Grants and Honors: Recognizing Faculty Achievement

The University’s renowned faculty members continually win professional-achievement awards from prestigious organizations as well as research grants from government agencies, farsighted foundations and leading corporations. Pictured are just a few of the recent honorees. Brief summaries of many ongoing research projects start here and continue inside.

The University Transportation Research Center (UTRC), Region 2, based at City College and directed by Camille Kamga, has received more than $25 million in new federal and state funding, as follows: $5.2 million for 2013 and 2014 from the U.S. Depart-ment of Transportation (USDOT) through the Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s University Transportation Center program; $10 million each, both over five years, from the New York State Department of Transpor-tation and the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. The UTRC will promote research to improve public health and safety, foster livable communities, ensure that transportation assets are maintained in a state of good repair, support the nation’s long-term economic competiveness and work to achieve environ-mental sustainability.

Bronx Community College has received a $1,383,864 grant from the New York State Education Department for an “Institutional Improvement” project under the direction of Carin Savage. The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $563,750 to Erwin Wong and Janey Flanagan of Borough of Manhattan Community College for “Strengthening Academic Programs.” Adrian Rodriguez-Contreras of City College has received $210,450 from the National Institutes of Health for research concerning “Neuronal Ensembles During Development of Tonotopic Maps in the Auditory Systems.”

Gillian Small, CUNY’s Vice Chancellor for Research, was honored by the Feminist Press at its benefit dinner with an award for Inspiration, Empowerment, Insight and Leadership. Dr. Small said institutions can use feminism to determine how to be more supportive of women who balance careers and family. The Feminist Press has supported Dr. Small’s Women in Science Group at CUNY.  Michelle J. Anderson, dean of the CUNY School of Law, was a member of a New York City Bar Association task force of prominent lawyers, law school deans, prosecutors and other legal professionals that proposed, among other initiatives, establishing a new law firm where young lawyers could gain experience by helping people who need legal representation but cannot afford to pay full price.

Ellen Noonan of the Graduate School and University Center has received $626,157 from the Education Development Center Inc. for “Zoom In: Curriculum & Professional Development Modules for Social Studies Teachers Using Common Core.” Kingsborough Community College has been awarded $530,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation for “Opening Doors Learning Communities,” directed by Marisa Schlesinger. Mahesh K. Lakshman of City College has received a four-year $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation-Division of Chemistry for a project titled “Catalysis Chemistry Involving Nucleosides and Related Heterocycles.” Loretta Capuano of LaGuardia Community College has been awarded $216,452 from the New York State Education Department for a “Student Information Center.”

Ann Jacobs of John Jay College has been awarded $4,500,000 from the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity for “The New York City Justice Corps,” as well as a $636,536 grant, with Jeffrey Butts, from the Pinkerton Foundation for the “Pinkerton Fellowship Initiative.” Lehman College has received a $303,060 grant from the SUNY Research Foundation for the “New York State Small Business Development Center,” under the direction of Clarence Stanley. Regina Cardaci of Queensborough Community College was the recipient of a grant totaling $235,971 from HRSA – Bureau of Health Professions for “Nursing Workforce Diversity – Pathways to Nursing (P2N).” Reginald Blake of New York City College of Technology has won a $198,909 grant from the National Science Foundation for “REU Site: Experiences for Undergraduates.”

Ana Carnaval, Michael Hickerson and Kyle McDonald of City College are part of a multidisciplinary, international team of researchers that has been awarded nearly $4 million over five years to develop a broad interdisciplinary framework to explain and predict plant and animal species distribution in Brazil’s endangered Atlantic Forest. The team includes scientists from the New York Botanical Garden and the University of São Paulo (USP) and is co-led by Carnaval and USP’s Cristina Miyaki. The NSF and NASA are jointly funding the study in the U.S., while the São Paulo Research Foundation is supporting the research in Brazil.

The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development has awarded five grants totaling $1,968,941 to Simone Rodriguez-Dorestant of Medgar Evers College for the following projects: “Steps to Success, Out of School Youths”; “Beacon Center at IS 323”; “Crown Heights Beacon”; “Beacon Flatbush”; and “PYE Beacon.” Brooklyn College has received $376,800 in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a research project, “A Multi-Component Approach to Extinction in Pavlov Learning,” directed by Andrew Delamater. The PHS/NIH National Institute on Deafness & Other Communication Disorders has extended $236,795 in grant support to Ofer Tchernichovski of Hunter College for research concerning “Behavior Mechanisms of Vocal Imitation.”

Jeffrey Parsons of Hunter College has received three grants, totaling $1,784,848, from the PHS/NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse for the following projects: “Syndemics & Resilience for HIV Transmission in a National Sample of Vulnerable Men”; “Multicomponent Intervention to Reduce Sexual Risk and Substance Abuse”; and “Intervention Targeting Substance Abuse Using Older Adults with HIV.” City College has been awarded a $539,999 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office for the study “Random Fields and Collective Effects in Molecular Magnets,” directed by Myriam Sarachik. The National Science Foundation has awarded $299,921 to Michal Kruk and Shuiqin Zhou of the College of Staten Island for “Design of Novel Large-Pore Nanoporous Materials Through Understanding of Micelle Templating Process.”

Ezequiel Jiménez of Lehman College, a visual artist and cultural activist, was recently honored by his hometown of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, as a Distinguished Son and Meritorious by unanimous vote of the City Council. Angel Rivera, Chief Diversity Officer for Kingsborough Community College, received a 2013 Multicultural Leadership Award from former U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell at the National Diversity and Leadership Conference held in September at California University of Pennsylvania.

Marzie Jafari of Lehman College has received five grants, totaling $648,550 from Perfect Choice Staffing for “RN Completion/ MSN Program”; the Hospital League, Local 1199, for “Health Care Careers Core Curriculum/ Certificate in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling” and “BSN Cohort Classes”; from Healthpro Nursing Solutions for “RN Completion Program Korea”; and from Bronx Lebanon Hospital, for “Master of Nursing Program.” Barbara Martin of Bronx Community College has received two grants from the New York City Human Resource Administration totaling $422,458 for “Student Support” and an “Education Collaborative,” as well as $120,000 from Single Stop USA Inc. for “Student Support.” Kevin Ryan of City College has been awarded a $441,584 grant from the Department of Defense, Army Research Office, for a project titled “Olfactory Camouflage: Understanding Odorant Receptor Antagonism,” an investigation into how the odorant receptors in the mammalian nose detect and discriminate chemicals in natural fragrance mixtures.

The University was honored by New York State Industries for the Disabled as one of its 2013 Customers of the Year. The University is a long-standing supporter of NYSID Preferred Source Opportunities and sought NYSID’s assistance in providing janitorial services at three emergency shelters at York, John Jay and Lehman Colleges in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, according to Sharon Russell, CUNY’s Associate Controller for Procurement. Frederick Wasser of Brooklyn College, who is serving as a distinguished chair at the University of Helsinki for one year, delivered the inaugural lecture at the University on Nov. 14, “Filmed History: Spielberg’s Lincoln,” before an audience including U.S. Ambassador to Finland, the Hon. Bruce Oreck, and other American and Finnish dignitaries.

Thomas Weiss of the Graduate School and University Center has received grants totaling $1,031,396 from the governments of Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Norway for the “Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded $374,975 to Brooklyn College for a project entitled “Site-Specific Delivery of Photosensitizer and Singlet Oxygen in Vivo,” directed by Alexander Greer. “On-Campus Discoveries in Science,” under the direction of Loretta Taras of Kingsborough Community College, has won a $299,933 grant from the National Science Foundation. Daryl A. Wout of John Jay College has received a $266,343 grant from the National Science Foundation for “Creating a Diverse Society that Works: Investigating the Role of Social Identity Threat in Interracial Interactions.”

John Martin of City College’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education has received $3,700,000 for three new investigations into how the nervous system controls movement: two $1,700,000 five-year awards from the National Institutes of Health and a grant of $300,000 over two years from the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Lynda Zimmerman, executive director of the CUNY Creative Arts Team, announced that CAT has received an 18-month, $460,000 grant from The New York Community Trust – Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education to expand CAT’s successful Early Learning Program in K-2 classes at four public schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students and English language learners. “Enhancing Career and Technical Education through Curriculum Revision and Incorporating Technology,” a project directed by Bret Eynon of LaGuardia Community College, received $302,287 in grant funding from the New York State Education Department.