Faculty and staff win $450,000 in grant funding

Western Carolina University’s grants office recently announced more than $450,000 in new funding for faculty and staff initiatives.

Funded projects include:

• The Cherokee Preservation Foundation awarded $45,747 to Anna Fariello, associate professor of Hunter Library, to research and document Cherokee baskets and basketmakers during the first part of the 20th century. The project includes developing a printed guidebook.

• The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources awarded $9,704 to Lauren Bishop, energy manager in the facilities management department, to help purchase two electric vehicles to be used by staff and as an educational tool about alternative fuel vehicles.

• The Balsam Mountain Trust awarded $4,540 to Ron Davis, assistant professor of natural resources conservation and management, to begin baseline data collection on wildlife species in Balsam Mountain Preserve. Davis will monitor animal movement, habitat use and demographics in response to development and land conservation efforts.

• University of North Carolina General Administration awarded $134,000 to the emergency medical care program to enhance its online bachelor of science degree program.

• University of North Carolina General Administration awarded $7,573 to Carlie Merritt and Cindy Brown, both assistant professors of applied criminology, for development of a virtual courtroom in an online world. Students in the criminal justice program will be able to represent judges, attorneys, defendants and victims in real-time, virtual courtroom educational experiences created by WCU faculty.

• University of North Carolina General Administration awarded $31,000 to Jonathan Snover, director of the master’s degree program in science and entrepreneurship, to develop a graduate certificate in science and technology entrepreneurship that will be available online and help students with technical ideas develop and practice the skills necessary to advance or commercialize a new product.

• University of North Carolina General Administration awarded $38,782 to expand features of the online WestHealth virtual health care system used as an educational tool by students in the online RN-to-BSN program. Barbara St. John, assistant professor of nursing, will develop a virtual public health department, and Julia Wetmore, assistant professor of nursing, will initiate and refine a virtual Institute for Evidence-Based Practice.

• University of North Carolina General Administration awarded $72,008 to Jim Costa, executive director of Highlands Biological Station, to develop “molecular-ready” capability at the research station.

• The Santa Aguila Charitable Trust awarded $112,765 to Robert Young, director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines, to hire a full-time employee to serve as the primary point of contact between the program and the trust, and to plan and organize all scientific and education-related activities for the trust.

For more information, contact Wanda G. Ashe, grants manager, at (828) 227-7212 or ashe@wcu.edu.