Funded Proposals (8/1/2015-8/31/2015)


The following UTC faculty and staff recently attracted $546,551 in sponsored program awards:

Ms. Twyler Boykin, Project Director of Upward Bound Math and Science, attracted $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to continue the Promoting Resolve in Science and Math (PRISM) program during the 2015-16 academic year. The goal of PRISM is to strengthen the math and science skills of local high school students from low-income communities and to encourage these students to pursue postsecondary degrees in these fields.

Dr. Marcia Noe, Professor of English and Director of Women’s Studies, received $6,000 from the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature to serve as editor-in-chief of the Society’s two publications, MidAmerica and Midwestern Miscellany.

Drs. Elizabeth O’Brien Oden, Professor of Education, and Morgan Cooley, Assistant Professor of Social Work, received $10,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga Inc. to train local community stakeholders, organizations, and citizens in Youth Mental Health First Aid. The training program will introduce participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, build understanding of the importance of intervention, and teach individuals how to help youth experiencing a health crisis or challenge.

Dr. Mbakisya Onyango, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, attracted $45,951 from the Tennessee Department of Transportation, in collaboration with UT Knoxville, to investigate the applications and potential benefits of geosynthetic reinforcement in pavement. The project aims to offer alternative pavement design methods and technologies, while improving the service life of pavements and public satisfaction of pavement conditions in Tennessee.

Dr. Gretchen Potts, Director of Integrated Studies and UC Foundation Professor of Chemistry, received $50,000 from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission to recruit and retain adult learners at UTC. This project will augment regional marketing efforts to recruit adult learners, while tailoring certain classes to an online or hybrid structure to make them more accessible to the adult student population.

Dr. Christine Smith, Director of the School of Nursing, attracted $184,600 from Erlanger to extend the UTC/Erlanger RN to BSN Gateway Partnership for the 2017 academic year.  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, while providing a flexible, self-paced, and accelerated curriculum that builds upon the students’ previous nursing knowledge and experience.


Submitted Proposals (8/1/2015-8/31/2015)


The following UTC faculty and staff members submitted proposals with the potential to generate over $1,482,132 in external funding, if awarded:

Dr. Ashish Gupta (Management), was included as a collaborator on Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s preliminary proposal to the National Science Foundation to establish the South Big Data Regional Innovation Hub. The hub will establish several public-private partnerships to pursue regional priority areas.

Ms. Jeannie Hacker-Cerulean (Theatre and Speech) requested $36,350 from the National Endowment for the Arts for the Moccasin Bend Nature & Art Stomp. The event will inspire community members to visit and appreciate the Moccasin Bend National Archaeological District, where artists’ creative work will be showcased in a summer festival that highlights the history and natural beauty of the park.

Dr. Loren Hayes (Biological, Geology, & Environmental Sciences) requested $499,683 from the National Science Foundation to create the Mammalian Social Variation-Research Coordination Network (MSV-RCN), an initiative that will bring together a diverse group of researchers and educators engaged in or interested in starting long-term studies of mammalian social systems. The MSV-RCN will host annual symposia, create and fund research site visit opportunities for junior researchers, and maintain post-meeting discussion to help researchers continue to share long-term data.

Drs. Daniel Loveless, Donald Reising, Nurhidajat Sisworahardjo, Raga Ahmed, Abdul Ofoli (Electrical Engineering), and Aldo McLean (Engineering Management & Technology) requested $354,044 from the National Science Foundation to create an REU Site called “An Interdisciplinary CubeSat Research and STEM Education Platform at UTC.” The REU Site will enable undergraduate students to conduct research of important, emerging technological problems related to space sciences, while encouraging the continued study and practice in STEM-related fields.

Ms. Laurie Melnik and Dr. Joel Baxley (Southeast Center for Education in the Arts) requested $83,336 in partnership with ArtsBuild as part of a collaborative request to the National Endowment for the Arts. The partnership will support Imagine! Teaching and Learning Through the Arts, a professional development program for 60 K-5 teachers and art specialists drawn from 14 elementary schools in Hamilton County. Art education experts will facilitate a 3-day summer intensive and four quarterly workshops at UTC that focuses on concept-based arts integration.

Dr. Joanne Romagni, Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, and Dr. Gretchen Potts (Chemistry) requested $471,722 from the National Science Foundation to create an REU Site at the University of Cadiz, Spain, which would provide research experiences in ecological chemistry for undergraduates from the U.S. The site will prepare students for careers in science, while providing them with valuable professional experience outside of the United States.

Dr. Jin Wang (Mathematics) requested $36,997 from the National Science Foundation to develop data-driven dynamic systems for modeling infectious diseases. The goal of the project is to determine the optimal design of disease prevention and intervention strategies.