New Faculty Seed Grant to support research for nine faculty

The Office of Research has awarded nine faculty with the 2023 New Faculty Seed Grant. The grant program supports junior faculty in developing research, scholarly, or creative programs that lead to sustained professional development and external funding. The program is sponsored by the Office of Research and the Office of the Provost. 

The 2023 New Faculty Seed Grant recipients are: 

  • Cecilia Rodriguez-Furlan, School of Biological Sciences, will develop a novel approach to label RAB7-specific interactors in planta and facilitate identification to bring researchers one step closer to producing stress-resilient crops that can withstand the effects of climate change.
  • Kristina Borrman, School of Design and Construction, will recover new evidence in the life and career of Paul Revere Williams, who was the first Black member of the American Institute of Architects and designed houses for Hollywood celebrities, to offer the first extended scholarly study of his struggle against redlining, detailing his partnership with Black-owned banks and advancing an understanding of the possibilities and limitations of financial activism at midcentury. 
  • Marlene Gaynair, Department of History, will focus on Jamaicans in Toronto and New York City to understand the construction of race, identity, and citizenship, both in Canada and the United States and the Atlantic world. In doing so, Gaynair will seek to facilitate a better understanding of immigrants in urban spaces. Additionally, the project will investigate the cultural and social history of food and drink in the Atlantic world to understand how colonialism, imperialism, and migration transfer and develop our culinary practices and how we are connected and defined through local and national cuisines. 
  • Nicole Scalise, Department of Human Development, will test whether children who play a number card game on a tablet with a researcher learn more, are more engaged, and talk more about math than children who play the same number card game on a tablet independently. The results will inform best practices for supporting children’s early math skills. 
  • Pouria Bahmani, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will aim to close practical gaps in the implementation of Timber-Concrete Composite (TCC) floors by investigating composite actions, and eventually, develop a design guideline for practitioners in the U.S. 
  • Jia Li, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will develop a deep reinforcement learning framework to train autonomous vehicles’ (AV) behaviors in three driving scenarios with increasing levels of information sharing among traffic agents and coordination to evaluate against human-like AV driving behavior using the open-source SUMO microscopic traffic simulation platform. 
  • Anjali Sharma, Department of Chemistry, will test whether targeted glycodendrimer nanoplatform (TgDN) has the potential to fill a critical gap in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer clinical care, which currently is an unmet medical need. 
  • Chang Liu, Department of Psychology, will recruit 60 first-year racially minoritized students to participate in a 14-day Ecological Momentary Assessment study during their first semester to examine underlying real-time perceived stressors and promotive factors and how they influence the daily life, experiences, and psychological wellbeing of racially minorized students. The results will provide guidance for the development of intervention programs focused on enhancing promotive factors that can help racially minoritized students overcome the undesirable consequences of stress and improve their health and wellbeing. 
  • Hillary Mellinger, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, will analyze qualitative data collected in a mid-sized agrarian area of Washington in which Spanish is the second most spoken language after English to understand interpretation, language access, and cultural communication challenges that confront law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. 

Read the full descriptions of these projects.

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