GRANT NEWS          
                              Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
 June 2014
Dear Faculty and Administrators,

We hope you appreciate learning about the grants that have been obtained for Oklahoma higher education this month. We know it takes extra dedication to compete for external funding. These folks have performed above and beyond their requirements! If you received this newsletter from someone else, be sure to sign up for your own copy by sending a request to If you want to submit information about a grant you have obtained, send your information to that email, also. Enjoy this newsletter!
                                        Dr. Linda Mason
In This Issue
OKINBRE GRANT                                           

NIH - $18.4 million

An $18.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will advance biomedical research and workforce development across the state through the Oklahoma IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (OKINBRE) program, directed by Dr. Darrin Akins, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Associate Dean for Re-search at OUHSC College of Medicine.


The five-year grant, one of the largest NIH grants in Oklahoma to date, was awarded to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center from the NIH Insti-tutional Development Award program to expand medical research and education in the areas of cancer, developmental biology and infectious disease. The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education will provide an additional $500,000 match annually to further enhance research and educational activities at Oklahoma's regional universities.


It is a multi-institutional award that utilizes senior scientists and faculty from OUHSC and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation to mentor and pro-vide guidance to scientists embarking on their own research and careers within the health profession across Oklahoma. This award is especially signif-icant because it helps foster the careers of promising young scientists and health professionals in our state, which ultimately will bolster efforts to im-prove the health of all Oklahomans.


State-of-the-art research equipment will also be funded through the grant to improve the research infrastructure at Oklahoma colleges and universities. In addition, the grant supports numerous outreach activities geared toward high school teachers and students, as well as faculty and undergraduate students at colleges and universities throughout the state.


Regional university research partners supported by the grant include:

  • Cameron University
  • Langston University
  • Northeastern State University
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University
  • Southwestern Oklahoma State University
  • University of Central Oklahoma

Community college outreach partners include:

  • Comanche Nation College
  • Oklahoma City Community College
  • Redlands Community College
  • Tulsa Community College

In addition, the grant funds an annual summer research program providing more than 40 Oklahoma college undergraduates with hands-on biomedical research experiences at the OUHSC campus and OMRF, as well as a statewide conference to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to enter health-related careers and an annual conference showcasing Oklahoma undergraduate research.

TU GRANT                               
Oxley Foundation

The University of Tulsa is forming a College of Health Sciences that will bring together several existing pro-

grams, including nursing and pre-med. The college will begin operations in January under a yet-to-be-named dean and vice president. The reorganization will include the addition of five faculty positions that funded through the Oxley Foundation.

ECU GRANT                               


Oklahoma State Department of Education - $38,000

PI Dr. Mary Harper and Co-PIs Dr. Andrew Wells and Nancy McClain of the ECU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science received a Math Science Partner-ship mini-grant to provide professional development opportunities for math and science teachers from Bowlegs school district in Oklahoma. Funds will provide opportuni-ties for ECU Math and Science professors to interact with teachers from Bowlegs via lectures and workshops.



National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Oklahoma State University is one of five universities to compete in its 2015 Exploration Habitat Academic Inno-vation Challenge, making OSU the only school to be selected each year since the challenge began five years ago. Each university has a specific project to work on for the challenge. OSU will develop a deployable greenhouse for food production on long-duration exploration missions, including the moon and Mars. Students from six depart-ments across campus will work on the project as part of their senior design course.


The University of Colorado at Boulder will work with OSU to construct the deployable greenhouse for food production. However, CU will focus more on the hardware of the project while OSU will be more focused on the habitat. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will design a carbon-fiber/fused depo-sition modeling spacecraft structural fabrication system. The University of South Alabama will develop a volumetric adsorption system for CO2 and H2O multicomponent isotherm measurements. The University of Vermont will design a "smart-structure" deployable airlock.


Jamey Jacob, mechanical and aerospace engineering; Steve O'Hara, arch-itecture and architectural engineering; Joe Cecil, industrial engineering and management; Paul Weckler and Ning Wang, biosystems and agricultural engineering; and Steve Marks, aviation education are faculty researchers and serve as advisers for students.


Grants will be administered to the universities by the National Space Grant Foundation to fund the design, development and evaluation of the systems by members of the NASA teams during the 2014-15 academic year.


NASA - $750,000

An interdisciplinary team with researchers from Oklahoma State University's Tulsa and Stillwater campuses received funding to develop a composite material that will protect astronauts from radiation on space missions. The project, Radiation Smart Structures and Materials with H-rich Nanostructured Multifunctional Materials, was one of 15 selected for funding through the NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, known as EPSCoR. The project leaders include Ranji Vaidyanathan, Varnadow Chair and OSU-Tulsa professor of materials science and engineering; Raman Singh, OSU-Tulsa Helmerich Research Center director, C.F. Colcord Chair and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering; and Eric Benton, OSU associate professor of physics. Victoria Duca Snowden at the Space Grant Program at the University of Oklahoma will administer the project, assisted by Madeline Baugher at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.


US National Child Welfare Workforce Institute - $735,000

Northeastern State University has received a five-year grant to improve child welfare services in the Cherokee Nation. The university's Department of Social Work will partner with the tribe to enhance and support child welfare services. Northeastern State University is one of 11 universities nationwide to receive the funding. The funding also pays for eight internships for undergraduate students who are studying social work.


Oklahoma EPSCoR via OSU - $12,500

Dr. Ratnaker Deole received funding for Oscillatoria Limnetica 2014, a study on use changes to the lipid composition of Oscillator Limnetica at a different salt concentration as a salinity proxy of paleoclimate reconstructions in regions where precipitation patterns constitute a major feature of climate variability.  Changes in the composition in response to salt concentrations will be analyzed using GC/MS. 




OK EPSCoR via OSU - $12,500


Dr. Suneeti Jog received funding to explore the relationships between wetland condition and array of landscape variables representing human impacts and climate conditions.   The project also involves assessment of wetlands in Oklahoma to generate regional GIS based models that relate landscape characteristics to wetland condition and the geographical distribution of plant species and their response to climate change.



State of Oklahoma Supreme Court - $81,801


Ann Wilkins received funding for Alternative Dispute Resolution- Early Settlement Northeast 2014-2015 (Yr. 21) to 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 are provided to northeast Oklahoma as determined by need.




US Department of Interior via North Dakota Game & Fish - $20,257

Dr. Michael Shaughnessy received funding for a mutual endeavor between North Dakota Game and Fish and NSU to establish and survey data for western North Dakota 'fringe' mammal species that are historically underrepresented in the natural history collections. Determination of range limits, vegetation associations and habitat parameters will also occur during the survey. Shaughnessy will produce updated range distribution maps for North Dakota 'fringe' mammals detected during the survey.



SE GRANTS                               

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education - $25,000

Scott Hensley, Director of Career Management Center and Continuing Education, received funding for Summer Accademy in STEM. The purpose of this grant is to provide stimulating learning opportunities for students in grades 8 through ten by focusing and motivating learning activities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. George Jacox will oversee the the day-to-day activities of the camp and will oversee the instructors and counselors. The camp will house sixty children; twenty per camp. The children will be involved in classroom lecture/activities, hands-on experiments and projects, career related discussions, and related assignments focused on STEM-related information.


Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission - $20,000

Scott Hensley, Director of Career Management Center and Continuing Education, received funding to provide stimulating learning opportunities for students in grades 8 through ten by focusing and motivating activities in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. George Jacox is over the day-to-day activities of the camp and will oversee the instructors and counselors. The camp will house sixty children; twenty per camp. The children will be involved in classroom lecture/activities, hands-on experiments and projects, career related discussions, and related assignments focused on STEM-related information.


Choctaw Nation - $20,000

Scott Hensley, Director of Career Management Center and Continuing Education, received funding to provide Child Care Resource and Referral.


US Department of Agriculture via Oklahoma State Department of Education - $22,101



Larry Dresser, Director of Upward Bound, received funding for Upward Bound Program meals served to students. This will be a supplement to the regular program grant for meals for TRIO Program participants on campus for the Summer Camp sessions.




Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma - $55,686

Chris Wesberry, Director of Native American Center for Student Success, received funding for a two week summer academy focusing on leadership. Eighteen Chickasaw high school students who have completed their sophomore and junior year will spend two weeks on the Southeastern campus attending training and workshops to develop their leadership skills. Also, the students will attend college orientation with emphasis on campus and classroom academic survival skills, opportunity for field trips and cultural experiences, and explore tribal higher education funding sources.


SWOSU Gwen OK EPSCoR - $10,000

Tech Trek at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford received funding from the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research to support the second year of the weeklong summer math and science camp for girls. Tech Trek was founded in 1998 by the California American Association of University Women. Thirty campers from across Oklahoma participated in the inaugural Tech Trek at SWOSU in 2013. The Weatherford branch of the AAUW was selected to host Tech Trek at SWOSU for a second year. It is scheduled July 13-19. The camp has expanded to include 48 campers. Other sponsors of the camp include the AAUW national office, City of Weatherford Hotel/Motel Tax Commission, Weatherford Kiwanis, Weatherford Rotary Club, Sorosis Club, American Jet Charter Inc., Delta Kappa Gamma, Caddo Electric Cooperative and Fisher Scientific. The project is directed by Dr. Lori Gwyn.

UCO GRANTS                               

OK EPSCoR - $12,680

Dr. Josie Cheng received funding for The Research and Development of Just-in-time STEM Tutorials. Dr. Cheng will collaborate with Dr. Neeman at The University of Oklahoma (OU) to create four STEM cloud-based tutorials during the 2014 summer months. These tutorials will then be uploaded to a server and then can be accessed by students 24/7 when assistance is needed to solve problems or complete assignments. The effects of these just-in-time STEM tutorials on students' learning outcomes and satisfaction with learning would be analyzed, disseminated, and shared through the venues of Oklahoma Research Day and conferences.


Oklahoma State Regent for Higher Education

Sandra Kent received funding for Leading the Change to Common Core State Standards: An Oklahoma A+ Schools Professional Development (Year 2).

 National Endowment for the Arts

Sandra Kent received funding for Ok A+ Schools: Making the Arts Essential to Whole School Reform (Year 2).    


US Army Corps of Engineers via Texas A&M University AGRILIFE

Joe Grzybowski, College of Mathematics & Science, received funding for Black-capped Vireo Survey-Endangered Species, at Fort Sill, OK. 





The Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology has awarded more than $4.1 million for 31 health research projects ranging from development of anti-cancer drug pharma-cology to human motor unit function impacted by aging. OCAST is the state's techno-logy-based economic devel- opment agency. Winning app lications were chosen from a pool of 140. Research funded under the program investi- gates human diseases and disabilities and aids devel- opment of health care.

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Mary Phillips, Associate Professor of Biology, received funding from the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and Oklahoma NASA EPSCoR to support her new, multidisciplinary research challenge-based course, which launched in January. Mary and her team of TCC STEM faculty from biology, microbiology, botany, chemistry, engineering, and mathematics disciplines taught the course. Other team members were Roxann Davenport, Thomas Henderson, Rosemary Carlson, Lance Phillips, Patrick Idwasi, and Raelynn Butler.


Charles Morton Share Trust Foundation - $30,000

Dr. Cynthia Pfeifer-Hill, Professor of Biology, received funding for the Heartland BEST Robotics Competition. This grant will fund the annual Heartland BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science and Technology) robotics competition for middle and high school students.

US Department of Health and Human Services NIH - $700,000

The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has been awarded a training grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Eye Institute to support vision researchers. Daniel J.J. Carr, a basic scientist at the Dean McGee Eye Institute and M.G. McCool Professor in the OU Department of Oph-thalmology, serves as the principal investigator for the grant, which is entitled "Cell-ular and Molecular Cascades in Vision Research."







Research and creative activities provide the critical opportunity for students to fully engage in their education, facilitating a journey of discovery that bridges the gap between knowledge and experience. The 2014 conference will revisit effective models of inquiry with a focus on community engagement, effective models of assessment of undergraduate research outcomes and student retention, and examine student research projects illustrating these models.

                       Registration Deadline: September 19, 2014 -