WMU nears $7 million mark in grants in September and October

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Externally funded awards to Western Michigan University nearly hit the $7 million mark in September and October, pushing the year-to-date total past $12 million since the start of the 2015-16 fiscal year, WMU trustees learned at their Dec. 8 meeting.

Grants for research skyrocketed past $4.7 million during the period, while grants for public service soared to almost $1.8 million. Grants for instruction came in at $343,237.

NSF, DOJ grants

Two notable research awards came from the National Science Foundation. A $799,665 NSF grant was awarded to Dr. Jessaca K. Spybrook, associate professor of educational leadership, research and technology. The project's purpose is to improve the planning and design of studies of science teacher interventions by conducting a meta-analysis of science education studies of interventions focused on improving teacher outcomes to establish context-specific effect sizes, and then analyzing teacher-level data to empirically estimate design parameters necessary for planning multi-level science intervention studies.

A second NSF grant was for $467,684 and awarded to Dr. Andrea L. Beach, professor of educational leadership, research and technology and co-director of the Center for Research on Instructional Change in Postsecondary Education, and Dr. Charles R. Henderson, professor of physics. The grant will improve undergraduate instruction in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM fields by involving instructional development teams.

A third research grant, from the U.S. Department of Justice, was for $418,099 and could help prove the innocence of convicted felons in Michigan. The previously announced grant was to Drs. Ashlyn K. Kuersten, associate professor of gender and women's studies, and Mark Hurwitz, professor of political science, and is part of the Innocence Project in partnership with the WMU Cooley Law School. The grant will be used to review post conviction cases, evidence and DNA testing.

Public service grants

The largest public service grant was a $653,069 award from Kalamazoo 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.

A second large public service grant, a $636,658 award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, went to Dr. James A. Henry, director of the Southwest Michigan Children's Trauma Assessment Center, Connie Black-Pond, clinical director, and Margaret Richardson, center research associate. The grant will be used to identify, treat and improve the social and emotional well-being and developmental functioning of foster care children in Genesee County.

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