Grant Winner 2014

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 14 grants in 2014.

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1. Erin Gonzalez & Margery Brown

Erin Gonzalez
Assistant Professor of English/Humanities
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2050


Margery Brown
Chair of English/Humanities
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2050

Project Title
EGL 101: Writing for Interpersonal Relationships

Project Statement
Bringing together components of expository and argumentative writing with theories and experiences in interpersonal relationships. In-class activities/exercises and discussions, online write-ups, and research papers will be the base of coursework.

2. Allison McGovern & Anjana Mebane-Cruz

Allison McGovern
Lecturer of Sociology and Anthropology
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2669

Anjana Mebane-Cruz
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Email: Anjana Mebane-Cruz; Tel: 934-420-2638

Project Title
Understanding Landscapes of Inequality on Long Island

Project Statement
A report based on 2010 Federal Census data indicated that Long Island (Nassau-Suffolk) ranked tenth in the nation for most segregated metropolitan areas (Logan and Stults 2011). While many residents are aware that segregation exists, and can even point out where groups of various ethnicities, races, and classes can be found, few people question why and how these neighborhoods developed over time. This project, entitled “Understanding Landscapes of Inequality on Long Island,” provides a method for actively engaging students in understanding the historical contexts behind current landscapes of difference on Long Island. This project will be integrated into ANT 120: Archaeology or ANT 100: Anthropology (offered through the Sociology and Anthropology Department) and will encourage students to consider how anthropological and archaeological data are linked to historical memory and our images of the past.

3. Thurlough M. Smyth & Jeffrey S. Gaab

Thurlough M. Smyth
Assistant Professor of History, Politics & Geography
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2739


Jeffrey S. Gaab
Professor of History, Politics & Geography
Email: Email Tel: 934-420-2206

Project Title
Integrating Reacting Games in Freshman-level Introduction to Politics Course

Project Statement
This project proposal seeks to develop an introductory politics course based on the 'reacting game' pedagogical framework. The reacting game framework was developed by Mark Carnes at Barnard College during the 1990s, and aims to engage students as active participants in classroom-based re-iterations of historical events. The course would be offered as a dedicated section of POL 105 (Introduction to Politics) beginning in fall 2014.

4. Gonca Altuger-Genc


Gonca Altuger-Genc
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology
Email: Gonca Altuger-Genc; Tel: 934-420-2117

Project Title
Research Experience on Design and Development of Simulations for a Mechanical Engineering Technology Course

Project Statement
With the globalization of the workforce the need for asynchronous classroom environment is on the rise. The increased enrollment in online education brought some challenges with it, one of the most important being the design of an effective online course. This particular challenge presents itself differently for different majors. For linguistics major, the challenge might be the understanding of correct pronunciations of the words whereas for engineering technology major, the challenge is to visualize and solve complex problems. One way to overcome the challenge of visualizing the problem is to support the learning environment with animations and simulations that represent the concept. In order for effective simulations to be designed to support an online course, an extensive research on existing simulations, their capabilities and conceptual understanding of the material is necessary.

The proposed project focuses on research, design and development of simulation models to be implemented in the sophomore level MET 212 Applied Fluid Mechanics course, which is offered in-class and online throughout the year. The co-curricular learning component of the project involves undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Technology students to conduct research on existing simulations, their capabilities, and propose methods and techniques to develop simulations to be implemented in the Applied Fluid Mechanics course. As a part of their research, students will examine animation-based simulations, game-based open source experiments, and real-time remote experiments developed for Fluid Mechanics courses, compare them and propose a methodology to design and develop a simulation for the course. Upon successful student participation, the findings and the outcomes of this research project will be transformed to a manuscript to be submitted to 2015 ASEE Conference, where students will be listed as co-authors. This project aims to enhance student learning outside of the classroom by providing them a stimulating research environment.

5. Lawrence Lopez


Lawrence Lopez
Director of Operations of Aviation
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2231


Project Title: Participation in National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Regional Competition

Project Statement
The students that are a part of the aviation program would greatly benefit from taking part in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) Regional Competition in October 2014. The mission statement of NIFA is "developing and advancing aviation education; to promote, encourage and foster safety in aviation".

6. Orla LoPiccolo


Orla LoPiccolo
Assistant Professor of Architecture & CM
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-5123


ACT Club trip to the Guggenheim in Dec. 2014

Project Title
Visit, Video, Verify and Win!

Project Statement
Enhanced support for the Architecture Construction Technology (ACT) Club through organized field trips to architecturally significant buildings and a student presentation competition. The goal of this Title III Students First Co-Curricular grant is to introduce freshman architecture and construction management students to our Architecture Construction Technology (ACT) Club and then introduce this club to architecturally significant buildings through field trips to world famous buildings such as Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum, NYC and Richard Meier's Federal Courthouse, Central Islip, NY. Pizza and student travel expenses could be provided to field trip participants through ACT Club funds.

Students will visit these locations and possible others to learn about the building design, materials, and context. They will collaborate to produce short videos/slide shows, verify their learning through quantitative and qualitative surveys and enter a competition funded by this grant for most informative production. Students will present their work at the ACT Club meetings where they can share their experiences with their peers who were not able to attend the field trips. Three winning student teams each year will be able to include an award on their resumes for future job/graduate school applications. Pizza and student travel expenses could be provided to field trip participants through ACT Club funds.

The momentum of student interaction at orientation will be maintained by introducing freshmen students to their peers and upper level students at an ACT Club "kick-off" meeting where the field trips and competition will be discussed. The layering of: reinforcement of the ACT Club, student introductions and continued interaction through field trips and presentations, video/slide shows, awards and assessment will improve student achievement and retention to graduation while meeting Farmingdale State College Mission outcomes, School of Engineering and Technology student outcomes and Department of Architecture and Construction Management student outcomes. Please see my proposal statement for more information.

7. Carla A. Martin

Carla A. Martin
Assistant Professor of Biology
Email: Carla Martin; Tel: 934-420-5178

Project Title
 Enriched Student Learning Through Directed Research: Examining the Correlation between Macrophage Maturation and Survival under Stress

Project Statement
Participation in mentor-directed research  can enrich student learning experiences by introducing them to a science research environment and provide opportunities for enhanced development of technical and critical thinking skills. These experiences prepare students to make  informed decisions in their selection and pursuit of a successful career.

8. Michaela Porubanova

Michaela Porubanova
Assistant Professor of Psychology
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2236

Project Title
Involvement of a Psychology Major student in research in the area of human cognition

Project Statement
The co-curricular activity I wish to pursue through the Students First Grant is the involvement of one student in the research in cognitive psychology. The goal is to help the student acquire important skills in preparation for graduate work and research in cognitive psychology, such as: the ability to design a research study, to work with software, to manage a laboratory engaged in experimental design to understand mechanisms of human cognition, to organize research studies, to run participants, to code data, and to statistically analyze the results of the studies.

9. Mihaela Radu


Mihaela Radu
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology
Email: Mihaela Radu; Tel: 934-420-2450

Project Title
Developing Hands-On Experiments to Improve Students Learning via Activities outside the Classroom

Project Statement
STEM education must keep pace with the industry leading technologies in order to produce graduates with 21th century knowledge and skills. Teaching methods are continuously challenged and they evolve as innovative instructional technology becomes available on the market. A set of experiments using the Analog Discovery Board, a PC-based test equipment manufactured by Digilent Inc. will be developed for the students enrolled in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Programs at Farmingdale State College. The experiments will be made available to students through ANGEL Course Management System and on-line, allowing students to improve their hands-on experience outside the traditional laboratory settings. Because these activities are performed outside the traditional classroom settings, new assessment methods for student’s learning are investigated. Assessment strategies include focus group, surveys one semester later, lab reports and practical exams scores. The project has the potential to improve student engagement and learning.

10. Nanda Viswanathan & Lorraine Greenwald


Nanda Viswanathan
Chair/Assistant Dean of Business
Email: Nanda Viswanathan; Tel: 934-420-2705


Lorraine Greenwald
Dean of International Education
Email: Lorraine Greenwald; Tel: 934-420-2479

Project Title
Enhancing Global Awareness Through Peer to Peer Mentoring

Project Statement
This proposal leverages peer-peer mentoring, an important part of the student learning, to address potential and complementary skills between our international and domestic students, and collaborates across multiple units of the campus including the Department of Business Management, School of Business, and the Office of International Education. Students covered by this proposal represent multiple majors including: Business, Computer Systems, and Engineering Technology.

11. Nancy Winters

Nancy Winters
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2290

Project Title
Effects of a Super User Program

Project Statement
With this Students First Grant, I am going to create a two pronged initiative focused on the use of a simulated EHR. First, I intend to enhance student support and improve the learning of approximately 25 freshman nursing students. Second, by enlisting four upper-class nursing students as peer teachers and research assistants, this initiative will also foster leadership and communication skills of those upper-class nursing students.

12. Chunhui Yu & Worku T. Bitew


Chunhui Yu
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2541


Worku T. Bitew
Associate Professor of Mathematics
Email: Worku Bitew; Tel: 631-420-1882

Project Title
Career Development for Financial Mathematics Students

Project Statement
Since the recent worldwide financial crisis it has become very important to understand the mathematical models behind financial markets. The emerging consensus reveals that financial firms have a high demand for trained persons in quantitative analysis or risk management. In alignment with this reality, we would like to bring two guest speakers from financial industries and run four extracurricular workshops in order to introduce students how to solve financial problems using mathematics, with the view to motivate students to take professional examinations. This creates awareness about career opportunities that are available for students in the applied Mathematics, Applied Economics and Business programs. We also believe that these workshops enable students to acquire a learning experience that will help them to take certificate exams in actuarial science and be ready to start professional careers and/or continue their professional and academic studies at the graduate level.

13. Jeffrey Gaab


Jeffrey Gaab
Professor of History and Chair
Email: Jeffrey Gaab; Tel: 934-420-2206

Project Title
Reimagining Student Learning Outcomes Assessment for a New Millennium.

Project Statement
This project seeks to establish a new assessment protocol for the History, Politics and Geography Department in light of new mandates and requirements in the assessment criteria. Working with both the full-time faculty, adjunct staff, and students, we envision the development and implementation of a new assessment process that emphasizes qualitative (as opposed to merely quantitative) results that can be measured.

14. Shane G. Owens


Shane G. Owens
Assistant Director of Campus Mental Health
Email: Shane Owens; Tel: 934-420-2006

Project Title
Assessment of the Effects of Focusing on Sleep Functioning in Campus Mental Health Services

Project Statement
The current project will assess the efficacy and effectiveness of focusing clinical time and attention to problems related to sleep in students who seek services through Campus Mental Health Services (CMHS). It is anticipated that this increased focus on sleep difficulties will enhance CMHS’s ability to address students’ health and mental health concerns, and that adding a formal measurement of sleep difficulties to the array of issues currently addressed in our evaluations will add value to students’ experience, enhance academic and social functioning, and aid in retention.

Office of the Provost

Horton Hall, Room 230


Dr. Laura Joseph
Provost & VP for Academic Affairs


Holly Gordon
 Admin. Assistant to the Provost


Lauren Romer
Assistant to the Provost


Loretta Costello
 Admin. Assistant to the Assistant to the Provost


Dr. Michael Goodstone
Associate Provost


Dr. Jennifer Bryer
Interim Assistant Provost


Anice Dacosta
Admin. Assistant to the Associate and Assistant Provost


 Justin Salvatore Dolce
Academic Project Coordinator