The College of Science and Health has successfully applied for grant funding in numerous areas of its work. Faculty have received grants for their research and to purchase equipment. Dr. Kevin Martus, of the Physics Department, was awarded nearly $100,000 to purchase a high-resolution spectrograph used to explore the physical properties of discharge plasmas. Dr. David Snyder, of the Chemistry Department received a grant of over $17,000 for his research into protein homology. In the Department of Biology, Dr. Lance Risley’s grant-funded work helps further research into the life and health of New Jersey’s bat population.
A number of faculty within the College are also managing grant-funded projects that offer scholarships to science students. One area of high need is the field of Nursing, which struggles with a shortage of qualified nurses and nursing faculty to train students for these careers. Dr. Kem Louie, the Graduate Director in Nursing, heads several large funded projects whose goals are to support graduate nursing students and prepare future nursing faculty. Other grants from the National Science Foundation offer scholarships to students who plan to teach in math and science K-12 grades and students majoring in biology and biotechnology.
Grant-funded projects also work to improve education in local schools by offering professional development opportunities to teachers, helping them to improve their skills in math, science and technology. Several projects are collaborations with faculty in the College of Education, and/or local school districts. For example, the REFORMS II (Reclaiming Educational Foundations of Rigorous Math and Science) project, funded by the NJ Department of Education, provided math and science professional development for teachers and supports the recruitment of elementary math and science teachers. This program, guided by Dr. Donna Fengya of the Mathematics Department, in collaboration with College of Education faculty, enhanced teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge in these subjects.