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Wednesday, Nov 26, 2014

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Kamile Geist

Kamile Geist

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

Bonita Biegalke

Bonita Biegalke

Photographer: John Sattler

Harvey Ballard

Harvey Ballard

Photo courtesy of: University Communications and Marketing

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Baker Fund awards $32,083 to three outstanding research projects for the 2013 spring cycle

Ohio University faculty research made possible by Baker Fund Awards


The Baker Fund awards for the 2013 spring cycle have been announced and $32,083 will fund three projects that will assist OHIO faculty in completing active research projects. Awardees are Associate Professor of Music Therapy Kamile Geist in the College of Fine Arts; Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Associate Professor Bonita Biegalke in the Department of Biomedical Sciences; and Associate Professor Harvey Ballard in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Environmental and Plant Biology. The proposals were chosen from nine entries.
 
“Ohio University faculty are committed to advancing knowledge, and this spring’s Baker Fund awardees exemplify this commitment with projects that have the potential to advance health, improve education, and expand our understanding of the natural world,” said Joe Shields, vice president of research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College.
 
Geist was awarded $10,583 to continue her study, "The Effect of the Music-Based ‘Keep a Beat’ (KaB) Intervention on Off-Task Behaviors of 3-5 Year Old Children in a Group Setting at a Public Preschool."

“I'm very happy and honored to have received this grant,” Geist said. “The competition for the Baker Fund award has traditionally been tough, and I feel humbled that my application was chosen.”

Geist’s study explores whether or not children are more focused when their teacher uses rhythmic strategies as a teaching tool. The teacher can then be free to teach academic concepts while the students are at their optimal level of attention, Geist said.

“The research shows that when children are paying attention, they are learning more,” Geist said. “That's the ultimate goal. That, and to enjoy learning.”

Geist’s research findings will provide music therapy services and musical instruments to the Early Learning Center in Chauncey, Ohio, a center that serves mostly at-risk children who may experience academic failure due to behavioral problems.

Biegalke received $9,500 for her research project titles "Identifying the nuclear localization signal in the essential human cytomegalovirus protein (HMCV)." The project uses fluorescent microscopy to help better understand the role of the UL34 proteins during a viral infection.

“The HCMV protein, pUL34, is required for the virus to replicate but we don’t know much about its function,” Biegalke said. “I am excited and pleased to have been awarded funding by the Baker Fund committee.”

Ballard’s research, "Completing collaborative taxonomic studies of Latin American violets (Violaceae)" was awarded $12,000. He began studying tropical American violets while earning his doctoral degree in the 1990s and has since accrued a large amount of data on new species of the plant. Having nearly complete initial manuscripts that identify and describe the distribution and ecology of Latin American violets on a continental level, Ballard said he, along with colleague and postdoctoral researcher Juliana de Paula-Souza from University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil, will use the Baker Fund award to travel to herbaria (plant museums) in the U.S. and Mexico that maintain some of the world’s largest collections of Latin American violets, in 2013 and early 2014.

“Without this funding I could not afford to make these visits to finish my research on Latin American violets in the next year, especially with Juliana coming from Brazil to complete our collaborative research,” said Ballard. “The Baker Fund grant award has made it possible for me to move all these projects to completion and help advance the research program of a highly talented young investigator from Brazil as well.”

For the 2013-14 academic year there will be a fall and spring Baker Fund award cycle. For information on how to apply, visit: http://www.ohio.edu/research/Funding.cfm