MSU Proudly Announces Recent Grant Awards Received

MSU Receives $1,057,369 in Grant Funds.

The following MSU faculty received grant awards over the last three months:

Fawzia Afzal-Khan, Director of Women and Gender Studies, CHSS and Norma Connolly, Justice Studies, CHSS, received an award from New Jersey Council for the Humanities for $15,434 for the project "EnGendering Justice:  Women's Cross Cultural Prison Narratives."  They will conduct a two day symposium at Montclair State University with plenary speakers and panelists and make a presentation at Newark Public Library.  The speakers are Nawal El Sadaawi, Barbara Harlow, Megan Sweeney and Michele Lise Tarter, notable critics, scholars and women's advocates.  This symposium will encourage a cross-cultural, historical, legal and political examination of justice, its application to incarcerated women and its societal implications.  Autobiographical writing by women prisoners will be the tool to explore and learn from the human experience and help the authors understand their reality.

Kenneth Bain, Director of Research Academy for Learning, Academic Affairs and Bryan Murdock, Research Academy of University Learning, Academic Affairs, received a one year grant for $260,000 from the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service for an AmeriCorps project.  This collaboration among MSU's New Jersey School of Conservation, the Service Learning and Community Engagement Program and the Center for Student Involvement will build and develop a multi-site, campus-based national service program to engage University resources in three areas:  education, environment and community economic development

Kirk Barrett, Passaic River Institute, received $30,943 for a four year grant from the National Science Foundation for the "MSU REU SITE" project.  REU SITE will provide a valuable educational experience for undergraduate students through participation in transdisciplinary, hands-on field research in environmental sciences.  The objective is to inspire and enable REU scholars to pursue degrees and careers in science/engineering research and to build their confidence that such degrees and careers are desirable and feasible.

Stefanie Brachfeld, Earth and Environmental Studies, CSAM, was awarded $143,022 for the first year of a three year collaborative project entitled "Static and Shock Pressure Treatment of Synthetic Mars Basalts:  Implications for Understanding the Evolution of Crustal Magnetic Anomalies."  The total grant is anticipated to be $451,342. MSU collaborates with the University of Hawaii, the University of Minnesota and Harvard University to synthesize basalts of Martian composition and subject them to static and shock pressure experiments.  The goal is to simulate impact cratering and understand the effects of high pressure on crustal magnetization.  In addition, a graduate assistant will receive a stipend to work on the project after the first batch of samples has been synthesized at the University of Hawaii.  This GA will also participate in the preparation of publications.

Jennifer Urban Brown, Family & Child Studies, received a Supplemental Award for a five year research project that was funded by the National Science Foundation in the amount of $60,478.  The project "Phase II Trial of the Systems Evaluation Protocol's" purpose is to develop and test a new systems-driven approach to evaluation that can be used to enhance evaluation capacity and quality for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs specifically and outreach programs generally.

Mark Chopping, Earth and Environmental Studies, CSAM, received an award from NASA in the amount of $137,674 for the first year of a three year project entitled "A Decade of Changes in Aboveground Live Standing Dry Biomass, Canopy Cover, Height and Understory Density in the Southwestern US from EOS MISR and MODIS".  NASA expects to award $182,386 for the entire grant.  The goal of this project is to leverage previous successful research supported by the NASA Earth Observing System program to develop novel and innovative methods for mapping woody plant canopies (forests and shrubs) in the southwestern US.  A post-doctoral research associate will work with Dr. Chopping for a year on improving the MISR/MODIS woody plant mapping method.

Evan Fuller, Mathematical Sciences, CSAM, received $15,700 for the first year of a three year National Science Foundation grant held by Rutgers.  The project entitled "Proving Styles in University Mathematics", will investigate the prevalence and correlation with success of different proving strategies used by undergraduate math majors.  One hundred math majors will be interviewed as they complete tasks.  Their proving strategies will be examined to determine how their preferred strategy correlates with intelligence or academic success as measured by SAT scores and grades.

Lisa Lieberman, Health & Nutrition Sciences, received an award from Inwood House (Department of Health & Human Services) for $132,940. This award is for year one of a five year grant for the project entitled "Adolescent Family Life Program".  The goal of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of Inwood House's continuum of care for pregnant teens when enhanced by specific additional services offered to pregnant teens and a significant other.  In addition to Dr. Lieberman, a full-time graduate student assistant will be hired to assist with development of surveys, protocols and approval documents, as well as a second research assistant.

Jeng Peng, Computer Science, CSAM, received a Department of Air Force subaward held by Syracuse University in the amount of $29,040 for the project entitled "Closed-Loop Learning Integrated Robust Information Fusion".  The goal of this project is to prove a strong result for the proposed algorithm by casting it within the adversarial multi-armed bandit framework and further validate the analysis using wide area image data for persistent target tracking.

Stefan Robila, Computer Science, and Michael P. Weinstein, Director, Institute for Sustainability Studies, CSAM, were awarded a two year demonstration grant of $218,000 to develop a "Decision Support System" (DSS) for data center applications.  The goal of the project is the creation of a DSS that supports business and organizational decision making intended to streamline operations and save energy and operational costs for MSU's data center.  The team also includes Michael Oudshoorn, Chair of CSAM's Computer Science Department and Aparna Varde, Computer Science, an expert in data mining, database management and Artificial Intelligence, who will supervise the graduate students on the project led by doctoral student Michael Pawlish.  The grant is funded by PSE&G.

MeiYin Wu, Biology and Molecular Biology, CSAM, received $14,138 for a three year grant from the National Science Foundation for the "Collaborative Research Greenhouse Gas Balance" project.  This project seeks to address recent and increasing concerns to restore wetlands in order to avoid greenhouse gas emissions.  The objective is to access the dangers that wetlands pose to global climate change by studying methane production and carbon dioxide dynamics on urban temperate wetlands.