Grants Make Research a Reality
By: Marga H. Row
In the last few decades, research grants at Penn State Berks have increased exponentially.
Sixty percent of the 115 full-time faculty members conduct research in addition to their teaching duties, and much of this research is funded through grants from external agencies. In the 2012/13 academic year, Penn State Berks had twenty-one active grants that totaled $1,252,605 in funding over the period of three years, from July 2010–June 2013.
A total of twelve proposals were submitted between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013, requesting a total of $1,213,129. Of the twelve proposals submitted, eleven are pending. Penn State Berks recieved four awards in fiscal year 2012/13. These awards include:
Dr. Robert Forrey, The National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Robert Forrey, Professor of Physics, a $230,695 grant for his project titled “RUI: Quantum Mechanical Studies of Hydrogen and Helium Interactions: Applications in Astrophysical, Ultracold, and Industrial Environments.” Forrey will conduct theoretical research using full-dimensional quantum mechanics to calculate fundamental properties of atomic and molecular systems that contain hydrogen and helium. The astrophysical studies will include the origin of molecular hydrogen and its critical role in the formation of the first generation of stars in the universe. The ultracold studies will include the formation and dynamics of van der Waals molecules in magnetic traps at temperatures near absolute zero. The industrial studies will include chemical reactions on the surfaces of metallic clusters, which are relevant to heterogeneous catalysis, hydrogen storage, and fuel cell development for enabling a hydrogen economy. The grant is effective from September 1, 2012 through August 31, 2015.
Dr. Robert Forrey, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) awarded Dr. Robert Forrey a $10,593 grant for the project titled, “A Universal Relation for Inelastic Molecular Collisional Rates in Support of NASA FIR/Submm Observations of Molecular Gas.” Forrey is the lead investigator for Penn State’s portion of a collaboration involving the University of Georgia, the University of Kentucky, UNLV, and the Royal Observatory of Belgium. The project aims to develop a comprehensive database of inelastic rate coefficients for all molecules contained in the JPL Catalog of Molecular Spectroscopy. The availability of this database would increase the scientific return from NASA space science missions including Spitzer, Herschel, SOFIA, and JWST. This grant is effective from January 25, 2013 to January 24, 2015.
Dr. Leonard Gamberg, The U.S. Department of Energy awarded Dr. Leonard Gamberg, Associate Professor of Physics, a $120,00 grant for his research project titled “Transverse Spin and Momentum Structure of Hadrons in QCD.” Gamberg’s research in subatomic particle physics focuses on the role basic elementary particles play in the fundamental understanding of the internal structure of the nucleon and other hadrons. Using quantum chromodynamics (QCD), he exploits the underlying symmetries of the theory to characterize the nuclear interaction of quark and gluons. A major goal of the research is to map out the transverse spin and momentum substructure of the nucleon in terms of its constituents, and shed light on how these quark and gluon degrees of freedom bind together to form the proton and neutron. His theoretical work is closely tied to experiments carried out at laboratories such as the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Newport News, VA. The grant is effective November 15, 2013 through November 14, 2015.
Dr. Janelle Larson, Division Head of Engineering, Business, and Computing and Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics, has been awarded $11,371 for a project titled “Sustainable Technologies for Orange and Purple Sweet Potatoes (STOPS) in Ghana” through a grant the Penn State College of Agricultural Science received from Tuskegee University. The grant is part of a USAID project. This project seeks to identify bottlenecks in the value chain (production, processing, distribution, and consumption) and develop a means to address these constraints. Larson’s role in this project will be value chain analysis. Project findings will inform the development of technologies and institutional innovations to enhance sustainable, nutritional health of women and children, and equitable food security. This grant is effective from June 1, 2013 through May 31, 2014.
As some of you know, controversy came to Penn State Berks recently in the form of a speaker who was invited to be part of our annual Arts and Lecture Series. Well-known author Buzz Bissinger, who wrote Friday Night Lights, was invited to speak on the topic of “Sports Culture in America.” However, he has become a controversial figure for some because of critical comments he has made about the culture of sports and particularly football at Penn State.
Because this speaker had been selected and recommended by a committee of students, faculty, and staff which annually plans the next year’s program schedule, we felt it was essential that the process be respected and the lecture take place. But the reason that I am sharing these observations is that I was so impressed by our students during the lecture and also in various comments which they have made in regard to the need for a college campus to serve as a forum for the broadest spectrum of ideas and opinions.
Our students’ comments and insights reminded me of how important the values of inquiry, exploration, and discovery are in the culture of a learning community like Berks. I’ve written about these values in this space before, but it seems appropriate to note that our undergraduates get this as well. They truly value the opportunity to be part of a college community that celebrates learning and of course teaching. And, they value being part of a community where their faculty and staff mentors are active learners themselves through their ongoing inquiry and scholarship.
On the magazine’s fifth anniversary, this issue of Research at Penn State Berks reflects so well our commitment to inquiry and excellence across all dimensions of campus scholarship. How exciting that one of our own, Chris Brendel, has been honored with the Beinecke Scholarship, which will support his graduate education. Chris is the second Penn State student over the 22-year history of the award to be so honored, and the first from a Penn State campus outside University Park. Congratulations to Chris and to his fellow Berks scholars and researchers who are highlighted here!
Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk
Chancellor, Penn State Berks
Imagine that you are a sole nominee for a scholarship at a university comprised of approximately 75,000 undergraduate students, and that you actually receive the scholarship, which will fund your graduate studies. That is exactly what happened when Chris Brendel, a junior majoring in Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State Berks, was nominated for and awarded the prestigious Beinecke Scholarship.
Brendel was selected as Penn State University’s sole student nominee for 2013 and he is only the second Penn State student to receive the award in the 22-year history of the Beinecke Scholarship. He is the first Penn State student to receive the award from a campus outside University Park.
Each year, approximately 100 colleges and universities are invited to nominate a student for a Beinecke Scholarship. Each school is permitted to make a single nomination each year. Twenty new scholarships were awarded in 2013.
“It’s an incredible feeling to know that I already have money for graduate school,” commented Brendel. “I’m so thankful for this award and I feel truly honored to represent Penn State Berks and Penn State University as a whole. As a student at Penn State Berks, I know that simultaneously having the support of the Berks campus community and the resources of the University were fundamental to my receiving the award.”
Each scholar receives $4,000 immediately prior to entering graduate school and an additional $30,000 while attending graduate school.
Brendel was nominated for the Beinecke Scholarship by Dr. Ruth Mendum, Director of the University Fellowship Office at Penn State University Park. Mendum chose Brendel from the
pool of Penn State student candidates based on the rigorous criteria of the scholarship.
Mendum cited Brendel’s combination of a high GPA, high level of commitment to research, and intention to pursue a Ph.D. in arts and humanities as a few of the factors that made his application rise to the top. He is also a Penn State Schreyer Scholar.
This summer, Brendel was awarded the highly competitive summer internship in the Research Training Program at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He worked with two curators at the Smithsonian to identify the influence that Spanish has had on an indigenous language called Juchitán Zapotec. They also looked at changes in the phonology of the language.
“In addition, to his superior academics and commitment to research, Chris took extra coursework; he studied abroad in Leeds. It’s really the whole package: academics, commitment to research, extracurricular activities, and intention to pursue a graduate degree in the arts and humanities,” explained Mendum, who worked closely with Dr. Michele Kirsch, Associate Dean of Student Affairs at the Schreyer Honors College, as well as Dr. Sandy Feinstein, Honors Coordinator at Penn State Berks.
Mendum credits Feinstein for working with Brendel for a year before he applied for the Beinecke Scholarship, stating that it is important for students applying for these types of scholarships to develop a research plan, enroll in supplemental and study abroad programs, and get involved in extracurricular activities.
“The most important thing for students who want to apply for these types of scholarships is to start working with the University Fellowship Office early, and for students at campuses to reach out to their campus honors coordinators,” stresses Mendum.
To be eligible for a Beinecke Scholarship, a student must have demonstrated superior standards of intellectual ability, scholastic achievement, and personal promise during his or her undergraduate career; be a college junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree; and plan to enter a master’s or doctoral program in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. In addition, nominees must be a United States citizen or a United States national from American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and they must have a documented history of receiving need-based financial aid during his or her undergraduate years.
The Beinecke Scholarship Program was established in 1971 by the Board of Directors of The Sperry and Hutchinson Company to honor Edwin, Frederick, and Walter Beinecke. The Board created an endowment to provide substantial scholarships for the graduate education of young men and women of exceptional promise. The program seeks to encourage and enable highly motivated students to pursue opportunities available to them and to be courageous in the selection of a graduate course of study in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Message from the Dean
5th Anniversary of Research at Penn State Berks Magazine
Five years ago, in the spring 2008, the following statement was included in the first issue of this magazine: “Penn State Berks has done an excellent job of reaching high standards of productivity when it comes to research and creative accomplishments, and the goal of this publication is to summarize some of our intellectual contributions.” That goal is very much alive today.
In these last five years (2007-2012), I am very pleased to report that we have published 357 refereed journal publications, 16 books, 41 chapters of books, and 50 creative works that include theatre plays and poetry. That is a total of 464 items generated by an average of 117 full-time faculty members, and more specifically, by an average of 73 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty in the period from 2007-2012. It is an average of 1.26 items per year per faculty member with research duties.
The original goal of the magazine was to reach out to our community in Berks County to present our academic accomplishments. An additional goal was to share our work with the other 23 Penn State campuses. The magazine has been received with enthusiasm by all the constituencies that were originally targeted but most importantly, our own Penn State Berks community looks forward to the new issues to learn about our research accomplishments. The magazine has become a measure of research assessment and accountability. The challenge for the future is that our researchers will showcase increasing results in terms of quality, substance, and quantity. It is a challenge that I am sure our faculty will embrace with energy and enthusiasm and our constituency will welcome with pride.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to Lisa Baldi, our Director of University Relations, and Nathan Moore, Assistant Director of Visual Communications, for doing such a fine job of maintaining this publication with such high standards. I also like to thank our Editorial Board for bringing ideas and being inclusive and collegial in selecting the content of the magazine. Our college is a great place of learning where our research informs our teaching and our teaching informs our research thus creating a circle of excellence that ultimately benefits the success of our students.
Paul D. Esqueda,
Ph.D. Professor of Engineering and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Penn State Berks
Faculty Publications 2013
The following is a list of faculty publications and creative works from 2012. Names of Penn State Berks faculty members are in bold.
Parts of Books–chapters or sections included in refereed anthologies and other book-length publications, as chosen by their editorial boards
1. Fifer, Ken. 2011. At the terminal. Bigger Than They Appear: Anthology of Very Short Poems. Accents Press, 170.
2. Smith, D. and B. Hale. 2011. Exercise dependence. The Psychology of Strength Training and Conditioning: International Perspectives. London, UK: Routledge, Chapter 8.
3. Lynn, Thomas Jay. 2011. An adequate revolution: achebe writing Africa anew. Things Fall Apart. Critical Insights. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 53-68.
4. Rodríguez-Mourelo, Belén. 2011. De exilio a integración: la Narrativa de Daniel Iglesias Kennedy. Cuba: Arte y Literatura en Exilio. Valencia: Legua Editorial, 183-188.
Articles Published in Referred Journals–peer-reviewed scholarly articles published as parts of periodical magazines, usually centered around a particular academic interest or discipline
1. Abdou, K. and M. Nasereddin. 2011. The persistence of hedge funds strategies in different economic periods: a support vector machine approach. Journal of Derivatives and Hedge Funds, 17(1): 2-15.
2. Abdou, K. and P. Gupta. 2011. The role of executive blockholders in a completed merger. Banking and Finance Review, 3(1): 55-68.
3. Abdou, K. and S. Ghosh. 2011. What motivates REITs to pay cash versus other forms of payment in mergers and acquisitions? Journal of Property Investment and Finance, 29(1): 19-34.
4. Arnold, J.M., I.C.T. Nisbet, and R. Viet. 2011. Assessing aural and visual cues as tools for seabird management. Journal of Wildlife Management, 75(3): 495-500.
5. Arnold, J.M., R. Ordonez, D.A. Copeland, R. Nathan, J.M. Scornavacchi*, D.J. Tyerman, and S.A. Oswald. 2011. Simple and inexpensive devices to measure heart rate in incubating birds. Journal of Field Ornithology, 82(3): 288-296.
6. Aurentz, D.J., S.L. Kerns, and L.R. Shibley. 2011. Improving student perceptions of science through the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation in general chemistry laboratory. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(6): 12-17.
7. Daly, R.A. 2011. Estimates of black hole spin properties of 55 sources. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 414: 1253.
8. Kharb, P., C.P. O’Dea, S.A. Baum, R.A. Daly, M.P. Mory*, M.P. Donahue, M. Guerra, and E.J. Erratum. 2011. A study of 13 powerful classical double radio galaxies. The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 196: 14.
9. Feinstein, S. 2011. Longevity and the loathly ladies in three medieval romances. Arthuriana, 21.3: 23-48.
10. Davis, D.D. and M.A. Fidanza. 2011. Fresh recycled mushroom compost suppresses artillery fungi sporulation: a 4-year field study. Journal of Environmental Horticulture, 29(2): 91-95.
11. W. El-Qadi, R.C. Forrey, B.H. Yang, P.C. Stancil, and N. Balakrishnan. 2011. Cold collisions of highly rotationally excited CO2 with He: the prospects for cold chemistry with super-rotors. Physical Review A, 84: 054701.
12. Balakrishnan, N., G. Quemener, R.C. Forrey, R.J. Hinde, and P.C. Stancil. 2011. Full-dimensional quantum dynamics calculations of H2-H2 collisions. Journal of Chemical Physics, 134: 014301.
13. S. Paolini*, L. Ohlinger*, and R.C. Forrey. 2011. Hydrogen recombination due to collision with He and Ar. Physical Review A, 83: 042713.
14. N. Brahms, T.V. Tscherbul, P. Zhang, J. Klos, R.C. Forrey, Y.S. Au, H.R. Sadeghpour, Dalgarno, J.M. Doyle, and T.G. Walker. 2011. Formation and dynamics of Van der Waals molecules in buffer-gas traps. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics,13: 19125-19141.
15. S. Fonseca dos Santos, B. Naduvalath, S. Lepp, G. Quemener, R.C. Forrey, R.J. Hinde, and P.C. Stancil. 2011. Quantum dynamics of rovibrational transitions in H2-H2 collisions: Internal energy and rotational angular momentum conservation effects. Journal of Chemical Physics, 134: 214303.
16. C. Zhou, S. Yao, Q. Zhang, M. Yang, R.C. Forrey, and H. Cheng. Sequential dissociative chemisorption on Ni n(n=2-9,13) clusters: comparison with Pt and Pd. 2011. Journal of Molecular Modeling, 17: 2305-2311.
17. N. Legenski*, C. Zhou, Q. Zhang, B. Han, J. Wu, L. Chen, H. Cheng, and R.C. Forrey. 2011. Force fields for metallic clusters and nanoparticles. Journal of Computational Chemistry, 32: 1711-1720.
18. Gamberg, Leonard, A. Mukherjee, and P.J. Mulders. 2011. A model independent analysis of gluonic pole matrix elements and universality of TMD fragmentation functions. Physical Review D, 83: 071503.
19. Gamberg, Leonard and Z.B. Kang. 2011. Process dependent sivers function and implications for single spin asymmetry in inclusive hadron production. Physics Letters B, 696: 109-118.
20. Boer Daniel, L. Gamberg, B. Musch, and A. Prokudin. 2011. Bessel-weighted asymmetries in semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering, Journal of High Energy Physics, 10: 021.
21. Umberto D’Alesio, L. Gamberg, Z.B. Kang, F. Murgia, and C. Pisano. 2011. Testing the process dependence of the sivers function via hadron distributions inside a Jet. Physics Letters B, 704: 637-640.
22. Gao, Hiayan, L. Gamberg, et. al. 2011. Transverse spin structure of the nucleon through target single spin asymmetry in semi-inclusive deep-inelastic (e,e′π±) reaction at Jefferson lab. Eur. Phys. J.Plus, 126: 2.
23. Mauro Anselmino, H. Avakian, L. Gamberg, et al. 2011. Transverse momentum dependent parton distribution/fragmentation functions at an electron-ion collider. Eur. Phys. J., A47: 35.
24. Ghosh, S. and M.A. Harjoto. 2011. Corporate stock donations: philanthropic or agency problem. Business Ethics: A European Review, 20(4): 342-358.
25. Ghosh, S., C. Harrington, and W. Smith. 2011. Do windfall non-debt tax shields affect corporate debt issues? Managerial Finance, 37(6): 537-552.
26. Friedman, A., D. Waller, T. Thrash, N. Greenauer, and E. Hodgson. 2011. View combination: a generalization mechanism for visual recognition. Cognition, 119, 229-241.
27. Campbell, J., D. Cothren, R. Rogers, L. Kistler, A. Osowski, N. Greenauer, and C. End. 2011. Sport fans’ impressions of gay male athletes. Journal of Homosexuality, 58, 597-607.
28. Grobman, Laurie. 2011. Expanding honors research through undergraduate research: another look at equity and access. Council of Undergraduate Research Quarterly, 32.1, 29-34.
29. Kinkead, Joyce and L. Grobman. 2011. Expanding opportunities for undergraduate research in English studies. Profession, Modern Language Association, 218-30.
30. Smith, D. and B. Hale. 2011. Exercise dependence. The Psychology of Strength Training and Conditioning: International Perspectives, Chapter 8.
31. Hillman, Jennifer. 2011. A call for an integrated biopsychosocial model to address fundamental disconnects in an emergent field: an introduction to the special issue on ‘Sexuality and Aging.’” Ageing International, 36, 303-312.
32. Hillman, Jennifer and E. Gruber. 2011. It takes a village: redefining kin and other social networks in the treatment of childhood autism. International Public Health Journal, 2, 17-26.
33. Hillman, Jennifer and M. Beiler. 2011. When stereotypes become life threatening: knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS among older adult women and their health care providers. International Public Health Journal, 3, 271-278.
34. Ates, A. and J.C. Huang. 2011. The evolving relationship between natural gas and crude oil prices: evidence from a dynamic cointegration analysis. Pennsylvania Economic Review, 18(1): 1-9.
35. Brahmasrene, T. and J.C. Huang. 2011. Foreign exchange volatility and international pricing. International Journal of Economics and Business Research, 3(4): 357-370.
36. Infantolino, B.W. and J.H. Challis. 2011. Estimating the volume of the first dorsal interossoeus using ultrasound. Medical Engineering and Physics, 33(3): 391-394.
37. Konak, A. 2011. Predicting coverage in wireless local area networks with obstacles using kriging and neural networks. International Journal of Mobile Network Design and Innovation, 3(4): 224-230.
38. Konak, A., M.R. Bartolacci, and B. Gavish. 2011. A dynamic programming approach for batch sizing in a multi-stage production process with random yields. Applied Mathematics and Computation, 218(4): 1399-1406.
39. Konak, A. and A.E. Smith. 2011. Efficient optimization of reliable 2-node connected networks: a bi-objective approach. Informs Journal on Computing, 23(3): 430-445.
40. Konak, A. and S. Kulturel-Konak. 2011. Reliable server assignment in networks using nature-inspired metaheuristics. IEEE Transactions on Reliability, 60(2): 381-393.
41. Dengiz, O., A. Konak., A.E. Smith. 2011. Connectivity management in mobile ad hoc networks using particle swarm optimization. Ad Hoc Networks Journal, 9(7): 1312-1326.
42. Kulturel-Konak, S. and A. Konak. 2011. A new relaxed flexible bay structure representation and particle swarm optimization for the unequal area facility layout problem. Engineering Optimization, 43(12): 1263-1287.
43. Kulturel-Konak, S., M.L. D’Allegro, and S.Dickinson. 2011. Review of gender differences in learning styles: suggestions for STEM education. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 4(3): 9-18.
44. Kulturel-Konak, S. and A. Konak. 2011. Unequal area flexible bay facility layout using ant colony optimization. International Journal of Production Research, 49(7): 1877-1902.
45. Ulutas, B.H. and S. Kulturel-Konak. 2011. A review of clonal selection algorithm and its applications. Artificial Intelligence Review, 36(2): 117-138.
46. Lee, S. 2011. Development of a compact three-phase induction motor drive system with discrete components. International Journal of Engineering Research and Innovation, 3(1): 42-51.
47. Leung, A. 2011. Financial management practices and social reproduction. Qualitative Marketing Research: An International Journal, 14(2): 218-239.
48. Litvin, D.B. and V. Kopsky. 2011. Seitz notation for symmetry operations of space groups. Acta Crystallographica, A67: 415-418.
49. Litvin, D.B. and V. Janovec. 2011. Symmetry allowed atomic displacements in a ferroelastic domain wall of rhombohedral BaTiO3. Phase Transitions, 84: 760-768.
50. Litvin, D.B. 2011. Tensor component distinction of magnetic non-ferroelastic domain pairs. Phase Transitions, 84: 804-809.
51. Gopalan, V. and D.B. Litvin. 2011. Rotation-reversal symmetries in crystals and handed structures. Nature Materials, 10, 376-381.
52. Litwhiler, D.H., A custom vibration test fixture using a subwoofer. International Journal of Modern Engineering, 11(2): 68-73.
53. Mart, Michelle. 2011. Cultural and political images of American Jews in the mid-twentieth century. Studies in North American History, Politics and Society, 29, 82-105.
54. Liu, S., A.J. Onwuegbuzie, and L. Meng. 2011. Examination of the score reliability and validity of the statistics anxiety rating scale in a Chinese population: comparisons of statistics anxiety between Chinese college students and their Western counterparts. Journal of Educational Enquiry, 11.1, 29-42.
55. Murillo, Edwin. 2011. Existentialism avant la lettre: the case of Enrique Labrador Ruiz’s El Laberinto de sí Mismo. Hispanófila, 162, 61-78.
56. Crawford, R., R. Nathan, K.P. Jen, and Q. Wu. 2011. Dynamic compression of soft porous media; from finite to infinite domain. Journal of Porous Media, 14(1): 51-64.
57. Newnham, Randall. 2011. North Korea, Libya, and Iran: economic sanctions and nuclear proliferation. Korea Economic Institute Academic Paper Series, 4, 183-202.
58. Newnham, Randall. 2011. Oil, carrots, and sticks: Russia’s energy resources as a foreign policy tool. Journal of Eurasian Studies, 2.2, 134-143.
59. Oswald, S.A., B. Huntley, Y.C. Collingham, D.J. Russell, B.J. Anderson, J.M. Arnold, R.W. Furness, and K.C. Hamer. 2011. Physiological effects of climate on distributions of endothermic species. Journal of Biogeography, 38(3): 430-438.
60. E .H. Ahmed, S. Ingram, T. Kirova, O. Salihoglu, J. Huennekens, J. Qi, Y. Guan, and A.M. Lyyra, 2011. Quantum control of the spin-orbit interaction using the Autler-Townes effect. Physical Review Letter, 107: 163601.
61. Ralston, D.A., M. Richards, et al. 2011. A twenty-first century assessment of values across the global workforce. Journal of Business Ethics, 104(1): 1-31.
62. Rodríguez-Mourelo, Belén. 2011. De la habana a toledo: la evolución narrativa de Daniel Iglesias Kenndy. Voces del Caribe. Revista de Estudios Caribeños, Vol. 3.1, Primavera, 143-160.
63. Russell, Brenda, D. Oswald, and S.W. Kraus. 2011. Evaluations of sexual assault: perceptions of guilt and legal elements for male and female aggressors using various coercive strategies. Violence and Victims, 26.6, 799-815.
64. Shibley, I., K.E. Amaral, J.D. Shank, and L.R. Shibley. 2011. Designing a blended course: using ADDIE to guide instructional design. Journal of College Science Teaching, 40(6), 80-85.
65. Williams Morant, K. 2011. The bad boy of radio: the continuity and extension of African American communication dynamics through talk elements of the Michael Baisden Radio Show. Howard Journal of Communications, 22.3, 260-279.
66. Williams Morant, K. and O. Banjo. 2011. A house divided?: Christian music in Black and White. Journal of Media & Religion, 10, 115-137.
Creative Works: Poetry–peer-reviewed publications of original poetry in refereed journals
1. Ahmet Uysal. 2011. “Broken Triplets,” translated from the Turkish by Ken Fifer and Nesrin Eruysal, Silk Road, 6.2, 100.
2. Ahmet Uysal. 2011. “Coral” and “Songs,” translated from Turkish by Ken Fifer and Nesrin Eruysal, qarrtsiluni, http://qarrtsiluni.com/2011/02/04/two-poems-from-the-turkish-by-ahmet-uysal/.
3. Fifer, Ken. 2011. “The Invention of the Parachute.” Crab Creek Review, Vol. 1, 175.
Grants Make Research a Reality
By: Marga H. Row
In the last few decades, research grants at Penn State Berks have increased exponentially. Sixty percent of the 115 full-time faculty members conduct research in addition to their teaching duties, and much of this research is funded through grants from external agencies. In the 2011/12 academic year, Penn State Berks had twenty-two active grants that totaled $1,222,001 in funding over the period of three years, from July 2009–June 2012.
A total of sixteen proposals were submitted between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012, requesting a total of $3,290,267. Of the sixteen proposals submitted, eleven are pending. Seven new grants were awarded in the fiscal year 2011/2012. These grants include:
Dr. Jennifer Arnold, The National Geographic Society awarded Dr. Jennifer Arnold, Assistant Professor of Biology, $13,935 for her project titled “A Common Species in Peril: Evaluating the Status of Boreal Common Terns and the Severity of Decline for Inland Nesting Tern Population in North America.” Arnold and Dr. Stephen Oswald, Instructor in Biology at Penn State Berks, served as Co-Primary Investigators on the grant. They worked with their team to conduct research that will determine population trends, genetic isolation, and reproductive output for common terns breeding at previously unexplored colonies in Manitoba, Canada. They searched for current breeding sites of common terns, collected DNA to quantify isolation, and studied reproductive success and causes of nesting failure. This data will direct management activities for boreal populations and conservation priorities for declining inland common tern populations across North America. This grant was effective from September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012.
Dr. Abdullah Konak, The National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Abdullah Konak, Associate Professor of Information Sciences and Technology, a $154,151 grant for his project titled “Exploration of a Collaborative Virtual Computer Laboratory (CVCLAB) to Enhance Distance Learning in Information Security.” This project proposes several experimental studies to explore the best ways to enhance student learning outcomes through collaborative hands-on learning in a virtual computer lab (VCL). During the course of the project, five Penn State campuses will partner to explore a VCL that has been specifically designed to provide students with collaborative hands-on learning experiences in information security. The overall goal of the project is to enhance information security education by enabling students to practice important skills and to learn together both inside and outside the classroom using a VCL, with a particular focus on distance learning. This grant is effective from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2013.
Dr. Abdullah Konak, The National Collegiate Inventors Alliance awarded Dr. Abdullah Konak $17,372 for his project titled “A Virtual Incubator (VIB) at Penn State Berks to Foster Student Innovations.” Grant funds will be used to support the development of a VIB at Penn State Berks to facilitate entrepreneurship student teams to develop their information technology (IT) based ideas. The VIB is conceptualized as a virtual environment that will provide entrepreneurship teams with high-end IT resources, which are difficult for students to acquire, as well as technical and business support through partnerships with academic and industry experts. This grant is effective from September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2014.
Dr. Alikhani-Koopaei, The National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Alikhani-Koopaie, Associate Professor of Mathematics, $24,984 for the Summer Symposium in Real Analysis XXXVI. Penn State Berks hosted the 36th Summer Symposium in Real Analysis. This conference has been held annually since 1978, and it is considered to be the premier conference of its type by members of the real analysis community. The Symposium offers researchers the opportunity to hear and share the newest findings in the field of real analysis. The goal of the Symposium is to provide a forum for researchers to present their newest results. This award was effective from January 1, 2012 through December 30, 2012.
Dr. Sadan Kulturel-Konak, The National Science Foundation awarded Dr. Sadan Kulturel-Konak, Associate Professor of Management Information Systems, $199,566 for the project titled “A Modular Assessment Framework for Professional Skills Using a Model of Domain Learning Approach.” Kulturel-Konak will serve as Primary Investigator (PI) and will work with co-PIs Dr. Gul Kremer, Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Industrial Engineering, Penn State University Park, and Dr. Ivan Esparragoza, Associate Professor of Engineering, Penn State Brandywine. The overall goal is to improve the assessment of students’ developmental progress in various professional skills across multiple disciplines through a uniform assessment framework based on a pedagogical theory, the Model of Domain Learning (the MDL). Through the design of a uniform assessment framework for all professional skills and the development of a set of coherent assessment instruments that can be modified according to the learning objectives and student level, this project strives to facilitate the integration of professional skills assessment into an overall program assessment plan. The proposed framework will be tested in various course levels and will include the Information Sciences and Technology, Business, Entrepreneurship, and Engineering programs at various institutions. This grant is effective from May 1, 2011 through April 30, 2015.
Dr. Rungun Nathan, The Utah State University awarded Dr. Rungun Nathan, Associate Professor of Engineering, $21,529 as part of an NSF TUES project titled “Improving Students’ Problem-Solving in Engineering Dynamics through Interactive Web-Based Simulation and Animation Modules.” Nathan will work with Dr. Ning Fang, Associate Professor at Utah State University, and his team in developing and evaluating tools for use in assessing student learning outcomes. These outcomes will verify whether student learning has improved when compared to learning without the use of the computer simulation models. Once the software and assessment tools are ready, Nathan will use the modules as part of the curriculum for EMCH 212 Dynamics. This grant is effective from August 1, 2011 through July 31, 2015.
Dr. Jessica Schocker, The Wyomissing Foundation awarded Dr. Jessica Schocker, Assistant Professor of Social Studies, $20,900 for her project titled “Toothpick City II.” “Toothpick City II” is a model city built out of toothpicks and Elmer’s glue, set to a scale of 1:164, standing nineteen feet tall and covering an area of 672 feet. It showcases some of the tallest and most dramatic skyscrapers from around the world including the Sears Tower and the Burj Khalifa, and famous temples ranging from the Vatican in Rome to the Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. The “Toothpick City II” project brought this exhibit to the Reading Public Museum where students in the Reading School District were able to see and work with the exhibit and its creator, Stan Munro. Combining research-based practical classroom strategies with an interdisciplinary, standards-based approach, Schocker developed teaching and educational ideas revolving around “Toothpick City II” that allowed for student inquiry, academic agency, and performance-based achievement. Penn State Berks student teachers majoring in education took their elementary classes to the museum to implement these activities. Students learned about engineering, construction, architecture, history, culture, economics, civics, and vocation throughout the various types of learning experiences. This award was effective from February 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
Student Research 2013
Student Research Leads to Publication
By: Lara C. Hartman
Penn State Berks Students have the opportunity to enhance their academic career by conducting research, typically under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Additionally, they may submit their research for publication, a challenge these enthusiastic undergraduates accepted.
CHRIS BRENDEL, a junior Schreyer Scholar majoring in Global Studies with a focus on Linguistics, discusses the use of comparative linguistics in the Writing Center to better assist non-native writers in his publication titled “Tutoring between Language.” Dr. Holly Ryan, Assistant Professor of English and Writing Center Coordinator, served as Brendel’s mentor.
Brendel comments that he became interested in this topic while tutoring an international student in the Writing Center. “In my sessions with her, I developed what I refer to as CMT (Comp al Tutoring), which allowed me to teach the student English grammar by comparing and contrasting how her native language would structure a similar phrase or idea,” he explains. “I also held a series of interviews with her to better understand her concerns and challenges when writing in English.”
When asked how Penn State Berks has helped him in his academic career, Brendel states, “I have had access to all the research opportunities and the extensive library system of a big university. While these resources were helpful, having the day-to-day personal interaction with my professors at Berks was–and continues to be–fundamental to helping me accomplish my goals. I also wouldn’t have become as active in campus life without faculty and staff encouragement. Currently, I’m studying abroad at the University of Leeds in England, and realizing the opportunity to drop by a professor’s office and simply talk should not be underestimated–it’s something I really value about Berks.”
DAN BANKS, a junior Schreyer Scholar majoring in Chemistry with a minor in Physics, spent the early years of his academic career at Penn State Berks. The subject of his research and upcoming publication involves the modeling of the internal structure of nucleon via semi-inclusive deep inelastic scattering experiments. Banks started his research during the spring semester of his first year at Penn State Berks, an opportunity students at most colleges do not have until their junior year. He worked under the direction of Dr. Leonard Gamberg, Associate Professor of Physics.
Elaborating on how conducting research has benefited him, Banks explains, “There’s only so much you can learn from reading a textbook. Performing undergraduate research has given me the opportunity to learn what real science is like outside of the classroom. Things are never as simple and clean as the problems you’re assigned for homework.”
“Through my research, I was also able to obtain a SULI summer internship with the Department of Energy at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility. My research is mostly computational/theoretical; however, during this internship, I had the opportunity to see the experimental side of things as well. Overall, I have benefited the most from having the opportunity to work alongside, learn from, and assist distinguished faculty in solving a unique and complicated problem. The connections I’ve formed with my research adviser, faculty, and other students have been invaluable.”
ALEX NAGL, a sophomore majoring in Computer Science at Penn State Berks, has conducted researched on how smart phones can be turned into learning tools, by means of users gaining access to their smart phone’s accelerometer or gyroscope. This easy-to-use “app” makes these devices useful in engineering or science classrooms. Nagl’s upcoming publication is titled “iOS® Devices as DAQ and Hardware for Experiments in Class to Enhance the Real Touch, Feel, and See Experiences.” He worked with faculty mentor Dr. Rungun Nathan, Associate Professor of Engineering.
“Before I started my research, I had no idea how to program or write nice clean code,” comments Nagl. “Dr. Nathan expressed to me that this wasn’t an issue and told me I could take my time to explore. He lent me a MacBook Pro to use and learn; I gave him my time and dedication. Now I am fluent in Objective-C and discovered what it really means to create iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) apps. I doubt I would have been able to accomplish that solely on my own.”
“Every day I gain more knowledge that can be used in areas outside my research. I have learned to look at new technology in a different light, thinking of new ways it can be used. Conducting this research has been a very positive experience for me.”
Chancellor’s Message 2013
As Pennsylvania’s land-grant university, Penn State’s mission encompasses three core priorities: teaching, research, and service. Here at Penn State Berks, we stress the outstanding quality of teaching and learning at the college, made possible by our talented faculty who are dedicated to student success, and we also encourage and expect faculty engagement in research and service as well.
On occasion, questions are raised about the role and importance of research and scholarship at an undergraduate college such as Penn State Berks. Just what is the relationship between teaching and research? Must those two priorities compete with one another, or are there important ways in which they can complement?
My response to these questions is that indeed both are important for the primary reason that we are a learning community that is framed around the core value of curiosity. And as you will discover in this issue of our Research magazine, curiosity is alive and thriving at Penn State Berks!
Take a close look at the range of questions that drive the curiosity of students, faculty, and staff who are highlighted here. From Professor Bob Forrey’s research on the origins of the Universe, to Professor Edwin Murillo’s study of Existentialism in Latin American thought, there is richness and depth to the questions that are being asked and explored. Then add in Dr. Bert Eardly’s study of the evolution of rhizobia and Professor Ken Fifer’s cross-disciplinary exploration of the connections between architecture and poetry, and one begins to get a sense of the exciting questions that our colleagues are raising and exploring. Curiosity is indeed alive at Penn State Berks. Explore as well the articles that highlight collaborations between the college and our corporate, business, and school partners that are representative of the exceptional service which our faculty, staff, and students provide to the community.
Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk
Penn State Berks
Dean’s Letter 2013
Collaboration & Integration
Higher education institutions (HEIs) face multiple challenges in balancing revenue and expenses in a competitive environment that demands higher standards of quality. Factors including the complexity of allocating financial aid, the changing demographics in the United States, the public perception regarding the long-term return on investment of a college degree, and the decline in state support due to economic conditions are having a significant impact on college enrollments.
On the revenue side, the historical trend of increasing tuition beyond inflation cannot continue because it will put higher education out of reach for many families. The answers seem to be on the side of delivering the best education at a lower cost and reaching out to new students to develop new sources of revenue. Penn State has done an excellent job in creating new sources of revenue such as the World Campus, in aggressively phasing out under-enrolled programs, and in rationalizing our organizational structure to cut cost, just to cite a few examples of the multiple initiatives that have been undertaken.
The Penn State campuses have made tremendous efforts to increase the number of students in traditionally under-enrolled courses. Such is the case of the Eastern Alliance, where six campuses (Hazleton, Lehigh Valley, Schuylkill, Wilkes-Barre, Worthington-Scranton, and Berks) have collaborated in delivering courses in the Bachelor of Science in Business (BSB) and the Information Sciences and Technology (IST) programs using either online, videoconferencing, or a combination hybrid format. Berks joined the Alliance two years ago, and most recently Abington, Brandywine, and York have expressed interest in becoming part of this initiative. Talented faculty members at each of these campuses are now integrated to generate economies of scale, particularly in courses where they complement each other’s needs. In addition, the Penn State Video Learning Network (VLN) is further enabling campuses across the state to offer courses to nontraditional students.
Last year, all the Penn State campuses outside University Park joined forces in launching a Proposal Writing Workshop to train our research faculty in preparing grant applications. The training will be distributed through the spring 2013 semester at each campus and will conclude with a one-day workshop hosted by Penn State Harrisburg and delivered by Lynn Miner, Founder and Principal of Miner and Associates, Inc., in mid May. Each faculty participant will develop a real grant application for submission by the end of the summer. This is an excellent example of collaboration among the campuses that will integrate our faculty in a community of researchers. It is hoped that new sources of revenue will be created that will enhance the research mission of Penn State.
Collaboration and integration is our response to the multiple challenges facing HEIs.
Paul D. Esqueda,
Ph.D. Professor of Engineering and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Penn State Berks