Eastern Michigan University faculty to engage in variety of scholarly, creative and professional development activities through 2019 Brickley endowment awards

Fund established in 2016 in honor of former President James Brickley; this year’s total of 15 award winners brings overall total of funded projects to 72 since 2017

Karen Craig at work
Karen Ann Craig, center, is one of the winners of the Fall 2019 Brickley Endowment for Faculty Professional Development and Innovation awards.

YPSILANTI – The effects of the opioid epidemic on care for exposed youths. Helping employees who are caregivers of autistic individuals. Supporting student success through mindfulness programming.

Those are just several of important topics to be undertaken by the winners of the Fall 2019 Brickley Endowment for Faculty Professional Development and Innovation awards at Eastern Michigan University.

The James H. Brickley Endowment for Faculty Professional Development and Innovation was established by Tony and Lois Evans in 2016. The purpose is to facilitate faculty professional development and innovation through scholarly, creative, and innovative activity. The Board of Regents approved the awards at its regular meeting on Dec. 13, 2019.

Lois Evans is a retired mathematics teacher, and Tony Evans served in a number of administrative positions at Eastern from 1975 to 1982, including executive vice president, interim president, and provost and vice President for academic affairs. He worked with former President James H. Brickley (1974–1978), for whom the endowment is named.

This year’s award cycle successfully funded 15 projects, with at least one award presented to faculty from each of the five colleges at Eastern and to the library. A total of $56,127 was disbursed. Since the first award cycle in fall 2017, 72 individual projects have received funding.

The award winners, topics and totals are listed below, in alphabetical order:

Brigid BeaubienBrigid Beaubien (Department of Teacher Education). “Project Based Learning 201 Certification.” $2,950.  Beaubien will be attending the National Project Based Learning Conference at the Buck Institute of Education in San Francisco to receive the second-tier of training for Project Based Learning (PBL 201). This training emphasizes the importance of student-centered projects and has been found to improve performance in high-poverty school districts. Beaubien will be the first faculty member certified in these teaching principles at Eastern Michigan University.

Tana BridgeTana Bridge and Caren Putzu (School of Social Work). “Addressing Gaps in Care for Substance Exposed Infants.” $7,650. Bridge and Putzu are investigating the effect of the opioid epidemic and gaps in care services for infants who are born substance exposed in Michigan. The funding will allow the pair to obtain instructional release for Winter 2020 to develop a multidisciplinary protocol, form three state-wide committees, complete a literature review, and data analysis. In Summer 2020, they plan to present their findings at the Citizen’s Review Panel Conference.

Karen Ann CraigKaren Ann Craig (Accounting and Finance). “Dissemination of Finance Pedagogical Research.” $1,240. Craig’s research focuses on evaluating the importance of structured student reflection to improve student performance in the introductory finance classroom. She has drafted a full manuscript of her findings and will be presenting her work at the Southern Finance Association Annual Conference in late November. Additionally, she will use the audience feedback from the conference to improve her manuscript and submit it for journal review by the end of January.

Megan EndressMegan Endres and Alankrita Pandey (Department of Management) “High-performance Work Practices: Meeting Needs of Employees who are Caregivers of Autistic Individuals.” $4,400.  Endres and Pandey are conducting a large-scale survey to capture the usage of High-Performance Work Practices (HPWP), such as flexible work hours and location, to accommodate employees who are caregivers of individuals with autism-related disorders. The funding will allow for rental of the highly-regarded membership email list of the Society for Human Resource Management as well as incentives for survey participation.

Suzanne GraySuzanne Gray (University Library & Women’s and Gender Studies). “Supporting Well-being and Student Success Through Mindfulness Programming.” $4,815. Professor Gray aims to increase the availability of mindfulness programming on EMU’s campus. In Summer 2020, she plans to attend the Breathe For Change two-week intensive training and the Comprehensive Learn to Breathe Training Workshop to gain expertise. After attending, she plans to develop a regularly scheduled course offered to EMU students, form a collaborative on campus, and provide faculty with the tools needed to integrate mindfulness practices into their curriculum.

Roxanne KatusRoxanne Katus (Department of Mathematics & Statistics). “Plasma Sheet Injections.” $3,825. Katus’s research focuses on providing a view of the spatially dependent energy flow in the magnetosphere over seven years. External funding from NASA and internal funding have supported her prior research and allowed her to create, archive, and analyze equatorial inner magnetospheric ion temperature data. She outlined a method of detecting geomagnetic substorm injections that are only visible using her new data set. Working with Amy Keesee from the University of New Hampshire, Katus will perfect the injection detection method and conduct case studies to determine the physics surrounding substorms. Katus will use this funding for instructional release.

Jamie LawlerJamie Lawler (Department of Psychology). “Promotion of Early Childhood Mental Health: Clinical Training and Research Dissemination.” $5,000. Lawler will travel to Melbourne, Australia in Summer 2020 to receive training in the Tuning into Kids (TIK) program, which is designed to teach parents “emotion-coaching” strategies to use with their young children. Following her trip, she will bring the intervention back to EMU to train graduate student clinicians and implement it into the EMU Early Childhood Satellite Clinic. She has submitted two abstracts to present at the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH) conference in June 2020 in Brisbane, Australia.

John McCurdyJohn McCurdy (Department of History and Philosophy). “Sexual Revolutions in Early America.” $4,500.  McCurdy will be traveling to the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin, Ireland and the British Library in London, England, to continue his research into the trial of Lieutenant Robert Newburgh. He is looking into the trial’s relationship to the perception of gender and sexuality in the era of the American Revolution, and if the Revolution carved a place for sexual minorities in the new nation. He plans on writing a book on the Newburgh trial that would be used in history, LGBTQ+, and women’s studies courses.

Beverly MihalkoBeverly Mihalko (School of Health Sciences). “Silver Rainbow Training Research Initiative” $5,000.  Mihalko will be working with SAGE Metro Detroit, a nonprofit organization focused on services and advocacy for LGBTQ+ older adults, to support research on their innovative training program, the Silver Rainbow Training Research Initiative. She will work with Executive Director Angie Perone to analyze data collected from training users and identify best practices, successes, and barriers for the training model. They will collaborate on a scholarly article from this project. Mihalko will use this funding for student assistants, printing costs, and instructional release.

Eric PortengaEric Portenga (Department of Geography and Geology). “Erosion of the Santa Monica Mountains after the 2018 Woolsey Fire.” $1,482.  Portenga will be collecting and analyzing samples of river sand from seven rivers along the Santa Monica Mountains along the Malibu Coast. He will be measuring the amount of isotope Beryllium-10 found in the river sand, used to calculate erosion rates, after the Woosley Fire. He will then compare these samples to data he collected at these same seven rivers in 2016 before the wildfire. He will be one of the first geologists to evaluate the effects of a large-scale wildfire on isotope Beryllium-10 measured in river sand. Additionally, He hopes to meet with the Park Superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to relay his findings to citizens of the Malibu Coast. Lastly, this project will allow three EMU undergraduate students to gain hands-on experience in geological research

Idiko Porter-Szucslldiko Porter-Szucs (Department of World Languages). “Study of Language Assessment Class Through Three Modes of Delivery.” $3,825.  Porter-Szucs will be investigating student success using three different teaching modalities in a class on language assessment (TSLN 520). The goal of her project is to understand the experiences of the three groups and contribute to the knowledge of language teacher training. Additionally, she hopes to investigate the feasibility of incorporating online students into an on-campus class, which may lead to the future opportunity of enrolling long-distance TESOL and ESL students into on campus classes.  Porter-Szucs will use this funding for instructional release during the Winter 2020 semester in order to pursue this scholarly endeavor.

Amani RashidAmani Rashid (Department of Economics). “CeMENT Mentoring Workshop for Non-Doctoral Faculty.” $560.  Rashid will be attending the 2020 CeMENT Mentoring Workshop which will allow her to gain professional development through mentoring and attending workshops aimed at the research publication process, teaching, professional networking, and tenure. This opportunity will allow Rashid to design new elective courses at EMU aligned with her field of interest, integrate statistical analysis software into the classroom, and professionally advise graduate student research. Additionally, she is a co-founder of the Women in Economics Club and hopes to gain valuable insight on how to grow and sustain the organization on campus.

Phil RufePhil Rufe (School of Engineering Technology). “Additive Manufacturing Education Needs Assessment and Curriculum Development.” $4,000. Professor Rufe will work with the EMU Additive Manufacturing Advisory Group to identify the additive manufacturing education needs of degreed engineers, develop a course(s) to meet those needs, and identify the best mode of delivery. He will create an online assessment survey, analyze data, and submit the findings of this project to the Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) March 2020 conference in Chicago, IL. This funding will allow Professor Rufe to rent an email list of 2,677 members of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers to distribute the survey and to travel to the AMUG conference.

Elena Sanchez-VizcainoElena Sanchez-Vizcaino (Department of Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts). “New Technologies and Accessibility in the Performing Arts.” $4,180.   Sanchez-Vizcaino will use this funding to purchase tactile audio seated system backpacks and smart caption glasses to evaluate and increase accessibility at the EMU Theatre. A mask microphone will also be purchased to provide audio descriptions at the EMU Sponberg Theatre. She will apply the new technologies to current accessibility shows, collect feedback from patrons, and analyze the data. She will present her findings and prepare a journal article for the Association of Theatre and Higher Education 2020 conference in Detroit, MI.

Andrea ZakrajsekAndrea Zakrajsek (School of Health Sciences). “Immersing in a Global Model to Foster Opportunities & Innovations for Diversity and Inclusion Based upon Age.” $2,700.  Zakrajsek will use this funding to engage with Dublin City University (DCU) as a Visiting Fellow in Spring 2020 to conduct an in-depth examination of the university’s activities, efforts, and programming to support age-friendly initiatives. She will immerse herself in the culture and community at DCU, meet with DCU faculty, and serve as a conduit for shared research between DCU and EMU’s Age-Friendly University Steering Committee Members. After her stay at DCU,  Zakrajsek will seek external funding opportunities to develop innovative programming in support of nontraditional learners at EMU.

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves nearly 18,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.

December 13, 2019

Written by:
Geoff Larcom

Geoff Larcom