Eastern Michigan University announces 2021 Brickley endowment award winners

Faculty to engage in variety of scholarly, creative and professional development

Illustration of people's silhouettes and gears and lightbulb icons to represent ideation and innovation

YPSILANTI – Supporting people with osteoarthritis. Helping underserved students through an innovative after-school program. Interpreting the relevance of historic and cultural sites relating to people of color.

Those are just a few of the important topics to be undertaken by the winners of the fall 2021 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. EMU’s Board of Regents approved the awards at its regular meeting on Dec. 9, 2021.

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 funded eight projects by 12 faculty members representing the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, College of Education, and the GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology. A total of $76,442 was disbursed. Since the first award cycle in fall 2017, 97 individual projects have received funding.

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


Muhammad Ahmed
Muhammad Ahmed

Muhammad Ahmed (GameAbove College of Engineering and Technology). “Teaching Problem-solving and Innovation Process to Underserved School Students”. $10,228.

Dr. Ahmed aims to help overcome the barriers disadvantaged and underserved students face by developing an afterschool program. Multipurpose programs offer homework help, recreation activities, enrichment, snacks, and meals. Specialty programs provide a specific set of experiences or develop a particular set of skills. These programs are often fee-based and thus target youth from middle and upper-income families excluding lower income children. Dr. Ahmed realized the lack of participation from the disadvantaged schools districts during the first EMUiNVENT competition in 2019. Funding will support coaching sessions at local schools for low income students as well as help each student identify a problem, develop a prototype, and present their solution at EMUiNVENT.


Cassandra Barragan
Cassandra Barragan

Cassandra Barragan (School of Social Work). “Development of a Collaborative International Relationship with Pai Chai University in South Korea”. $5,500.

Dr. Barragan aims to formalize a partnership between EMU and Pai Chai University located in Daejeon, South Korea. In August 2018, representatives from the Gerontology program at Pai Chai University visited EMU to learn more about our Age-Friendly University Global affiliation. This partnership aims to provide high-quality academic programs taught by faculty deeply committed to student success as well as expand our strong external partnerships and facilitate learning beyond the classroom. Funding will support Dr. Barragan’s travel expenses for an on-site visit to Pai Chai University in Daejeon, South Korea.


Danny Bonenberger, Nancy Bryk, and Matthew Cook (Department of Geography and Geology). “99 Pine Street Project”. $16,300.

Danny Bonenberger
Danny Bonenberger
Nancy Byrk
Nancy Bryk
Matthew Cook
Matthew Cook

Professor Bryk, Dr. Bonenberger, and Dr. Cook acknowledges that historic and cultural sites relating to people of color have long been unrecognized. Sites of protest, civil rights, segregation, or resourcefulness and perseverance are inadequately documented and, often due to poor condition, are lost or razed at an alarming rate.  Raymond and Annie Mae Smith owned a family home, located at 99 Pine Street in Manistee, Michigan. The house was purchased in 1935 by the couple originally from Thomasville, Georgia. They were the only Black family to live in Manistee for many years and were the only African American family in town for many years. This historic site remains intact but requires careful preservation planning and work prioritization so the building can remain standing. The household includes hundreds of family artifacts, letters, photographs, postcards, and legal documents. The items must be inventoried, and the most important ones digitized and rehoused to prevent further deterioration. Funding will support four EMU faculty/instructors, and about 12 graduate students, to plan and implement the research, documentation, and interpretation of the 1935 household.


Dr. Quentin Hunter and Devika Choudhuri (College of Education).  $6,500.

Devika Choudhuri
Devika Choudhuri
Quentin Hunter
Quentin Hunter

Dr. Hunter and Dr. Choudhuri aim to develop an instrument to assess historic trauma. Historic trauma includes psychological wounding due to the histories of slavery, genocide, colonization, and losses due to cultural membership. Dr. Hunter and Dr. Choudhuri want to develop effective interventions across impacted communities. To quantify this a scale to measure the degree of traumatization and change is necessary. Funding will support the validation of the Historic Trauma Scale, using expert review for face validity, pilot testing the instrument and conducting focus groups to review experience of the instrument and items. They will then survey participants with a revised instrument with other comparison instruments (e.g Trauma-Related Cognitions Scale) to determine reliability, factor structure, and variables.


Surabhi Jaiswal
Surabhi Jaiswal

Surabhi Jaiswal (Department of Physics and Astronomy). “Development of Low Temperature Plasma Facility for Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching at EMU”. $12,000. Dr. Jaiswal aims to develop a new low temperature plasma facility in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at EMU. This facility would broaden the research capabilities of Eastern Michigan University and connect various departments, such as science, engineering, environment science, and society. Dr. Jaiswal wants to develop advanced diagnostic capabilities and analysis techniques to characterize low temperature plasma for the application of environmental studies such as waste water treatment, sterilization and synthesis of nanoparticles. Funding will support the purchase of a high resolution camera to advance these diagnostic capabilities.


Mary-Elizabeth Murphy
Mary-Elizabeth Murphy

Mary-Elizabeth Murphy (Department of History). “Policing Passengers: Black Women, Bus Corporations, and Racial Violence in the Great Migration”. $6,000.

Dr. Murphy aims to fill crucial gaps in her research to complete her book, a chronicle of the history of African American women and bus travel between 1920 and 1948. Dr. Murphy has uncovered the stories and lawsuits of 210 Black women who contested their treatment on buses between 1920 and 1948. Funding will support travel to the legal archives to gather full text of these cases, including affidavits, arguments, and dissents. Dr. Murphy will travel to Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Louisiana to gather the full text of five important court cases on bus segregation.


Dr. Drossel
Dr. Drossel
Dr. Hutchins-Wiese
Dr. Hutchins-Wiese

Dr. Hutchins-Wiese (Health and Human Sciences) and Dr. Drossel (Department of Psychology)

Dr. Hutchins-Wiese and Dr. Drossel aim to develop an innovative intervention for better living with osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is an inflammatory chronic condition that impacts an estimated 54.4 million. Common treatments such as weight loss, increase in physical activity, and self- management skills have been rarely put into practice. To overcome barriers to implementing osteoarthritis management guidelines, the proposed project will develop an innovative telehealth intervention program that translates from research to community settings. The project aims to develop a novel intervention for the delivery of behavioral health, nutrition, and physical activity services to adults 60 years and older. The project also aims to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of this innovative program, with the long-term goal of obtaining external funding for a pilot effectiveness trial. Funding will support reassigned time to carry out program development and conduct project activities, including training and overseeing student- participant interactions.

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.

December 09, 2021

Written by:
Melissa Thrasher

Contact:
Melissa Thrasher
mthrashe@emich.edu
734-487-4401