Grants to WMU soar past $3.7 million mark in April, May

Contact: Mark Schwerin

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Grants to Western Michigan University passed the $3.7 million mark during April and May, bringing the year-to-date total for externally funded awards to more than $23.2 million, WMU trustees learned at their June 29 meeting.

Grants for research again led the way, climbing to more than $1.8 million. Three new grants from the National Science Foundation topped the list of research grants, with the largest grant totaling $621,851 and going to Dr. Laura R. Van Zoest, WMU professor of mathematics. That grant will fund MOSTs—Mathematical Opportunities in Student Thinking—a project that will create tasks specifically designed to generate opportunities for teachers to build on students' thinking and then use classroom observation and analysis of classroom video of implementations of those tasks to develop tools to support teachers in leading productive, whole class discussion around student mathematical thinking that occurs during their mathematics lessons.

A second NSF grant, for $499,999, was awarded to Dr. Fahad Saeed, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and will be used to develop a big data computational framework to enable scalable parallel computing solutions for proteogenomics, an emerging field of biological research at the intersection of proteomics and genomics.

The third NSF grant, $160,000 for the fiscal year totaling $800,000 over the lifetime of the grant, went to Dr. Wendy Scott Beane, assistant professor of biological sciences, to investigate the mechanisms by which neural regeneration is regulated in planarians. Grants for instruction came in at just under $1 million and were led by a $247,800 continuing grant from Bronson Orthopedic and Sports Medicine to Dr. Michael Miller, professor of human performance and health education, to support work by graduate student athletic trainers.

Grants for public service rose to $841,243 led by a $242,000 award to Dr. Robert Bensley, professor of human performance and health education. The grant will be used to provide Women, Infants and Children clients with access to as a resource for meeting secondary contract education. Grants for scholarships and fellowships reached $71,076.

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