WMU News

July and August grants to WMU top $4.7 million

September 18, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University researchers kicked off the 1998-99 fiscal year with more than $4.7 million in July and August grants, the WMU Board of Trustees learned at its Sept. 18 meeting.

July awards amounting to $3,558,917 and August awards of $1,148,987 put the fiscal year-to-date grant total at $4,707,904. The fiscal year began on July 1.

The largest single award made during the period was a $905,000 award from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers' Education Foundation to the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. The award is the second-largest grant the foundation made nationwide during its most recent round of awards. It will provide 25 virtual prototyping software programs used to simulate mechanical systems. The software, from Mechanical Dynamics Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich., will be added to an existing computer-aided design lab for use by graduate and undergraduate engineering students.

Among other notable awards received during July and August were four grants totaling $624,872 from the U.S. Department of Education that will be used to support graduate programs for professionals in the field of blind rehabilitation. Dr. William Wiener, chairperson of the Department of Blind Rehabilitation, serves as director or co-director for all four grants.

A $322,913 award to Wiener and Dr. Elizabeth Whitten, interim chairperson of the Department of Special Education, will be used to support a dual master's degree program in both fields that prepares professionals who can meet both the education and the orientation and mobility needs of children with vision impairments.

A $104,792 award to Wiener and Dr. Alan J. Hovesdadt, chairperson of the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology, will continue support to another dual master's degree program that is designed to produce professionals who can serve as both rehabilitation counselors and rehabilitation teachers. The program was started at WMU in 1994.

A grant for $99,981 will support instruction of graduate-level students preparing to provide orientation and mobility training to blind working-age adults so they will be able to return to the workforce. A related award for 97,186 will prepare orientation and mobility specialists to work with elderly adults.

Another four grants totaling more than $1.5 million were awarded to researchers in WMU's renowned Evaluation Center. The largest, an $807,268 award from the National Science Foundation, was made to Dr. Arlen R. Gullickson, the center's chief of staff. Gullickson will use the funds to improve the nation's evaluation capacity in science and mathematics, through materials development, training and assistance to organizations that conduct such evaluations.

In addition, the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation of Honolulu and the Philippines awarded two major grants to Dr. Daniel L. Stufflebeam, director of the Evaluation Center. A $320,806 award will be used to conduct evaluations and help develop the evaluation capacity of staff at the Philippine branch of the foundation. A $222,218 award will be used to update the evaluation design and continue the evaluation of the Waianae Self-Help Housing Project, a community development program targeted at the working poor on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Dr. James Sanders, associate director of the Evaluation Center and professor of educational leadership, received the fourth grant. That $150,000 award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich., will extend a 1997 initiative he directed that is designed to build the evaluation capacity of nonprofit organizations in Calhoun County.

Also reported to the board was a $163,501 award from the National Endowment for the Humanities to Dr. Paul E. Szarmach, director of the Medieval Institute. The funding will be used to hold a prestigious NEH 1999 summer institute on Anglo-Saxon England for American college and university faculty members who teach undergraduate students. The institute will be held June 21 through July 30 at WMU's Richard Rawlinson Center for Anglo-Saxon Studies and Manuscript Research.

Another significant award noted was a new $149,364 award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to Sandra O. Glista, assistant professor of speech pathology and audiology, and Dr. Maija Petersons, associate professor of family and consumer sciences. The award will be used to prepare allied health students to serve elderly persons, particularly in rural areas and among muticultural populations.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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