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. Twenty-eight faculty and staff were awarded 19 grants in 2017.

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1. Gonca Altuger-Genc


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

Project Title
Enhancing Student Learning with Revised Bloom's Taxonomy-based Hands-on Exercises

Project Statement
MET 104 - Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) course is the freshman level design course where students learn the principles of drafting, 2 Dimensional design and 3 Dimensional solid modeling. Learning drafting and design is a very important part of Engineering Technology education therefore, the structure of the course as well as the methodologies and pedagogies employed in the course make a big impact on student retention and engagement. In an effort to improve the learning experience and to provide students a continuous exposure to applied learning, a series of revised Bloom's taxonomy-based hands-on exercises will be developed and implemented to the MET 104 - CADD course. This study aims to (i) provide students a learning environment that supports academic success and continuous learning, (ii) have a structured platform to provide hands-on exercises and (iii) employ Bloom's revised taxonomy approach to promote critical thinking in design education.

2. Jennifer Brady & Margery Brown


Jennifer Mignano-Brady
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
Identity and Self Discovery — a first year writing composition course that centers on the theme of identity

Project Statement
Identity and Self Discovery is a first year writing composition course that centers on the theme of identity. First year writing students will participate in a multi-disciplinary content based writing course. This writing course will encourage students to think critically about themes that relate to both identity and perspective. Reading and writing about themes that reflect social and external factors that relate to the self will enhance students’ ability to think critically about the ways in which identity plays a significant role in how we see ourselves and how others see us. The unit is developed to reflect assignments and workshops that create an active learning community. In addition, this writing community will transcend the classroom by introducing an online blog and published writing. It grants first year students an opportunity to journey through the self as it relates to various components that comprise our identity. Course topics include: language, culture, social class, technology, relationships and transformation. Writing workshops and oral communication will reflect social texts that will enhance student interest by creating a platform for “deep thinking”. The course will reflect scaffolding and therefore develop content literacy and analytical writing skills. Identity and Self Discovery as an active learning community will encourage students to become active readers, writers and thinkers. The course is designed to cultivate a tone that allows students to form relationships with their peers and the teacher. Course material and assessment will reflect verbal and written communication through Socratic seminar, writing workshops, high and low stakes writing, research based writing and published writing.

3. Susan Candia & Jeaniffere Vila


Susan Candia
Associate Professor of English/Humanities
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2050


Jeaniffere Vila
Associate Professor of English/Humanities
Email: Email Tel: 934-420-2050

Project Title
Exploring Cultural Myths in America – a Learning Community

Project Statement
The connection of EGL 101: Introduction to Writing with SPE 130: Public Speaking will raise the level of active learning with the incorporation of high level student engagement activities; generally, a collaborative research-based project that centers on civil engagement or community-based learning both which are foundations for the central theme of the HLC initiative. The goal is to increase student learning, critical thinking, writing competency, and speaking skills by engaging them in a lively analysis of the American value of “Out of Many One” and a consideration of whether the increasing diversity of US population challenges our national unity today.

4. Dandan Chen


Dandan Chen
Assistant Professor of History, Politics & Geography
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2679

Project Title
Screening Asia: Global Asian Cultures in the Digital Age

Project Statement
I propose to design and teach a learner-centered course entitled “Screening Asia: Global Asian Cultures in the Digital Age” for a general education course - HIS 213 Peoples and Cultures of Asia. I plan to teach it as a “sophomore seminar," a “transfer student seminar," or a “junior seminar” for the first three times of teaching it. The proposed pedagogy emphasizes: A) Project-based Learning including: 1) Oral history interview of Asian people in local communities; 2) Writing Wikipedia items ( work with "Implementing Wikipedia into History Courses" specialist); 3)"Digital History" Project; 4) "Big History" project. B) Field Trips; C) “Reacting to the Past” Game; D) SALG assessment (Student Assessment of Learning Gains).

5. LaNina Cooke


LaNina Cooke
Acting Chair of Criminal Justice
Email: LaNina Cooke; Tel: 934-420-5374

Project Title
Law Enforcement and Community Relations Project-Based Learning

Project Statement
The proposed course enhancement seeks to use the existing course and center it around collaborative, project-based learning. Individuals who seek futures in law enforcement and criminal justice are to be civic minded, as the field is rooted in service. Students will be separated into two groups and will be tasked with accessing a high-profile community-law enforcement interaction based on crime statistics, the law, community and agency culture, and policy. From this, students will develop their own policies and solutions to the challenges that both law enforcement and communities encounter. In addition, they will argue the "case" in regards to officer and agency liability.

6. Tanya Maurer & Brian McFadden


Tanya Maurer
Adjunct Professor of English/Humanities
Email: Email; Tel: 631-420-6164


Brian McFadden
Adjunct Professor of English/Humanities
Email: Email Tel: 934-420-2050

Project Title
Enhancing Teaching by offering a Learning Community in which entering students examine US Society through the study of English and Speech

Project Statement
“The Challenges to E Pluribus Unum” is the compelling theme that will link our courses in English Composition and Speech. Through critical examination of texts, writing, and speaking students will ponder the relevance today of a premise that underlies the founding of our nation. That value is this: The population of the U.S. is called upon to abide by a social contract in which both individual rights and national unity are celebrated. Key questions that our students will address through reading, writing, and speech are these: Are the American founding principles immutable or subject to change as historical events unfold? How is national unity maintained in periods when new groups are introduced and new demands articulated? This theme of Challenges to E Pluribus Unum is especially relevant today as our society wrestling with questions of immigration.

7. Stephen Patnode & Katelynn DeLuca


Stephen Patnode
Associate Professor of History, Politics, Geography
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2318


Katelynn DeLuca
Instructor of English
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2050

Project Title
E Pluribus None? Studying American Principles and Society

Project Statement
Recent political events have sparked a sharp debate within the U.S. about our national identity. Is the U.S. a cosmopolitan, pluralistic society or something else? This learning community will help students make sense of the ongoing struggle to define (or redefine?) American identity by looking at recent U.S. history and analyzing the rhetoric deployed by both sides. By examining the role of rhetoric in historical argumentation, the content of each course (HIS 122 and EGL 101) connects with and reinforces the other.

8. Manju Prakash & Lloyd Makarowitz


Manju Prakash
Adjunct Faculty of Physics
Email: Email; Tel: 631-632-2188


Lloyd Makarowitz
Professor of Physics
Email: Email; Tel: 631-632-2188

Project Title
Engaging Non-Science Majors in a Stimulating Physical Science Laboratory Course

Project Statement
Project Summary: The goal of the proposed project is to create a high-impact learning environment in PHY 125 Physical Science Laboratory Course for non-science majors. Pre-laboratory demonstrations will be introduced to motivate students to learn abstract concepts. In addition, the existing components of the course will be restructured to connect well with students’ prior knowledge. During classroom hours, students will perform inquiry-based stimulating activities to develop an aptitude for co-operative group problem-solving. Students will experience the joy of exploring, enhancing their critical- thinking and quantitative skills.

9. Marie Pullan


Marie Pullan
Associate Professor of Computer Systems
Email: Email Tel: 934-420-2304

Project Title
Programming for Non-Programmers: Developing IOS 10 Apps Using Xcode and Swift

Project Statement
Many students hesitate to learn programming because most programming languages are difficult to learn and use. Having non-programmers learn to program can give them insight into the way that computer programming works, appeal to their digital nature, provide satisfaction and perhaps even lead some to consider working in the field of programming. Swift is a robust and intuitive programming language created by Apple for building apps for iOS, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Swift is easy to use and open source, so anyone with an idea can create something incredible.

10. Daniel Weinman & Jeff Hung

Daniel Weinman
Adjunct Instructor & Instructional Support Technician of Mechanical Engineering Technology
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-5221


Jeff Hung
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2243

Project Title
Improve teaching in MET freshmen courses, MET104 Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) and MET117 Manufacturing Processes, by means of a learning community and project based learning

Project Statement
MET104 Computer Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) and MET117 Manufacturing Processes are the freshmen level courses required by the Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) and Manufacturing Engineering Technology (MFG) programs. MET104 teaches students technical drawings, 2D computer aided drafting, and 3D solid modeling. MET117 introduces students to the principles and operation of mechanical equipment such as lathes, drill presses, and milling machines. These two courses are the foundation courses in the MET department that prepare students for product development and manufacturing. Both courses consist of a lecture and a lab component. During the lab component students apply the skills they have learned in the lecture. The MET department offers MET104 and MET117 every semester with an average of three sections per semester. Both courses are prerequisite courses for many MET courses.

11. Worku T. Bitew


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

Project Title
Mathematical Modeling and Optimization in Resource and Environmental Management

Project Statement
Mathematical Modeling is the core of applied learning in all areas of applied sciences and engineering. It serves as a tendon that connects the muscles of a theoretical study to its applications in solving real world problems. We believe that students in the applied mathematics, economics and engineering programs must be equipped with the art of mathematical modeling. Complex systems emerging from different disciplines can be represented, studied, understood and well explained by applying mathematical principles and methods through mathematical modeling. Mathematical models provide a rigorous, systematic, and quantitative description of various real-world phenomena. Optimization techniques, on the other hand, enable us to determine the trajectories or controls for optimal utilization of resources for social welfare or maximize performance. The purpose of this project is to provide students a hand on research experience on applications of mathematical modeling and optimization in resource and environmental management.

12. Michaela Porubanova

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

Project Title
Applied Learning through a Study Abroad Class: History of Psychology: A European Journey through Germany and Switzerland

Project Statement
The Principal Investigator (PI) proposes a co-curricular activity that involves designing and conducting a study abroad course in the area of history of psychology with a specific focus on the historical roots of psychology in the European psychological tradition (in Germany and Switzerland). The PI is applying for the Students First Grant to support the design, preparation, and organization of the course as well as for the assistance of a student who will be helping with the preparation and promotion of the course.

13. Jessica Bernadotte & Michelle Kriegel

Jessica Bernadotte
Academic Advisor of Business
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-5211

Michelle Kriegel
Internship Coordinator of Business
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-5203

Project Title
Enhancing Social Engagement Through a Peer to Peer Mentorship Program

Project Statement
his program is intended to foster the development of meaningful professional and academic relationships between upperclass and lowerclass Business Management and Global Business Management students for the purpose of providing support, guidance, and friendship during students’ academic careers. These relationships should in turn lead to interactions that promote enhanced student engagement, motivation for academic performance and improved leadership and interpersonal skills.

14. Erwin Cabrera


Erwin Cabrera
Associate Director of RAM Program
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-5419

Project Title
Application Preparedness Workshop

Project Statement
The proposed "Application Preparedness Workshop" for FSC students in all disciplines will be an all-day intensive workshop to help students prepare quality applications for off-campus academic and professional development opportunities (e.g., research opportunities at the National Institutes of Health and Fulbright Fellowships). Workshop topics will help students identify programs with the best fit to their goals, market themselves through their personal statements, write or improve on their CVs/resumes, and better understand what programs look for in an applicant. Pretest and post-test assessment measures will evaluate students' attitudes toward, understanding of, and application of the knowledge learned in the workshop. The major expected outcome will be an increase in students applying for and accepted for various off-campus opportunities.

15. Erica Feldherr


Erica Feldherr
Academic Advisor of RAM Program
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-5404

Project Title
RAM Freshman Experience Summer Transition

Project Statement
The Freshman Experience Summer Transition is a non-credit co-curricular program intended to provide incoming students selected for the Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program with an immersive three-day transitional experience. The goals of RAM FEST are to familiarize students with the Farmingdale campus, bridge the gap between high school and college, strengthen academic preparedness and introduce the topics that will be covered in RAM 101, the fall semester First Year Experience course required of all RAM students.

16. Megan Margino


Megan Margino
Senior Assistant Librarian
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2173

Project Title
Student Research Poster Day

Project Statement
The Student Research Poster Day will grant students an opportunity to present course-based research at an on-campus poster session. Serving as a research hub for Farmingdale State College, the Greenley Library will support student research through providing information literacy workshops and poster printing services via a new large-format printing center. By fostering an environment of scholarship, students will be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to a real-life conference setting, through which they will gain research, presentation, and communication skills.

17. Kim O'Hara & Jennifer Bryer

Kim O'Hara
Assistant Professor of Nursing
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2391


Jennifer Bryer
Associate Professor of Nursing
Email: Jennifer Bryer; Tel: 934-420-2295

Project Title
Building Interest in the Nursing Profession Among Students from Underserved Groups: A Mentorship Approach

Project Statement
The proposed co-curricular activity consists of an extension of the Student Nurse Mentor Program into the community to provide an early introduction to the concept of mentorship for undergraduate student nurses. Student nurses from Farmingdale State College (FSC) will be given the opportunity to mentor primary education minority students from underserved school districts on Long Island to impart their newly learned knowledge imaginatively as critical thinkers and problem solvers to meet the challenges of our diverse and interdependent world. This learning and development partnership will occur in a school-based program for a total of 4 sessions lasting one hour where minority students will be introduced to core-nursing concepts. It is expected that upon completion of this co-curricular activity, nursing students will better understand the concept of professionalism and demonstrate academic success and a strong commitment to completing the nursing program. It is anticipated that nursing students will demonstrate improved interpersonal communication skills and increased self-efficacy by establishing supportive relationships with grade-school students.

18. Dipendra Regmi & Chunhui Yu


Dipendra Regmi
Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2347


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

Project Title
Promoting Mathematics Learning through Math Club Activities

Project Statement
In this project we propose three kinds of math club activities to promote mathematics learning: Farmingdale State College math alumni speaker series, Problem solving workshops, and Attending mathematics conferences.

19. Michael Veracka


Michael Veracka
Associate Professor of Urban Horticulture & Design
Email: Email; Tel: 934-420-2392

Project Title
Student Poster Presentation Competition in Landscape Sustainability and Design

Project Statement
he purpose of this proposal is to support and engage Urban Horticulture and Design Students in research projects, and provide students with an opportunity to disseminate their research results. Through the creation of an on-campus conference, the applicant seeks a co-curricular opportunity for students. By engaging with scholars and practitioners at this conference and presenting their own research findings via a student poster presentation competition, students -- future industry leaders -- develop problem solving skills and can contribute to the implementation of industry practices that respect the environment of our heavily populated area.

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