Professors’ Grant-Funded Research Projects Examine Curriculum, Pedagogy and Mobile Navigation

BMCC Professors and Principal Investigators Lesley Rennis, Hao Tang and Gloria McNamara
August 19, 2016

The role of community colleges in America’s higher education system is critical, and professors at Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) continue to seek opportunities to explore new methods and techniques to improve the learning experience for students.

Recently, BMCC professors received a total of $37,500 in support of research projects through the CUNY Community College Research Grant (CCCRG) Program. Each of these projects received funding for the period of September 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

The CCCRG Program aims to increase the effectiveness and impact of community colleges on the success of students who enter the workforce or transfer to a baccalaureate-awarding school. Funds from this program will support faculty research at CUNY community colleges through two distinct tracks.

Track 1 of the program supports pedagogical research — also called the scholarship of teaching and learning — is central to improving both the educational experience and graduation rates of our community colleges.

Track 2 supports faculty and students who participate in mentored research experiences. This program is designed to increase the number of associate degree students who are engaged in faculty-mentored research projects.

Principal Investigator Lesley Rennis, Professor and Chairperson, Health Education

Precious Sellars-Mulhern, Faculty, Counseling Center

Project Title: Mindfulness Across the Curriculum: Exploring the Role of Contemplative Practices in Teaching and Learning

Award Amount: $15,000 (Track 1)

The proposed project argues that mindfulness training will improve academic performance and enhance the classroom experience. The research team will create a model for training in mindfulness at the community college level, fostering creativity and deep learning and a potential college-wide intervention. The proposed study includes a large participant group (300-360 students) and multiple data sources such as faculty and student focus groups, grades, attendance records, class participation and observations.

Principal Investigator Gloria McNamara, Assistant Professor, Health Education

Ronald Clare, Jr., Faculty,Business Management

Project Title: Health Education through Entrepreneurship Pedagogy

Award Amount: $15,000 (Track 1)

This proposal project seeks to increase learning outcomes in underachieving student populations using health entrepreneurship, a form of undergraduate research where health education students develop business models and communities. The program is expected to have a positive impact on motivation, retention, job readiness, and several quantitative measures of learning in the discipline.

Principal Investigator Hao Tang, Professor, Computer Information Systems

Project Title: Mobile Indoor Navigation for the Blind

Award Amount: $7,500 (Track 2)

The proposed project explores how mobile technology can assist the blind with navigation. The project will provide a research opportunity at the undergraduate level through mentorship.

To learn about other research led by members of the BMCC community, visit BMCC Research and Scholarly Inquiry.