Bill Hogarth: Faculty research continues to impress

As we count down the final weeks of the fall semester – where did the time go? – I continue to be struck by the quality of our faculty and the research they are conducting.

The sheer breadth of the work is impressive: Dr. Barnali Dixon’s cutting-edge research to predict nitrate-nitrogen contamination of groundwater, Dr. V. Mark Durand’s ongoing work to understand and treat autism, Dr. James McHale’s focus on co-parenting strategies to close the educational achievement gap, Dr. Kathryn Arthur’s award-winning field work to elucidate the role of Ethiopian women in creating and using stone tools.

I’m just scratching the surface. You can find a more complete list here. One measure of the importance of this kind of work: Research funding has increased from $800,000 four years ago to nearly $6 million today.

As I mentioned in a previous post, faculty research helps the community and the world at large by increasing our knowledge base and offering solutions to problems. Undergraduate and graduate students also benefit by their participation in these studies.

I am so pleased that nearly two dozen faculty members have applied for funding for their research through the renewed Internal Awards Program.  This program is intended to be “seed money.”  In other words, the funding from this program is intended to allow faculty members to lay the groundwork for proposals to external sponsors such as federal and state agencies.

Each applicant was asked to explain the impact of their proposed project and to identify sources of future funding. The USFSP Research Council is in the process of reviewing the applications and recommending those the Council deems worthy of funding.  Those recommendations, along with input from Norine Noonan, regional vice chancellor for academic affairs, will help guide me in choosing those I consider most worthy of funding within the constraints of a limited budget.

I hope to have the process completed by mid-December and announce the recipients. I’m looking forward to seeing the fruits of our distinguished faculty’s scholarly labors.