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UC researchers continue to blaze new trails in science, medicine, business, education, engineering and the arts — literally transforming the way we live, work and learn.

Office of Research proud to present its 2020 internal awards

Findings Staff Report | May 13, 2020

Maobing Tu, an associate professor in chemical and environmental engineering, plans to identify unique microbiomes associated with the presence of harmful algal blooms in the Ohio River. Research that could inform early season predictions and better management of such toxic blooms, which pose a risk to our drinking water, human health and the river’s various ecosystems.

Manish Kumar, a professor and graduate program director for the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, will lead a team of co-PIs to develop a telehealth drone that can provide in-home healthcare. The interdisciplinary research team includes Debi Sampsel, director of Telehealth and the Innovation Collaboration in the College of Nursing; Seung Yeon Lee, associate professor of rehabilitation, exercise and nutritional sciences and Victoria Wangia-Anderson, UC’s director of Health Informatics.

Denise Burge, a professor of art, is planning a graphic novel with two external collaborators about writer Lafcadio Hearn. Hearn came to Cincinnati in 1869 as a homeless teen—abandoned by his Greek and Irish family. He made a name for himself as a journalist, writing about an area of the city called Bucktown, home to Cincinnati’s poorest residents and largely forgotten in city history. Hearn moved to Japan later in life and became somewhat of a folk hero there, one of the first westerners to write about Japanese beliefs and customs for a western audience. The graphic novel will “illuminate his little-known Cincinnati roots, and discuss his relationship to both place and to class,” Burge says.

These are three of the 58 incredible research projects selected for an internal award from the Office of Research this year. All in all, the funds support 109 UC researchers with a total of $575,000 in awards. Principal investigators received word in April.

Without further ado, a full list of the 2020 awardees:

University Research Council Faculty Research Costs Support Awards

These grants up to $7,500 are meant as pilot grants for faculty researchers to either leverage additional extramural funding in STEMM or to interpret and enhance disciplinary knowledge in areas where extramural funds are not generally available.

  • Tehran Davis, A&S Psychology 
  • Antar Tichavakunda, CECH Education
  • John N. Lorenz, COM Physiology Lorenz Lab
  • Stacey Schutte, CEAS Biomedical Engineering
  • Joo-Youp Lee, CEAS Chemical Engineering
  • Maobing Tu, CEAS Environmental Engineering & Science
  • Yichen Qin, LCB Operations, Business Analysis and Information Systems 
  • Catharine McGhan, CEAS Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics
  • Daniel Cuppoletti, CEAS Aerospace Engineering

URC Graduate Student Stipend and Research Cost Program for Faculty

This program provides summer stipend support to outstanding graduate students plus funds to support related research costs working in collaboration with a UC faculty member. A total award of $5,000 is available to each applicant. Stipend support of up to $4,000 will be provided to the graduate student plus up to $1,000 for research costs payable to the department.

  • Rory Barron, A&S Women's Studies
  • Ayesha Kumari Ekanayaka Katugoda Gedara, A&S Mathematical Sciences 
  • Minxuan Lan, A&S Geography 
  • Allison Piazza Fisher, A&S Psychology
  • Katlyn (Katie) Garr, A&S Psychology
  • Alison Farringer, CECH Criminal Justice
  • Claudia Anderson, CECH Criminal Justice
  • James Lynch, A&S Psychology Students
  • Nathan McGee, CECH Human Services
  • Anjaly Nanattuchirayil Vijayan, A&S Chemistry 
  • Hannah Newton, COM Pathology & Lab Medicine
  • Jennifer Noetzel, CAHS Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Vishnu Sriram, CEAS Chemical Engineering
  • Nathaniel Barker, A&S Chemistry
  • Balachander Gnanasekaran, CEAS Aerospace Engineering
  • Nirmalya Thakur, CEAS Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Emily Dalton, A&S Chemistry
  • Aditya Kavalur, CEAS Mechanical Engineering
  • Upasana Banerjee, A&S Chemistry
  • Seyyedesadaf Pournia, A&S Physics
  • Christopher Sheehan, A&S Geology
  • Dona Dewmi Amaya Ekanayake, A&S Chemistry
  • Joel D. Collett, A&S Chemistry

URC Undergraduate Student Stipend and Research Cost Program for Faculty

This program provides summer stipend support to outstanding undergraduate students plus funds to support related research costs working in collaboration with a UC faculty member. Stipend support of up to $4,000 will be provided to the student plus up to $500 for research costs payable to the department.

  • Haley Hurst; Faculty Advisor Chenran Wang
  • Vageesha Herath; Faculty Advisor Annette R. Rowe
  • Hanson Jiang; Faculty Advisor Krushna Patra
  • Elliott Brown; Faculty Advisor Josh Benoit
  • Scott Vennemeyer; Faculty Advisor Benjamin Kinnear
  • Claire Voegele; Faculty Advisor Bryan Mackenzie
  • Jackson Elpers; Faculty Advisor Kelly Cohen

URC Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Advancement Program

This opportunity expands upon previous Office of Research/URC investments in the arts, humanities and social sciences through the incentivization of research, scholarship, and creativity that is: 1. Impactful; 2. Inclusive and 3. Innovative. Grants up to $10,000. 

Arts & Humanities

  • Denise Burge, DAAP School of Art
  • Katie Parker, DAAP School of Art
  • Pravin Bhiwapurkar, DAAP School of Architecture and Interior Design

Social Sciences

  • John A Lynch, A&S Communication
  • Mary Sovik Benedetti, CECH Teacher Education & Leadership
  • Michael Odio, CECH Human Services

Collaborative Research Advancement Grants Program: Pilot Funding

Pilot funding from $10,000-$25,000 for collaborations and team-based research that is impactful, inclusive and innovative. Most competitive are projects that: 1. Embrace intellectual, cultural, racial and gender-based equity and inclusion in research. 2. Take a multi-disciplinary approach to address issues of increasing societal significance. 3. Create new knowledge through unique approaches to research, scholarship and/or creative work and 4. Partner w/ government, NGO, industry, and/or community entities to tackle a specific problem.

  • Cory Haberman, CECH Criminal Justice
  • David Niven, A&S Political Science
  • Donghoon Kim, CEAS - Aerospace Engineering
  • Dylan L. Steen, Clinical Cardiology
  • Ebony Ruhland, CECH Criminal Justice
  • Jianbing Jiang, A&S Chemistry 
  • LaTrice Montgomery, Research COM Psychiatry Addiction Research
  • Manish Kumar, CEAS Mechanical Engineering
  • Peng Zhang, A&S Chemistry
  • Sarah M Manchak, CECH Criminal Justice
  • Tao Li, CEAS Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
  • Yoshi Odaka, UCBA Biology
  • Zalfa Abdel-Malek, COM Dermatology Abdel-Malek Lab
  • Vikas Mehta, DAAP School of Planning
Those interested in applying for an award next year should look for a request for proposals in the fall and sign up for Findings, a newsletter of the Office of Research, which will provide deadline reminders.