Aerial shot of campus.

Spring 2017

The Spring 2017 edition of Montclair State’s award-winning Forward Thinking research newsletter highlights some of the important research being conducted by University faculty and students, including work being done for the last five years at the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, which has brought in $7 million to support research, education, professional development and community programs.

In this issue, among other research, you will discover how our faculty are helping students at underserved urban schools succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields of study; are learning the best techniques for interviewing child eyewitnesses; are studying racial bias’s role in perceiving physical threats; and are connecting New Jersey farmers with consumers in urban neighborhoods that have a difficult time getting fresh produce.

You will also learn more about a professor whose work in sustainability science recently earned him a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and another whose research on gravitational waves has earned him a National Science Foundation early career development (CAREER) grant.

In This Issue

Five Years of Autism Research and Services
In its first five years, the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University has brought in more than $7 million in grants and other funding to support its mission of offering professional development, education, clinical services, community programs and research opportunities in the areas of autism, infant and childhood development, and early childhood mental health in New Jersey.

A Banner Year for Research and Programming
For research and externally sponsored program funding at Montclair State, FY2016 was a record-breaking year, building upon past achievements, with faculty and staff receiving more than 60 awards, totaling more than $11.6 million.

How to Best Interview Child Eyewitnesses
Interviewing children remotely could solve the challenges facing many jurisdictions, especially those lacking the resources and expertise to skillfully conduct sensitive interviews of child eyewitnesses.

Presidential Early Career Award
President Barack Obama named Earth and Environmental Studies Professor Pankaj Lal as one of 102 researchers in the country deserving of the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Tales from the Dark Side of the Universe
Mathematical Sciences Professor Marc Favata has received a five-year, $400,000 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation for a research and education project that will explore ways in which gravitational waves offer a new way of looking at the universe.

Learning to Talk About Spatial Relationships
The ball is on the table; the toy is in the box; the shoe is on the foot. In order to talk about spatial relationships like these, children first need to acquire spatial language.

Spotlight: News Briefs
Quick summaries of the newest and upcoming grants, research, and projects.

Racial Bias in Perception
Recent research conducted by a University psychology professor suggests that people’s perceptions are often clouded by bias. The results, recently published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, indicate that people perceive black men as larger and more threatening than white men of the same size.

Addressing a Shortage of Teachers in STEM Subjects
A Montclair State cross-disciplinary research team has received a three-year, $1,106,026 National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program grant to address the shortage of high-quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers.