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Thursday, Nov 23, 2017

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A Genomics Facility Laboratory Technician, Rachel Arnold, sequences plant RNA in the Genomics Lab.

A Genomics Facility Laboratory Technician, Rachel Arnold, sequences plant RNA in the Genomics Lab.

Photo courtesy of: Ohio University

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1804 Fund graduate project awardees, medical research, writing retreats and theater lighting technology

The Trustees of The Ohio University Foundation granted approximately $268,000 to six innovative projects at OHIO for the 1804 Fund Faculty Research and Graduate Studies Awards.


The Trustees of The Ohio University Foundation granted approximately $268,000 to six innovative projects at OHIO for the 1804 Fund Faculty Research and Graduate Studies Awards.

Overall, the foundation approved more than $386,000 in support from the 1804 Fund for the 2017-2018 academic year. That includes approximately $118,000 allocated to seven projects for the Undergraduate Learning Awards, detailed here.

Through the vision of C. Paul Stocker, a 1926 graduate of Ohio University, and his generous endowment, the 1804 Fund was created in 1979 to encourage innovation and collaboration between academic disciplines. To this day, the fund supports the University’s mission of “maintaining, strengthening and enhancing a learning-centered community.”

Since the first award of 1980, the 1804 Fund has supported more than 600 projects and programs and has granted over $15 million.

“This year, the 1804 Fund supported a large number of proposals that seek to bring more state-of-the-art equipment to Ohio University. These new resources will enhance faculty research and increase student learning opportunities,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College.

The Faculty Research and Graduate Studies awardees are as follows:

Acquisition of Covaris Instrumentation to Enhance Research Infrastructure

OHIO researchers across departments and colleges, including biomedical engineering and environmental and plant biology, were awarded about $64,000 for equipment critical to ongoing molecular research. The instrumentation will be used in microbiome projects, genome sequencing and gene expression analysis (RNAseq). In the proposal, the deans of the prospective colleges said it will not only “provide our students an unmatched training environment,” but also “help strengthen our growing expertise in biomedical engineering and cancer research.”

 

Acquisition of a ZetaSizer to Enhance Nanotechnology Research and Education at Ohio University

A group of faculty of the Russ College of Engineering and Technology, including Assistant Professors Amir M. Farnoud and John Staser, as well as faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences, were granted approximately $49,000, which includes about $24,700 from an 1804 Undergraduate Learning Award, for a ZetaSizer, an instrument that measures the size and charge of different particles. The purchase of the ZetaSizer will allow for more enhanced nanotechnology research and education capabilities within the University.

“The equipment would serve a well-documented need in upper division courses and provide an excellent educational experience for many students on campus and help in recruiting students as well,” Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin said.

Intelligent Lighting Equipment Package

With the constant adaptation of theater lighting technology and transition to LED sources, Professor Michael Lincoln of the College of Fine Arts was granted nearly $94,000, which includes about $19,700 from an 1804 Undergraduate Learning Award, to purchase six new moving fixtures, 18 LED ellipsoidal units, wireless dimmers and assorted accessories. In order for theater students to leave Ohio University with competitive skills, they need to be familiar with modern theatrical lighting technology, he wrote in the application. The purchase of new equipment will help them do so.

 

Acquisition of a Micro-Rheometer to Support Research and Education at Ohio University

Approximately $55,000 was approved for the purchase of a micro-rheometer, which will be used by faculty members across several departments — mechanical engineering, plant biology, chemistry, civil engineering and chemical engineering — to conduct novel research on topics that are currently beyond in-house instrumental capabilities. Alireza Sarvestani, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the Russ College, wrote that the device will help further his research on sickle cell disease, including examining the effect of medications used in sickle cell treatment.

Instructional Technology Infrastructure Enhancement Initiative

Lecturer Thomas Hayes of the College of Fine Arts submitted a joint proposal for both undergraduate and research graduate segments of the 1804 Grant, and was awarded approximately $46,400, including nearly $11,000 in undergraduate funds, in order to update the technology infrastructure of the Film Division facility on S. Court Street. This grant will not only benefit film majors, but also non-film graduate and undergraduate students.

Supporting Doctoral Students’ Completion Through Dissertation Writing Retreats

Associate Professor of English Talinn Phillips was granted $15,000 to lead writing retreats with professional tutors from the University’s Graduate Writing and Research Center. The focused retreats will aim to support up to 180 graduate students with targeted instruction and substantive feedback as they write theses, dissertations or journal articles. OHIO’s Graduate Writing and Research Center successfully piloted its first retreat last summer.

In addition, the funds will also be used to refine the curriculum, as well as develop retreats for specific students, such as humanities or STEM students, or multilingual writers.

This article is part two of two announcing the 1804 Fund awardees. The 1804 Undergraduate Learning Awards was detailed in part one.