Oklahoma Higher Education

for June and July 

Summer 2011
August 12, 2011
Mason mountain      
Dear Faculty and Administrators,

We hope you are having a great summer! This newsletter will let you know about some of the grants your colleagues around the state have successfully obtained recently. When you receive your grant, be sure to let us know so we can share with all! Congratulations to all the grant writers! Your excellent contributions to Oklahoma higher education change lives of our students! Thank you!
Dr. Linda Mason
Coordinator for Grant Writing Assistance
Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education 
In This Issue
OSU Grants
LU Grant
OCU Grant
SE Grants
NEO A&M Grants
NSU Grants
OU Student Competitions
GEAR UP Subgrants
OU Grants
OBU Nursing Grant
Aviation Grants
CU Grants
Rose State College
3 OK Research Institutions Rank in Top 40
OSU Grants

 OSU logo

OSU Raman SunkarSwitch Grass as Biofuel Source - OCAST
OSU researcher and assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology Raman Sunkar has received funding from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology to study the feasibility of switch grass as a biofuel source. This research will also enhance understanding of major crops like corn. Also, Oklahoma's National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research is providing funding as Sunkar's research team questions the role of microRNA's in switch grass adaptation and production. Switch grass is being targeted because it can grow in very poor soil, it will not drive up food prices when used as fuel (unlike corn), and is tolerant of heat and drought. Sunkar's lab has also received three grants from the USDA and a research grants from the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center.

Dr. Robert Alderson, OSU assistant professor of psychology was awarded $135,000 to research core deficits of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Dr. Junpeng Deng, OSU assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, received $135,000 to research enzyme mutations which are known to cause Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Wend Picking, OSU associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics, received $135,000 to study making Salmonella vaccines with bacterial proteins.

Dr. Daqing Piao, OSU assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received $135,000 to develop technology which would allow the rapid assessment of a transplantable liver.

Dr. Yingmei Liu, OSU assistant professor of physics, received $134,400 to purchase a magnetic scanning microscope capable of detecting minute magnetic variations in the heart and brain.

Dr. Jeanmarie Verchot of OSU in Stillwater received $85,978 to provide virusfree canna lilies to Horn Canna Farm in Carnegie, the primary canna producer in the nation.   


The OSU School of Entrepreneurship received $36,400 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation to support four new initiatives in the School of Entrepreneurship during the next 12 months. The first initiative involves development of liberty modules for all sections of "Introduction to Entrepreneurship." These modules will focus on the roles of ethics, values, free enterprise and personal liberty in supporting entrepreneurial behavior. The dissemination of the results of the overall project to various audiences is the final initiative.

LU Grant
OK Masonic Fraternity Endowment
Langston University received $100,000 from the Masonic Fraternity of Oklahoma. The money will be used to attract high quality speakers for Langston's Masonic Endowed President's Distinguished Lecture Series.


OCU Grant
Westhemier Family Foundation for Instruments
Mark Parker and Ann Hundley Hoover of Oklahoma City University have received a grant from the Jerome Westheimer Family foundation in Ardmore. The grant will be used to purchase instruments for students at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at OCU. The grant will finance five Selmer bassoons, a Wilson fully-compensating euphonium, and a Blackburn E-flat trumpet and a Schilke E-flat trumpet.
SE Grants

NIH grant for Cancer Research and Undergraduates
Dr. Teresa Golden, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, has received $25,000 from the National Institutes of Health via the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for undergraduate students to work in a laboratory environment and continue a study on the PP5 enzyme, and it's potential role in cancer promotion. PP5 is an important protein due to its ability to activate or inactivate cells.

Upward Bound....$461,594 and $24,098SE Larry Dresser Upward Bound
Larry Dresser, Director of Upward Bound Programs, has received a $24,098 grant from the USDA through the Oklahoma State Department of Education to reimburse meals served to students through the Upward Bound Programs. The Upward Bound Program received $461,594 from the U.S. Department of Education to serve ninety-six first generation, low income students in six counties to generate skills and motivation necessary for success in education beyond high school. During the academic year, students will be offered tutoring, mentoring, and trips for cultural and educational enrichment.


SE Scott HensleySoutheastern Child Care Resource & Referral Library...$118,364 and $18,815 

Scott Hensley, Director of Continuing Education and Career Management, received $18,815 from the Choctaw Nation Child Care Assistance. He also received $118,364 from the Oklahoma Child Care Resource and Referral Association to ensure that all families in the Southeast Oklahoma service delivery area have access to quality child care and education for their children through community-based resource and referral services.     


Oklahoma Small Business Development Center............$1,228,062SE Carter William

Dr. William Carter received $1,228,062 from the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide small business assistance in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Small Business Development Center (OSBDC) is a partnership including the SBA, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, and the universities and colleges that support local SBDC service centers. The OSBDC network provides low cost training and free business management counseling for business owners and new entrepreneurs throughout the state. Currently there are thirteen offices.

NEO A&M Grants

Thomas Endowment....$100,000
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College received $100,000 from alumnus Kent and Kayleen Thomas to establish a $1,500 / semester scholarship for an undergraduate student in the sciences or teaching. The first scholarship of this endowment will be awarded in this fall.

Julie Rohde NEOAM

EPSCoR Award
JulieAnna Rohde, Natural Sciences Instructor at NEO A&M, received a Research Opportunity Award from EPSCoR. Rohde is currently working this summer in Dr. Ulrich Melcher's lab at OSU. With his guidance, Rohde is carrying out "A Study of Virus Type and Biomass Correlation in Panicum virgatum."
NSU Grants
NSU BlueVeterans Assistance and Services Program
John Blue and NSU have received $50,500 from the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center to recruit and hire a new Business Development Specialist The specialist will provide support with creation and retention of small businesses within the community by providing entrepreneurial advice, training and counseling. NSU Ann Wilkins

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Ann Wilkins  and NSU have received $87,105 in funding from the State of Oklahoma Supreme Court.  The funding will provide mediation services according to the Dispute Resolution Act and other directives and forms provided by the Administration Director of the Courts. Dispute mediation services will provided in northeast Oklahoma on an assessment of need. 

NSU Chamber Music Series
Dr. Norman Wilka and NSU have received $1,500 from the Oklahoma Arts Council for the NSU Chamber Music Series to bring professional musicians to the Tahlequah area to provide both chamber music and solo performances. The artists will also provide master classes to area music students. 

Galaxy of StarsNSU Cowan
Dr. Paul Westbrook and Ms. Amber Cowan and NSU have received $15,252 from the Oklahoma Arts Council for a series of performances and educational outreach events to provide the community with a culturally diverse series of quality arts experiences.

NSU FifeCenter for Tribal Studies Symposium Powwow
Dr. Phyllis Fife and NSU have received $3,500 from the Oklahoma Arts Council to present two programs for public audiences free of charge.  The first event brings Native dance culture to the stage in a program about the history and protocol of the powwow.  The second event will be an actual 2-day powwow.

Green Country Jazz SeriesNSU POOLE
Dr. Tommy Poole and NSU have received $2,000 from the Oklahoma Humanities Council to cultivate the growth and development of jazz performances and education for students, music educators, and audiences throughout the region

NSU Jessica MartinOklahoma INBRE-Junior Investigator Iron Binding
Dr. Jessica Martin
and NSU have received $116,485 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through OUHSC to provide examples of marine siderphore structures by screening open-ocean fungal strains for the iron-binding compounds under conditions of iron limitations. It will isolate the iron-binding from the open-ocean fungal strains, then determine the structure of siderphores produced by open-ocean fungi using amino acid analysis, NMR, and mass spectometry. 

Oklahoma INBRE-Junior Investigator Antibiotic Research
NSU Cizar
Dr. Cindy Cisar and NSU have received $63,355 from National Institutes of Health (NIH) through OUHSC to determine if coliform bacteria in a freshwater ecosystem that received effluent from a waste water treatment plant will act as an environmental reservoir of antibiotic resistance.  The program will assess the impact these bacteria may have on the spread of antibiotic resistance and, ultimately, on human health.INBRE Mentor Program
Dr. Cindy Cisar and Dr. Joseph Ahlander have received $6,600 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through OUHSC to mentor and provide summer training and supplies for 3 students in the program.
Dr. Cindy Cisar and NSU have received $10,462 from NIH to develop a grant proposal as the Principal Investigator. 

OklahoNSU de Banziema INBRE 2011
Dr. John de Banzie
and NSU received $11,675 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the OUHSC to provide time for Dr. de Banzie to serve as Program Coordinator for the OK-INBRE.

NSU DesiloGreat Expectations
Dr. Linda Dzialo and NSU have received $2,382,876 from a private funding source to teach innovative and inspirational education techniques to school teachers in order to help revolutionize the classroom educational experience of children. 

NSU AbiaDevelopment of Catalytic Ionic Liquids
Dr. Jude Abia and NSU have received $10,000 from Oklahoma EPSCoR to develop a new catalytic approach to overcome the fundamental barriers to the efficient conversion of cellulosic biomass to fuels and value-added chemicals by combining highly catalytic anionic metal -oxide nanoparticles with ionic liquids' power dissolving cellulosic biomaterials.    

NSU Burberma INBRE-Equipment Awards
Dr. Christopher Burba and NSU have received $35,000 from NIH through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for a Powd
er X-Ray Diffractometer  

NSU AhlanderOklahoma INBRE-Equipment Dr. Joseph Ahlander and NSU have received $13,183 from NIH through the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for a Drosophila Growth Chamber.     

Confucius Classroom

Dr. Paul Westbrook and NSU have received $10,0
00 from the Confucius Institute at the University of Oklahoma to establish a Confucius Classroom at NSU. 

Educational Talent Search-Tahlequah & Broken Arrow
CamNSU Walkerpus
Diane Walker
and NSU have received $2,300,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to identify disadvantaged youths with potential for post secondary education, encourage them to complete secondary school, and undertake college training and provide tutorial services. This program is part of TRIO.
OU Student CompetitionsOU Logo

Students in EPSCoR Bioenergy Competition
Three OU students earned top prizes in a poster competition. Qualified students had to have performed research under the EPSCoR Bioenergy RII Award. Oklahoma EPSCoR is funded by the NSF and the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Michael Ukpong, from OU's Dept. of Botany and Microbiology, was awarded first place for his project "Physciological response of Clostridium carboxidivorans during conversion of synthesis gas to solvents in a gas-fed bioreactor." EPSCoR researcher Bradley Stevenson served as Ukpong's mentor.

Juan Torres, from OU's Dept. of Botany and Microbiology, received second place. His "Syngas to butanol" project was mentored by EPSCoR researcher Ralph Tanner.

Miguel A. Gonzalez B., from OU's School of Chemical, Biological, and Materials Engineering, received third place for his project, "Anisole and guaiacol deoxygenation over Pt-Sn monoliths." His faculty mentor was EPSCoR researcher Daniel Resasco.

OU Students Take Business Competition
The OU Student team, Cerebro-Gen Pharmaceuticals, won the first place, $25,000 prize in the Graduate Division at the Donald W. Reynolds Tri-State Competition in Las Vegas. The OU team wrote and presented a business plan for a drug designed to treat epilepsy. Cerebro-Gen's team leader was Benjamin West. He led team members Chase Roberts, Tobi Olusola, and Majed Gharfeh. Dr. Elaine Hamm was their faculty advisor
GEAR UP Subgrants for Oklahoma Schools
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, through their GEAR UP program, recently awarded subgrants to Fletcher, Lawton, and Snyder public schools. Fletcher Public Schools received $12,500 and is participating in the Engaging All Students seminar. Lawton Public Schools has received $87,500 and Snyder Public Schools has received $12,500 for various projects to include: the Engaging All Students seminar, the Grant Writing Institute, the College Boards Pre-AP Summer Institutes, and the Professional Science and Advanced Math Institute.
OU Grants


OU Logo

Dr. Zhisheng Shi, OU in Norman received $90,000 from OCAST for use in Homeland Security applications to develop a lightweight, hand-held sensor to detect explosive gas.   





Dr. Ted Bader of the OUHSC in Oklahoma City received $299,692 from OCAST to study simvastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug, and its potential to fight hepatitis B.  


Dr. Gregory L. Skuta, Edward L. Gaylord Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at OUHSC and president and CEO of the Dean McGee Eye Institute received $100,000 from Research to Prevent Blindness.


Dr. Michael H. Elliott, assistant professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Dean McGee Eye Institute on the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center campus, received the $55,000 Sybil B. Harrington Special Scholar Award for Macular Degeneration from Research to Prevent Blindness to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of blinding diseases.


Dr. Betty Jett and the University of Oklahoma Breast Institute has received $140,000 from the National Breast Cancer Foundation to provide mammograms to many women who would not otherwise have access to this lifesaving study.The grant supplements money received from the Central and Western Oklahoma Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

OBU Nursing - $50,000 Butterfield

Oklahoma Baptist University's College of Nursing has received $50,000 from the Butterfield Memorial Foundation, a charitable organization committed to providing support to Christian nonprofit organizations whose initiatives address health and medical needs for vulnerable populations. The funds are for student scholarships
Aviation Grants

OAC logo

The Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission has given eight aviation education program grants at schools across the state. The OU Sooner Flight Academy in Norman received $53,000. Southeastern Oklahoma State University's "Take Flight - Aviation Science Camp" received $13,383. Rose State College's Aerospace Flight Camp received $4,754. Langston University's National Summer Transportation Institute Program for high school students received $3,500. 


Cameron University Grant
Beth Gregory and Cameron University received $344,914 from Educational Talent Search, U.S. Department of Education for CU's Open Doors program, which provides postsecondary information, personal counseling, career development and academic support to students in grades six through 12.  
ROSE State College Grant
ROSE logo
Rose State College has received $15,000 from Northrop Grumman for science and engineering equipment and classes for high-technology occupations.


3 OK Research Institutions Rank in Top 40 Best Places for Scientists to Work

Three Oklahoma institutions have been named to "The Scientist" magazine's top 40 best places to work in the U.S. in academia. The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation in Ardmore placed No. 7; the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, No. 10; and the OU Health Sciences Center, No. 14.
The rankings, which appear in the July issue of the New York- and London-based magazine, were based on surveys that gathered thousands of responses from scientists across the country. Participants were asked to rate their institutions on 37 criteria in eight different core areas, including peers and compensation, and to rank which factors were more important to them. No. 1 on this year's list is the J. David Gladstone Institutes of San Francisco.

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2011 OSRHE Grant Writing Institute August 1-5
2011 GWI Group
The 37 grant proposal writers in the 2011 Grant Writing Institute were thrilled with their progress. Seventeen institutions were represented, writing funding proposals for over $10,000,000! Writers came from OU, OUHSC, LU, NSU, RCC, UCO, TCC, CU, TU, SNU, OBU and OCU. Ten mentors worked one-on-one with writers and writing teams, Beth Shumate from TCC, Krista Schumacher OSU PHD Candidate, Gerry Cherry retiree from UCO, Penny Coggins retiree from RCC, Bob Miller OSU, Ann Nalley CU, Tony Wohlers CU, Paul Buntz SE, Kermit McMurry OSRHE, Lori Gwyn SWOSU, Jean Van deLinder OSU, and Shawn Chiusano OSU Masters Candidate were beloved mentors. Critiques of each proposal revealed great ideas. These folks are to be applauded for their energy and dedication to  improve Oklahoma Higher Education! Thank you, mentors and writers in the 2011 OSRHE Grant Writing Institute.
OSRHE Summer Grants Intern - Shawn Chiusano, OSU
OSU Shawn Chiusano
Shawn Chiusano is an OSU Masters degree candidate in English Rhetoric and Professional Writing, with research interests in Discourse Analysis, Genre Studies, and, of course, Grants. During the summer 2011, he was a valuable Grantsmanship Intern for the Oklahoma State Regents. He wrote and edited the GRANT NEWS, wrote and edited GRANT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OKLAHOMA HIGHER EDUCATION, assisted a faculty member find grant resources and organize a proposal draft, coordinated the 2011 Grant Writing Institute, participated with the State Grantsmanship Committee, worked with GWI grant writers, provided grant resources to a community service group, interviewed state grant leaders, and accomplished many other tasks. He was extremely valuable in his role in assisting Oklahoma Higher Education to obtain grants more easily and improve research and programs. After his graduate studies, he plans to become involved in grants as a fulltime profession.We say, "Atta Boy, Shawn!"
Grant Writing Tip: Become a Peer Reviewer

Grant Reviewers

The best professional development to write excellent grant proposals is to become a peer reviewer of grant proposals. You will gain insights about the best formats, the strongest models, and errors to avoid.

Contact the federal agency program you wish to obtain a grant from, send them a brief bio of yourself and a short message about what you have to contribute to the review process.Remember that just being from a rural state is diversity for a review panel.  

Q: Do I have to have received grants to become a reviewer?

A: No, just have experience in your field.

Q: Do I have to have a Ph.D. to become a reviewer?

A: No, they are interested in your expertise and experience.

Q: If I review for a particular program, can I submit a proposal to that program later?

A: Yes, and you will have a great overview of the best projects for that funding program.

You can subscribe to the regular weekly list of Grant Opportunities by sending your email address and request to It will help you find just that grant you are seeking! Also, check for professional development workshops offered on grant seeking and grant writing at under Training Opportunities. You can learn more about how to obtain that grant!


Linda Mason

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education