March 2023 Newsletter

Dear colleagues,

I am excited to be hosting my first Spring Convocation on April 21 starting at 10 a.m. I am looking forward to seeing you there and collectively celebrating our colleagues’ accomplishments. Spring Convocation will be followed by the Bronco Innovators Challenge.

Our researcher highlight for this issue is Dr. Daria Orlowska, data librarian at the University Libraries. Dr. Orlowska is focused on creating datasets that help our students and faculty. She also supports faculty to curate and manage data. Dr. Orlowska’s support is essential in supporting faculty members who have federal funding to meet respective agency requirements for data sharing.

We have some changes in personnel, including the handling of internal funding programs. Dr. Christine Stamper has moved into another position within our office, but she will be handling FRACAA and SFSA finishing out this cycle. Bonnie Gabriel will be the contact for PPP&E and FRTF.

I am looking forward to celebrating with you during our Spring Convocation and Bronco Innovators Challenge events.

Go Broncos!


Remzi Seker, Ph.D.

Vice President for Research and Innovation

Meet our researchers 

Daria Orlowska

My current work focuses on creating easily reusable datasets from our archival collections and teaching students how to curate and manage data. I identify viable collections and train students on the data curation process to create ready-to-use datasets.

In addition to making collections more accessible to the community, I offer data services to the Western community. Each semester, I feature at least three data education workshops on topics such as data management, finding secondary data for projects, using OpenRefine to prepare your data for analysis and an overview of the human subject research process. My previous workshops are available anytime through the University Libraries Data Education playlist on YouTube, and customized workshops can be requested if you are interested in a lab, departmental or class presentation.

Besides teaching data best practices, I provide guidance on writing data management plans for grant proposals and will review your plan through submission by webform or through the DMPTool. I am also available by appointment for personalized consultations, helping you develop solutions to better manage your data, find data for research or a classroom assignment, and curate your dataset for submission to a repository to fulfill funder or publisher requirements. I look forward to working with you!

Upcoming Events

Lunch and Learn with WMed continues series

The WMed Lunch and Learn: Research and Grant Writing Series continues Monday, April 10, at noon, discussing community-based grants. To register, contact Angela Morris.

Innovation at Western celebrated at Spring Convocation

Please mark your calendars for the virtual Spring Convocation scheduled for Friday, April 21.  As the date draws near, we will be sending out more information along with the link for you to attend.

Changes in personnel announced

  • Jan. 23, David Johnson, director of technology and innovation advancement. David has practiced IP law at Dorsey and Whitney in Minneapolis, Honigman in Kalamazoo and in private practice. He has filed and prosecuted a wide range of technologies along with trademarks and copyrights. He will be specializing in patent prosecution, trademark, copyright, intellectual property licensing and commercialization agreements, patent and trademark search and company formation. We are excited that we have his expertise in our department. You may reach him by email or by phone at (269) 387-8283.
  • March 1, Jennifer Rice, restricted fund accountant senior. Jennifer has been with us since 2019 and has recently received a promotion to restricted fund accountant senior. Please reach out to Jen and congratulate her on her new position.
  • March 13, Steve Weber, assistant director technology and commercialization. Steve is coming back to us after a year away. He will be working primarily with providing leadership and administration related to WMU research contracts, technology transfer and research commercialization for the University. We’re very happy to have him back with us again; please reach out to Steve to welcome him back.
  • March 15, Christine Stamper, research program officer. Christine has been in our officer for a year now, working as the coordinator of research data. We are happy to say that she is staying with us but moving into another position. Please reach out to Christine to congratulate her.
  • March 31, Kay Mortellaro, research development administrator. We are sorry to say that Kay will be leaving us at the end of March to pursue other endeavors. We have enjoyed working with her and will miss her. Please feel free to reach out to Kay to say good-bye.

Summer salary worksheet now available for 2023

You can now access the summer salary worksheet for faculty summer grant pay. Located in our forms section, it can be filled out now that Human Resources has opened the submission period for summer salary. Instructions for filling out the form as well as an example can be found here. Be sure to indicate all summer pay regardless if it is grant or instructional pay.

Learn about the Bronco Innovators Challenge

This is our third month of the Bronco Innovators Challenge, and we couldn’t be more excited about it. If you haven’t heard of it yet, please access more information and student registration. We are encouraging our undergraduates with good ideas or those that don’t have an idea but would like to work on a team of innovators to join us. This is a phenomenal opportunity for our students! Please put the word out to our undergraduate student body—all are welcome.

This is a challenge not a competition! Every team is eligible for funding, not just the top-ranking teams. Throughout the spring 2023 semester, teams will develop their innovative ideas with support from ORI, mentors, faculty and staff. One-on-one coaching will be available along with four informational events to help every team be successful. This challenge is open to WMU undergraduates. Seniors are allowed to participate in but not lead teams, so long as they do not make up the majority of the team.

Sign up for coffee with Remzi


We'd like to invite you to sign up for an opportunity to meet with Dr. Seker in small group setting to ask questions, share thoughts on how we're doing and meet colleagues from around campus. We're hosting these conversations at Walwood Hall and hope you'll join us for coffee.

Collaborating with WMed

To continue to foster collaboration in the area of research and proposal development, the Office of Research and Innovation and WMed’s Sponsored Programs Administration office will be working together this year. The hope is to foster more opportunities for researchers to develop interdisciplinary projects. This collaboration will include providing an open invitation to WMU faculty, staff and students to participate in WMed's Lunch and Learn Series, which requires you to register through email. No registration is required for Discovery Acceleration Workshops.

Find the schedule for the WMed Lunch and Learn Series. To indicate interest and receive further information on collaborating with WMed, please fill out the Qualtrics survey.


Where can you go with a Fulbright award? So many places!

The 2024-25 Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program awards catalog is now open. There are opportunities in more than 135 countries for scholars to teach, conduct research or carry out professional projects. In many cases, foreign language proficiency is not needed. Awards range from four to 12 months, with flex options also available. There is a Fulbright award for everyone!

Learn more about all the places you can go, or reach out to the WMU Fulbright Scholar Liaison Dr. Michelle Metro-Roland.

Funding available to support publishing in Wiley, Cambridge and Karger open access journals

The University Libraries has additional funding to support publishing in Wiley gold and hybrid open access journals. Ten Western faculty members have received funding from the University Libraries’ transformative agreements with Wiley.

In addition to Wiley, Western researchers may receive funding to publish in open access journals with Cambridge University Press and Karger. Learn more about our transformative agreements.

NIH releases data management and sharing policy

The National Institutes of Health issued a policy on data management and sharing on Jan. 25. Read the policy overview to learn how it may affect current and future NIH-funded research. Contact Data Librarian Daria Orlowska for assistance with data management.

Keep us in the loop

ORI is very interested in hearing about the accomplishments of our faculty in the areas of research and creative activities. For example, we have a wall with copies of journal covers highlighting the work of our faculty, students and staff. If your work has been featured, please print a high-quality 8 ½ x 11-inch copy of the cover, sign it and send it to Remzi Seker or Kelli Bond for inclusion on the wall.  

In addition, we love to hear about awarded fellowships, notable awards outside of the University, honor society memberships and special activities that we can highlight. It's easy for us to know grants, but it's very important for us to highlight all of the achievements at WMU. Don't forget—Interim Provost Chris Cheatham would also like copies of your books!