Funded Proposals (1/1/2015-1/31/2015)


The following UTC faculty and staff recently attracted $412,486 in external grant and contract awards:

Dr. Jennifer Boyd, Associate Professor of Biological & Environmental Sciences, attracted $2,737 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue her research into the influence of light and soil moisture availability on the growth and reproduction of the white fringeless orchid. A better understanding of these factors will aid conservation efforts on behalf of this rare species.

Mr. Andy Carroll, GIS Manager for Center for Academic and Innovative Technologies, received $2,000 from the Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park to redesign trail maps for a brochure, kiosk, and mapping application for the park. Carroll will work closely with a UTC student to complete the necessary fieldwork and cartographic design for the project.

Dr. Beth Crawford, Assistant Professor of Education and Program Advisor for the Learning and Leadership program, received $60,571 from the Tennessee Department of Education to continue the Governor’s School for Prospective Teachers in 2015. The Governor’s School is a four-week summer program for high school students who are interested in pursuing teaching as a profession.

Dr. Lucien Ellington, Director of the Asia Program and UC Foundation Professor of Education, and Jeffrey Melnik, Assistant Director of the Asia Program and Managing Editor of Education About Asia, received $74,107 from the Association for Asian Studies, Inc. to produce Education About Asia, a 72-page teaching journal published three times a year. The journal includes stimulating articles on Asia and thematic issues of interest, essays describing classroom-tested educational programs and strategies, and a comprehensive guide to Asia-related print and digital resources.

Dr. Lauren Ingraham, Professor of English, secured $3,000 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to align the K-12 Common Core State Standards to an entry-level college English course. The project intends to create a more seamless transition from high school to college for Tennessee students.

Drs. Deborah McAllister, UC Foundation Professor of Education, Kay Cowan, Associate Professor of Education, and Aniekan Ebiefung, UC Foundation Professor of Mathematics, received $74,926 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to improve mathematics content and pedagogy for fifth grade teachers as they implement the Common Core Standards for Mathematics. The program will train 32 teachers from partner school districts through 50 contact hours and online discussion throughout the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Dr. John McCormack, Station Manager at WUTC-FM, attracted $133,574 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to fund programming for the upcoming year. McCormack and the WUTC staff strive to keep the community updated on local and national news and events.

Dr. Steve Symes, Associate Professor of Chemistry, received $34,452 and Dr. Peggy Kovach, Professor of Biological and Environmental Sciences , attracted $27,119 from the US Department of Defense (via the UT College of Medicine – Chattanooga) to fund research to explore nanofiber applications and their potential for bone repair in orthopedic treatments. This is the third year of funding for the project, in which Dr. Symes will conduct pharmacological studies while Dr. Kovach investigates cellular reactions.


Submitted Proposals (1/1/2015 – 1/31/2015)


The following UTC faculty and staff members submitted proposals with the potential to generate over $1,848,037 in external funding, if awarded:

Dr. Jennifer Boyd (Biology) submitted a preliminary proposal to the National Science Foundation to investigate climate change and its effect on future plant species distribution in the Appalachian Mountains and Great Plains. The investigation will consist of common garden experiments in controlled-environment growth chambers.

Dr. Susanne Burgess (Southeast Center for Education in the Arts) submitted a preliminary proposal to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga Inc. for a pilot project that plans to strengthen the teaching practices of Chattanooga-area early childhood music education. The interdisciplinary approach merges music, movement, and literary instruction to better prepare young children for school and life over the program’s 14-month cycle.

Mr. Andy Carroll (Center for Academic and Innovative Technologies) requested $304,000 from the Lyndhurst Foundation to establish the Interdisciplinary Geospatial Teaching Lab (IGTLab). The IGTLab would facilitate applied research in multiple fields through partnership with faculty, experts, and industry leaders in the fields of ecology, geology, conservation, environmental science, business, marketing, computer science, archaeology, planning, architecture, engineering, and education.

Drs. Bryan Ennis, Alex Rollins, Joseph Owino, Mbakisya Onyango, Don Warrington (Engineering), Amy Brock-Hon, Johnathan Mies (Geosciences), and Jennifer Boyd (Biology) requested $330,555 from the National Science Foundation for a QICPIC particle size and shape analyzer that will be utilized in an on-going collaborative particulate research project among several institutions including UTC, MTSU, Texas A&M, and Marshall Space Flight Center of NASA. The project will involve students at both UTC and collaborating institutions.

Dr. Tim Gaudin (Biological and Environmental Sciences) submitted a preliminary proposal to the National Science Foundation to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the evolutionary relationships among sloths in a specific family classification. The study will include a field component involving a paleontological investigation of deposits from the Neogene of Bolivia and will be a collaborative effort from researchers in five countries and with the aid of both undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Lee Harris (Music) submitted a preliminary proposal to the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga Inc. to host the Kodaly Institute at UTC, an annual three-week course that equips teachers to be strong musicians who are effective in the classroom. During the institute, participants will complete 75 hours of professional development, and will learn the tools needed to guide students in the arts of music-making and music literacy.

Dr. Loren Hayes (Biological and Environmental Sciences) submitted a preliminary proposal to the National Science Foundation to fund a study that examines plural breeding and communal care among the degu, a rodent endemic to Chile. The objective of the study is to determine the impact of variables such as harshness and variability on the direct fitness consequences of plural breeding with communal care in the degu.

Dr. Loren Hayes (Biological and Environmental Sciences) requested $18,362 from the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration to study plural breeding among female mammals using two habitats characterized by extreme differences in rainfall and food abundance. The study will lead to significant advances in our understanding of the role of ecology in the shaping of animal sociality.

Drs. Farah Kandah, Joseph Kizza, and Yu Liang (Computer Science & Engineering) requested $598,619 from the National Science Foundation to build an Adaptable Automated Self-Constructed Emergency System to serve the community and emergency response teams. The project plans to look at how to provide the maximum amount of available information to the right personnel, how to transfer that information over a reliable, fast network, and how to process and analyze that information to prove accurate decisions to respond to the emergency.

Dr. Hope Klug (Biological and Environmental Sciences) submitted a preliminary proposal to the National Science Foundation to study the Barrens Topminnow, an endangered fish species, and its relation to evolutionary traps. Through a series of experiments, Klug plans to examine the roles that learning and conditioning play in allowing organisms to escape evolutionary traps.

Ms. Laurie Melnik, Dr. Joel Baxley, and Dr. Susanne Burgess (Southeast Center for Education in the Arts) requested $10,000 from the Tennessee Arts Commission to support the development, duplication, and dissemination of materials for the 9th annual Arts & Education Forum Series: Arts & Literacy in the Interdisciplinary Curriculum at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The forum series will be offered through 2-day workshops scheduled during the 2015-16 academic year.

Dr. Roger Nichols (Mathematics) requested $33,160 from the Simons Foundation to stimulate collaboration with mathematicians at 10 other universities. Past collaborations have led to publications in multiple journals, including Journal d’Analyse Mathematique, Journal of Spectral Theory, Journal of Differential Equations, and Journal of the London Mathematical Society, among others.

Dr. Han Jung Park (Chemistry) requested $5,000 from Oak Ridge Associated Universities for a project that will study the surface morphologic changes of an electrode by Piezoresponse Force Microscopy and engage undergraduate students in experimentation.

Drs. Steven Symes (Chemistry), Sean Richards (Biology), and Amy Brock-Hon (Geosciences) requested $261,728 from the National Science Foundation to purchase an inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer (ICP-MS). The instrument will be an asset to the classroom, and can be used for analytical chemistry, toxicology, human health and risk assessment, and mineralogy.

Drs. Craig Tanis, Yu Liang, Claire McCullough (Computer Science & Engineering), and Sagar Kapadia (Graduate School of Computational Engineering) requested $273,650 from the National Science Foundation to improve an open-source software framework called Splatter. Currently, Splatter fails to take full advantage of the multiple cores present on all modern processors, so the project aims to enable the software framework to utilize those desirable architectural features.

Drs. Gary Wilkerson (Health and Human Performance), Chad Burdyshaw, Sagar Kapadia (Graduate School of Computational Engineering), and Ashish Gupta (Business) requested $599,855 from the National Science Foundation for work on a solution to providing an effective, low-cost option for reducing sports-related injuries across the nation. The goal of the project is to reduce the incidence of repetitive injury and misdiagnoses, improve screening prevalence and prediction models for injury risk, and reduce the injury assessment cycle time, while enabling the sharing of results with multiple stakeholders.

Dr. Dalei Wu (Computer Science & Engineering) requested $5,000 from Oak Ridge Associated Universities to develop a high-confidence, infrastructure-less video surveillance system powered by hybrid wind and solar energy. The proposed work will benefit society by significantly reducing the carbon emissions and operational cost of video surveillance systems, while enhancing their reliability.