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Faculty and Staff Grants From January 2022

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Nika Anschuetz





Announcement  •
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Congratulations to the following faculty and staff members who received grants and awards in January 2022:

Todd Blankenship and Dinah Loerke, associate professors in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. 

Dinah Loerke
Todd Blankenship
  • Grant from National Institutes of Health 
  • Project abstract: Force generation in epithelial tissues is often pulsatile, with actomyosin networks generating high-tension contractile forces at the cell cortex before cyclically disassembling. This pulsed nature of cytoskeletal forces implies that there must be cellular processes to extract unidirectional changes that drive processive transformations in cell shape. In the proposed studies, we will examine the upstream signals that engage ratcheting and direct Sbf/Rab35 compartmental behaviors to contracting interfaces or cell apices, and identify the fundamental changes in oscillatory durations, amplitudes, frequencies, and/or directionality that lead to contractile processivity.
Daniel Brisson

Daniel Brisson, professor at the Graduate School of Social Work and executive director of the Center for Housing and Homelessness Research.

  • Grant from Caring for Colorado Foundation for "Your Family Your Neighborhood" (YFYN)
  • Project abstract: YFYN has had over 405 participants including 277 children and 128 adults, and served over 3,000 meals to families. Our priority is to deliver YFYN to six sites per year, serving 120 participants annually. YFYN has proven itself as a positive intervention that builds stronger family relationships and supports, increases neighborhood social cohesion and improves the health and well-being of families, which lead to an increase in youth's resilience to life stresses and pressures, and provides supports for families and allies of youth to better support youth in their healing.
Charmaine Brittain

Charmaine Brittain, director, practice innovation at the Butler Institute for Families. 

    • Grant from Granite State College
    • Project abstract: In order to build the CWEP's capacity to develop curriculum in the future, Butler will deliver their workshop Secrets to Amazing Curriculum at an in-person event in New Hampshire and provide follow-up coaching. Butler intends for this training to be delivered in-person with two trainers to maximize its effectiveness.


    Meredith Silverstein
    Charmaine Brittain
    Ashley Brock-Baca

    Ashley Brock-Baca, Charmaine Brittain, Kavitha Kailasam, Meredith Silverstein and Luca Maccagno, staff at the Butler Institute for Families at the Graduate School of Social Work

    • Grant from Envision-You for "Q is for Questioning Curriculum Evaluation and Training Evaluation Plan"
    • Project abstract: The Butler Institute for Families will support Envision: You to prepare for the implementation of their "Q is for Questioning" training for the parents of LGBTQIA+ youth. Butler will review the curriculum from both an instructional design lens and a content perspective, as well as work with Envision: You to develop a training evaluation plan and a training-of-trainers plan.


    Oliver Kaplan

    Oliver Kaplan, associate professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

    • Grant from DT Institute for "Employing Ex-combatants: A Résumé Experiment in Colombia"
    • Project abstract: This proposal outlines a résumé field experiment in Colombia to test for possible discrimination against ex-combatants in the labor market. The experiment will also identify the factors that facilitate their social and economic reintegration, thereby assessing the value of existing DDR programs as well as the potential of new programs. Résumé experiments have previously been implemented around the world to identify racial, ethnic, and gender discrimination, but never in a post-conflict setting or varying conflict conditions. The results will specifically indicate which kinds of experiences may be helpful for overcoming discrimination, as well as program modifications to better engage with applicants and employers.

    Erich Kushner, assistant professor at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. 

    • Grant from National Institutes of Health
    • Project abstract: Angiogenesis, or the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, is the predominant developmental process by which blood vessel network density is regulated. During angiogenic development, endothelial cells create a hollow cavity called a lumen. The mechanisms underpinning the morphodynamic changes in endothelial architecture and signaling leading to vascular lumen formation, or tubulogenesis, are incompletely understood. In this proposal we will investigate a protein called synaptotagmin-like protein 2 (sytl2) that we believe is responsible for defining the luminal surface by directing protein transport to the apical membrane during blood vessel development.


    Keith Miller
    Corinne Lengsfeld

    Corinne Lengsfeld, associate vice provost of reserachand Keith Miller, associate provost of graduate education. 

    • Grant from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 
    • Project abstract: The goal of this projected is to use wastewater surveillance as a method of providing timely disease control and response during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thirty days within the execution date of the contract, this project will establish wastewater surveillance testing at two (2) Denver detention facilities to provide early warning of significant changes in fecal shedding of SARS-CoV-2 within the detention center populations.
    Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi


    Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Assistant Professor of Leadership and Formation and Director of the Office of Professional Formation, at the Iliff School of Theology. 

    • Grant from Hartford International University for Religion and Peace 
    • Project abstract: Perform 10-12 congregational case studies in Denver, CO as part of the Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations Study

    Hilary Matfess, assistant professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

    Hilary Matfess
    • Grant from Folke Bernadette Academy 
    • Project abstract: This project will investigate women's engagement with community-based violence in Africa. Our previous work demonstrates that women adopt a variety of roles in local conflicts; they have both served as arbiters of peace and supported violence in other cases. Some women compel men to fight for their communities, while others take-up arms themselves. A subset of women disassociate with the conflicts around them. We aim to explain these choices. We are applying for funding to conduct a total of 16 focus groups and 12 key informant interviews in two communities in Somalia and South Sudan in 2022.

    Kevin Morris, executive director of the Institute for the Human Animal Connection, and Sloane Hawes, assistant director research for the Institute for the Human Animal Connection. 

    Sloan Hawes
    Kevin Morris
    • Grant from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
    • Project abstract: In the proposed study, the Institute for Human Animal Connection (IHAC) will partner with the National Animal Care and Control Association (NACA) to conduct interviews with a nationally representative sample of humane law enforcement officers and empower them to identify strengths and limitations of current approaches to community engagement on cruelty/neglect issues, while also gathering input on future directions for the field.
    Anajulia Barney
    David Bohl
    Jonathan Moyer

    Jonathan MoyerDavid Bohl and Anajulia Barney, faculty and staff at the Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

    • Grant from the Atlantic Council, subaward from United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund for "Risk analysis and foresight consultancy in support of: Prospects for children: a global outlook for 2022"
    • Project abstract: Pardee will be partnering with the Atlantic Council to provide risk analysis and foresight consultancy to contribute to the core purpose of UNICEF, which is to advance and defend the rights and wellbeing of children around the world. Specifically, this consultancy will aid UNICEF's Office of Global Insight and Policy/Global Insights Team to assess the premises of what the office hopes will become an annual flagship publication, the Global Outlook for Children.
    Taylor Hanna
    Whitney Doran

    Moyer, Taylor Hanna, Whitney Doran, Barney and Bohl, faculty and staff at the Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

    • Grant from the United Nations Development Programme for "Egypt Inclusive COVID-19 Response"
    • Project abstract: The aim of this project is to develop a policy brief that will revisit and adjust the four scenarios used for the VNR outputs during the first phase. These adjustments will be limited to no more than five interventions and it may be made in line with Egypt's National Structural Reform Programme.
    Barry Hughes

    Moyer, Bohl, HannaBarry Hughes and Barney, faculty and staff at the Pardee Center for International Futures at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

    • Grant from the United Nations Development Programme for "Set-up of an SDGs Platform for Central Asia"
    • Project abstract: This project is intended to contribute to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) achievement through modeling the effectiveness of the socio-economic policies and their contribution to achieving SDGs. This task includes the development of a policy database, analyzing pre- and post-COVID-19 development trajectories against SDGs, and framing policy trade-offs that are likely to exist in countries reframing their medium-term development strategies. The Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures will develop international futures model scenarios, frame key dimensions of uncertainty and construct a set of scenarios aimed at stimulating the impact that particular policies and programs might have on the recovery process with a focus on Central Asian countries.
    Tiffany Phu

    Tiffany Phu, graduate student in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

    • Grant from the National Institutes of Health for "Biological Embedding of Childhood Obesity: Stress Responsive Systems and Sleep"
    • Project abstract: The purpose of the Kirschstein-NRSA, dual-doctoral degree, predoctoral fellowship (F30) is to enhance the integrated research and clinical training of promising predoctoral students, who are matriculated in a combined MD/PhD or other dual-doctoral degree training program (e.g. DO/PhD, DDS/PhD, AuD/PhD, DVM/PhD), and who intend careers as physician-scientists or other clinician-scientists.
    Tom Rowe

    Tom Rowe, associate professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies

    • Grant from the Open Society Institute for "International Career Advancement Program 2021-22"
    • Project abstract: Annual ICAP conference




    Petr Vojtechovsky headshot

    Petr Vojtechovsky, professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

    • Grant from Lockeed Martin for "Time Series Analysis Research"
    • Project abstract: This research is intended to investigate new forms of approaches to find insights in time series data.

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