CLAS faculty awarded $265K in Vision 2025 grants
Author: Cristina Rojas, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Posted: March 18, 2019

Faculty researchers in Portland State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences received nearly $265,000 in funding to help jumpstart new projects and programs or cover the costs of publishing a book.

The Vision 2025 grants were awarded by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies in three categories: research seed grants, equipment matching funding, and book authorship and juried art presentations.

"Scholarship is a fundamental tenet of our college and the number and breadth of Vision 2025 awards granted to CLAS is a real testament to our faculty's commitment to research and discovery," said Todd Rosenstiel, associate dean for research and graduate programs. "These funds will truly contribute to advance our faculty's research and writing projects forward."

Research Seed Grants

The seed grants will help faculty bring together partners, conduct initial studies or take other steps to make applications for additional funding more competitive. The projects range from climate change and resiliency planning to cancer research and solar energy:

Idowu Ajibade, Heejun Chang and Paul Loikith, Geography: "City-to-city exchanges on socially-inclusive resilience planning and adaptation to extreme events in the Pacific"; $28,647

The project will bring together city planners, researchers, private businesses, and students from Portland, Manila and Tokyo to inform and advance knowledge on how cities in the Pacific can cultivate and engage a broad range of resources (social, political, technical, economic and cultural) to ensure urban sustainability, resilience, and improved quality of life for their population.

Suzanne Estes, Biology: "Sniffing out cancer: An approach for identification and early detection of cancer-specific metabolites using C. elegans"; $30,000

As happens often with cancer, few symptoms are evident until later stages, which is problematic as late detection dramatically reduces the chances for effective treatment. This project brings together expertise and resources at PSU, University of Oregon and OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, with the ultimate goal of identifying cancer-specific metabolites for use in chemical-based early detection screens.

Hyeyoung Woo, Sociology (co-PI): "Family and Work Among Young/Mid-Aged Adults in Contemporary Korea"; $27,600

Woo, working with Jungmin Kwon in the School of Film, will collect preliminary data to better understand the lives of young and middle-aged men and women in Korea, especially those who live in a non-normative form of family, including cohabiters, single parents, divorced, never married, and interracial and international married individuals.

Bruno Jedynak, Mathematics & Statistics (co-PI): "Enhancing scientific discovery through machine learning"; $30,000

Jedynak, working with John Lipor in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, will develop novel, principled algorithms for adaptively sampling the environment using mobile sensors.

Paul Loikith, Geography: "Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on the Frequency of Dry Spring Seasons in the Portland Region"; $26,000

May 2018 was the driest on record in the Bull Run Watershed within a 119-year historical record. THe project will use climate model simulations to determine whether ridges like the one in May 2018 will become more common, more severe, and/or more persistent in the future under continued global warming.

Theresa McCormick, Chemistry: "Photochemical oxygen storage and thermal release"; $29,461

The project aims to develop an efficient system for converting solar to mechanical energy, as part of a longer-term effort to develop and understand new ways to capture solar energy to sustainably meet future global energy demands.

Rachel Noorda, English: "Creation of an international research network on book publishing"; $20,970

The funding will bring together nine international scholars for a workshop in Portland to discuss the way that national literatures travel internationally within the English-speaking book publishing sphere. The workshop will help create a wider research network and produce an edited collection that fills in a current gap in book publishing studies.

Rahul Raghavan, Biology: "Thwarting amino acid theft by Coxiella burnetii to prevent Q fever"; $30,000

The project will identify human metabolic pathways involved in amino acid restriction during Coxiella infection. New insights from the study will help with the development of novel treatment strategies against chronic Q fever, a heart-valve infection with a 60 percent mortality rate.

Equipment Matching Funding

Kelly Gleason, Environmental Science and Management: "Forest Fire Effects on Snow Albedo, Snowmelt and Snow-Water Resource Availability: Understanding the Future of Western Water in a Premier Portland State University Laboratory"; $25,000

The funds will go toward the purchase of a SP2-XR, one of two instruments in the world that directly measures black carbon in individual aerosol particles. Its high sensitivity, fast response, and specificity to absorbing aerosols make the SP2-SR the premier instrument for research on black carbon and will help PSU's Snow Lab become one of the most advanced academic snow laboratories in the U.S.

Book Authorship Funding

The funding will help faculty complete books they're working on, including covering costs that would otherwise come out of pocket such as indexing, reproduction of photographs and copyright permissions, or free up time to help them finish writing.

  • Derrais Carter, Black Studies, and Andres Guzman, School of Gender, Race and Nations: "Patriarchal Blackness"; $1,850
  • Cassio De Oliveira, World Languages & Literatures: "Writing Rogues: Collective and Individual Identity-Formation in the Soviet Picaresque, 1921-1938"; $2,000
  • Melissa Haeffner, Environmental Science & Management, and Jay Nadeau, Physics: "Extreme Latitudes: PSU Faculty Research in the Arctic and Antarctica"; $1,986
  • Yasmeen Hanoosh, World Languages & Literatures: "Uncertain Refuge: Rights, Respect, Responsibility in Arab Detroit"; $2,000
  • Aleksandar Jokic, Philosophy: "Targets of International Justice: Yugoslavia and Rwanda"; $1,850
  • Susan Kirtley, English: "A Woman's Place: The Rhetoric of Domesticity in Female-Created Comic Strips from 1976-2012"; $2,000
  • Natan Meir, Judaic Studies: "Stepchildren of the Shtetl: The Destitute, Disabled, and Demented of Jewish Eastern Europe"; $1,996
  • Eva Nunez-Mendez, World Languages & Literatures: "Sibilants in Spanish: Diachronic and Sociolinguistic Analysis"; $2,000
  • John Ott, History: "The Medieval Secular Clergy: A Reader"; $950