WMU News

Grants to WMU hit $23.3 million mark

June 27, 1997

KALAMAZOO -- With a month still left to report in the current fiscal year, grants to Western Michigan University surged to the $23.3 million mark, the WMU Board of Trustees learned at its June 27 meeting.

April awards of $1,818,780 and May awards of $1,204,603 brought the 1996-97 year-to-date total to $23,288,867. That amount is just $866,899 below the record $24.2 million total reached at the end of the 1995-96 fiscal year.

Among major awards reported to the board were four grants totaling $416,255 to Dr. Vladimir V. Tsukruk, interim chairperson of the Department of Construction Engineering, Materials Engineering and Industrial Design, for his work in evaluating a range of materials at the molecular level to determine their design, friction, wear and lubrication properties. Two of those awards, one for $251,635 and another for $14,640, came from the National Science Foundation.

Tsukruk also received a $140,000 award for testing polymeric materials used in biomedical applications from Becton, Dickinson and Co., a Lakeside, N.J., firm that manufactures and sells medical, diagnostic and industrial safety products. A $9,980 award to Tsukruk from the Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill., will support his testing of aluminum surfaces.

The University's international twinning arrangements with colleges in Southeast Asia were responsible for two major awards reported to the board. Twinning arrangements allow students to complete the first two years of their degree work at the partner college in their homeland before transferring to WMU for the final two years of work. A $223,515 award from Sunway College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will support WMU's two-year program at that college. The arrangement has been offered there for 10 years. A $65,000 award from Hong Kong Baptist University will support operations in WMU's two-year-old program at that institution.

A small grant to start a new twinning program with Christ College in Bangalore, India, also was reported. The $5,000 award from that college will be used to launch an effort there modeled on the University's existing twinning programs.

A $357,335 grant from the U.S. Department of Education to Dr. Toni Woolfork-Barnes in WMU's Division of Minority Affairs will fund Upward Bound. That pre-college program provides academic, social and cultural support to high school students from disadvantaged families to help them prepare for success in college. This will mark WMU's 31st year of operation in that federal program.

Two major awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will fund academic programs that prepare future health care professionals to work with specialized populations. A new $204,402 grant to Kathi Fuller of the College of Health and Human Services will support the seventh year of a program that provides interdisciplinary training to students interested in rural health care careers. The grant also will fund research on rural health issues and the publication of a national newsletter that links 19 sites in 15 states that are operating under similar federal grants for rural health education projects.

Another $84,686 award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Sandra O. Glista, assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology, and Dr. Harold L. Bate, professor of speech pathology and audiology, will support the third year of Project KEEP -- Keep Elders Communicating. That graduate program provides speech-language pathologists and audiologists with the special skills they will need to work with elderly people.

A $75,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant was awarded to Robert J. Brown, WMU's director of public safety. The grant will provide three years of support for the University to launch a community policing program on campus. Beginning with the fall semester, a community policing officer will work on the campus to use problem-solving tactics and partnerships with the community to reduce the causes and fear of crime. The grant was made through a program that provides community policing funds to municipalities across the country.

A series of six grants to WMU's Evaluation Center also were reported to the board. During April and May, six awards totaling nearly $300,000 were made to researchers for evaluation projects ranging from environmental education to scoring services for a school climate and satisfaction survey.

The two largest Evaluation Center awards came from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek to Dr. James R. Sanders, professor of educational leadership and associate director of the center. A $179,000 award from the foundation will fund an effort to foster the development of evaluation expertise in Latin America. He will use a $38,000 award to perform a systematic analysis of foundation project files from the last 10 years to identify evaluation practices and patterns used.

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