Faculty Scholarship Celebration highlights talent, includes announcement of award, grant recipients

Kathy Mathews (left), associate professor of biology, accepts the Hunter Scholar Award from Farzaneh Razzaghi (right), dean of library services.

The 2017 Faculty Scholarship Celebration at Western Carolina University was held to recognize creative and academic works by faculty and staff, but also featured numerous announcements of award and grant recipients.

Held Wednesday afternoon, Feb. 15, in the Blue Ridge Conference Room, the event coincided with the opening of an exhibit of creative works by faculty to be displayed at Hunter Library until Wednesday, March 15. The exhibit, including art, literature, musical performances, posters, installations and more, offers an opportunity for the campus community and the public to learn more about the contributions that faculty members make beyond the classroom.

2017 Hunter Scholar Award

This award is jointly presented by Hunter Library, Graduate School and Research, the Division of Educational Outreach and the Office of the Provost and provides release time, a graduate assistant, $400 in funding and other support to promote research that makes extensive use of library resources and services. The recipient is Kathy Mathews, associate professor of biology and director of WCU’s herbarium, for her project “Creating a Montane Island Plant Digital Collection for Research, Education and Conservation.”

Mathews said she is very excited to work on the project, which will digitize preserved specimens from the collection and develop a website for research and public viewing. Many of the collection’s specimens are from plant communities specific to the Southern Appalachians, creating unique ecosystem “islands” of plants and animals, she said.

“I’m especially excited to work with Liz Skene in the library and Jim Costa at Highlands Biological Station to transform herbarium specimens into a digital collection that tells a story about the unique montane plant communities of this region,” Matthews said.

2017-2018 Faculty Research and Creative Activities Awards

These awards provide up to $5,000 each for support of research and creative projects. Funding also may be used for activities that contribute to a current research agenda or for seed money for proposals seeking external funding. Recipients are:

  • Terri Armfield, associate professor in the School of Music, for “The Error Detection Primer – a Website Application for Error Detection Study.”
  • Beverly Collins, associate professor in the Biology Department, for “Wildfire as a Pulse Disturbance in Southern Appalachian Forests: Initial Research.”
  • J.P. Gannon, assistant professor of geology, for “Linking Spatiotemporal Variations in Stream Water Temperature to Water Chemistry in a Headwater Catchment.”
  • Brandi Hinnant-Crawford, assistant professor of educational research, for “Comparative Analysis of New Tech and Non-New Tech High School Student Outcomes.”
  • David Tyler, assistant professor of sport management, for “Cross-Cultural Treatment and Outcomes of Rivalry.”

2016-2017 Million Dollar Circle Awards

This award is given for grant writers who have attained $1 million or more in grants during their time at WCU. The recipients are:

  • Jayne Zanglein, professor of business law in the College of Business.
  • Tamera Pearson, professor in the School of Nursing.

2016 Provost Internal Grant Recipients

These grants provide monetary support to faculty and staff for the pursuit of external funding or expand the scope of a currently funded project. The recipients are:

(Spring 2016)

  • Frank Forcino, geosciences and natural resources, for “Is Organism Shape a More Accurate Measure of Ecological Change?”
  • Kae Livsey, nursing, and Ed Wright, economics, for “Examining the Role of the Registered Nurse in Primary Care Delivery Models.”
  • Mark Lord, J.P. Gannon and David Kinner, geosciences and natural resources, for “Hydrologic Thresholds for Streamflow and Groundwater Recharge in a Southern Appalachian Watershed with a Complex Environmental History.”
  • Alvin Malesky, psychology; Cathy Grist, birth-kindergarten; and John Baley, UNC-Chapel Hill law; for “A Cross-Disciplinary Assessment of the Effectiveness of Anti-Cheating Protocols Used by UNC System Institutions.”
  • Omidreza Shoghli and Robert Steffen, construction management, for “A Study of the Application of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the Construction Industry.”
  • Channa DeSilva, chemistry and physics, for “Computational Chemistry Investigation of Uranium-Based Materials for Potential Applications in Nuclear Waste Treatments.”
  • Bill Yang, engineering and technology, for “Alternating Current Hall Effect with Induced Surface Current.”

(Fall 2016)

  • Christy Newell Wyatt, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Lisabeth Young, social work, for “Catamounts for Recovery.”
  • Kelly Grisedale and Britt Bintz, chemistry and physics, and Vicki Szabo, history, for “Development of a Cost Effective Molecular Speciation Methodology Using Next Generation Sequencing.”
  • Britt Bintz and Jamie Wallen, chemistry and physics; Maria Gainey, Kefyn Catley and Kathy Mathews, biology; Brian Byrd, environmental health; and Timothy Forrest, UNCA biology; for “Establishment of Consortium for the Advancement of Teaching and Scholarship through Next-Generation Sequencing to Enhance the Molecular Science Infrastructure at WCU.”
  • Martin Tanaka, engineering, and David Hudson, physical therapy, for “Improving Human Mobility and Muscle Function Using Electrical Stimulation.”

For more information regarding research or the event go to https://www.wcu.edu/hunter-library/about-hunter-library/news-events-and-exhibits/faculty-scholarship-celebration-faq.aspx.