By Karen Hunt, Office of Research

PULLMAN, Wash. – This year, Washington State University awarded 14 new faculty seed grants to help them develop their research, scholarly or creative programs.

The New Faculty Seed Grant program is funded by the Office of Research and the Office of the Provost.

For more than 40 years these offices have provided seed funding to junior faculty as they build the foundation for their academic programs, allowing them to effectively seek out extramural funding and providing them opportunities for professional growth.

This year, 54 proposals were received. The 14 selected proposals represent the range of scholarly activity taking place at WSU. The total amount of grant funding is $249,986.

Winning proposals include:

  • Brianna Ewing, School of Food Science, yeast nutrition in cider fermentation.
  • Sarah Hart, School of the Environment, environmental recovery and resilience after fire.
  • Sophia Tegart, School of Music, a collection of pieces by women composers to exemplify musical ekphrasis, the representation of art, nature, and poetry in music.
  • Chanmi Hwang, Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, the development of economically feasible and functional maternity hospital gowns.
  • Molly Kelton, Department of Teaching and Learning, investigating innovative arts-based strategies to engage students of predominantly-Latino populations in STEM fields.
  • Xiongzhi Chen, Mathematics and Statistics, development of testing procedures that adapt to the overall level signals in data, classifying the type of dependence under which a statistical procedure is accurate and stable.
  • Idil Akin, Civil and Environmental Engineering, developing a new framework to quantify mechanical behavior of soils in the entire range of soil water saturation.
  • Ofer Amram, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, examining the relationship between access to publicly-funded clinics and adherence to treatment and likelihood of OD in opioid users.
  • Lais Malavasi, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, evaluating the effect of buprenorphine added to the local anesthetic for brachial plexus block in dogs that will undergo elbow arthroscopy.
  • Ryan Driskell, School of Molecular Biosciences, investigating fibroblasts during pig skin development, potentially leading to therapeutic strategies for human skin regeneration.
  • Julia Day, School of Design and Construction, determining best practices for design considerations for common household interfaces.
  • Qiang Zhang, Department of Chemistry, design and synthesize porous smart materials for applications in sensing of toxic chemicals in air and water.
  • Jessica Willoughby, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, examining the role of psychosocial variables related to media use and emotional states in preventing skin damaging behaviors.
  • Richard Iles, School of Economic Sciences, exploring the effects of cognitive information processing costs through a simulation which asks users to either sell or vaccinate livestock.

To read full descriptions of these programs, visit



  • Karen Hunt, public relations coordinator, Office of Research, 509-219-2427,