Grants for WCU projects announced by Research Administration

Counseling and Psychological Services’ Christy Wyatt shows off books in the office’s Recovery Library that are available to students recovering from substance use. CAPS received grants of $10,000 and $5,000 to increase its support for students recovering from addiction and mental health problems.

The following is a compilation of grants awarded at Western Carolina University since last May. The list is presented in unedited form, courtesy of WCU’s Office of Research Administration.


Grants awarded May 1-Aug. 31


Title: A Study of Elements of Teacher Preparation Programs that Interact with Candidates’ Characteristics to Support Novice Elementary Teachers to Enact Ambitious Mathematics Instruction

PI: Holly Pinter

Funder: NSF via University of Virginia

Amount: $12,373

Description: to train, certify, and calibrate use of the Mathematics-Scan classroom observation instrument by North Carolina elementary teachers


Title: Bachelor of Science in Nursing Practicums in Community Settings Program – BSN Practicums in Population Health (BSN PoP)

PI: Kae Livsey

Funder: DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Amount: $499,939 (for year 2 of a $999,512 grant)

Description: to develop community based practicum experiences to support post-graduation placement of baccalaureate prepared registered nurses in community and primary care settings


Title: Botswana: Reciprocal Exchange of Cultural Perspectives, Knowledge, and Skills

PI: Amy Rose

Funder: US Department of Education (DOED)

Amount: $79,760

Description: to offer a unique opportunity for participating K-12 teachers (classroom teachers, special educators) to learn about Botswana language, experience African culture, and collaborate with peer educators to design K-12 curriculum activities which integrate both cultural and language elements


Title: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments, Adaption, and Communication

PI: Rob Young

Funder: National Park Service (NPS)

Amount: $99,500

Description: to provide the general public and parks with tools and technical support to respond to the threats of natural hazards and climate change; to support National Park Service (NPS) efforts and initiatives related to climate change, sustainability, and adaptation across the natural and built environments


Title: Cultural Landscape Inventory and the Report for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and Unicoi Turnpike

PI: Brett Riggs

Funder: USDA National Forest Service (NFS)

Amount: $28,569

Description: to produce the initial phase of a Cultural Landscape Report for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and Unicoy Turnpike located on National Forest land in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee


Title: Dendroecology of Carolina hemlock (Tsuga carolinana) stands in the southern Appalachian Mountains

PI: Laura DeWald

Funder: USDA National Forest Service (NFS)

Amount: $6,000

Description: to describe the structure and composition of current Carolina hemlock stands; to quantify and describe stand development patterns and successional trajectories of Carolina hemlock stands to better understand the processes and disturbances that influence threatened forest communities containing this species


Title: Development of a Behavioral Health Screening Instrument Linked to the MMPI-2-RF: Phase 2 – Field and Usability Testing

PI: David McCord

Funder: University of Minnesota Board of Regents

Amount: $11,500

Description: for development of an MMPI-linked screening instrument designed for universal use in primary medical care settings, named (at least temporarily) the Minnesota Behavioral Health Screen (MBHS).


Title: Digitalization TCN: Collaborative Research: The Key to the Cabinets: Building and sustaining a research database for a global biodiversity hotspot

PI: Katherine Mathews

Funder: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH)

Amount: $6864

Description: to complete the digitization (imaging and databasing) of all the southeastern plant specimens of three western North Carolina herbaria, including Western Carolina University Herbarium (27,000 specimens), in Cullowhee; Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Herbarium (43,500 specimens) in Charlotte; and Appalachian State University Herbarium (16,000 specimens), in Boone


Title: DLA (Defense Logistics Agency)

PI: Sandra Dennison

Funder: North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (NC SBTDC)

Amount: $8588

Description: to carry out PTAC (Procurement Technical Assistance Center) activities under the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Cooperative Agreement with the NC SBTDC


Title: Examining the onboarding process for newly credentialed athletic trainers and its impact on transition to practice

PI: Ashley Thrasher

Funder: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)

Amount: $11,293

Description: to examine the onboarding process provided to newly credentialed athletic trainers, identify onboarding needs during the transition to practice, and develop a conceptual framework of onboarding


Title: Farm Agricultural & Rural Mediation of Virginia

PI: Jayne Zanglein

Funder: Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Amount: $6,366

Description: for is a federally funded certified state agricultural mediation program that provides mediation services to USDA customers in Virginia


Title: Highlands Nature Center’s STEM Outreach Program for Schools

PI: James Costa

Funder: Highlands Biological Foundation

Amount: $76,913

Description: to support Highlands Biological Station’s STEM Outreach Program to regional schools and other local community organizations


Title: Molecules in the Mountains Meeting: An Exchange Group of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center

PI: Sean O’Connell

Funder: North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC)

Amount: $2,805

Description: to bring together a wide range of academic, industry, private, and agency partners for a one-day interdisciplinary science meeting with the theme of “Modern Human Medicine”


Title: Native – Controlling Hypertension and Risk through Technology (Native-CHART)

PI: Ruth Turner Goins

Funder: NIH via Washington State University

Amount: $53,228

Description: to engage stakeholders in promoting cardiovascular health among native populations


Title: North Carolina Agricultural Mediation Program (NCAMP)

PI: Jayne Zanglein

Funder: Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Amount: $19,903

Description: to provide mediation services to USDA customers in North Carolina


Title: North Carolina School Executive Leadership Program: Advancing School Leadership in NC

PI: Jess Weiler

Funder: North Carolina Alliance for School Leadership Development (NCASLD)

Amount: $186,534 (for year 2 of a $400,561 grant)

Description: to help prepare educators to become school principals and strengthen the quality of educational leadership in public schools. The grant is providing student scholarships, internships, and student and faculty travel.


Title: Nurse Anesthetist Traineeship from DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration

PI: Ian Hewer

Funder: DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Amount: $15,313

Description: to provide financial support for education of Nurse Anesthesia students at Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing and improve health care for medically underserved areas


Title: Partnership for Longitudinal Academic/Clinical Education Strategy (PLACES for FNPs)

PI: Tamera Pearson

Funder: DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration

Amount: $687,413

Description: for the first year of an innovative academic-practice partnership to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners in rural and underserved areas. The 2-year project ($1,387,223) will support 40 student trainees


Title: Prescribed Fire Effects in Oak-Hickory, Yellow Pine, and High Elevation Red Oak Communities in the Southeastern United States

PI: Peter Bates

Funder: USDA NRE Forest Service

Amount: $15,000 (for year 4 of a $82,439 grant)

Description: to add a 15th demonstration unit in the Southern Blue Ridge Landscape, allow post-burn data collection on 2 sites that were burned during the 2012/13 dormant season, and summarize initial trends


Title: Public Practice: Niamey, Niger Art Project

PI: Tom Ashcraft

Funder: US Department of State

Amount: $70,000

Description: for WCU students of different disciplines to examine, explore, and engage in developing concept and proposals leading to a permanent commissioned artwork for the US Embassy in Niamey, Niger


Title: Catamounts for Recovery

PI: Christina Newell Wyatt

Funder: Evergreen Foundation and Recovery Communities of North Carolina

Amount: $10,000 and $5,000

Description: to support the health and success of Western Carolina University students who are continuing their recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and mental health problems


Title: Return from Exile

PI: Denise Homewood

Funder: National Endowment for the Arts

Amount: $25,000

Description: to support the presentation of the traveling exhibition “Return From Exile: Contemporary Southeastern Indian Art,” featuring more than 30 Southeastern Native American artists, and related class tours and a free, public symposium.


Title: Talent Search

PI: Todd Murdock

Funder: US Dept of Education

Amount: $377,364 (for year 1 of a 5-year $1,840,800 grant)

Description: to support and empower Western North Carolina students in grades 7-12 and prepare them for college through tutoring and enrichment programs. Hosted at WCU, Project Discovery provides assistance to 770 disadvantaged students in seven target schools helping create access to post-secondary education.


Grants awarded Sept. 1-31


Title: Accelerating Economic Growth through Commercialization in Western North Carolina

PI: Gardner, Patrick

Funder: Department of Commerce (DOC)

Amount: $118,000 (for year 1 of a 5-year award)

Description: to facilitate the commercialization of new products or the implementation of new manufacturing processes through a comprehensive suite of engineering and business counseling services


Title: Cherokee Language Learning through Stories

PI: Snyder, Sara

Funder: Cherokee Preservation Foundation

Amount: $30,250

Description: to document and adapt Cherokee stories across digital, print, and performance media to increase Cherokee language engagement and learning


Title: Curation of Archaeological Collections and other Data Associated with the Trail of Tears National Historical Trail and Unicoi Turnpike on National Forest Lands

PI: Riggs, Brett

Funder: USDA National Forest Service (NFS)

Amount: $175,000

Description: to insure proper curation, cataloging, organization, conservation, and study of archeological collections and other data associated with the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and Unicoi Turnpike and surrounding landscapes


Title: FY 2017 BHWET Competition

PI: Morse, Patricia

Funder: DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Amount: $479,917 (for year 1 of a 4-year award)

Description: to recruit and train MSW students to work in team-based integrated care settings to expand the behavioral health workforce serving the EBCI and Medically Underserved Communities in rural, Western North Carolina


Title: Highlands Nature Center’s STEM Outreach Program for Schools

PI: Costa, James

Funder: Highlands Biological Foundation

Amount: $75,000 (for year 1 of a 2-year award)

Description: to offer more than 40 different STEM Outreach programs to public, private, and homeschool students in grades pre k-12


Title: Pedal Power Physical Activity for Life

PI: Murdock, Todd

Funder: Great Smokies Health Foundation

Amount: $2,500

Description: to help low-income and first-generation students go to college by empowering them and promoting persistence and self-efficacy


Title: Permanent Exhibit on Cherokee Language and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Culture at Western Carolina University’s Bardo Arts Center

PI: Homewood, Denise

Funder: Cherokee Preservation Foundation

Amount: $8,000

Description: to provide partial funding for a permanent interpretive and interactive exhibition on Cherokee language and history that will be located in the main atrium of the Bardo Arts Center


Title: Roads to Learning and Earning: Preparing Personnel to Improve Post-School Outcomes for Students with Significant Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

PI: Westling, David

Funder: US Department of Education (DOED)

Amount: $250,000 (for year 1 of a 5-year award)

Description: to improve adult outcomes for persons with IDD in the areas of post-secondary education, community living, and community employment through the professional preparation of special education teachers and related services providers


Title: Tsalagi Uweti Traditional Landscapes Mapping Project (Phase II)

PI: Riggs, Brett

Funder: Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisans Resources (RTCAR)

Amount: $45,267

Description: to develop computer interactive, community-based, participatory mapping of traditional Cherokee landscapes for EBCI audiences


Grants awarded Oct. 1-31


Title: New Realities Program FY2018

PI: Denise Drury Homewood

Funder: North Carolina Arts Council

Amount: $3,450

Description: To complete the Bardo Arts Center’s strategic plan, build engagement with the campus and community, and create a sustainable financial model for the Bardo Arts Center


Title: Research on conservation and recovery of the endangered dusky gopher frog

PI: Joseph Pechmann


Amount: $60,001

Description: to continue and expand research informing the conservation, management, and recovery of dusky gopher frog, the second most endangered frog in the US. Proposed activities will provide information critical to preventing the extinction of the dusky gopher frog and facilitating its recovery, as well as test the application of this knowledge.


Title: Urban Bush Women: Hair and Other Stories

PI: Denise Drury Homewood


Amount: $11,800

Description: To bring to WCU a multi-disciplinary, evening-length performance that addresses matters of race, gender, identify, and economic inequality through the lens of hair, primarily that of African American women. Two residency activities include engagement with undergraduate dance students on February 5, and a public presentation and workshop on February 6.