YPSILANTI – Supporting Alzheimer’s caregivers. The effect of the pandemic on rental housing in America. Social aspects that lead to consumer boycotts.
Those are just several of important topics to be undertaken by the winners of the Fall 2020 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. 10, 2020.
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 13 projects involving 17 faculty members, with at least one award presented to faculty from each of the five colleges at Eastern and to the library. A total of $68,523 was disbursed. Since the first award cycle in fall 2017, 85 individual projects have received funding.
The award winners, topics and totals are listed below, in alphabetical order:
Kristine Ajrouch (Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology). “A Family-Centered Approach to Dementia Caregiving in Cultural Context.” $4,080.
Dr. Ajrouch will develop and pilot test an Alzheimer’s disease caregiver support intervention that is directed at multiple family caregivers and is culturally-responsive to the needs of the Arab-American community. Funding will support a bilingual student Research Assistant who is fluent in both English and Arabic. The Research Assistant will assist in recruiting families, conducting pre- and post-surveys, ensuring all surveys are completed, and finalizing tool kits to distribute state wide.
Ruth Ann Armitage (Department of Chemistry). “Completing the Characterization of the Dyes in Ancient Peruvian Textiles and Modern Reference Materials.” $3,500.
Dr. Armitage aims to characterize dyes from ancient Peruvian textiles that encompass several unique cultures and two thousand years of history. The textiles are curated in the expansive Michael C. Carlos Museum. Funding will help Dr. Armitage to acquire chemical standards needed for data analysis and to hire a student research assistant. The student research assistant will complete data collection and perform chemical analyses of dyes in ancient Peruvian textiles and a reference collection of native Peruvian plant dyes.
Susan Badger Booth (Department of Communication, Media, & Theatre Arts). “Understanding the Needs of the Arts & Cultural Sector During COVID-19.” $5,325.
During the Fall of 2020, Professor Susan Badger Booth is teaching “Managing the Production and Distribution of Arts,” a new course in the Arts Management & Arts Administration Programs. This innovative course encompasses lectures and interviews with professional arts managers to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the Arts & Cultural Sector. Support from funding will allow for the hiring of student researchers as well as provide a course release to the investigator to further focus on research activity. Student researchers will assist in data analysis and development of interventions aimed at supporting the needs of the Arts & Cultural Sector during the pandemic.
Alexis Braun Marks (University Library). “Impact of Caregiving — Support for Survey Distribution and Data Analysis.” $5,000.
Dr. Braun Marks aims to build on prior work from an article published in the Spring of 2019 that investigated how caregiving is impacting people in the archives profession. This project will consist of data collection in two parts: the first being a survey distributed directly to the membership of the Midwest Archives Conference (approximately 800 members), and the second being a series of one-on-one interviews with self-selected archivists. Funds from this award will support the hiring of a statistician to assist with survey administration and revisions, data collection, SPSS data organization, and statistical analysis.
Chong Man Chow (Department of Psychology). “Supportive Weight Talk in Mother-Adolescent Daughter Dyads: An Observational Study.” $4,800.
Dr. Chow aims to evaluate supportive weight talk in mother-daughter relationships through an online survey and recorded weight talk interaction through videoconferencing. This study involves researchers from both undergraduate and graduate levels, and findings from the data collection will likely lead to conference presentations, research articles, and external grant applications. Funding will provide participant incentives for 150 families nationwide.
Margaret Dobbins (Department of English Language and Literature). “Rudyard Kipling Road Trip.” $4,975.
Dr. Dobbins will be retrieving and analyzing data at the U.S. literary archives and public monuments connected to the life and legacy of author Rudyard Kipling. Her goal is to evaluate the forgotten ways the U.S. shaped the circulation and commodification of Kipling’s controversial global legacy. Findings from this study will be disseminated at The North American Victorian Studies Conference and The Kipling Society Conference “Kipling in the News: Journalism, Empire, and Decolonisation,” both in 2021.
Kevin Karpiak and Barbara Patrick (Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology and Department of Political Science). “Southeast Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Research Project (SMART).” $9,850.
The Southeast Michigan Criminal Justice Policy Research Project (SMART) is a collaborative venture that serves as (a) a clearinghouse for the collection and dissemination of research on matters pertaining to criminal justice policy in Southeast Michigan; (b) a mechanism for the education and professional development of EMU students at the graduate and undergraduate level; (c) a linking space in which community groups, governmental organizations, and the broader EMU community can encounter each other, share ideas, and collaborate; and (d) a generative engine in which such collaboration can foster new and original engaged research on matters of concern to all participants. Funding will promote the opportunity for long-term viability of this effort through one course release per semester for the investigators as well as the hiring of a student research assistant.
Tammy McCullough (Department of Marketing). “Psychographic and Demographic Factors Contributing to Anti-consumption.” $2,600.
Dr. McCullough aims to examine social considerations that lead consumers to boycott specific markets. This data may provide a better understanding of why certain demographic groups may be prone to boycotting marketers engaged in specific social considerations (i.e., environmental concerns, animal testing, country of origin, etc.). Dr. McCullough will be partnering with Dynata, which is an independent data collection agency, to collect a sample of 1,000 adult consumers nationwide. Dynata will ensure that the sample is representative of the population of the United States.
John Palladino and Grigoris Argeros (Department of Special Education and Department of Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminology). “Development of a Valid & Reliable Survey Measure of School Administrators’ Ethical Leadership and Special Education Decision-Making.” $7,950.
Dr. Palladino and Dr. Argeros will be designing and field testing a scale that measures school administrations’ ethical leadership and special education decision-making. This responds to national trends about complex ethical dilemmas involved with the arrangement of special education services. Funding will provide course release for investigators as well as allow for the hiring of a graduate student worker to assist with survey administration logistics.
John Texter (School of Engineering Technology). “Stimuli-Responsive Polyester Dispersions (PED) for Advanced Coatings and Materials.” $5,000.
Dr. Texter’s research team will prepare and characterize a group of polyurethane dispersions that self-disperse in water and are thermodynamically stable. The reaction products will be carefully tuned for interparticle cross-linking by using some novel click chemistry. These PEDs will be prepared using the same diols and glycerol that Texter has recently demonstrated can be used in the production of self-dispersing PUDs. The final technology is expected to be useful for the preparation of advanced coatings. Funding from this project will provide a stipend to a graduate summer research assistant and allow for purchase of chemical supplies needed for data collection.
David Thomas, Jennifer Avery, and Jie Cao (School of Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Department of Information Security and Applied Computing). “Using Objective Measures of Wandering Among Dementia Residents to Assess Its Relationship to Staff Observations, Agitation, Cognition and Care-team Burden.” $6,000.
The aim of this study is to further understand wandering behavior of long-term care residents with dementia, including how it is defined by care-providers, its relationship to agitation, and cognition, and its effect on perceived care-provider burden. Movement patterns of identified wanderers will be tracked through AI-Care tracking system, which consists of multiple receivers placed throughout the long-term care facility. Funding will go towards purchasing 20 transmitter/receiver units from AI-Care, Inc., assessment licensing fees, PPE supplies, and staff compensation.
Weitian Tong (Department of Computer Science). “Explore the Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Rental Housing Market via Deep Learning.” $4,693.
Dr. Tong will explore the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the rental housing market of the United States. The rental housing market is a good indicator of urban structure and social phenomena. This project will utilize deep learning approaches to model the relationship between COVID-19 and the U.S. rental housing market. Funding will purchase a high-end graphic processing unit to assist in computation and support an undergraduate research assistant to maintain the dataset and conduct experiments under supervision.
Stephanie Wladkowski (School of Social Work). “Developing Curriculum for Research Writing Support at EMU.” $4,750.
Dr. Wladkowski aims to expand the Research Writer’s Collaborative (RWC) in the Faculty Development Center at EMU. To achieve this, she will be participating in the Faculty Success Program (FSP), which is a 12-week intensive mentoring program designed to increase writing productivity and retention, and develop community among under-represented faculty. Through completion of this program, Dr. Wladkowski will apply principles learned to the RWC in order to best support staff and faculty.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 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.