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Research Enhancement Grants Cover Wide Topics from Video Games to Women in Law Enforcement

June 08, 2015

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Ten research projects received a $5,000 boost with the spring 2015 round of  Research Enhancement Grant from the Division of Research, Commercialization and Outreach.

The recipients include:

  • Dr. Toyin Ajisafe, Assistant Professor, College of Education, Department of Kinesiology, will investigate whether children with and without intellectual disabilities show different rates of muscle fatigue when playing a movement-based virtual reality game. Findings could help guide the use of virtual reality to train movement skills in children who have deficits. 
  • Dr. Jen Corrinne Brown, Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History, is studying the military’s use of dolphins in the Cold War, and will hire research assistants and travel to Washington, DC, to review files in the National Archives, Smithsonian Collections, and the Library of Congress. 
  • Dr. Susan Garza, Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, is using visual documents such as pictures and pamphlets to study the representation of the experiences of victims of concentration camps, plantations, and the South Texas border that will be developed into an online book.
  • Dr. K. Michelle Hunnicutt Hollenbaugh, Assistant Professor, College of Education, Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, will continue research with the Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Clinical Research Team to investigate the effectiveness of DBT skills training as it relates to emotion dysregulation in adults struggling with various mental health diagnoses. DBT skills training focuses on coping with difficult situations, mindfulness practice, and effective relationship management.
  • Dr. Sherdeana Owens, Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, will continue research on the impact of dental health education on the frequency of dental care to local preschoolers. Direct care instructions to the children and education materials to parents will be provided while data on dental visits and potential barriers are collected.
  • Dr. Claudia Rueda, Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History, will continue research, including a trip to D.C., for her book project that covers “Students of Revolution,” particularly focusing on Nicaragua from 1937 to 1979.
  • Dr. Kathryn Vomero Santos, Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Department of English, is compiling an annotated bibliography of fables across time and literary cultures for “The Fables Project Online.” The funding will include hiring research assistant and travel to review rare books.
  • Dr. Lee Smee, Associate Professor, College of Science and Engineering, Department of Life Sciences will conduct field tests and hire a student researcher to explore how murky waters influence food web interactions between predators, such as fish and crabs, and how this could affect commercially grown oyster numbers.
  • Dr. Hao Xu, Assistant Professor, College of Science and Engineering, Department of Engineering and Computing Sciences, will work on developing a sense-and-avoid strategy for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) using Mother Nature as an inspiration. Using small animals, such as a goshawk as an example, a new program will be created to help UAS avoid obstacles and collisions with other aircraft.
  • Dr. Helen Yu, Assistant Professor, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Social Sciences, is performing a case study on a federal law enforcement agency to study gender and organizational culture. Results from the study will be used to identify best practice policies to recruit and retain more women in other federal law enforcement agencies.

The objective of the Research Enhancement Funding Program is to help faculty jump-start their research project. Continuation of the project and solicitation of additional funding is strongly encouraged. To learn more about the Division of Research, Commercialization and Outreach at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, go to http://research.tamucc.edu/index.html.