4-VA grants give boost to collaborative projects


by Eric Gorton

 

group photo of grant recipients along with Provost Jerry Benson on the left and President Jonathan Alger on the right


Researchers from three JMU science and technology departments have received more than $31,000 in mini-grants from 4-VA to jumpstart collaborative research projects with colleagues at other universities.

The grants, which range from $4,000-$7,700, support faculty efforts that contribute to 4-VA initiatives related to research and instruction. Potential outcomes include shared courses, redesigned courses or collaborative research projects.

The 4-VA consortium was organized in 2010 in an effort to meet the needs of the Commonwealth identified by the Governor’s Higher Education Commission and his Jobs Commission. The original consortium consists of JMU, George Mason University, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. Old Dominion University joined in 2015.

The recipients of grants awarded on Dec. 11, 2015 are:

  • Dr. Samy El-Tawab, assistant professor of integrated science and technology, who received $7,700 to study the performance of bus systems in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville with a colleague at the University of Virginia. U.Va. supported the project with a grant of $5,000. The goal is to increase bus ridership through better scheduling and route management.

  • Dr. David McLeod, assistant professor of biology, who received $5,000 to work with colleagues at Virginia Tech to provide opportunities for Virginia students to gain research skills and experience with advanced 3D imaging technologies. The collaboration brings together expertise from the fields of amphibian morphology and systematics, and high-resolution x-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging technology. Virginia Tech also provided $5,000 for the project.

  • Dr. Christine May, assistant professor of biology, who received $4,900 to work with colleagues at the University of Virginia in assessing current status and trends in the biological health of watersheds in Shenandoah National Park.  This information will aid decision makers at the local, state and federal level by providing valuable insight into the recovery trends of highly valued aquatic resources that have been impaired by acid rain.

  • Dr. Kevin Giovanetti, professor of physics and astronomy, who received $4,000 to work with a colleague at George Mason University to organize a particle and nuclear conference to be held in June at GMU. The conference will be the first major international nuclear and particle physics conference held in Northern Virginia and will showcase the strengths of Virginia institutions in particle and nuclear physics. GMU also provided $4,000 for the project.

  • Dr. Keigo Fukumura, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, who received $5,000 to work with a colleague at George Mason University to investigate observational significance of general relativistic hydrodynamic (GRHD) accretion around a black hole under strong gravity.

  • Dr. Ilarion Melnikov, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, who received $5,000 to work with colleagues at Virginia Tech researching string theory and mathematical physics. The main goal is to plant a seed for a successful long-term collaboration between the two institutions, one that will lead to cutting-edge research with significant undergraduate involvement. Virginia Tech provided $17,800 for the project.

Faculty can apply for the grants any time. More information about the program, including an application, can be found at http://www.jmu.edu/4-va/Information.shtml.

Published: Friday, January 8, 2016

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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