FUNDED PROPOSALS: (6/1/11 – 6/30/11)


The following UTC faculty and staff recently attracted $863,206 in external grant and contract awards:


Dr. Fran Bender, Assistant Provost for Student Retention and Success, secured $7,000 from the Alliance of Women Philanthropists for a Peer Education Program designed to provide support for incoming freshmen at UTC.  Funds will enable UTC to pilot the addition of 10 upper class students to the “UTC Experience” course to serve as mentors and role models for freshmen in the classroom and in social settings.


Ms. Belinda Brownlee, Director of Upward Bound, acquired $278,953 from the U.S. Department of Education to continue Upward Bound services in the 2011-12 academic year.  Upward Bound provides supplemental academic assistance, educational and career guidance, and cultural enrichment activities to help participating students develop the skills necessary to succeed in high school and college.


Dr. Gregory Heath, Assistant Provost for Research and Engagement, in collaboration with faculty members from UTK, received $1,250 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to analyze existing data on policies and environmental changes designed to increase physical activity levels in the general population, including both adults and schoolchildren.  The project will quantify the impact of various strategies designed to increase physical activity and rank order them in a way that will be useful to policy makers and advocates.


Dr. Kay Lindgren, Director of the School of Nursing, secured $37,291 from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund Advanced Education Nursing Traineeships during the 2011-12 school year.  Grant funds help offset the cost of tuition and fees for students enrolled in the Master of Science in Nursing program which prepares professional nurses for advanced practice as family nurse practitioners.


Dr. Deborah McAllister (School of Education) and Dr. Aniekan Ebiefung (Mathematics) secured $200,000 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for a project that will focus on improving numeracy, representation, and STEM connections for K-2 teachers.  Participating teachers will focus on concepts such as number and operations in base ten, take part in hands on activities with mathematics manipulatives, and create video files and lessons.


Dr. Valerie Rutledge, Director of the School of Education, was awarded $138,807 from Tennessee State University to establish a branch of the Strengthening Tennessee Elementary Schools – Focus on Mathematics (SITES-M) project at UTC.  The SITES-M consortium was formed to address the issue of low performance of minority students in mathematics.  Project activities for in-service teachers include weekend math workshops and a two-week summer math institute.


Dr. Cecelia Wigal (Engineering & Computer Science) and Dr. Kay Cowan (School of Education) in collaboration with Dr. Vince Betro (SimCenter) and Dr. Betsy Darken (Mathematics) acquired $199,905 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for a STEM Professional Development project.  The project will improve the ability of middle school and ninth grade mathematics teachers to teach concepts through literacy strategies and active participation in experiments and activities.


SUBMITTED PROPOSALS: (6/1/11 – 6/30/11)


The following UTC faculty and staff members submitted proposals with the potential to generate over $1,903,218 in external funding, if awarded:

Dr. Yu Cao and Dr. Li Yang (Computer Science and Engineering), along with Dr. Gregory Heath (Assistant Provost for Research and Engagement), requested $37,048 from the Pleiades Foundation to develop data management software for the Erlanger Southeast Regional Stroke Center.  This system will be able to create, upload, store, manipulate, and retrieve electronic medical records of stroke patients from diverse access points and access devices.


Dr. Amy Doolittle (Social Work) requested $1,480,440 from the Tennessee Center for Child Welfare at Middle Tennessee State University to provide stipends for Bachelor of Social Work students and to fund a Resource Parent Training Program.  This program will provide mandatory training for foster parents, adoptive parents, and other caregivers of children in the Department of Children’s Services (DCS) system, as well as in-service training for DCS staff.


Dr. Frank Jones (Chemical Engineering) requested $30,000 from TN-SCORE to conduct research on the abilities of nano and micro scale structures to increase the efficiency of biofuel production.  The desired outcome of this research is the production of biofuel with lower processing times, lower energy use, and higher product purity than biofuels created using other industrial techniques.


Dr. Kay Lindgren (School of Nursing) requested $165,062 from Erlanger to renew the UTC/Erlanger RN to BSN Gateway Partnership.  The BSN Gateway Program targets working RNs  from Tennessee and Georgia who hold a diploma or associate degree and want to pursue a BSN degree.  The program provides a flexible, self-paced, and accelerated curriculum that builds upon the students’ previous nursing knowledge and experience.


Dr. Deborah McAllister (School of Education) requested $10,000 from the Vernier Software and Technology Company for technology equipment that will be used in workshops for students studying Early Childhood and Middle Grades Education.  If funded, pre-service teachers will use the purchased equipment to combine mathematics, science, and technology to collect, display, and interpret real-world data that their future students will encounter.

Dr. McAllister also requested $2,500 from NASA for a Summer of Innovation professional development workshop for pre-service teachers, most of whom are members of the Student Tennessee Education Association at UTC.  The target audience for the workshop is future middle grades teachers, and workshop activities will be selected from across the Life Science, Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and Engineering units and lessons.


Dr. Mbakisya Onyango (Civil Engineering), in collaboration with a UTK faculty member, requested $30,022 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation to research and evaluate the applicability and effectiveness of different techniques for repairing potholes.  In the future, the results of this study could improve performance levels and extend the service life of pavement in Tennessee.


Dr. Valerie Rutledge (School of Education) requested $133,396 from Tennessee State University to provide additional activities under the recently-funded SITES-M grant described above.  Funding in this request will cover a two-week Summer Math Institute at TSU and five weekend math workshops to build the mathematics skill of in-service and pre-service teachers.


Mr. Kim Wheetley (Southeast Center for Education in the Arts) requested $14,750 from the Kids on Stage Foundation of Maury County to conduct a five day arts integration workshop in July for the faculty of the Mt. Pleasant Middle School of the Visual and Performing Arts.

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