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If you’ve gotten a funded grant or contract, please fill out this form. It will be reviewed and the information posted.

If you’ve received a funded grant or contract to explore or enhance student engagement, community engagement, research or a combination, your achievement can be posted on this funded grants and contracts page. It's also the place to check out what your colleagues are doing.

Our community is enriched by our faculty and staff efforts and the creativity, knowledge, and service they create. We’re interested in recent awards and ongoing grants so we can show off the great work on our vibrant campus.

Adam Berland, geography — $23,030
John Z. Duling Grant, from the TREE Fund, start up or seed funding to support innovative research and technology transfer projects

Berland and his co-investigators will seek to understand the possibilities and limitations of virtual street tree surveys using Google Street View in their “Evaluating Virtual Street Tree Surveys as a Tool for Municipal Forest Management” research. The study will look at data quality using this approach and assess how analyst expertise impacts it. Findings will provide guidance for communities considering this innovative inventory approach.

The co-investigators are Jess Vogt of DePaul University and Lara Roman of the U.S. Forest Service.

Jennifer Blackmer, theater — $75,000
Tribeca Film Institute and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Filmmaker Fund, ongoing grant starting in April 2016

Blackmer will work on completing a screenplay of her award-winning play, “Human Terrain,” which is in the development stage.

A now-former military program of the same name placed social scientists and anthropologists with troops in Afghanistan and Iraq so the scientists could learn about local cultures and help improve counterinsurgency plans. Blackmer focuses on the ethical issues of an anthropologist who befriends an Iraqi woman.

Blackmer and her Iranian-born producing partner, Parisa Barani, attended April’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City and met with potential production company partners to finance the film. Once the project moves into production, Barani will direct.

Sotiris Hji-Avgoustis, family and consumer sciences
Erin Donovan, residential property management (RPM)
Carla Earhart, RPM
Carol Friesen, nutrition and dietetics
Robert Parrillo, RPM — $248,557

Indiana Department of Workforce Development grant with private industry and Ball State matches, 18-month grant starting Feb. 18, 2016

This grant will be used to educate high school students and adults about Ball State’s residential property management program and the related industry, including careers. Another goal is to create awareness among students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors about the profession and jobs.

Students can take up to nine hours of dual-credit courses that will count for high school graduation and at Ball State.

The program hopes to substantially increase student enrollment because of the growing number of positions in the in-demand industry. Students in Ball State’s respected program can get up to four or five job offers before graduating. 

Janay Sander, educational psychology,
Ruth Jefferson, special education – $388,478

National Institute of Justice, three-year grant starting Jan. 1, 2016

This study will examine a reading intervention designed to benefit youth with low reading skills who are involved in the court system. Researchers will look at how reading ability relates to school problems and disruptive or criminal behaviors.

Ball State and Muncie’s Youth Opportunity Center, a residential treatment agency, will enroll up to 225 volunteer youths, with half in a reading group. Researchers will measure behavioral symptoms and reading at intake and after 4½ months, then gather other academic and behavioral measures six months after discharge. Researchers predict higher reading skills will relate to more positive outcomes, including lower recidivism.

Rui Chen, information systems – $100,001
National Science Foundation, one-year grant starting Sept. 1, 2015

This grant will fund a study of individuals’ reactions to data breaches and the effect of data breach fatigue. Such fatigue means people are insensitive to breaches for various reasons and believe they ultimately won’t be harmed significantly by such breaches.

Some in the study were affected by two 2015 Office of Personnel Management breaches that compromised the biometrics (such as fingerprints), birth dates, personal histories, and Social Security numbers of an estimated 25 million current and former federal employees and contractors.

The study will help industry and policymakers understand employee reactions to data breaches, which will assist them in creating strategies to avoid effects of breach fatigue.

Sundeep Rayat, chemistry – $196,968
National Science Foundation; three-year grant starting Sept. 1, 2015

Ball State will buy a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry system to use in research and student career training in nine research labs in biology and chemistry. Among possible research outcomes are:

  • Consumer/industrial: aid design of low cost solar cells for energy production, sensors, and flat panel displays for TVs and cell phones.
  • Environmental: help understand the fate of organic pollutants in the environment; provide new materials to purify air, remove organic pollutants and treat waste.
  • Medical: create therapeutic approaches for various cardiovascular diseases and antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains, such as MRSA; contribute to the design of new cancer drug delivery vehicles.

Bruce W. Frankel, urban planning – $55,000
Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority, second year of funding starting April 30, 2015

Undergrad and graduate Ball State students, along with state employees, will help rural high school students in six competitively selected Indiana communities conduct a youth civic leadership program. Teens will create and manage a planning process for an area – focusing on topics that may range from economic development to environmental protection/tourism – to entice young former residents to return.

After a community’s plan is publicly reviewed, the area follows through on commitments made in the planning process, including securing adoption of the plan and using resources to implement it.

Ball State students will gain a greater understanding of planning by being mentors and teachers.

Erik Nesson, economics – $116,965
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, two-year grant starting Dec. 15, 2014

Nesson is one of two study directors examining results from a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They will compare participants’ self-reported health (on a 1-5 scale) to clinical outcomes of related physical exams and labs. This will help measure health inequality and its determinants.

They also will:

  • Incorporate objective, clinical measures into how health is measured.
  • Examine what determines health inequality, including access to health care, education, employment and income.
  • Create national maps that show areas with better or worse health outcomes and higher or lower health inequality levels.
  • Work with international researchers developing health-inequality measures and methods.

Joshua James Robinson, University of Alabama Collat School of Business, is the other study director. The grant totals $357,689.

Serena Salloum, educational leadership – $144,437
National Science Foundation and WT Grant Foundation, three-year grants starting July 1, 2014

Salloum is a co-principal investigator in this study of how support for beginning elementary math teachers translates to their planning and teaching. Such support is vital to improving math education, a key STEM area, according to a study abstract.

Topics examined include how these employees’ instruction is shaped by their math knowledge for teaching and social networks at work — including how they learn about curriculum standards, instructional expectations, external professional development, lesson plans and evaluations. Salloum will help develop and administer surveys in four Indiana school districts, observe classrooms, interview teachers and analyze data.

Ken Frank, Michigan State University, is principal investigator. Kristen Bieda, Michigan State, and Peter Youngs, University of Virginia, also are co-principal investigators. The grants total $2,199,996.