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Students First Grants Winners: 2015 - 2016

Click on the name below to access an abstract of the funded project

The "Students First Grants" program encourages and supports faculty in the development of active student-centered pedagogies across the curriculum, the use of newer technologies that engage students both in and outside of the classroom, co-curricular activities that include field trips, and creative strategies to assess student learning gains.  This robust initiative is intentionally aimed at incoming first year students so as to launch them effectively in their college experience by engaging them in their learning and building community among students. Eighteen faculty and staff were awarded 13 grants in 2015.

Noel H. Brathwaite
Assistant Professor of English/Humanities
Email: brathwnh@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-6205


Aaron Howell
Assistant Professor of Sociology & Anthropology
Email: howella@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-6119


Project Title
Exploring the Impact of Culture Ecologies on Individual Culture Identity (Two-course Learning Community)

Project Statement
By developing a collaborative course entitled "Exploring the Impact of Cultural Ecologies on Individual Cultural Identity", we seek to establish a learning community, a cultural ecology, if you will, to promote a reflective, integrative and deeply critical approach to learning among our first-year, first semester students.


Dandan Chen
Assistant Professor of History, Politics & Geography
Email: Dandan.Chen@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2679

Project Title
Encounter, Nationalism, and Trade in Modern History

Project Statement
I propose to design and teach a learner-centered freshman course entitled “Encounter, Nationalism, and Trade in Modern History” for a general education course - HIS 118 World Civilization. This seminar emphasizes high-impact practices. The objectives of this seminar include: 1) improve the critical thinking skills of students as soon as they start their studies at FSC. 2) Build an open, effective, and engaging learning community; help students embrace diversities and learn how to work with group members. A variety of group projects, activities, presentations and discussions will enhance student engagement and learning. 3) Widen the intellectual horizons of students and encourage them to embrace various cultures. The anticipated outcomes are: 1) Students become global citizens with local connections and visions. 2) Students have a broad view of the world and know their places in it. 3) Students become critical thinkers and writers. 4) Students become creative collaborators and coworkers.


Jing Feng
Assistant Professor of Business
Email: Jing.Feng@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2186

Project Title
Develop Inter-cultural Effectiveness through Reflective Learning

Project Statement
In order to enhance the inter-cultural effectiveness of students, I will utilize reflective teaching as the teaching approach for the course of International Management (BUS322). This approach provides students personal experience and educational environment to motivate their engagement of the class, advance their learning of the course subjects, develop their skill of reflective learning, and enhance their competency of inter-cultural effectiveness.

Saman Talib
Assistant Professor of Professional Communications
Email: Saman.Talib@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-794-6278

Project Title
Integrating Digital Citizenship[ in Culture and Communications Curriculum

Project Statement
This teaching grant application proposes the implementation of a high impact, project driven pedagogy to integrate Digital Citizenship curriculum in the teaching of culture and communications within the Professional Communications program. The project will engage students in two ways: as student assistants and through in-class collaborative team projects.


Lei Miao
Assistant Professor of Electrical& Computer Engineering Technology
Email: Miao.Lei@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2589

Project Title
Engaging Students in Microcontroller based Real-Time Sensing and Control

Project Statement
Abstract: Microcontrollers have been flourishing in recent years and are widely used in various applications. For this reasons, the ECET department currently offers two courses related to microcontrollers. In this project, student assistants will be involved in designing, implementing, testing, and evaluating microcontroller based real-time sensing and control systems. The proposed activities are highly related to the curriculum and the PI's research. These activities provide students with excellent opportunities to work on various sensors, wireless transceivers, and real-time systems, all of which are currently not available in the curriculum. Other benefits of the project include introducing students to research and teaching them how to effectively present technical results.


Elizabeth Salnave
Senior Academic Counselor of AAIC
Email: Elizabeth.Salnave@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-6163

Angela McAleese
Academic Counselor of AAIC
Email: Angela.McAleese@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-6161

Project Title
AAIC Moving Forward with Mobile Technology

Project Statement
In order to continue to provide students with a foundation of knowledge and skills so that they may be imaginative, critical thinkers and problem solvers as stated by the mission of the College, the AAIC is requesting a total of $2,500 to purchase 5 iPads. The use of iPads will increase the off-site mobility of the AAIC, allowing counselors to serve students at locations across the College using a technology with which students are comfortable. By using mobile technology and bringing the AAIC services to students in venues across the campus, the AAIC expects to contribute to the following outcomes: continued improvement of retention and graduation rates, increase in the number of students served by the AAIC (advisement appointments, attendance at workshops for academic success, students guided in the use of OASIS and Degree Works), enhanced student understanding of their responsibilities, progress and outcomes; improved academic performance by students on academic probation and by first year students given early warning notices.


John Kubin
Instructional Support Specialist of Chemistry
Email: John.Kubin@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2761

Project Title
Student research project in vanadium redox flow batteries

Project Statement
The objective of the proposed co-curricular activity is to provide a research opportunity to undergraduate students, improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Susan Katz
Visiting Assistant Professor of Nursing
Email: Susan.Katz@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2390

Joanne Graham
Associate Professor of Nursing
Email: Joanne.Graham@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2390

Project Title
Promoting Nursing Student Civic Engagement through National Certification as Child Passenger Safety Technicians

Project Statement
This grant will allow nursing students, with aplan to work with children and families, to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to save the lives of children by becomming Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. It will offer them valuable skills to be used in their profession that cannot be attained in a classroom setting, introducing them to the skills of assessment, advocacy and referral in a diverse community setting of public health.


Jeff Hung
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology
Email: Jeff.Hung@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2243

Project Title: Campuswide student poster presentation competition in Energy and Sustainability

Project Statement: The main purpose of this proposal is to support co-curricular activities, engage students in research projects, and provide students with an opportunity to disseminate their research results.


Jack Simonson
Assistant Professor of Physics
Email: Jack.Simonson@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2155

Project Title
Manufacture and Assembly of 360° 3D Scanner Platform

Project Statement
The objective of this project is to create a 3D scanning platform which would create 3D models, and garner student knowledge in various technological fields in the process. The final product will be a desktop sized platform with cameras mounted 360° spherically. The cameras will take a snapshot of an object placed in the middle of the platform. The images of all sides of the object will be taken into photogrammertry software to create a digital 3D model of the object. This project is based on the Pi3D Scan nopen source design, and will involove refitting a full body scanner design into a desktop sized plateform. The learning process covers the expense of constructiong the device, as well as operating the device afterwards. The device will be used in PHY 125 Physical Science Laboratory after its construction.


Doug Kim
Assistant Professor of EET
Email: Doug.Kim@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2589


Yeong Ryu
Associate Professor of MET
Email: Yeong.Ryu@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2351

Project Title
Fixture Design and Creation to Supplement Machining and Fuel Cell Education

Project Statement
A fundamental piece of the Mission of the College is, “… to provide students with a foundation of knowledge and skills so that they may be imaginative, critical thinkers and successful problem solvers…” Seeking to uphold a reputation for excellence in research and learning, it is essential for the faculty and students at Farmingdale State College to pursue outside projects that will benefit those involved, as well as others in the future. Initially, the target population will be students from the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Technology departments. The design and creation of a Fuel Cell Fixture is a prime example of an outside study that benefits the retention, achievement, and self-actualization of the students and faculty involved.

Donna Proper
Assistant Professor of Visual Communications
Email: Donna.Proper@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2181

Project Title
Assessment of the Senior Project Capstone Courses of the Farmingdale State College Visual Communications: Art & Graphic Design Baccalaureate experience

Project Statement
In 2012, The Visual Communication: Art & Graphic Design faculty at Farmingdale State rolled out a new curriculum providing more opportunity for conceptual design/creative problem solving while continuing to provide excellent technical education. These changes were required to accommodate the needs of students and a rapidly changing industry. The evolution of our program has been successful and our student outcomes are stronger. However, we must now create a framework for improving standards and achieving objectives by gathering data, using that data to make necessary adjustments, if any, and determine if our program goals are being met (Allen 5). That is, we must incorporate an assessment protocol.

Abeba Mussa
Assistant Professor of Economics
Email: Abeba.Mussa@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2049


Xu Zhang
Assistant Professor of Economics
Email: Xu.Zhang@farmingdale.edu; Tel: 631-420-2334

Project Title
The Assessment of Senior Students in Applied Economics Program of Farmingdale State College

Project Statement
It becomes a greater demand to document what our students have learned upon completion of the Applied Economics major. Although the assessment of the two general education courses has been done regularly, a more comprehensive assessment on our senior students is needed to determine whether our students are learning as we anticipate, identify the strengths and weakness of our program and make changes based upon the results to improve our program. We envision the development and implementation of two new assessment processes that balances both qualitative as well as quantitative results that can be measured.