Faculty and Staff Grants from August 2021
Congratulations to the following faculty and staff members who received grants and awards in August 2021.
Anne Coats Amati, coordinator of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) program and adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Grant from the National Park Service (NPS) for "NPS-FY21-WASO-Cultural Resources Management"
- Project abstract: In conjunction with NPS, this project will conduct projects and programs that will result in expanding the knowledge and information available to museums, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and federal agencies for repatriation of Native American cultural items; as well as increase public access to repatriation related information.
Nathalie Dieujuste, graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Grant from the National Science Foundation for "Graduate Research Fellowship Program FY2021"
- Project abstract: The purpose of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing full-time research-based master's and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or in STEM education. The GRFP provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education.
Jena Doom, assistant professor, in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Grant from the Mental Research Institute for "When Parents Become Ineffective"
- Project abstract: Chronic stress in childhood, adolescence and adulthood has been associated with increased rates of physical health problems and psychological disorders. There is a myriad of evidence demonstrating that physiological responses to acute stressors can be dampened through a psychosocial process called social buffering. This project will test three hypotheses that adolescents and children will transition from using parents to using siblings as buffers from stress, as measured by decreased cortisol reactivity to acute stress and whether sibling relationship quality and quality of sibling support are moderators of the effectiveness of siblings as social buffers.
- Grant from Metropolitan State University for "Colorado Child Welfare Scholars Consortium"
- Project abstract: The Butler Institute will administer DU's participation in the Colorado Child Welfare Scholars Consortium, a program that provides tuition assistance to students who will pursue a career in public child welfare to ensure a well-qualified workforce in Colorado. Butler will also provide evaluation across the consortium and administer the Intercultural Development Inventory.
- Grant from Loyola University-Chicago for "Implementing Prosecutorial Performance Indicators in Colorado: Developing a Statewide Model of Reform"
- Project abstract: Prosecution in the United States is changing rapidly. Prosecutors increasingly are expected to take proactive, engaged responses to community problems that de-emphasize the use of incarceration, reduce racial and ethnic disparities in justice outcomes, build greater trust through community engagement, and increase prosecutorial transparency and accountability. But improving prosecutorial performance and decision making is impossible without data. The Prosecutorial Performance Indicators project focuses on helping prosecutors' offices overcome these hurdles.
Tyler Miyoshi Han, adjunct faculty and PhD student at the Graduate School of Social Work
- Grant from the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research for "Experiences of Dehumanization in Prison and Historical and Institutional Discourses: A Critical Narrative Inquiry"
- According to Tannerbaum, cruelty and brutality are enduring features of prisons. Incarcerated people continue to experience dehumanizing treatment while in correctional custody. Research on the dehumanization of incarcerated people is scarce. The purpose of this study is to understand experiences of dehumanization in prison and the relationship to historical and institutional discourses.
Jennifer Hoffman, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
- Grant from the Smithsonian Institution, subaward from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for "Double Vision: New Views of Colliding-Wind Binary Systems"
- Project abstract: Wolf-Rayet stars are massive, evolved stars that are likely progenitors of supernovae (SNe) Type Ic and possibly of the extreme explosions known as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Although most massive stars evolve in binary systems, the role of binaries in producing SNe Ic and GRBs is not well understood. Combining observations with existing spectropolarimetric data will allow us to constrain the location and properties of gas within the system, compare it with similar binaries and predict what kind of supernova it may eventually become.
- Grant from Rosetta Commons for "Rosetta Post Bac - Chaperone Nucleic Acids"
- Project abstract: Defects in proteostasis are linked to many crippling diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and ALS. The work in the Horowitz lab is focused on understanding how nucleic acids act as chaperones and discovering which nucleic acids are important for these functions in the cell and which can be developed for treating disease, with research spanning biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology and biophysics.
Sunil Kumar, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
- Grant from the American Parkinson Disease Association for "Foldamer-based Mechanistic and Therapeutic investigation of the toxic states of Synuclein
- Project abstract: Foldamers are synthetic scaffolds that mimic the secondary structure of proteins. Foldamers have been shown to modulate myriad aberrant protein interactions. Overall, the study aids in developing significant mechanistic and therapeutic insights into various facets of synucleiopathies using an array of PD models.
- Grant from the Colorado Department of Human Services for "Early Childhood Education Data Matching Project"
- Project abstract: In 2008, the Colorado legislature passed House Bill 08-1364 with the mandate for state agencies, school districts, Head Start, Early Childhood Councils, and additional early childhood partners to create and implement protocols to assign uniquely identifying student numbers. These protocols and practices have not yet been implemented in an ongoing fashion. This project is designed to inform and prepare key participants for the implementation of these protocols coinciding with the implementation of the Universal Preschool funded by Proposition EE passed by Colorado voters in November 2020.
Kamilah Legette, assistant professor of psychology in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
- Grant from the Foundation for Child Development for "Teachers Racialized Behavioral Appraisals"
- Project abstract: A small body of research points to implicit bias in early childhood classrooms and to the likelihood that early childhood educators' negative appraisals of Black children's behaviors may lead to the racial disparities found in suspensions in elementary school. The proposed study is guided by three research questions: (1) How do teachers describe racial awareness emotion regulation toward Black students' misbehaviors (qualitative response)? (2) Do teachers' racialized emotions predict discipline practices (quantitative response)? (3) Do teachers' racialized emotions mediate the association between student race and teachers' discipline practices (quantitative response)?
Lena Lundgren, professor at the Graduate School of Social Work and executive director of the Cross-National Behavioral Health Laboratory
- Grant from Casa Esperanza, subaward from SAMHSA, for "Building Communities of Recovery"
- Project abstract: The proposed project is an outcome and process evaluation of the MicCamino peer-to-peer recovery program implemented by Casa Esperanza in Boston. The evaluation team also conducts process evaluation interviews to identify barriers and facilitators of the project reaching its goals and objectives.
Kevin Morris, research associate professor and American Humane Endowed Chair, and Sloane Hawes, research associate, at the the Institute for Human-Animal Connection at the Graduate School of Social Work
- Grant from the Society for Companion Animal Studies for "Exploring Barriers to Housing Security in Affordable Housing Properties in Houston, Texas"
- Project abstract: The objective of this study is to identify the key barriers in affordable housing security for pet owners to help understand how pet policies could be less restrictive.
Cecilia Orphan, assistant professor at the Morgridge College of Education
- Grant from the Spencer Foundation for "Ending Data Invisibility: Identifying and Defining Regional Public Universities"
- Project abstract: Despite their crucial role in advancing equity across P-20 education, foundational knowledge is lacking about how to define and identify Regional Public Universities (RPUs) and there is no official list of RPUs. As a result, sector-wide quantitative data and research are nonexistent and RPUs and their students remain largely invisible in important policy and scholarly discussions. This study will be the first to empirically identify, define, and examine the entire RPU sector and its students, and build a data infrastructure to support future inquiry into these vital institutions.
Timothy Sisk, professor, at the Josef Korbel School for International Studies
- Grant from the DT Institute for "Recovering Better? Democracy and Governance after COVID-19: Insights from Comparative and Regional Studies"
Andrew Steward, doctoral student at the Graduate School of Social Work
- Grant from the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research for "Exploring gaps in understanding and responding to ageism: A conceptual model, psychosocial health, and racialized ageism"
- Project abstract: Ageism is a prevalent, often unchallenged form of discrimination in Western society. This dissertation explores the following gaps in understanding and responding to ageism: 1) interventions to reduce internalized ageism and enhance psychosocial health for older adults, and 2) the intersectionality of ageism and racism.
Petr Vojtechovsky, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
- Grant from the Simons Foundation for "Computational methods for nonassociative and self-distributive structures"
- Project abstract: The main goal is to develop new computational tools for nonassociative algebra and apply them in the field.
Ann Wehman, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
- Grant from the National Institutes of Health for "Mechanisms of non-apoptotic programmed cell death and corpse clearance"
- Project abstract: Many cells are programmed to die during development and homeostasis, but not all cells die via apoptosis. Additionally, cancer cells have proven resistant to apoptosis-promoting therapies. Therefore, it is important to understand non-apoptotic mechanisms of cell death, as well as how dying cells signal for clearance. Using a genetic model, we propose to identify the mechanisms that lead to necrotic cell death and loss of membrane integrity.
- Grant from the National Science Foundation for "Spin dephasing, diffusion, and switching in derrimagnetic metals for memory and logic"
- Project abstract: Energy-efficient, non-volatile memory elements are a critical need for future information technologies. Magnetic systems, where the spin of the electron is used in addition to the charge, naturally provide stable storage of information, but researchers are still hunting for a low-current energy efficient means of manipulating these spintronic devices. Here we propose to achieve this long-sought goal through fundamental study of ferrimagnetic metals and devices formed from these materials.