4-VA@Mason Awards Collaborative Research Grants to 11 Faculty Members Across Disciplines

Backed by a statewide initiative, 4-VA@Mason has awarded 11 grants to Mason faculty for the 2021-2022 academic year — providing seed funding to launch innovations in education and original research.  The grants support studies to be conducted across various schools and departments from fine arts to computing to biology. Nine grants were awarded for new research, while two additional grants will fund extensions and expansions of projects initiated during the 2020-2021 year.

The 4-VA@Mason Collaborative Research Grants are specifically designed to encourage the development of partnerships with the seven other schools in the 4-VA system – James Madison, Old Dominion, Virginia Commonwealth, the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, Virginia Military Institute and William and Mary — capitalizing on each school’s strength to create a stronger final product and discourage working in “silos.” Additionally, undergraduate and graduate students are involved in the projects, providing critical experiential learning and research skills.

“Each year, we continue to be impressed by the serious and thoughtful research undertaken by our award winners,” explains 4-VA@Mason Campus Coordinator and Vice Provost, Academic Affairs Janette Muir.  “Our Advisory Board saw the value and importance of these proposals which we concur will make a difference for our faculty, students, and citizens in Virginia.”

Although 4-VA supports a broad variety of forward-thinking trends in education including shared courses, course redesign, and pathways to degree completion, the Collaborative Research Grant program is the centerpiece of the program.  Through these grants, faculty have the opportunity to investigate a new area of research — bringing light to a unique subject of study – many of which go on to receive substantive funding from outside organizations.

The nine new 4-VA@Mason research projects for the 2021-2022 year will be led by following faculty members (with partner schools listed in parens):

– Chen, Cher Weixia; College of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Integrative Studies-Understanding & Supporting the Well-Being of College-Level Social Justice & Human Rights Advocates/Activists in the State of Virginia (JMU, CWM)

– Glaberman, Scott; College of Science, Department of Environmental Science and Policy-Are Toxic Cyanobacteria an Emerging Health Threat in Virginia? (ODU) 

– Green, Emily H.; College of Visual and Performing Arts, School of Music-Music of Enslaved Virginians: History, Performance, Place (UVA)

– Han, Bo; College of Engineering and Computing, Department of Computer Science -Innovating Point Cloud Processing for Networked Systems (UVA)             

– Kelly, Mills; College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, Department of History and Art History-Mapping the University: A Digital Resource for Studying Virginia Campus Histories (ODU)

– Lee, Myeong; College of Engineering and Computing, Department of Information Sciences and Technology-AI for AI: Toward Community-level Human-AI Collaborations in Local Meetups (VT)

– Lim, Haw Chuan; College of Science, Department of Biology-Development of a novel genotyping panel for powerful and cost-effective evaluations of population structure and kinship in the critically endangered Eastern Mountain bongo (UVA)        

– Luo, Chao; College of Science, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry-Metal sulfide-based nanomaterials for high-performance multivalent metal batteries (UVA)            

– Purohit, Hemant; College of Engineering and Computing, Department of Information Sciences & Technology-Assessing Tobacco Prevention Policies Using a Hybrid Approach of Nontraditional Social Media and Traditional Simulation Modeling (VCU)  

Additionally, two previous projects were funded for continuation and expansion:

– Reid, E Shelley; Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning-Energizing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Production in Virginia through the Development of a Regional Community of Practice for SoTL Faculty Developers (JMU, UVA, VT, along with University of Mary Washington)

– Schrum, Kelly; School of Higher Education-Reimagining the History of Higher Education in the Digital Age (CWM, JMU, ODU, VT)

4-VA was established in 2010 upon the recommendation of the Governor’s Higher Education Commission and the Governor’s Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation.