Latest Faculty Accomplishments


GRANTS (awarded in May)

Emily K. Akerson (Clinical Coordinator for Clinical and Interprofessional Initiatives, Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services) received $10,000 from the Shenandoah Memorial Hospital Foundation for Healthy Families Shenandoah County to continue to meet the needs of at-risk families in Shenandoah County by providing education, resources and support.

Alleyn S. Harned (Executive Director, Virginia Clean Cities) received $500 from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to update the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Inventory biannually and to collect and report on information relating to alternative fuel production.

Dr. M. Hossain Heydari (Professor, Computer Science), Dr. Brett C. Tjaden (Professor, Computer Science) and Dr. Xunhua S. Wang (Associate Professor, Computer Science) received $99,990 from the National Science Foundation for the “Cyber Defense Bootcamp for High School Technology Teachers” to increase the number of K-12 institutions offering classes and other opportunities to practice and learn cyber defense.

Joyce H. Krech (Director, Small Business Development Center) receive $463,319 from the U.S. Small Business Administration to support the Small Business Development Center.

Dr. Carole L. Nash (Assistant Professor, Integrated Science and Technology) received $9,671 from the Clermont Foundation to complete an archaeological investigation of the slave quarters and surrounding area at Clermont Farm in Clarke County, Virginia, during building stabilization.

Dr. M. Ioana Niculescu (Professor, Physics and Astronomy), Dr. Kevin L. Giovanetti (Professor, Physics and Astronomy) and Dr. Gabriel Niculescu (Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy) received $105,000 from the National Science Foundation for “RUI: Probing Subatomic Physics Via Lepton Interactions” to explore the transition between the perturbative and the non-perturbative regimes, quark confinement and hadronization, and measurements of fundamental quantities.

Dr. Nena J. Powell (Associate Professor, Nursing), Dr. Melody K. Eaton (Professor, Nursing) and Dr. Julie T. Sanford (Head and Professor, Nursing) received $5,991 from the Virginia Nurses Foundation to provide support and retention strategies as well as coaching to nursing students in rural Virginia.

Dr. Giovanna Scarel (Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy) and Dr. Brian C. Utter (Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy) received $28,691 from the Office of Naval Research for “The exploitation of the electric contributions in infrared power generation” to study infrared power generation and increase its efficiency as a source of usable power.


Dr. Stephen A. Leslie (Head and Professor, Geology and Environmental Science) has been named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America.


Nicole Gilbertson (Graduate Student, Kinesiology) presented “Sprint Interval Versus Moderate Intensity Training and Body Composition in Prediabetics: A Pilot Study” at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine in San Diego, California, in May.

Thai Ong (Graduate Student, Psychological Sciences, Quantitative Psychology) presented “Items that hang together may not change together: Exploring dimensions of change in sense of identity” at the 2015 Modern Modeling Methods Conference in Storrs, Connecticut, in May.

Dr. John W. Ott (Professor, Art History) participated in “Stories of Art and Money,” a May 16 roundtable discussion for the opening day of the exhibition “Peacock Room REMIX” at the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The show’s centerpiece is Waterston’s “Filthy Lucre,” a contemporary re-imagining of James McNeill Whistler’s “Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room” as a sumptuous ruin. Both this installation and Ott’s essay for the exhibition catalog, published by Skira Rizzoli in 2014, explore the parallels between the excesses and inequities of the Gilded Age and the social and economic disparities of our own time. They also raise questions about patronage and the relationships between artists, collectors and institutions. Ott’s recent work is inspiring a new undergraduate seminar in spring 2016 on “The Art Market: Histories and Controversies, which is funded through a course development grant by the Gillam Center for Free Enterprise and Ethical Leadership in JMU’s College of Business.

Bill Wilson (Director, Madison Institutes) discussed “Examining the Role of Civics in Education” with Tab O’Neal of WVTF, Virginia Tech’s public radio station. The interview, available at, is related to the recently released findings of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Wilson is state director for both We the People: Project Citizen and iCivics and has served as a commissioner on the Virginia Civics Commission.

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by Eric Gorton

Published: Sunday, May 31, 2015

Last Updated: Monday, May 20, 2024

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