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USM College of Arts and Sciences Grants Awarded to Faculty, Students

Tue, 12/14/2021 - 16:13pm | By: Ivonne Kawas

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) College of Arts and Sciences has awarded a total of $35k in grants to faculty and students to support research, scholarship and creative activities.

To contribute to the scholarly mission of the University, the funds provided aim to propel faculty and graduate students forward in their academic endeavors. The Research Seed Grants and Creative and Scholarly Activity Awards help faculty to prepare projects, as well as research proposals that will be possibly funded by external agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Travel Awards bestowed to both faculty and graduate students, provide financial support, so they can attend major national or international conferences.

“We had over 60 applications submitted, which is the largest round of applications we have had since the program began in 2019,” said Dr. Janet Donaldson, associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences. “This initiative increases the visibility of Southern Miss research and creative activities. It allows faculty and students to build rapport with professionals from around the world, as they travel to present as experts in their fields and engage in essential networking opportunities.”

Research Seed Grant recipients include:

Dr. Leslie Acton

Assistant Professor, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Title: Preliminary Understanding of Regional Ocean and Coastal Governance in the Gulf of Mexico

Research Activity: Collect preliminary data investigating how coastal and ocean policies and governance systems engage with the complex and cumulative impacts of environmental disasters and change in northern Gulf Coast communities.

 

Dr. Patrick Biber

Associate Professor, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Title: Seasonal and Annual Dynamics in Seagrass Beds of the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Research Activity: Conduct surveys of seagrass distribution and condition in the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to better understand and predict seagrass status and trends in coastal areas.

 

Dr. Zachary Darnell

Associate Professor, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Title: Using Passive Acoustics to Quantify a Regional Biodiversity Hotspot

Research Activity: Use passive acoustic techniques to characterize and quantify biodiversity at multiple trophic levels within a regional biodiversity hotspot, the seagrass beds of the Chandeleur Islands, La.

 

Dr. Huiquing Zhu

Associate Professor, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Title: Electromyometrial Imaging Model (EMMI)

Research Activity: To obtain a more accurate results of uterine electrical activation patterns, a better EMMI model needs to be developed, while a more suitable numerical method is also required for successfully capturing multi-scale information of the torso inhomogeneity. In this research, Dr. Zhu’s team will first generalize the existing EMMI model to a complex torso volume conductor, and then propose a novel numerical method, i.e., the multiscale radial basis functions generated finite difference method (RBF-FD), for solving such a partial differential equation system that dominates inverse problem of the EMMI model.

 

Creative and Scholarly Activity Award recipients include:

Dr. Davin Wallace

Associate Professor, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Title: Reconstructing Intense Hurricane Impacts in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) using the Geologic Record

Creative or Scholarly Activity: Previously published paleo hurricane sites have focused on the northern and eastern GoM, so there is a notable gap along the central Texas coast. Adding investigations from this key area will allow his team to compare long-term intense hurricane impact trends across the entire GoM, elucidating both variability and response to past climatic change, thereby providing important data upon which to better predict future scenarios.

 

Dr. Shane Wood

Assistant Professor, School of Humanities

Title: Rhet/Comp Digital Sound Collection 

Creative or Scholarly Activity: This project aims to build a digital clearinghouse –Rhet/Comp Digital Sound Collection–that provides a multimodal experience for teachers, researchers, and students to use. The purpose of the Rhet/Comp Digital Sound Collection is to create audio-texts, books, passage readings, and pedagogical reflections that will serve as a resource for the larger writing studies community including teachers, students, and researchers.

 

Faculty Travel Award recipients include:

Dr. Diana Bernstein

Assistant Professor, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

Chairing Session: OC18 Marine Climate Extremes: PART 2 Regional Downscaling & Climate Projections

Session: This session will feature presentations on modeling and observational efforts that advance the understanding of regional downscaling of scale climate variability and change, and their impact on the frequency and persistence of extreme events in a coastal setting.

 

Dr. Joshua Bernstein

Assistant Professor, School of Humanities

Conference: The Association of Writers & Writing Programs Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pa.

Chairing Panel: The Revolution Will Be Serialized: Literary Journals and Political Movements 

Session: “The literary history of the thirties,” George Orwell warned in 1940, “seems to justify the opinion that a writer does well to keep out of politics.” Yet 80 years later, most literary journals, like most presses and institutions, have felt the need to confront political realities, including assaults on democracy, police brutality, sexual abuse, and more. Are there risks in embracing these aims? What is the effect on the art they produce? Can journals remain relevant without becoming dogmatic?

 

Dr. Laura Gulledge

Assistant Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Conference: American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting in Chicago, Il.

Title: Three Big Steps: Creating a Repository for Juvenile Arrest Data in Mississippi

Research: This research, co-authored with Associate Professor of Criminal Justice, Dr. Charles Scheer, examines the capacity in the state of Mississippi to collect and share cross-jurisdictional data regarding juvenile arrests. A recent Bureau of Justice Statistics grant awarded to Drs. Scheer and Gulledge will focus on the process by which Mississippi’s juvenile justice system can progress towards statewide implementation of a juvenile data repository.

 

Dr. James Lambers

Professor, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Conference: 12th IMACS International Conference on Nonlinear Evolution Equations and Wave Phenomena: Computation and Theory in Athens, Ga.

Title: Krylov Subspace Spectral Methods for Problems in Acoustics

Research: This talk provides an overview of ongoing work with the Acoustics Branch of the U. S. Naval Research Laboratory at NASA Stennis Space Center. This work includes (1) the use of techniques for approximating bilinear and quadratic forms involving matrix functions to measure the sensitivity of simulation results, (2) the application of Krylov Subspace Spectral (KSS) Methods to the parabolic equation for acoustic pressure in oceans, and (3) KSS methods for wave propagation problems in the atmosphere, featuring dusty gases and shock waves.

 

Dr. Kristina Mojica

Assistant Professor, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

Title: Accumulation of Phytoplankton Biomass Regulated by the Balance Between Division and Loss

Research: For nearly a century, phytoplankton spring blooms have largely been explained in the context of abiotic factors regulating cellular division rates (e.g., mixed-layer light levels). However, the accumulation of new phytoplankton biomass represents a mismatch between phytoplankton division and mortality rates. The balance between division and loss, therefore, has important implications for marine food webs and biogeochemical cycles.

Title: Pulsing the Biological Pump in the Oligotrophic GoM: A Model for Atmospheric Carbon Capture through the Oceanic Reclamation of Nutrients

Research: This research hypothesizes a novel nutrient-pulse mechanism for increasing the efficiency of the natural marine biological pump and tests it using an analytical model of a theoretical experiment performed in the GoM.

 

Dr. Charlie Scheer

Associate Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security

Conference:

Title: The Police Retention and Career Perceptions Study 

Research: A multi-site national study of police officer perceptions of their careers, turnover intention, and workplace climate conducted by Dr. Scheer and Dr. Michael Rossler from Illinois State University. Of the eight participating sites visited, Portland, Ore. Police Bureau offered additional focus due to the impact of city-wide civil disturbances throughout 2020 which had a deep impact upon the city’s police officers and political infrastructure. A separate report from the Police Retention and Career Perceptions Study technical report will be forthcoming which focuses on results from the Portland survey.

 

Dr. Don Yee

Professor, School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences

Conference: The 88th Annual meeting of the America Mosquito Control Association in Jacksonville, Fl.

Title: Army of Darkness: Quantifying Global Mosquito-pathogen Interactions

Research: Mosquito species relevant to human health have not been fully quantified, posing challenges in understanding how resilient mosquito vector-pathogen networks are to targeted eradication of known vectors. Dr. Yee, for the first time, will show how many vectors are implicated in causing human disease. In addition, a network analysis will reveal broad associations among clusters of pathogens and mosquito species. Finally, this approach will allow for a determination of the robustness of mosquito-pathogen associations, the results of which have strong implications for management and control of important vectors.

 

Katherine Gaffney

Instructor, School of Humanities

Conference: Sundress Academy for the Arts in Knoxville, Tenn.

Creative Activity: Gaffney’s new book of poetry seeks to investigate mothers in war spaces using her own family and other historical artifacts. Her family was part of the Dutch resistance, and yet her grandmother didn’t join the resistance until she became a mother—the book is interested in investigating the inherent tension between nurturing and defiance, safety and risk.

 

Graduate Student Travel Award recipients include:

Student Group Award, School of Communication including: Tawfiq Abdullah, Nazanin Bani Amerian, Reham Bohamad, Kevin Bryant, Daleana Phillips, and Aleesha Smith.

Conference: The NCA 107th Annual Convention in Seattle, Wash.

Title: The Fear Element of Political Campaigning: A Study of a Presidential Election

 

Brandy Armstrong, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

Title: Modeling the Influence of Freshwater Sources on the Mississippi Sound and Bight During the 2019 Bonnet Carré Spillway Opening

 

Jaylen Davis, School of Polymer Science and Engineering

Conference: The American Chemical Society National Merton and Exposition 2022

Title: Investigation of Benzoxazine Vitrimers Based on Dynamic Transesterification Exchange

 

Austin Draper, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society meeting in Charleston, S.C.

Title: The Habitat Usage Patterns of Gulf Sturgeon in the Mississippi

 

Austin Hannon, School of Music

Conference: Florida Music Educators Association Conference in Tallahassee, Fl.

Title: Factors Contributing to How Secondary LGBTQ+ Music Educators Navigate their Sexual Orientation in Southern K-12 Settings

 

Harpreet Kaur, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

Title: The Occurrence of Tidal Hybrid Kelvin Edge Waves in the Global Ocean

 

Ann McPhail, School of Music

Conference: The NATS Southern Region Conference 

Creative Activity: Students will be auditioning by presenting both classical and music theatre songs in front of panel of judges.

 

Rachel Mugge, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

Title: Microbial Ecology of Built Seafloor Habitats

 

Thanapol Phousat, School of Music

Conference: The Southeast Regional Tuba-Euphonium Conference at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga.

Creative Activity: Artist Euphonium Solo Music Competition

 

Zachary Lane, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) Conference in Phoenix, Az.

Title: Physiological Condition, and Not Competitive Ability, is the Key Difference Between Mating and Non-Mating Male Fiddler Crabs Leptuca Pugilator in a Florida Population

 

Kacey Lange, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

Title: Characterizing Marine Microbes using Nanolive Measurements of Refractive Index

 

Jhinuk Saha, School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Conference: Biophysical Society Annual Meeting 2022 in San Francisco, Ca.

Title: Effects of Vesicular Membrane Composition On Amyloid-Beta Oligomerization       

 

Katherine Santiago, School of Criminal Justice

Conference: The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.

Title: Cops on Campus: Higher Education for Law Enforcement Officers

 

Oledeji Siyanbola, School of Ocean Science and Engineering

Conference: The Annual Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii

Title: High Frequency Boundary Forcing of Regional Simulations of the US West Coast

 

Danielle Watson, School of Music

Conference: The NATS Southern Region Conference 

Title: Students will be auditioning by presenting both classical and music theatre songs in front of panel of judges.