will use the grant to work with community colleges to increase enrollment of underrepresented minority students, who have the potential to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math--fields.

The largest public service grant was a $250,000 award from the U.S. Department of Education to Dr. Erika Carr, a senior associate director in the Division of Multicultural Affairs, to increase the rate at which first-generation and low-income students complete secondary education and enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions.

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