Washburn ‘in the money’ with new grants

Washburn University

TOPEKA- Washburn University is the recipient of several grants with some pretty big plans. Brian Thomas, assistant professor of physics and astronomy, has received $446,000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, through the Astrobiology: Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program, for the project “Astrophysical Ionizing Photon Events and Primary Productivity of Earth’s Oceans.”

Funds will be used to study and substantially improve predictions of the impact of a wide range of astrophysical ionizing photon sources on primary producers in Earth’s oceans. This project will commence for three years and includes the University of Kansas and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center as collaborators.

Val VanDerSluis, program director, has received $2,000 from the Kansas Arts Commission Arts-in-Communities Project Mini-Grants Program. The money will be applied to KTWU, a public broadcasting station and Washburn licensee, in the production and broadcast of a radio play with the ARTS. Inc. Players adaptation of “Dracula.”

Viewers will be able to watch local cast members act out the story and take part in creating various sound effects using techniques from radio’s golden age, while radio listeners can simultaneously tune-in and enjoy the play. Dave Kendall, KTWU general manager of production services and executive producer, received $20,165 from the Kansas Humanities Council Major Grant Program for the production of 13 90-minute programs of “Sunflower Journeys,” a popular public television series about Kansas.

Ellen Carson and Cynthia Hornberger, professors in the School of Nursing, were awarded $420,000 from the U.S. Department of Education, through the European Union-United States Atlantis Program under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, to implement the Transatlantic Double Degree in Nursing Project.

Partner universities will develop and implement a four-year transatlantic double degree program in nursing, utilizing an integrated study plan and incorporating the strengths of each partner university while promoting multicultural understanding between the European Union and US. EU partner universities include Mikkeli (Finland) University of Applied Sciences; Queen’s University, Belfast Northern Ireland; and Szeged (Hungary) University.

Richard Ellis, director of community services and professor in the human services department, was awarded $80,000 from the Corporation for National and Community Service, through the Vista Recovery Support Grant made possible through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. This funding will allow Washburn’s Center for Community Service and Civic Engagement to expand, hire staff and provide support for its current AmeriCorps VISTA program.

Stephen Angel, associate professor and chairman in chemistry, was awarded $25,000 from the National Institute of Health through the Kansas IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence Program, for the purchase of an electospray mass spectrometer for chemistry research and instruction.

Willie Dunlap, dean and professor in the School of Applied Studies, and Roxanne Kelly, dean of Washburn Institute of Technology, were awarded $331,452 from the Kansas Board of Regents Postsecondary Perkins Program Improvement Funds Program to provide equipment, faculty development and course development for the allied health, criminal justice, human services and legal studies departments in the School of Applied Studies and for all technical programs at the Washburn Institute of Technology.