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Union College faculty successfully compete for grants



Union College was awarded more than $2 million in federal, state and local government and private foundation grants during 2012-13 to support faculty and undergraduate research and curricular-enhancement initiatives.

The recent awards involve 30 Union faculty from 14 academic departments, promoting collaborative research activities, the use of shared laboratory instrumentation, and the involvement of undergraduate students in meaningful ways. Of special note, Union went 3-for-3 in the 2012 National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) competition, securing two instrument acquisition grants and the College’s first instrument development grant.  These coveted MRI awards support multi-disciplinary teams of faculty researchers in the nanoscience program, the geological sciences, and catalytic aerogel materials research. These projects were led by Principal Investigators Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics, David Gillikin, assistant professor of geology, and Bradford Bruno, associate professor of mechanical engineering, respectively.

“Applying for grants takes vision, collaboration and process,” said Therese McCarty, vice president for academic affairs. “At Union College, we have all three. Our long and proud tradition of combining disciplines to find creative solutions allows us to compete very successfully for these sources of funding. In fact, we rank among the top liberal arts colleges with the highest number of active NSF grants.”

To date, the proposals submitted by Union faculty during the 2012 calendar year have resulted in an impressive 38 percent success rate. “Our success at securing these awards reflects the hard work and talent of our faculty and students,” said McCarty.

“These grants enhance our research infrastructure and give our students opportunities to participate in activities bridging the classroom and the laboratory,” said Kristin Fox, associate professor of chemistry and director of undergraduate research.  “Faculty and undergraduate research experiences not only strengthen our academic culture but also allow students to find, explore, and cultivate their passions.”

To learn more information about Union’s recent grant awards, visit us on the web at: http://www.union.edu/offices/grants/awards/index.php

GRANTS AWARDED
Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics & astronomy
Palmyra Catravas, associate professor of electrical & computer engineering
Brian Cohen, lecturer of biology and director of advising
Rebecca Cortez, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
Michael Hagerman, professor and chair of Chemistry
Joanne Kehlbeck, associate professor of chemistry
Seyfollah Maleki, professor of physics & astronomy
National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation Program
MRI: Acquisition of an inverted optical microscope to enable interdisciplinary research that unites five departments within the Union College Nanoscience Program

Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics & astronomy
Cornell University NASA New York Space Grant, Research Initiation Grant
Specific Heat Capacity Measurements of Physically Confined Heat Transfer Fluids in Nano Porous Silica

Ann Anderson, Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering 
Brad Bruno, associate professor and chair of Mechanical Engineering
Mary Carroll, professor of chemistry
National Science Foundation, Research at Undergraduate Institutions
RUI: Catalytic Aerogel Materials

Bradford Bruno, associate professor and chair of mechanical engineering
Ann Anderson, Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Mary Carroll, professor of chemistry 
National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation Program
MRI: Development of an Instrument for Testing Catalytic Aerogel Materials
 
Ronald Bucinell, associate professor of mechanical engineering
National Science Foundation, Small Business Innovation Research Program
Using Mycelium as a Matrix for Binding Natural Fibers and Core Filler Materials in Sustainable Composites

John Garver, professor of geology
Keck Geology Consortium
Tectonic Evolution of the Flysch of the Chugach Terrane on Baranof Island, Alaska (Year Three)

Ashraf Ghaly, professor of engineering 
Consortium on High Achievement and Success, Faculty Grants Program
Educating the Educators on Mining Attributes of Underrepresented Groups to Spatially Introduce Knowledge Advancing Social Justice and Equality

David Gillikin, assistant professor of geology
Donald Rodbell, professor of geology
Jeffrey Corbin, associate professor of biology
Kathleen LoGiudice, associate professor of biology
Steven Rice, professor of biology
Anouk Verheyden-Gillikin, associate adjunct professor of geology
National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation Program
MRI: Acquisition of a Stable Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometer for Interdisciplinary Research and Undergraduate Research Training

Rebecca Koopmann, associate professor of physics & astronomy
National Science Foundation, Special Programs in Astronomy
The Undergraduate ALFALFA Team

Rebecca Koopmann, associate professor of physics & astronomy
Cornell University – NASA New York Space Grant Program
The Union College Space Grant 2012-13

Rebecca Koopmann, associate professor of physics & astronomy
GE Foundation & IIE GE STAR Awards Program
The 2012 GE STAR Teacher/Mentor Award

Cheikh Ndiaye, associate professor of French and chair of Modern Languages
Zhen Zhang, assistant professor of Chinese
Institute of International Education, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program
Union College as a Host Institution for a Chinese Language FLTA 2012-13

Robert Olberg, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Life Sciences
Air Force Office of Scientific Research
The Neuronal Control of Flying Prey Interception in Dragonflies: Supplemental Funding Request for Killer Fly Research in Spain

Donald Rodbell, professor and chair of Geology
National Science Foundation, Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research
Collaborative: EAGER: Seismic Survey of Lake Junin, Peru in Preparation for Deep Drilling

Therese McCarty, Stephen J & Diane K Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and vice president for academic affairs and professor of economics
Christine Henseler, associate professor of Spanish
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Our Shared Humanities

Therese McCarty, Stephen J & Diane K Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty and vice president for academic affairs and professor of economics
Suzanne Benack, professor and chair of Psychology
Brian Cohen, lecturer of biology and director of advising
Lorraine Cox, associate professor of visual arts and director of American Studies
Michael Hagerman, professor and chair of Chemistry
J. Douglass Klein, Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Economics
Stephen Schmidt, professor of economics and director of assessment
Mark Wunderlich, Dean of Studies
The Teagle Foundation
Engaging Evidence: Improving Student Learning

PROPOSALS SUBMITTED
Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics & astronomy
National Science Foundation, Faculty Early Career Development Program
CAREER: Sensible Heat for Sustainable Energy: The Role of Nano Confinement in Storage

Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics & astronomy
Department of Energy, Early Career Research Program
Specific Heat Capacity of Interfacial Molecules and Their Role in Energy Storage

Ann Anderson, Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Mary Carroll, professor of chemistry
National Science Foundation, Innovation Corps Teams Program
I-Corps Team: Rapid Supercritical Fabrication of Aerogels

Janet Anderson, professor of chemistry
Joanne Kehlbeck, associate professor of chemistry
Susan Kohler, lecturer of chemistry and instrumentation specialist
National Science Foundation, Research at Undergraduate Institutions
RUI: Integrated analysis of peptide and protein conformational ensembles by NMR and molecular simulations

Cay Anderson-Hanley, associate professor of psychology
The Alzheimer’s Association, Investigator Initiated Research Grant Program
Cognitive Benefits of Interactive Mental and Physical Exercise for MCI

Cay Anderson-Hanley, associate professor of psychology
Kristina Striegnitz, assistant professor of computer science
National Institutes of Health, Academic Research Enhancement Awards Program
Cognitive Benefits of Interactive Mental and Physical Exercise for MCI

Kristin Bidoshi, associate professor of Russian
Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad
Modern Siberia: Ecology, Economy and Culture

Andrew Burkett, assistant professor of English
National Endowment for the Humanities, Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant Program
The 18th-Century Common: A Public Humanities Website for Enthusiasts of Eighteenth-Century Studies

Christopher Chabris, associate professor of psychology and co-director of neuroscience
National Science Foundation, Human-Centered Computing Program
HCC: Small: Collaborative Research: Improving Collective Intelligence in Online Groups

Christopher Chabris, associate professor of psychology and co-director of neuroscience
National Science Foundation, Virtual Organizations as Sociotechnical Systems Program
VOSS: Collaborative Research: Is larger smarter? Investigating the effect of group size on collective intelligence

Christopher Chabris, associate professor of psychology and co-director of neuroscience
National Science Foundation, Science of Organizations Program
Collaborative Research:  Do Women Make Groups Smarter? Understanding the effects of gender and participation patterns on collective intelligence

Jeffrey Corbin, associate professor of biology
National Science Foundation, Ecosystems Program
RUI: Interactions between species traits, habitat characteristics, and management in the development of nitrogen-based legacies of species invasions

Jeffrey Corbin, associate professor of biology
Environmental Protection Agency
Fall 2013 EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GPO) Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study

Jeffrey Corbin, associate professor of biology
National Science Foundation, Population and Community Ecology Cluster
RUI: Understanding the processes driving the development of novel ecosystems

Rebecca Cortez, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
Michael Hagerman, professor and chair of Chemistry
National Science Foundation, Research at Undergraduate Institutions
RUI: Morphosynthesis and Dimensionality Characterization of Nanoparticle/Polymer Interfaces

Jennifer Currey, assistant professor of bioengineering
National Science Foundation, Broadening Participation Research Initiation Grants in Engineering Program
BRIGE: Mechanical Stimulation of a Healing Fracture Callus in a Mouse Model

Lewis Davis, associate professor of economics
National Science Foundation, Economics Program
Collaborative Research: Workshop for Macroeconomics Research at Liberal Arts Colleges

Ashraf Ghaly, professor of engineering
Fulbright Scholars Program
An Educational Endeavor to Confront Waste, Pollution, and Contamination and to Promote Recycling and Environmental Conservation

David Gillikin, assistant professor of geology
BP Oil, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative
Incorporation and impact of trace metals and organic compounds derived from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coastal molluscan species in the Gulf of Mexico

David Gillikin, assistant professor of geology
Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onerszoek – Vlaanderen
Reconstructing the biogeochemistry and environmental changes in tropical rivers using elemental and isotope tracers in freshwater bivalves.

David Gillikin, assistant professor of geology
National Science Foundation, Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry
Collaborative Research: RUI: Aquatic chemistry archives from freshwater mussel shell geochemistry: Stable isotopes, trace elements, and biomineralization

Joanne Kehlbeck, associate professor of chemistry
Shane Cotter, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering
Scott Kirkton, associate professor of biology
Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics & astronomy
Suzanne Benack, professor and chair of Psychology
Takashi Buma, assistant professor of electrical and computer Engineering
Palmyra Catravas, associate professor of electrical & computer engineering
Jeffrey Corbin, associate professor of biology
Christopher Fernandes, associate professor and chair of Computer Science
Kristin Fox, associate professor of chemistry, director of undergraduate research, and director of biochemistry
John Garver, professor of geology
David Gillikin, assistant professor of geology
Michael Hagerman, professor and chair of Chemistry
Rebecca Koopmann, associate professor of physics & astronomy
Laura MacManus-Spencer, associate professor of chemistry
John Rieffel, assistant professor of computer science
Nicole Theodosiou, assistant professor of biology
John Spinelli, Horace E. Dodge III Professor of Electrical Engineering
Jue Wang, assistant professor of mathematics
William Zwicker, William D. Williams Professor of Mathematics
National Science Foundation, Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
SUCCESS: Stimulating Undergraduates: Creating Contributors in Engineering and Science for Society

Stephen Kalista, visiting instructor of mechanical engineering
Department of Defense, NAVY, Small Business Technology Transfer Program
Integral Fuel Tank Self-Sealing Protection

Seyfollah Maleki, professor of physics & astronomy
Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics & astronomy
Rebecca Cortez, assistant professor of mechanical engineering
Michael Hagerman, professor and chair of Chemistry
Laura MacManus-Spencer, associate professor of chemistry
Michael Vineyard, Frank & Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Physics
National Science Foundation, Research Experiences for Undergraduates
REU Site: Undergraduate research in multi-disciplinary STEM fields using state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation at Union College

Lori Marso, Professor of Political Science
National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellowships Program
Beyond The Second Sex:  Thinking Politically with Simone de Beauvoir

Lori Marso, professor of political science
Princeton University’s Center for Human Values
Laurance S. Rockefeller Visiting Professor of Distinguished Teaching, 2014-15

Cheikh Ndiaye, associate professor of French and chair of Modern Languages
Kristin Bidoshi, associate professor of Russian
Zhen Zhang, assistant professor of Chinese
Institute of International Education, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants Program
Union College as a Host Institution for Chinese and Russian Language FLTAs 2013-14

Brian Peterson, associate professor of history
National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipends Program
Religion and Rainfall: Islam, Indigenous Religions, and Environmental Change in Rural West Africa

John Rieffel, assistant professor of computer science
Ann Anderson, Agnes S. MacDonald Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Steven Rice, professor of biology
Takashi Buma, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering
Michael Hagerman, professor and chair of Chemistry
Robert Olberg, Florence B. Sherwood Professor of Life Sciences
National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation Program
MRI: Acquisition of a Multi-Material 3D Printer to Enable Novel Multi-disciplinary Research and Research Training

John Rieffel, assistant professor of computer science
William Keat, associate professor of mechanical engineering
National Science Foundation, National Robotics Initiative
NRI: Small: RUI: Collaborative Research: Scalable Design and Control of Highly Deformable Robots

Donald Rodbell, professor and chair of Geology
International Continental Scientific Drilling Program
Drilling (Coring) in Lake Junin, Peru

Donald Rodbell, professor and chair of Geology
National Science Foundation, Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change Program
Collaborative Research: R.U.I.: Alaskan and Peruvian Contributions to a Synthesis of Holocene Proxy Climate Records from the Arctic and Eastern Pacific Rim

Stephen Romero, associate professor of psychology
Christopher Chabris, associate professor of psychology and co-director of neuroscience
Cay Anderson-Hanley, associate professor of psychology
Kristina Striegnitz, assistant professor of computer science
Erika Wells, visiting assistant professor of psychology
National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation Program
MRI: Acquisition of a g.tec Integrated EEG/Eye-Tracking System for Cognitive Neuroscience Research and Research Training

Rebecca Surman, professor of physics & astronomy
Department of Energy, Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing Program
PINO: Petascale Investigations of our Nuclear Origins

Rebecca Surman, professor of physics & astronomy
Department of Energy, Nuclear Physics Program
Renewal: Neutrinos and Nucleosynthesis in Gamma-Ray Bursts

Nicole Theodosiou, assistant professor of biology
Fulbright Scholars Program
Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine

Bunkong Tuon, assistant professor of English
National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipends Program
Writing Trauma, Writing Life in Southeast Asian American Writings

Laurie Tyler, associate professor of chemistry
Kristin Fox, associate professor of chemistry, director of undergraduate research, and director of biochemistry
National Science Foundation, Research at Undergraduate Institutions
RUI: Toward the Design and Synthesis of Artificial Copper Nucleases

Junko Ueno, associate professor of Japanese
ASIANetwork
Postdoctoral fellow in Asian Studies at Union College, Academic Year 2013-14

Michael Vineyard, Frank & Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Physics
Samuel Amanuel, assistant professor of physics & astronomy
Seyfollah Maleki, professor of physics & astronomy
Chad Orzel, associate professor and chair of Physics & Astronomy
Evan Halstead, visiting assistant professor of physics & astronomy
Physics Teacher Education Coalition, Comprehensive Sites Program
Physics Teacher Training in the New York Capital District

Mark Walker, John Bigelow Professor and Chair of History
National Science Foundation, Science, Technology & Society Program
Scholars Award: A Mosaic History of Scientists, Engineers, and Physicians under National Socialism

Mark Walker, John Bigelow Professor and Chair of History
Fulbright Scholars Program
A Mosaic History

David Hayes, dean of Academic Departments and Programs and professor of chemistry
Daniel Burns, professor of psychology
Christopher Chabris, associate professor of psychology and co-director of neuroscience
Quynh Chu-LaGraff, associate professor of biology and co-director of neuroscience
Kristin Fox, associate professor of chemistry, director of undergraduate research, and director of biochemistry
David Gillikin, assistant professor of geology
Michael Hagerman, professor and chair of Chemistry
Steve Horton, professor and chair of Biology
Thomas Jewell, Carl B. Jansen Professor/Director of the Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering Program
Kathleen LoGiudice, associate professor of biology
Chad Orzel, associate professor and chair of physics & astronomy
Steven Rice, professor of biology
Donald Rodbell, professor and chair of Geology
Nic Zarrelli, dean of Academic Planning and Resources
The Sherman Fairchild Foundation
Union College’s 2013 Proposal to the Sherman Fairchild Foundation’s Scientific Equipment Program