November 2009
Mason blue
Dear Faculty and Administrators,

November is Gratitude Month. This newsletter will provide stories about grants that your colleagues across the State have received, and their institutions are very grateful for their accomplishments! We congratulate those whose energy and work have resulted in research funds and program development--adding up to better higher education for Oklahoma's students.

We hope you enjoy this monthly grants newsletter. If you have grant information to share, please send it and a jpeg photo to

Dr. Linda Mason
Coordinator for Grant Writing Assistance

In This Issue
Langston Agriculture Grant
OU Wind Farm
LU Get HUD Grant
OU Praises Women's Gifts
OCU Endows Business Chair
OU Stimulus Grants
OU Weather Prediction Grant
OUHSC Diabetes Center Grant
OSU CHS Cancer Grant
UCO Wellness Center Grants
CJ Vires at ECU
EDGE Grants
OU Career Trends Grant
Langston Gets Agriculture Grant
Langston University has been awarded $525,000 from the US Department of Agriculture to provide training for aspiring ranchers and farmers. The university is one of 29 institutions nationwide receiving more than $17 million in grants to fund the program, the first such offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grants were awarded through USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, an education, training, technical assistance and outreach program designed to help 120 farmers and ranchers, specifically those who have been in either profession for 10 years or less.
These grants are part of the Agriculture Department's new "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative which was launched in September to emphasize the need for a fundamental and critical reconnection between producers and consumers.
OU Spirit Wind Farm
OU Logo
The University of Oklahoma's plan to power its Norman campus with wind energy was approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.  The commission, which regulates utilities and the oil and gas industry, voted unanimously for the "OU Spirit" wind farm project. It is described it as one of the largest renewable-energy commitments by a public university in the U.S. The university's goal is to purchase all of its electricity from wind power by 2013.
In Oklahoma, the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond made the switch to 100-percent wind power in April 2006.
Officials at OU, Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co., the attorney general's office and ratepayer groups had already agreed to the project, which involves the installation of 44 wind turbines near Woodward in northwestern Oklahoma. Half of the turbines will be generating electricity by the end of November and all of them will be operational by January.  Officials said the turbines will be capable of generating up to 101 megawatts of electricity for the OU campus. Currently, about 10 percent of OU's power is generated by wind.
The project will add about $1 to the monthly bills of OG&E consumers but will also save an estimated $9 million in the annual cost of natural gas and other fuels that power OG&E's electricity generating plants, officials said. Oklahoma is among the nation's top 10 states for wind energy potential but does not rank high in the amount of energy actually generated by wind. OG&E will invest up to $270 million in the project and provide a new source of income for property owners whose land is leased for the turbines and transmission lines.
In April, OG&E donated $3.75 million to the Oklahoma Wildlife Commission to mitigate the wind farm's loss of habitat for the lesser prairie chicken, a stocky ground-dwelling bird found in parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.  The donation will allow the commission to purchase up to 10,000 acres to set aside as habitat in western Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Panhandle.
Langston University Grant from HUD
Linda Tillman LU
Langston University, Oklahoma's only historically black university, today announced its receipt of an $800,000 HBCU/HUD grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Linda Tillman, is the author and director for LU's HUD/HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) grant.  Tillman will use the monies to fund the Community Partnership and Revitalization (CPR) Initiative.  It will cover the construction of a regulation size softball field in the town of Langston; the expansion of the Business Resource and Incubator Center (BRIC) in the town of Langston; community revitalization in the Empowerment Zone of Oklahoma City; and home ownership and loss mitigation workshops in partnership with faith-based organizations in Langston and Oklahoma City. 
The Empowerment Zone of Oklahoma City refers to the Northeast Quadrant of the city. Members of the community will receive job training and placement; assistance in organizing three neighborhood associations and aid with planting three community gardens.  
OU Praises Women's Gifts
OU Logo Of the $1.6 billion in private donations made to the University of Oklahoma in the past 15 years, most were made by women. The OU Women's Philanthropy Network was formed this year by OU's development office to promote and empower women to give of their time, talent and money to benefit others in general and the university in particular, and to strengthen the bonds among such women. The fall symposium at the Oklahoma Memorial Union, attended by about 200 people, was the network's first major event. The organization has the potential to be much bigger, officials said.
Jill Hughes of OU's Office of Development said women donors have given more than 11,000 major donations - defined as at least $25,000 - to the university in its history, and that about $130 million in estate gifts have come from women donors. Much of the giving at OU and across the state happens on a smaller scale, but remains meaningful, she said. The number of people who have given at least $1 has swelled from about 17,000 to more than 120,000.
OCU Grant Endows Business Chair
OCU logo Oklahoma City University says it will create an endowed chair with funding from a $1 million bequest from the late wife of a local jeweler. The bequest by Jeroldine Zachritz Clark will fund the B.C. Clark Jr. Endowed Chair in OCU's Meinders School of Business. B.C. Clark Jr., 96, attended OCU and has maintained ties with the university.
OSU logo Oklahoma State University won two major grants Thursday from the U.S. Department of Agriculture: one to develop an efficient method of growing feedstocks for biofuels and another for distance learning to expand educational opportunities to rural areas.
The $4.2 million grant for feedstock development was one of several research grants awarded by the Agriculture Department and U.S. Department of Energy to produce advanced biofuels with a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  
The distance learning grant of $287,013 was one of seven awarded by the Agriculture Department in Oklahoma and will go to the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences. The grants are intended to foster both educational and health care services in rural areas.
Stimulus Grants to OU
OU was awarded about $23 million in stimulus money for research from July through September for the main campus and the school's Health Sciences Center.  OU named 33 projects in Norman that will receive funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, through the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Interior Department.  OU scientists and administrators expect to receive more federal funds for research this fiscal year, which runs through June. All Oklahoma higher education stimulus grants are listed on the web at
Ecological Prediction System Grant
OU Logo
The University of Oklahoma is sharing a $6 million grant to develop a system to help people of all ages and education levels make local environmental and weather predictions. OU scientists will lead a group that includes Oklahoma State University, Kansas State University and University of Kansas in developing "cyberCommons," a service that will collect ecological data from all over the world and help people make forecasts based on that information.
Paul Risser, Director of the OU Research Cabinet said the grant proposal to the National Science Foundation was so complete and convincing in its explanation that it was approved without a single question - a rarity in scientific circles. Information on animals, plants, soils, ground water, micro-organisms and weather is gathered sepa   rately around the world. The cyberCommons will take all that data and make sense of it for people and businesses like farmers, timber companies, ecologists and others who make crucial decisions based on nature and climate trends. This is also an education project, with four credit classes for students who learn to use the techniques, along with summer workshops and programs for K-12.
OUHSC Diabetes Center Gets Grant

The Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has received a $30,000 gift from the Order of the Eastern Star.

Almost one in three Oklahomans have diabetes or are at high risk of developing it. The Harold Hamm Oklahoma Diabetes Center is a comprehensive treatment, research and   educational facility dedicated to eliminating and controlling the effects of all types of diabetes.   
OSU Center for Health Science Grant
Cancer Sucks Inc. has donated $10,000 to help Oklahoma State University's Center for Health Sciences to buy an Accuri C6 flow cytometer machine that can be used to investigate normal and cancerous cells. Rashmi Kaul will use it to aid cancer research and educate students. Kaul will use the flow cytometer for ongoing cancer research in the laboratory to investigate features of human cells of both the normal and cancerous varieties, specifically Hepatitis-C-related liver cancer.
This gift brings Cancer Sucks' total support of OSU-CHS to $27,600.
UCO Wellness Center Grants

The University of Central Oklahoma Wellness Center
received multiple grants for current health programs offered at the university. The Southwest College Health Association awarded a $1,000 grant for two UCO health promotions titled SEXposure, a publication that raises awareness of sexually transmitted diseases to encourage safe sex practices, and Peer Education Campus Cook, created by UCO student Emily Leahey to show hos to cook an affordable and healthy meal.
The Wellness Center also received $7,500 in grant funding from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation for the university's Walk This Weigh Edmond Program. Walk This Weigh Edmond is a walking program that encourages participants to walk 10,000 steps a day to improve their health. The UCO Walk This Weigh Edmond program began in February 2009 as a six-month walking program for UCO students, faculty, staff and community members.
C. J. Vires Fills Expanded Role at ECU
ECU C.J.Vires
  Dr. C.J. Vires has been named Associate Vice President for Research and Advancement at East Central University, an expanded position that combines ECU's Office of Sponsored Programs and Research with the Division of Advancement and Alumni Relations. The new position was approved Nov. 6 by the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma.
Vires, who came to ECU in October 1999 as director of the Grants Research Information Center, also served as interim assistant vice president for academic affairs from January 2005 to July 2006 when he became associate vice president for sponsored programs and research.  He will continue to lead the university's efforts to obtain external funding through grants and contracts from federal and state agencies as well as lead ECU's efforts in the advancement area. Throughout his career, Vires has helped secure approximately $60 million in competitive funding for ECU and other entities either as a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, consultant or technical adviser. Vires said he will work with the advancement staff as well as ECU's faculty, staff, alumni and friends to develop a vision for the Research and Advancement Office and to solidify fundraising efforts in support of the university's strategic direction.
Vires said his new position also allows him to give back to the university. He would not have been able to come to ECU without a music scholarship. Vires received a bachelor of music education degree in 1987 and a master of education degree in 1994, both from ECU. He completed coursework Oklahoma State University to obtain a school superintendent certificate in 1997 and completed his doctorate in adult and higher education this fall from the University of Oklahoma.
He met his wife, Linda, at ECU. She is director of health information management at Valley View Regional Hospital. They have two college-age children and two adopted daughters ages 3 and 4. The family lived in Konawa 13 years when Vires directed bands at Konawa and Shawnee. He also was an assistant to the superintendent at Konawa. They have lived in Ada 10 years and are members of Southwest Church of Christ.
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EDGE Grants
Risser EDGE
Officials with Oklahoma's Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) program approved more than $6.9 million funding for five projects aimed at stimulating the state's economy.
Paul Risser, Executive Director of the EDGE Policy Board, announced the second year of funding. Projects are funded with earnings from the $150 million EDGE Fund endowment, approved by the state Legislature in 2006. Areas of investment are agriculture, aerospace, biotechnology, energy, information technology and telecommunications, nanotechnology, sensors and weather science.
The five winning proposals were selected from 65 that were evaluated by the policy board and its nationwide advisory committee. Thirteen proposals were reviewed by experts   and the advisory committee who provided the policy board with their review and recommendations.
The projects approved for funding are:
Oklahoma flight innovation, research and testing of unmanned aerial systems for $1.5 million. Led by the University Multispectral Laboratories in Ponca City and Oklahoma State University, the project will create a testing facility at Fort Sill in Lawton that allows flight and ground of unmanned aerial systems within restricted airspace. The consortium includes several private companies and the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium.
Utilizing Oklahoma Resources to Develop Novel Therapeutics for Crohn's Disease for $1.8 million. Led by Selexys Pharmaceuticals Corp. in Oklahoma City with several partners, including Cytovance Biologics, Oklahoma Medical Research
Foundation, and Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research, the project will develop a Crohn's Disease treatment.

  Boosting Oklahoma Oil Production Using Nextgeneration Surfactant Technology for $2 million. Led by the University of Oklahoma School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering, with Mid Con Energy of Tulsa, the project will use chemical flooding technology from OU laboratories, based on self-assembling, nanostructured surfactant membranes at the oil/water interface, to extract additional oil from poorly producing oil wells.

Health Information Exchange Platform for $500,000. The project is led by the OU School of Community Medicine in Tulsa, with Benefit Informatics Inc., in Tulsa. Others involved include George Kaiser Family Foundation, the Greater Tulsa Health Access Network and several companies. The project's goal is to create a software system called the Health Information Exchange Platform that will connect numerous health information exchanges with multiple health care applications.
Nano-Engineered Infrared Sensors for $1 million. Led by Amethyst Research in Ardmore, the project will create nanoengineered infrared sensors for devices such as night vision goggles, using a proprietary, silicon based technology.
OU Researcher to Study Career Trends
DNelson OU
A University of Oklahoma faculty member will receive about $1 million to study longterm trends of women and minorities in science and engineering careers. Donna Nelson, an Associate Professor of Chemistry, received one of 14 National Institutes of Health grants focusing on factors that influence the careers of women in biomedical and behavioral sciences and engineering. Her team's project, "Building an Evidence Base for Developing Effective Intervention Strategies for Women," will carry   out the fourth generation of the Nelson Diversity Surveys, which track the national demographics of tenured and tenure-track faculty in science and engineering departments at research universities over 10 years.