Research and Innovation Digital Newsletter March 2019

Message from Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy
Dear Colleagues, 

You may be aware that the National Science Foundation recently enacted revised requirements for any new or modified NSF grants. These requirements oblige institutions to report confirmed cases of sexual harassment. It is my expectation that these requirements are likely to expand to other funding agencies as well. I am pleased that we are working in partnership with General Counsel and Institutional Equity to ensure that WMU meets its reporting requirements while protecting the rights and confidentiality of all involved. Information on the NSF policy can be found here. If you have questions, please contact me. 

Thanks for all you do to make WMU a welcoming and safe research environment for all of the members of our community.

Terri Kinzy

March 19 Discovery Acceleration Workshop 
Join us at the next Discovery Acceleration Workshop on "Applying to the Department of Defense Agencies." Lucy Deckard of Academic Research Funding Strategies, LLC, will present a workshop on pursuing funding from the Department of Defense. The DOD is the largest federal funder of research and development, and it funds a wide variety of research, including social science, environmental and medical research. This workshop is scheduled for March 19, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Fetzer Center, Room 1040. Learn more about the workshop and register

Join us March 26 at the Fetzer Center for Spring Convocation 
Spring Convocation celebrates research excellence at WMU. Organized by the Office of the Vice President for Research, the day's schedule includes:

Discovery Symposia from 9 to 11:30 a.m. 

  • Discovery Symposium on Education, Session Chairs: Charles Henderson and Selena Protacio
  • Discovery Symposium on Sustainability, Session Chairs: Xiaoyun Shao and Maarten Vonhof  

Fulbright Scholars workshop from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Poster presentations of FRACAA grant winners from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Research Excellence luncheon from 12:30 to 2 p.m. (invited guests of VPR) 
Keynote speaker: Susan Pozo, 2018 Distinguished Faculty Scholar

Information is available here with a full listing of symposia speakers and their presentations.

ECRT Payroll Confirmation Open

The fall (Aug.15 through Dec. 31, 2018) ecrt confirmation period is open through March 26. Please refer to the Grants and Contracts website for step-by-step instructions. Before clicking the "confirm" button, however, please make sure that all payroll, direct or cost share for the project, is reflected. If not, please contact Grants and Contracts at

Digitization and Digital Projects for Research

The University Libraries can assist researchers with a number of collaborative digital services, such as digitization, digital humanities projects, and other concepts that blend original scholarship with technology. Recent digitization work includes Medieval Arabic manuscripts, historic college photos, WMU musical performances and WWI and WWII scrapbooks. For more information, contact Amy Bocko.

Summer Salary Worksheet and Instructions Available

The Summer Salary Worksheet and accompanying instructions are posted. Before Grants and Contracts can approve summer appointments through PSHR workflow, the Summer Salary Worksheet needs to be completed. 

Congratulations on Recent Research Endeavors
Spotlight on Undergraduate Research

This month's spotlight is focused on two undergraduates, seniors Alyssa Boone and Alyssa Brutlagwho worked with their mentor Jeremy Blair, a faculty member in the Department of Dance in the College of Fine Arts, on their senior capstone experience. Their project, Wisteria, was ambitious and collaborative. "Their vision was to include student artists from each part of the CFA in a surreal, multidisciplinary, evening-length production," says Blair. "My role as a mentor was to invite them to ask deeper conceptual questions, find mutually agreeable choreographic solutions and work toward a common goal."

Boone and Brutlag saw their dream for Wisteria as a dance production become a reality on November 29 in the Dalton Center. "Wisteria allowed us to experiment with how to effectively collaborate with several very different, highly creative minds, to achieve an end result greater than the sum of its parts," they share. "The project's collaborative nature brought forward many challenges and taught us the importance of effective communication, compromise and flexibility."

In the end, both Boone and Brutlag found the creative process of enacting their vision to be immensely valuable: "We found the values and lessons learned along the way are what will stick for the remainder of our choreographic careers."  

Blair adds, "they were eager to try new things and put in the enormous amount of work required for such an ambitious endeavor. They have set a high bar for future collaborative projects in the College of Fine Arts."

Students from WMU and Local High Schools Pitch Innovative Business Ideas

More than 25 individuals and teams participated in the 2019 K.C. O'Shaughnessy Business Pitch Competition and Showcase, which promotes student innovation and entrepreneurial spirit at WMU. Three-minute pitches for their companies were evaluated during progressive rounds by panels of judges drawn from the local business community along with WMU faculty. Six made it to the final round, with four winners placing.

New this year, high school students were invited to pitch their business ideas. David Dusseau, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur with 30-years of experience and a mentor-in-resident in OVPR, participated as a judge of high school students. These impressive, future Broncos received coaching and valuable experience in how to pitch their ideas in order to help in their future success as entrepreneurs.

Upcoming events

  • The Graduate College's Research and Creative Activities Poster and Performance Day is April 11, 2019.
  • The WMed Research Day is April 16-17. For more information, please contact WMed at
  • The Transportation Research Center's 6th Annual Summer Conference on Livable Communities: Smart Mobility Toward Building Livable Communities is June 6-7, 2019.