EastBay Today

Posted December 11, 2017

Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Announces 2017 Grant Recipients

Generating energy from wastewater, supporting Oakland students with algebra and increasing diversity in STEM are among this year’s projects

The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs has announced grant funding for faculty and service offices across campus.

The Cal State East Bay Office of Research and Sponsored Programs recently announced that several faculty and staff members have received grants for various projects and programming on campus. According to letters from Jeffery Seitz, associate vice president of ORSP, recipients were awarded the grants due to the high quality of their proposals, relevance of each project's goal and the confidence that each sponsor has in the recipient’s ability to complete the proposed work.

Provost Edward Inch; Sarah Taylor, associate professor, social work

Inch and Taylor received a $400,973 grant from the Stupski Foundation for a project entitled “Pioneers for HOPE: A Learning Framework to Help Our Pioneers Excel.” The grant will be used to create long-term strategies that support underserved students as well as those who are homeless or food insecure in completing their degrees.

Derek Jackson Kimball, professor, physics

Kimball received a $306,048 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project entitled “Search for Exotic Transient Spin-dependent Signals from Ultralight Dark Matter Fields.” This project seeksto understand the nature of dark matter, a mysterious substance that accounts for more than 80 percent of the mass of the universe but is completely invisible.

Andrea Wilson, associate vice president; Catherine Brown, director, Accessibility Services

Wilson and Brown received a $311,460 grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration for a project entitled “2017-20 WorkAbility-IV.” The WorkAbility-IV program at Cal State East Bay provides pre-employment services and job readiness programming for students and alumni with disabilities.

Karina Garbesi, professor, environmental studies; Erik Helgren, associate professor, physics

Garbesi and Helgren received $75,000 from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company for a project entitled “2017 Social Impact Solar Program.” The Cal State East Bay Solar Suitcase program gives local teachers and university students deep training in solar energy. They go on to mentor middle school students to build solar energy systems (We Share Solar Suitcases) that provide light and power for schools, orphanages and refugee centers in the developing world.

Saeid Motavalli, professor, engineering

Motavalli received a $75,000 grant from Chevron Richmond for the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement program, which works to empower students from educationally disadvantaged populations to pursue degrees and professions in STEM fields.

Gary Li, professor, anthropology, geography and environmental studies

Li received a $61,884 grant from the World Oil LTD, Hong Kong for a project entitled “Study on the Feasibility of Extracting Methane from Saturated Sand-bed, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.”

Michael Massey, assistant professor, earth and environmental sciences

Massey received a $39,051 grant from UC Riverside and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a project entitled “Recovery of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Energy and Water from Food Processing Wastewater using Electrochemical Membrane Bioreactors.” The project focuses on generating energy from wastewater, which also helps clean the water. Massey’s portion of the research has to do with figuring out the chemical form of the nutrients to determine aspects such as reusability.

Julie McNamara, assistant professor, teacher education; Julia Olkin, associate professor, mathematics

Olkin and McNamara received a $25,000 grant from the Warriors Community Foundation for a project entitled called “Summer BRIDGE,” targeting incoming Oakland freshmen struggling in Algebra 1. The one-week program took place over the summer and was geared toward changing students’ perception of math, and Olkin and McNamara are now following the students’ progress throughout their first year in high school.

Jenny O, associate professor, kinesiology

O received a $10,000 grant from CSU Sacramento for a project entitled “National Science Foundation Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation.” She received an additional $25,000 from CSU Sacramento for a project entitled “California State University LSAMP.” The programs target underrepresented minorities as well as disadvantaged students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering and math. Its goal is to increase diversity in STEM fields.