Faculty awards support wide array of research

PULLMAN — Teaching writing skills, recruiting school principals, and tracking sports-related concussions are among the array of research topics that will be explored with the help of $75,000 in Faculty Funding Awards presented by the WSU College of Education.
The awards, ranging from $2,500 to $6,000, were announced by Dean Judy Nichols Mitchell.
“These awards stimulate broad thinking, help our faculty identify new lines of research, and serve as incentives to retain the best of our faculty. In particular, the grants promote the efforts of junior faculty, encouraging them in their work toward tenure and to remain at WSU,” said Mitchell. “The program stimulates excellence on many different fronts and makes me excited to see what each round of awards will produce.”
Len Foster, associate dean for research and administration, noted that private donors help fund the annual awards. The awards cover such expenses as grant formulation and preparation, equipment, data collection and analysis, and publication/presentation.
“These awards are critical to building upon the excellence in our faculty ranks and to exposing them to national and international audiences,” he said.
Faculty members from all WSU campuses are eligible to apply. The 2008-2009 award winners and their research topics are:
– Associate Professor Tariq Akmal and Professor Darcy Miller of Pullman. “Changes in pre-service teachers’ beliefs about teaching as they progress through the teacher education program.”
– Professor June Canty, Vancouver. “Teacher induction in Southwestern Washington: The stories of our four beginning teachers.”
– Assistant Professor Michael Dunn, Vancouver. “Inclusion classroom writing skills instruction: Teachers’ perspectives about effective instruction.”
– Associate Professor Joy Egbert, Pullman. “The effects of interaction, relevance, and responsiveness on adolescent student engagement in reading and reading achievement.”
– Professor Phyllis Erdman, Pullman. “Path to success: Measuring the impact of an equine-assisted growth and learning program for at-risk elementary students.”
– Professor Gisela Ernst-Slavit, Vancouver. “The challenges of academic language in upper elementary classrooms.”
– Associate Professor Michael Hayes, Pullman. “Peace and social justice educators in Israel and Palestine and their stories of transformation.”
– Assistant Professor Kasee Hildenbrand, Pullman. “A longitudinal study of cognition and concussions in student athletes.”
– Assistant Professor Eric Johnson and Associate Professor Michele Acker-Hocevar, Tri-Cities. “Establishing a needs-based assessment of school districts with significant language-minority populations in the Columbia Basin for program improvements and preparing culturally competent teachers and leaders.”
– Associate Professor Stephen Kucer, Vancouver. “Fluency, miscues, and the comprehension of factual expository text.”
– Assistant Professor Matt Marino, Pullman. “The use of personal digital assistants to enhance STEM learning.”
– Professor Brian McNeill, Pullman. “Indigenous healing in Mexico: Documenting healers’ views of psychological/mental health and factors responsible for the effectiveness of their practice.”
– Assistant Professor Judith Morrison, Tri-Cities. “Teachers’ implementation of inquiry science.”
– Professor Mary Roe and Assistant Professor Jane Kelley, Pullman. “Instruction enhanced differentiation: A model for middle level language arts teachers.”
– Associate Professor Amy Roth McDuffie, Tri-Cities. “Connecting children’s mathematical thinking to community and family funds of knowledge in elementary math methods courses.”
– Assistant Professor Pauline Sameshima, Pullman. “Nurturing creativity in teacher education.”
– Clinical Assistant Professor Danny Talbot and Professor Liza Nagel, Tri-Cities. “Recruiting, training and mentoring principals for high-need schools.”
– Clinical Assistant Professor Sarah Ullrich-French, Pullman. “Physical activity motivation across the transition to college.”

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