WMU News

Researchers bring in more than $12 million

Dec. 12, 2003

KALAMAZOO--Nearly $12.8 million in grants was awarded to Western Michigan University during August, September and October, pushing the year's grant total past $13.4 million, the WMU Board of Trustees learned at its Dec. 12 meeting.

August awards amounted to $6,309,303 and September awards were $3,482,694. In October, an additional $2,999,231 was secured, bringing the three-month total to $12,791,229.

The largest award reported during the period was a $3.7 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education to Dr. Joseph Kretovics, professor of teaching, learning and leadership in the WMU College of Education. The award is the fourth installment of a five-year, $14 million grant for GEAR UP, an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The ongoing effort helps prepare area middle school students for success in college.

A $997,588 award from the U.S. Agency for International Development will be used by Dr. Hector Quemada, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences, and Dr. Alexander Enyedi, chairperson of the department. They are using the funds for their work with the global Program for Biosafety Systems. The previously announced research effort is part of an international initiative to help developing nations enhance their efforts in biosafety policy, research and capacity-building.

Dr. Steven Bertman, associate professor of chemistry, and Dr. David Karowe, associate professor of biological sciences, will use a $974,834 grant from the University of Michigan to support the work of doctoral students conducting research in the biospheric and atmospheric sciences. Other substantial science-related grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Subra Muralidharan will use a $913,000 DOE grant to design, synthesize and characterize nanomaterials that may be applicable to use in homeland security efforts. Muralidharan directs the WMU Nanotechnology Research and Computation Center.

A $749,520 award from the National Science Foundation will assist Dr. Paula Kohler, associate professor of educational studies, in studying high school girls who are enrolled in information technology courses through their school's career and technical education programs, formerly known as vocational education.

"We are using CTE population data to compare experiences and post-school outcomes of females to males and of students of different ethnicities," she says. "In addition, we are investigating how high school counselors and IT teachers recruit and support students, particularly females, in these programs and the effects they might have on enrollment and student outcomes."

A $197,996 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will allow Kohler to join educational studies professor Dr. E. Brooks Applegate to look at similar issues involving high school students with disabilities.

In the area of public service, Dr. James Henry will use a $379,547 award from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services to develop a model for school intervention for traumatized children within regular and special education classrooms. Henry, an associate professor of social work, also will develop professional development training in the area of child trauma, and will work to address ways to help children with alexithymia, a condition where a person is unable to communicate, in words, how they feel.

Overall, more than 70 grants were reported for the three-month period, including such others as:

A $75, 447 award from the Corporation for National and Community Service to Dr. Andrew Kline, associate professor of paper and printing science and engineering, and Dr. Edmund Tsang, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, for a project that will allow engineering students to collaborate with K-12 teachers and education students.

A $44,760 award from Michigan State University to support a project led by Bettina Meyer, assistant dean of university libraries, and aimed at making WMU's digitization lab available as a regional resource for "The Making of Modern Michigan," an effort which aims at empowering libraries, throughout the state, to contribute to a digital Michigan history collection.

Media contact: Gail Towns, 269 387-8400, gail.towns@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400