Recent Awards and Submissions
Funded Proposals (7/1/2014-7/31/2014)
The following UTC faculty and staff recently attracted $3,884,036 in external grant and contract awards:
Dr. David Aborn, Associate Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences, attracted an additional $3,712 from the Tennessee River Gorge Trust to conduct a two-year study to determine the presence, distribution, and abundance of breeding pairs of the cerulean warbler, a migratory songbird whose population is declining faster than that of any other U.S. warbler. Dr. Aborn will also identify post-fledgling foraging habitat needs of the bird and provide recommendations for habitat modifications based on his findings. The study will take place in the Tennessee River Gorge and surrounding areas.
Five Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have received joint faculty appointments at UTC to collaborate with Computational Engineering faculty. The researchers will work on simulation and modeling of a variety of physics problems related to lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines, vehicle aerodynamics, additive manufacturing processes, thermo-electro-chemical models, impact mechanics, and modeling of composites.
Ms. Shirl Gholston, Director of Student Support Services, secured $284,746 from the U.S Department of Education to continue the work of UTC’s Student Support Services (SSS) Program in the 2014-2015 academic year. The SSS Program works to ensure retention and graduation of UTC students who come from underrepresented backgrounds by providing peer mentoring and peer tutoring.
Dr. Linda Hill, Associate Professor of Nursing, secured $346,343 from the Health Resources and Services Administration for year one of a three year project to increase the diversity and cultural competency of the certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) population. Strategies include recruiting students from under-represented groups, increasing retention and graduate rates, engaging students in activities that increase their understanding of the social determinants of health, and altering the curriculum. In a second award from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Dr. Linda Hill secured $28,843 to continue the Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship program, which provides scholarships for full-time nurse anesthesia students. The goal is to increase the number and diversity of nurse anesthetists and to encourage graduates to practice in health professional shortage areas.
Dr. Hunter Huckabay, Director of the Center for Community Career Education’s GEAR UP initiative in Hamilton County, attracted $624,066 from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the work of GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs). The program is in the fourth year of a 7-year award cycle.
Drs. Joanie Jackson and Chris Smith, Assistant Professor and Director, respectively, in the School of Nursing, secured $373,273 for year three of a three year program, Providing Advanced, Culturally Competent Care through Clinical Training (PACT) for Interprofessional Geriatric Care. The program enhances advanced nursing education and practice to improve health care for older residents of southeast Tennessee and north Georgia.
Dr. Peggy Kovach, Director of STEM Education and Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences, and Mr. Mark Harvey, Program Director of STEM Education, attracted $25,000 from the George R. Johnson Family Foundation/Hardee’s to add a staff member to UTC’s STEM Education program. The STEM Education program enables students to earn both a bachelor's degree in any of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines and a certification to teach in secondary schools.
Ms. Laurie Melnik , Interim SCEA Director and Director of Theatre Education, Mr. Joel Baxley, Director of Visual Arts Education, and Dr. Susanne Burgess, Director of Music Education at the Southeast Center for Education in the Arts, attracted $2,000 from the Tennessee Arts Commission to support the 7th annual National Arts & Education Forum in May 2015 centered on the theme of “A Context for Quality: What is Quality Arts Education?” The Forum will facilitate collegial interaction and discussion among participants from Tennessee and around the country including professional development providers, researchers, administrators, K-12 school and university educators, teaching artists, and cultural organization leaders.
Drs. Carolyn Schreeder and Chris Smith, Assistant Professor and Director, respectively, in the School of Nursing secured $488,005 from the Health Resources and Services Administration for year three of a three year program, InterProfessional Collaborative Practice Approach for Geriatric Education Strategies. The program prepares nurses to work in collaborative, interprofessional teams to provide patient-centered, safe, and effective care to older adults.
Dr. Chris Smith, Director of the School of Nursing, secured $630,317 from the Health Resources and Services Administration for year three of a four year project to provide scholarships for financially disadvantaged and underrepresented nursing students pursuing graduate degrees. The project increases recruitment, scholarship funding, knowledge, and skills of disadvantaged and underrepresented students and UTC’s capacity to recruit, retain, and graduate these students. Dr. Chris Smith also attracted $339,537 from the Health Resources and Services Administration to support Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships during the 2014-15 academic year. Funds help offset the cost of tuition and fees for students enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing program which prepares professional nurses for advanced practice as family nurse practitioners.
In another award from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Dr. Chris Smith, Director of the School of Nursing, in collaboration with the Department of Health & Human Performance, attracted $367,317 for year one of a three year program, COMPASS: Combating Obesity’s Multiple chronic conditions through Preparation Activities Shared among Students. The program will prepare nurses to work in collaborative, interprofessional teams to address the multiple chronic conditions associated with obesity. Numerous faculty from the School of Nursing, Health and Human Performance, and other departments will be involved in the program’s activities.
Dr. Will Sutton, Professor in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and The SimCenter Team attracted $140,877 from the U.S. Department of Education for year three of the Computational Engineering PhD program at UTC. Grant funds will support several PhD students and help the Graduate School of Computational Engineering extend its research to energy utilization and advanced manufacturing applications.
Ms. Karen Vann, Director of the Center for Community Career Education’s Talent Search Program, secured $230,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the Talent Search Program, which gives academic and social support to economically disadvantaged, potentially first-generation college-bound middle and high school students. Through Talent Search, over 500 area students participate in academic counseling, workshops and seminars, college campus visits, mentoring, cultural enrichment activities, and other educational experiences.
Submitted Proposals (7/1/2014 – 7/31/2014)
The following UTC faculty and staff members submitted proposals with the potential to generate over $4,245,415 in external funding, if awarded:
Drs. Farah Kandah, Joseph Kizza, (Computer Science and Engineering), Bryan Ennis, Jim Henry (Civil and Chemical Engineering), Abdul Ofoli, (Electrical Engineering), Will Sutton (Mechanical Engineering), and Mike Ward (Center for Academic and Innovative Technologies) requested $2,147,530 from the National Science Foundation to upgrade UTC’s network infrastructure. An increase in bandwidth will enable outside entities greater access to UTC facilities and expertise and will foster a higher level of collaborative research at the university.
Dr. John Lee (Chemistry) requested $40,000 from The Research Corporation to engage two undergraduate students in summer research activities. One of the students will be a current UTC chemistry student and the other will be a Chattanooga State student who is planning to pursue a degree in chemistry.
Drs. Mbakisya Onyango, Ignatius Fomunung, Weidong Wu, Joseph Owino, Mr. Brent Rollins (Civil and Chemical Engineering), Dr. Joseph Kizza (Computer Science and Engineering), Dr. Jennifer Ellis (School of Education) and Dr. Aldo McLean (Engineering Management & Technology) requested $987,766 from the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish the Southeastern Region Surface Transportation Workforce Center at UTC. The center will identify gaps in the transportation industry workforce, create curricula to bridge identified gaps, and coordinate existing efforts with key players in the transportation industry.
Dr. Jill Shelton (Psychology) requested $680,519 from the National Science Foundation’s CAREER program to research visual attention and memory through the use of eye-tracking technology. The proposed project will integrate research with education by developing a graduate seminar course on visual attention, involving undergraduates in research activities, and exposing K-12 students to psychological science to stimulate interest in STEM careers.
Dr. Niki Tejero (Music) requested $1,700 from the Tennessee Arts Commission to support the 2015 River City Clarinet Winter Festival. The festival will feature a variety of activities, including a lecture, master class, concert performances, round table discussion on topics relating to clarinet playing, musical artistry, and a high school solo competition.
Dr. Li Yang (Computer Science and Engineering) in collaboration with the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and Florida State University requested $387,900 from the U.S. Department of Defense to establish the Center of Excellence in Cyber Security at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. The Center will provide research and education opportunities relating to STEM disciplines and cyber-security for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and early career faculty members.