WMU News

Grant total tops $8.5 million

October 30, 1998

DETROIT -- Nearly $3.9 million in grants awarded to Western Michigan University during September sent the year's grant total soaring past the $8.5 million mark, according to a report presented to the WMU Board of Trustees at its Oct. 30 meeting in Detroit.

The September grant figure of $3,881,388 brought the current fiscal year-to-date total of grants received to $8,589,292. The University's fiscal year began on July 1.

Two large awards from the National Science Foundation accounted for more than $2.6 million of the September total. Both awards were to continue efforts aimed at revamping high school mathematics instruction that are under way in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

A $2,534,714 NSF award to Dr. Christian R. Hirsch, WMU professor of mathematics and statistics, will be used to complete development and evaluation of a three-year core high school mathematics course for all students. The Core-Plus Mathematics Project, with a curriculum now in place nationwide, has been in development under Hirsch's direction since 1992. A fourth-year mathematics course, designed to prepare students for college mathematics and professional use of mathematics, also is in development.

A $120,104 award from the NSF was made to Dr. Laura R. Van Zoest, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, and Beth E. Ritsema, professional development coordinator for the Core-Plus project. The grant will be used to continue providing assistance and professional development services to teachers and administrators in 11 Southwest Michigan high schools to help them implement the Core-Plus curriculum. The effort is in its second year.

The NSF also was the source of a $79,994 award to Dr. Garrison W. Greenwood, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. Greenwood will use the grant to study computer modeling of proteins as part of an NSF Scholar-in-Residence Program at the National Institutes of Health. Greenwood was at the NIH in August and is scheduled to return to spend May through August there in 1999.

Other major awards received during September included $554,323 from Emirates Airlines, the international carrier of the United Arab Emirates. The award is to provide 13 months of ab initio training for Emirates cadets. This training takes cadets from beginning flight instruction to qualification as co-pilots in the firm's commercial passenger planes. Eight Emirates cadets arrived in August to begin their months of training at WMU's School of Aviation Sciences, which is located at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, Mich.

Also noted on the report was a $105,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy to Dr. John A. Tanis, professor of physics. Tanis will use the funds to continue his ongoing investigation into fundamental atomic interactions that occur in collisions between atomic particles. He has been investigating such interaction for two decades, frequently collaborating with colleagues in research laboratories around the nation and overseas.

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

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